Telephone, email, and mail icons for communication used in call centers and contact centers

Difference Between Call Center and Contact Center

The terms call center and contact center are often used equivalently. While both business models involve communication by phone and customer service, they are not the same. This may leave you wondering what the difference is exactly between a call center and contact center. Depending on your business needs, one business model may be a better option than the other.

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What is a Call Center?

According to Merriam-Webster, a call center is “an office equipped to handle a large volume of telephone calls for an organization (such as a retailer, bank, or marketingfirm) especially for taking orders or for providing customer service.”

Call centers have been around since the 1950s and have continued to evolve with technology. The focus of a traditional call center is that inbound and outbound customer service is handled mainly via telephone. Agent productivity and first-call resolution tend to be key to keep costs low.

What is a Contact Center?

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A Contact center is defined by Lexico as, “An integrated and usually automated communications system that coordinates all telephone and electronic contacts between anorganization and the public.”

A contact center utilizes various forms of communication to interact with customers. Digital channels, such as live chat, email, text messaging, and social media, are available in addition to phone communication. This offers customers a variety of ways to connect, as communication preferences have shifted over time.

Call Center vs Contact Center

The software needed to operate a call center tends to be simpler and less expensive than the software a contact center requires. Utilizing phone calls as the primary method of communication, call center software requires fewer features. You’ll find a call center to be more budget-friendly if you are starting a new business or for a smaller business.

A contact center improves the customer experience by offering customer communication via various digital channels. With customer’s preferences shifting from communicating mainly by phone to chat, email, text, or social media instead, a contact center streamlines communication and increases customer service.

The method of communication is the main difference between a call center vs contact center in order to decide which solution is best for your business.