3 Common Differences Between a Call Center and Contact Center
Contact center and call center are synonymous terms that are mostly used interchangeably, even though they differ from each other. Building an effective and unique customer experience requires starting with a clear understanding of the distinctions between these two business communication models and how they relate to your business objectives.
Although call centers were previously the benchmark for customer care, new technologies have since revolutionized how many businesses deliver customer support. In particular, the expansion of digital channels led to the transformation of many call centers into contact centers, while raising the debate on hiring onshore vs offshore agents. The differences between call centers and contact centers, despite their similarities, including those related to data, channels, agent capabilities, customer self-service (CSS), etc.
Defining Contact Centers
A department managing both inbound and outbound client conversations is known as a contact center. Similar to call center services, operations of a contact center can be conducted internally or by a partner. Contrary to call centers, however, contact centers use a variety of channels to communicate with clients, including apps, messaging, text, phone, email, the web, and social media.
Defining Call Centers
A call center is a division that handles both outbound and inbound calls from clients. In a traditional call center, customer service personnel answer customers’ questions, but they may also perform other customer-related tasks including debt collection, telemarketing, and billing. Call center operations may be carried out either internally inside an organization or externally by a partner with specialized knowledge.
Main Differences Between Contact Centers and Call Centers
To choose the strategy that best matches their firm, decision-makers should grasp how call centers and contact centers differ from one another.
Contact centers are able to gather more client data than call centers since they provide more avenues for connection. Additionally, they can strengthen consumer profiling, enabling businesses to offer individualized customer care to enhance CX.
To analyze calls and learn more about a customer’s preferences and personality, call centers can utilize speech analysis tools. The same is done by contact centers, but they have an additional opportunity to collect data thanks to their omnichannel strategy. Contact centers, for instance, can use data from social media, like follower counts and likes, to discover consumer connections and views that might not be obvious over the phone.
Both call centers and contact centers offer customer assistance and outreach, but they operate through different means of communication. While contact centers use a variety of channels, call centers only use the phone.
In an era before digital platforms, call centers appeared first. Nevertheless, they are advantageous to many businesses since live agent phone conversations provide a personalized experience, unlike other channels. On the contrary, contact centers have digital channels that let clients communicate with a company on the platform that best matches their requirements.
3: Agent Skills
Like their phone-only counterparts, agents who serve digital channels still need to be empathetic, proactive and have excellent problem-solving abilities. But supporting written and occasionally public communications, need extra abilities. Additionally, because private social messaging and emails are asynchronous, users may have multiple contacts open at once and need the capacity to multitask, which is a challenge their friends who only use phones, face. Here are a few examples of extra talents that call center agents might require.
- Writing Abilities: Every word that agents write must be grammatically correct and appropriate because they are representing your brand. Written responses should also be concise and include all of the client’s queries and issues. This is crucial for the customer experience and can also reduce the amount of money spent on unnecessary back-and-forth correspondence brought on by vague or inadequate responses.
- Multi-tasking: A multi-skilled contact center representative may be managing two concurrent chat sessions, four emails, and five text message discussions at once. While not all of these chats are real-time, multi-tasking is essential to making sure that consumers don’t get lost in the shuffle. Additionally, having the ability to multitask will lessen some of the tension brought on by not having quick closure. Moreover, useful software tools are also helpful.
- Etiquette on Social Media: When replying to Facebook comments or tweets. Agents are publishing information for all to see, so it must be reliable while avoiding making firm claims or assurances. The right words to use and the proper delivery style must be known by agents. They also need to know when to keep communications secret. This is a key agent skill to concentrate on since social media blunder that goes public can have disastrous results.
Depending on its unique requirements and priorities, a company may choose to deploy a call center or contact center. Call centers can be cost-effective for businesses that deal with clients over the phone. Contact center may be useful for companies that experience high levels of digital interactions. They wish to keep on top of emerging technologies.