To make a business profitable, customer satisfaction is important. In a survey by Zendesk, 52% of consumers said they made an additional purchase from a company because their customer service was flawless.
Having customer care for your business is a must, but the question that comes to mind next is – Should I have a contact center or call center?
In this contact center vs call center article, we will compare these two and see which dominates the other, and at the end, we will tell you which one you should leverage.
Table of Contents
Contact Center VS Call Center: Overview
What Is a Contact Center: Everything You Need to Know
A contact center is a tool that is capable of managing customer interactions at a company.
In a contact center, inbound and outbound calls are not the only channels of communication for solving customer problems.
Contact centers leverage an omnichannel approach to make the customer experience great.
Contact centers include communication channels like:
- Text Messages
- Live chat
- Social media
In recent years, the demand for contact centers has been rising.
A contact center tool like Fastcall is the one you should try. From planning outbound calls to sending out text messages, you can get started with Fastcall for just $24 a month.
Let’s now have a look at some examples of contact center services.
Contact Centers Use Cases
- Personalized Self-Service For Customers
Stay on top of customer requests and needs with a contact center.
With a proper contact center in place, you can ask your customers to perform some routine tasks like:
- Requesting their account balance
- Scheduling an appointment
- Opening a ticket
- Selecting a time slot for a call
All the above things can be done without hopping on a call with an agent. To make this work, you just integrate your contact center with your back-office system.
- Omnichannel Customer Engagement
It’s best to have omnichannel customer engagement when it takes several steps and multiple mediums to solve customer issues.
With a contact center, you can have as many as 11 channels of communication.
You can track each step your customer takes and analyze the bottlenecks of the complete funnel.
- Virtual Contact Centers
The beauty of a contact center is that you can open it anytime, anywhere in the world.
Remote opening of a contact center saves you a large sum of capital. It also lets you select employees all across the globe, giving you the largest talent pool to choose from.
Not only this, but giving your employees the choice of working remotely, virtual contact centers can help reduce employee turnover rates – a common issue with customer care staffing.
All You Need to Know About Call Centers
A call center is in charge of all the inbound and outbound calls at an organization.
A typical day at a call center would tackle challenges like solving customer problems, booking appointments, or providing technical support online.
But, there’s a catch!
Unlike contact centers, call centers only rely on a single channel for communication – phone calls.
A tool like Fastcall can be used as a call center and also has additional features like SMS texting. From planning outbound calls to sending out text messages, you can get started with Fastcall for just $24 a month.
It’s evident that call centers aren’t as comprehensive as contact centers, but each has their own advantages that we will discuss in the latter half of this blog.
For now, let’s look at some use cases of a call center.
Call Centers Use Cases
- Booking A Service
Call centers are widely used in industries like hostels, travel, and tourism. It’s easy for a customer to book a hotel suite or a ticket via a phone call. The reason why the booking industry is call center dominant is that it’s cheaper.
Telemarketing is one industry where call centers have been a dominant mode of communication.
The sole reason is it’s cheaper to hire people and set it up rather than having an in-house contact center.
Apart from the above two use cases, there’s no industry where it’s advisable to use call centers.
You must be wondering why right? The following section will clear all your doubts about it!
Contact Center VS Call Center – 5 Major Differences
Some people use both the terms – contact centers and call centers interchangeably.
If you’re one of them, you might want to upgrade your knowledge about them.
Here are the five key differences that will explain why these terms can’t be used interchangeably.
Contact Center VS Call Center – Communication Medium
The communication channel is a major difference between these two.
Call centers rely solely on audio calls, whereas contact centers use communication channels like calls, emails, and social media.
According to a survey conducted by Ameyo – 57% of customers said they prefer reaching companies via email or social media rather than a call.
Winner: Contact center
With several sophisticated features that come with contact centers, you can take customer experience to the next level.
Leveraging features like advanced analytics and supervisor tools, a contact center manager can assign the right agent to the right customer based on expertise.
