So you have embarked on your search for the perfect support solution for your organization. There are many options out there and the search can be a long and tiring. You will have many products to evaluate before you figure out which solution works for your organization. You will also need to get all stakeholders, both internal and external, involved in the implementation process to ensure success. Well you sure do have your task cut out for you, but if you have just started I am sure you would have come across two terms Call Center and Contact center and must be wondering which solution is best for you.
In this blog I will try to clearly state what both solutions are and list out the differences between the two solution. So let’s get started!
Call center vs contact center which one to choose?
First things first, you need to choose the right channels for communicating with your customers and then research on the best practices of setting them up. Regardless of which channel you are going after you need to make sure that the solution works both for your customers and internal stakeholders. Any solution that is geared only towards one of these parties is bound to fail for you in the long run.
What is a call center?
A call center refers to a group of people, often referred to as agents, who are responsible for handling all the telephonic conversations for your business.
Many organizations choose to outsource the team of phone operators required to handle your calls, especially if they provide round the clock or 24/7 support.
Call centers, also referred to as phone teams, can manage all contacts obtained through voice conversations and save all the conversations for future reference. This type of data can be very valuable especially while renegotiating contracts or when handling dissatisfied customers. Call centers have been the preferred way of communication for most customers till the late 90s(when email support became the next thing) and in many cases it still is.
What is a contact center?
A contact center on the other hand is a hub for all customer conversations across phone, email, chat or social media. Think of it like a call center on steroids. The main advantage of a contact center revolves around the fact that you can handle all forms of customer communication from one single tool.
The contact center team is usually centrally located and responsible for managing all the contacts that you have acquired through your conversations irrespective of the channel.
What is the difference between a call center and a contact center?
When to choose a Call Center?
- If phones are your primary or secondary medium of business communication with your customers and prospects you need a Call Center
- If your contacts are acquired mainly through phone or phone and email you need a Call Center
- If your customer base is broad and very comfortable using phones for conversations compared to social media channels or live chat you need a Call Center
When to choose a Contact Center?
- If live chat, social media channels, emails are your main channels with phones being a tertiary medium of communication you should consider a Contact Center
- If contacts are acquired through chat, social media, email, and phones you should consider a Contact Center
- If your customer base is tech savvy and wants to interact with you using your live chat, social media channels etc. you should consider a Contact Center.
So, now that you have all the facts on call centers and contact centers and when you need one and not the other let me give you a some quick picks of the top players for both to help you with your selection process.
Top Call Center Software (in particular order)
Top Contact Center Software
Regardless of which you choose a call center or a contact center. No matter the size of your business, you will reap benefits by investing in a support software. In your initial days having a call center with which you can have personal conversations with your customers could make all the difference between happy, satisfied customers and customers who are ready to look at your competitors. If phones are one of the or primary channel of communication for your intended target audience, you will definitely need to setup a call center. One work of advice make sure that the call center software you chooses can easily integrate with a contact center software for when you need to provide support over email, chat and social forums. This will make all the difference!