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Contact centres vs call centres: what is the difference?

Published August 11, 2021
Last updated August 11, 2021

Are you unsure whether to invest in a contact centre or a call centre to help your business’s customer service provision?

Customer contact centres and call centres may seem like a semantic difference. However there are some key differences in how they operate and the types of queries they deal with.

All would agree that providing good customer service is essential to running any product or service based business in today’s economy. Here we look at whether contact centres or call centres might be best for your business, both cost effectively and in terms of keeping your customers happy.

How do call centres work?

Traditional call centres are manned by numbers of call centre operators who are trained in the art of providing good customer service.

Not only is it these people’s job to deal with customer complaints, but depending on the company they may also be required to deal with refunds and returns, and even to pool customer feedback, both positive and negative.

Usually based in one or two hub towns, call centres deal with companies’ inbound and outbound calls. Manned by humans, they have their limitations; many call centres operate between standard working hours, and there are limits as to how many calls can be taken at any one time.

Advantages of using a call centre are just as many however. Many members of the public appreciate being able to speak to an agent in real time rather than having to wait for an email response. Call centres are also usually preferred by those who are a little technophobic, allowing them to avoid spending time on social media trying to resolve issues with a chatbot.

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Not only do call centres give users the sense that they are taking charge of any problems by being able to immediately speak to another human to resolve them, but they also provide a personal touch. It is this access to one on one customer interaction that, for some customers, keeps them coming back time and again to the same companies.

How do contact centres work?

In comparison to call centres, contact centres are communication hubs that deal not only with phone calls, but all other forms of customer interactions.

The people working in these centres need not only have good interpersonal skills and a good telephone manner, but they also need to be tech savvy. It also helps if they are able to understand and interpret customer data so as to review and improve upon the services they offer.

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Contact centres offer a holistic approach to measuring customer experiences. In turn, this can then be used to inform practices in dealing with customers in the future. This is a great way to ensure customer satisfaction.

Contact centres deal with customer feedback from social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as responding to queries that might come through from the company website and any emails.

Contact centres vs call centres: which is better?

Contact centres give a company one central place from which to deal with all customer communications. Calls can still be taken there, but employing other communication channels can actually help your company save money.

Chatbots can help streamline conversations, saving your staff time on asking for mundane details such as an order reference number or name. Not only does this save you paying staff to talk for longer, it also means your customers are supported sooner and quicker, leading to an overall improved customer experience.

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For more ideas about how you can ensure your customers are kept at the centre of your business, read our blog.