With the power of AI, the above process can be automated. This automatic call distribution (ACD) method is known as skilled-based routing.
The same is possible in call centers, but it’s not always effective.
Let’s take an example to understand it better.
Imagine a call center agent calling a customer who logged a complaint sometime earlier. The agent has all the necessary information about the customer at his disposal.
But coincidentally, when the agent calls the customer, he is in a meeting or simply didn’t receive the call.
In such cases, you don’t have any option but to try repeatedly and hope that the customer picks up your call. This leads to spending more time for a customer than required.
Another problem with call centers when it comes to customer integration is unfamiliarity. Many people are cautious when they see an unknown number calling them. They usually tend to ignore or cut the call.
Here’s where contact centers come into play.
With contact centers, you don’t need to rely on ‘if the customer picks up the call.’
With data gathering tools in contract center software, you can simply extract the customer’s email id or social media account details. You can then message the customer and move on to the next one.
Winner: Contact center
Data Analytics & Profile Creation
Profile creation of your customer is crucial to making your business profitable. If you don’t know what your customers want, you won’t be able to take your business to new heights.
Both contact and call centers give you information about your customers and let you analyze them. But the real question is – which one does it better?
If you leverage a call center, you will be only able to extract information via one communication medium, that’s the phone.
But when it comes to contact centers, you have multiple communication channels to extract information from.
A survey conducted by Microsoft in 2017 revealed that 66% of consumers had used at least three different communication channels to contact customer care. And more channels imply more information.
Winner: Contact center
Contact Center VS Call Center – Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is the one factor where agents and the communication medium play a crucial role.
This is because customer satisfaction heavily depends on who is behind the communication, AKA Agent.
A skilled and well-trained agent knows how to handle every situation. Be it contact or call center, good agents try their best to make the conversation easy and in favor of their customers.
At the same time, an unskilled agent will start offending the customer and end up with negative feedback. This will impact your company’s reputation.
Therefore customer satisfaction depends on employee training, customer profiling, and CX strategy.
Yes, it also depends on the medium of communication. Live chats, emails, and video calls are better than audio calls, but it’s not true all the time.
Winner: It’s a tie
Contact Center VS Call Center – Scalability
When we say scalability, we mean – what’s more optimal – contact center or call center.
In the case of call centers, a business will have to recruit new agents on a recurring basis as they scale their business.
Contact centers can leverage dynamic staffing methods, but other options are also available.
By leveraging multiple communication channels, one can limit the number of staff recruitment.
This is because you can ask your customers to do some work for themselves.
But a major drawback when hiring for a contact center is you need expert, skill-based agents. One who can smoothly handle multiple communication mediums. This takes a lot of time, effort, and investment.
Call center agents do require skills, but the hiring process is easy here.
Winner: Call center
Benefits of Call Center Over Contact Center
- With heavy recruitment and a smooth system, a call center can manage a huge volume of customer calls daily
- Call centers are way less expensive than contact centers
- Low risk of system breakdown and less maintenance needed
Benefits of Contact Center Over Call Center
- In-depth data gathering and customer profiling
- Better customer satisfaction
- Brands can provide faster customer support
- Can up-sell or cross-sell products to your customers via mail or social media
Contact Center VS Call Center – What’s The Best For My Business?
Contact centers are the best if you have an established business and want to kick things up a notch.
You can provide an omnichannel approach to your customers, get detailed customer profiles, and leverage AI to make things smoother.
But if you’re a small business like a 4-figure dropshipping store or a small travel agency, you might want to stick to call centers at least in the beginning. The sole reason being it’s less expensive than contact centers.
But when you scale your business and have a good revenue coming in, you should ultimately upgrade your customer experience and leverage contact centers.
For both cases above, having a perfect and affordable tool is necessary.
A tool like Fastcall is one you should try. From planning outbound calls to sending out text messages, you can get started with Fastcall for just $24 a month.
A-Pro tip: The best way to upscale your business is by dealing with customer issues via call centers and then making them a subset of a contact center.