Contact centre vs. call centre – How are they different?

If you’re looking to set up an inbound customer service, chances are you’ve heard of both contact centre and call centre as two seemingly interchangeable terms. Although the two do have some overlap, there are also significant differences between them that can help you decide which one is right for your company. 

What are the key differences between the two? How can your company decide which one of these options is best for your business? We’ll answer all these questions and more in this article on contact centre vs. call centre. We’ll also discuss why the two might be useful for your business, how they can complement each other, and more! 

What is a call centre?

A call centre, also known as a telephone answering point or phone centre, is a facility that receives inbound telephone calls for customer service and technical support. It is a central business feature for many organizations and companies. A call centre can be operated or affiliated with a local business or owned and operated by a large company. The service may answer incoming calls, screen calls, provide information to callers, perform sales/order processing, etc. As the role of online sales increases, more companies are starting to utilize call centres to enhance their sales team.

What is a contact centre?

A contact centre is a technology-driven centre that handles incoming calls or requests from customers through other channels such as email, online chat, and social media. In general, a contact centre has five major divisions: customer care, customer support, customer service, technical support, and technical service. 

Differences between contact center vs. call center

For businesses big and small, contact centres have replaced telephones as a way to communicate with customers. In fact, more than half of all global enterprises now use either a contact centre or social media to take in-bound inquiries from customers. While the rest of us are stuck in traffic, frustrated customers are getting their way. Get this—two-thirds of consumers think the quality of omnichannel customer service is improving! 

However, since telephones have served as our primary form of communication for decades, it’s hard to imagine a world without them. But for those who work in business communications, there is a clear distinction between these two forms of communication. What is it exactly? What makes them different from one another, and why do companies choose one over another? That’s what we’ll explore today.

In today’s complicated world, is it any wonder that people are hesitant to call a business when they have a problem? There’s no feeling like hanging up the phone and realizing you’re even more frustrated than when you started calling. When a customer has a problem with your product or service, it’s disappointing for them. When they have to explain their circumstances to an incompetent agent, it’s maddening. That’s why customer service should be exceptional since 31% of customers say it is frustrating having to repeat themselves multiple times.

Call centres focus on phones, while contact centres use other mediums.

While a company can have both types of centres, they’re actually quite different. A contact centre is designed to provide customer service through various mediums, including phone calls, chat, and social media channels. Call centres, meanwhile, focus on phones and most often work with a single specific business or organization. To offer contact services in addition to traditional phone-based communication takes a significant investment in infrastructure that can be cost-prohibitive for small organizations. In many cases, you need separate rooms for each communication channel. So, customers don’t experience any confusion about which method to use when contacting your business.

Call centres scale with agents, while contact centres scale through dynamic staffing.

Call centres hire employees and build out their infrastructures to handle spikes in business and scaling to match changes in demand. On the other hand, contact centres utilize a dynamic staffing system where agents can come and go as needed. Contact centres work with multiple organizations simultaneously, so agent availability fluctuates daily. So, agents can be assigned through available shifts when issues arise at any organization using its services. This enables contact centres to scale much more quickly than traditional call centres without increasing costs by hiring new employees.

Contact centres offer multichannel support, but call centres provide a human touch.

The world of customer support is changing rapidly. The roles of a contact centre and a call centre have significantly been redefined over time. Both disciplines now offer multichannel support to customers rather than just phone calls. Although once regarded as a relic of the past, the modern phone call is experiencing a revival. After all, some customers—especially business customers—prefer dealing with a person when they have questions or want to change an order. 

At Incus, we provide you with customer service that is second to none. We want every question answered, every problem solved, and every case closed quickly and efficiently.

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