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Contact Center vs Call Center:
What’s the Difference Between the Two?

You’ve finally hit that point where you need to outsource your over-the-phone customer service processes, but how do you choose between a contact center vs call center?

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Choosing the right contact center can result in a:

Maintain a Secure Environment

Better Customer Experience

Boost in Efficiency

A couple of decades ago, the only companies that were able to outsource these processes were large organizations and renowned companies with huge budgets.

Today, technological advancements and a bigger focus on quality customer service have made call centers and contact centers more accessible to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). However, this also means that SMBs need to determine whether they need to employ a contact center vs. a call center. The only way to make the right choice is to identify their similarities, understand the differences between the two, and weigh these against your requirements.

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At Emerald City Solutions, we provide contact center services for small companies and local businesses in Seattle, Everett, and surrounding areas. Our team knows the difference between contact and call centers as well as the features they need to have in order to deliver the best results.

Defining Contact Centers and Call Centers

What is a call center? In simple terms, a call center is an area within a business that takes care of incoming as well as outgoing calls. Conventional call centers can provide customer assistance, sales, technical support, debt collection, telemarketing, surveying, and other types of services over the phone, depending on what your company needs. Call centers may be located inside of a business or they can be partly or fully outsourced to third-party providers located in the US or overseas.

Contact centers, on the other hand, are in charge of handling all inbound and outbound interactions with customers, whether they occur over the phone, email, text message, social media, or any other platform. Similarly to call centers, contact center agents can operate from within the company or through an independent company. However, contact centers offer a more comprehensive experience for customers while also improving efficiency across all potential contact channels.

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What’s the Difference Between a Contact Center vs Call Center?

Now that we’ve answered the question what is a contact center and a call center?, it’s time to go over the differences between the two.

Like we briefly mentioned above, contact centers handle all forms of communication, rather than only focusing on calls. This means that customers have a more wholesome experience because it creates continuity between the contact channels you have available. For example, if a customer reached out through social media and was asked to call, the contact center agents will have access to all this data in order to provide the most effective solutions.

Traditional call centers, on the other hand, only handle phone calls and don’t always have access to notes from other departments. This means that the agents may only be able to fulfill basic functions, which can negatively affect customer experience.

Contact Centers: More than Just Multi-Channel Call Centers

When they were first established, call centers were designed to handle as many customer phone calls as quickly as possible, regardless of whether they were incoming or outgoing. Efficiency was the most important element and factors like customer experience or call quality usually took the back seat.

Now, we know enough about consumer behavior to understand that a great experience is more likely to yield good results whenever your agents contact a potential client or existing customer. Contact centers revolve around that concept, so they work as a centralized point of contact that ensures a great customer experience, thus improving your chances of engaging your customers and registering better performance metrics.

Advantages of Omni-Channel Contact Centers

The quality of a contact center is only as good as the service and overall experience it provides. To help your agents achieve their goals, you need to provide all the necessary training, tools, and other elements that your employees need to succeed.

Contact centers that have the right structural elements in place tend to outperform conventional call centers in key areas. Companies that choose the right contact center usually:

Reduced Hold Time
Improve First-Call Resolution (FCR)
Keep Average Handle Time (AHT) as Low as Possible
Minimize Call Volume
Delight Customers Using Chatbots and Virtual Associate Automate Certain Tasks
Improve Workflows and Internal Processes
Deliver Better Reporting Features
Enhance the Learning Process Through AI
Use Agent Dashboards to Visualize the Entire Customer’s Journey

All of the above can result in higher-quality services and a better user experience, both of which increase your chances of success.

Should You Attempt to Automate Your Entire Contact Center?

There are many types of call center technology you’ll be able to implement, including task automation. While automation can help improve efficiency and take care of repetitive tasks, remember that your contact center is designed for human users. Your customers and potential clients expect not only prompt service, but they also want to interact with humans who are empathetic, polite, and helpful.

Therefore, you should never aim to automate your entire contact center. Instead, try to identify the repetitive tasks that you can automate without compromising customer experience and ensure that your agents are trained to make clients feel welcomed.

Making Predictions for the Future of Contact Centers

Based on current patterns, innovative contact centers will aim to create a more holistic experience by synchronizing interactions across all channels.
That said, identifying, organizing, and managing all of these independent touchpoints represent a huge amount of resources, so SMBs need to be prepared to invest in these solutions to stay ahead of the competition.

How to Choose the Best Contact Center for Your Company

The main problem with current call center solutions is that they lack the basic infrastructure to have a seamless transition to a contact center. Therefore, your best bet is to partner with a contact center that can help you deliver outstanding service in the most cost-effective way.

At Emerald City Solutions, we provide contact center solutions for local companies and SMBs at competitive prices. Our team of experienced technicians can help you with the setting up process, implementation, training, and other areas in order to ensure that your customers get the best possible service. To learn more, contact our team and we’ll be glad to help.

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