As I mentioned before, call centers rely heavily on voice services and contact centers don’t only rely on voice to extend an exceptional customer experience. They offer the choice to customers to receive the service in whichever way they choose, whether that be phone, email, text, or webchat.
Another thing that sets apart these two different services is the level of service a customer is likely to experience. These types of services could be done in a call center, but they won’t be done to the same level of efficiency as if it were to be done in a contact center. Customer service can go beyond answering questions. With the advancements in technology, agents have the ability to monitor buying behavior and reach out before a question even arises.
Outbound messages like this can be sent over the phone in a call center, but how likely is it that an agent will actually be able to get someone on the phone? Many people avoid answering calls from unrecognizable phone numbers. A contact center is able to send this outbound message whichever way the customer desires. Therefore making it more likely those agents are going to get in contact with the customer.
Individualized Customer Profiles = More Organized Database
Since contact centers rely heavily on digital service channels, these are often integrated with some sort of data management system. And whenever a customer contacts your business they often share personal information with the agent. Basic identity information such as name, phone number, email address, and home address if that is pertinent to the situation. This information is then stored in their system, making it easier to locate if that person is to ever call back.
Call centers are simply a place where agents take inbound calls usually with people asking questions and the agents answering those questions. They don’t really have a need to store the customer information. This makes it difficult if that customer is to ever call back, because then the agent would need to rehash the same customer information, wasting both the agent’s and customer’s time.
More Engaged Customer Support = Happier Customers
Have you ever called into a business, hoping to reach an agent that can help you solve whatever problem that you were facing; only to come into contact with an audio recording asking you to press all these different buttons and having you endure that awful elevator music for what seemed like hours on end? Well, that’s the reality of a call center. With fewer agents, the pressure is on to answer more calls and resolve more problems than they could possibly handle in a day. This leaves customers feeling frustrated and unimportant. Causing them to look elsewhere for their solution.
Whereas with a contact center, you typically are in contact with an agent within a few minutes and are able to choose how you wish to receive your solution, whether it be by phone or what have you. These agents are usually not under the same stressors and pressure as call center agents, making them seem more pleasant and eager to help you.
So Which One Should I Choose?
I’ve laid out the specifics regarding both call and contact centers. They aren’t as similar as they seem, but they aren’t too different other than the various modes of communication and the disposition of the agents. Ultimately, it is up to you and whether the availability of a cloud-based service is at your disposal. If not, I highly recommend looking into using one in your business.
West Corporation. (2018, February 27). Call Center vs. Contact Center: 7 Key Differences. Retrieved July 30, 2020, from https://www.west.com/blog/interactive-services/call-center-vs-contact-center/
Learn more about call centers vs. contact centers here.