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What is a Contact Center vs a Call Center?

What is a Contact Center vs. a Call Center?

Successful contact center management or call center management is essential for any business or organization – and the quicker your customer service is, the better. However, according to a survey by Businesswire, most organizations lack the prompt response customers are looking for.

The average customer service wait time tends to be nearly 20 minutes; 62% of survey participants said they’d waited longer than 10 minutes and 23% had waited for a half-hour or longer. The article goes on to say that customers’ biggest fear is going back to the start. “Americans are frustrated by inefficient customer service that wastes time,” it reads. When asked to name their top three customer service frustrations, 68% selected “getting disconnected and having to start over”.

If you’re in charge of developing or improving your organization’s customer service, you’ll want to figure out which type of contact center fits your business best. But first, you’ll want to understand the differences.

What is the Difference Between Contact Centers and Call Centers?

Though the terms “contact center” and “call center” are sometimes used interchangeably, they’re actually not the same thing. They both handle customer interaction; however, call center solutions only communicate through phone calls while a contact center uses a variety of communication channels including messaging, texts, emails, and social media.

Contact Centers Key to Customer Relationships

According to an article in Forbes, a contact center is often the first and only interaction an organization has with a customer. “Rather than viewing the contact center as a cost center, brands need to start viewing it as an opportunity for technology investments that drive a more intimate relationship with customers and competitive differentiation,” the article continues.

By thinking of contact centers as a direct and ready connection to prospects and customers, companies will change their perception of this important function. Businesses that invest in automation technology can transform contact centers into effective tools for building better  customer relationships. Not only can problems and complaints be resolved more quickly, but companies can capitalize on new opportunities as well.

Benefits of Contact and Call Centers

Both contact and call centers have advantages and disadvantages.

Contact centers tend to be more technologically advanced than call alternatives. Because contact centers are more data-driven, they are able to generate more analytics and insights than a call center. Conversations can be transcribed so that managers can understand why customers are reaching out.

On the other hand, call centers focus on simple dialogue management, essentially executing phone calls as quickly as possible. Talking on the phone is currently one of the most preferred communication methods within customer service, and it may not make financial sense for your organization to use a contact center.

How to Decide Between a Contact Center vs. a Call Center

Businesses must examine their individual situations in order to determine whether a call center or a contact center is the best solution for them.

If call volumes are high, you may want to choose a call center. They are most effective if:

  • Additional data and statistics won’t help your team.
  • You’re currently unable to afford the additional technology a contact center requires.
  • You’d prefer to focus on automating call center processes rather than branching out into other modes of communication.

However, contact centers certainly have their benefits. Consider a contact center if:

  • Your organization is financially able to create one.
  • Data is necessary for improvements.
  • Your customers are dissatisfied with phone calls as the only method of communication.

Regardless of the communication center you choose to implement, automating processes should be a priority. Both call and contact center employees tend to have more work than they’re able to handle. Automating basic requests frees the customer service team up so that they can handle more complicated problems on a timely basis.

Replicant’s Contact Center Automation Solution

Replicant’s intelligent virtual agent resolves customer service issues autonomously, improving your organization’s call or contact center. Contact our team to develop contact center innovation ideas and discover how Replicant can change the customer service experience at your organization.

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