Customer Contact Center Vs Call Center: What’s the Difference?
As business organizations evolve and extend its services to more customers, the amount of interaction with customers also rises. After a certain point, managing inbound and outbound calls with the internal staff becomes a challenge, and this is where call centers come in. Call center software enables efficient customer communications, and in turn, increase brand loyalty and overall sales.
With advancements in technology, customer care has also evolved. The latest testament to that is Contact Centers. At a glance, they seem very similar to call centers, as both call centers and contact centers are used to communicate with customers, through both inbound and outbound calls.
Contact Center Vs Call Center: The Difference
However, even if they seem similar in function, their difference lies in their form. To be precise, how they work and how well they get the job done! The biggest difference between a contact center and a call center is that the latter comes with multiple communication channels. In addition to voice-based communication, contact centers allow customer interaction through the following channels:
- Voice calls through VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
- Automated responses etc.
The omnichannel customer support with contact centers enables businesses to remain present on channels that their customers prefer and offer quality services across all of them. Think about a scenario where the customer care service center has to contact a customer. With call centers, the communication will be unsuccessful if the customer is on another call or if the phone is switched off.
The same scenario with the call center replaced by a contact center yields a different result. If the customer is busy, the contact center can connect with them using email or text. In addition, the contact center software will log the attempt as unsuccessful and creates a ticket for a call back to be made later. This method is vastly superior to call center technology and helps in achieving higher client satisfaction and customer retention.
Why Choose Customer Contact Centers Over Call Centers?
Contact centers are significantly effective and advanced over call centers, and there is a strong reason why it is that way. Contact centers are not just an incremental upgrade over call centers. Their advantage lies in the fact that they have opted to go for the digital route rather than analog. Instead of line based communication (think ordinary telephones), contact centers work on digital communication methods, predominantly VoIP and cloud-based methods.
Therefore, the data is carried over on the internet rather telephone line, supporting digital communication channels while eliminating the need to rely on age-old technology that is no longer being improved upon.
With such a transition, contact centers have the following advantages over traditional call centers:
- Greater flexibility for customers: Customers won’t have to wait a long time to get their calls connected to servicing agents, as contact center software enables advanced call distribution. This typically happens through an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) feature, which directs the call to the most relevant agent based on the customer’s query.
- Greater flexibility for business: Contact centers can be operated outside the organization, allowing businesses to outsource customer care services. The ability to access the software from anywhere also means a tighter integration between geographically dispersed teams, enabling efficient utilization of resources.
- CRM integration: Contact centers are not a true hardware dependent system. Much of the work is handled by the software, enabling it to connect with other management tools with ease. CRM integration, for example, allows businesses to track, coordinate and manage interactions with customers seamlessly. It also provides agents with detailed customer information and actionable data that can lead to effective up-selling or cross-selling opportunities.
- Increased campaign effectiveness: With multiple communication channels at their disposal, agents can better engage with customers. It is possible to deliver technical support through chat or video call, provide status updates through SMS or push notifications, or handle sales inquiries directly through calls. The ability to reach out to customers through a variety of communications results in better customer experience and effective business campaigns.
- Reduced IT infrastructure cost: Unlike conventional call centers, contact centers use a hosted service structure. In other words, the servers and the contact center software are managed by the cloud service provider. The off-premise setup of contact centers again contributes to the overhead cost reduction.
However, the backbone of contact centers is essentially the Cloud. Cloud technology is what makes everything possible and keeps everything cohesive. It is crucial that companies choose a reputed contact center software provider. The benefits of such a decision are that they will also have access to better and more feature-rich contact center software that supports all the latest tech like IVR, back-office applications, speech engines, and more.
Call centers rely on their technology to empower them to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Virtual Contact Center you get world-class technology and everything your call center needs in one place. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.