Companies looking to ramp up their customer service capabilities are often faced with a choice: should they choose a call or contact center? Before they can decide, they first need to know the difference between the two, how they function, and the scenarios in which they're typically used. Here's a look at call centers, contact centers, and the business benefits they offer:
The Call Center
Let's start with the call center. Basically, a call center is exactly what it sounds like: A platform that allows agents to handle incoming voice calls from customers that may have tech support issues, billing questions, or other service requests. A call center can also handle outbound sales and calls for surveys, marketing offers, and fundraising. Until recently, these interactions have primarily taken place on the phone, prioritizing quick resolution and agent efficiency.
Today, businesses most often choose a call center when their customer service needs simply require voice calling — they don't yet see a need for handling interactions through chat or social media. A call center often provides standard features including call routing and queuing, real-time agent performance monitoring, call recording, and the opportunity for supervisory intervention on calls. Compared with a contact center, a call center offers fewer advanced features and more limited analytics. But if your business is just starting out and not yet looking to build a fully omnichannel customer service organization, the call center may be the right choice.
When faced with choosing either a call or contact center, any business will also want to consider reliability, scalability, and cost. Regardless of company size or industry, excellent, dependable support is essential.
The Contact Center
As valuable as the call center is, modern customers expect to interact with businesses through a wider variety of channels. That's where the contact center comes in. A cloud contact center allows representatives to field customer inquiries via voice calls, chat, text messaging, or social media. It also empowers businesses to raise the bar on the customer experience by providing consistently high-quality service at every touchpoint. For businesses looking to increase revenue and differentiate themselves from the competition through peerless service for their customers, a contact center may be the right solution.
Modern contact centers provide businesses with advanced features that allow them to continually enhance their customer service capabilities. Workforce optimization simplifies agent scheduling and quality management, maximizing the contact center's workflow. Skills-based routing ensures that customers reach the representatives that are most qualified to handle their issues. Detailed performance analytics highlight not only areas for improvement, but opportunities to increase sales and roll out better products and services. Cloud-based contact centers can also integrate with a company's Customer Relationship Management system (CRM), boosting productivity by ensuring agents have access to relevant customer information — and fast. A robust CRM system can also increase the overall ROI from existing technology investments.
Call or Contact Center: Reliability, Scalability, and Cost
When faced with choosing either a call or contact center, any business will also want to consider reliability, scalability, and cost. Regardless of company size or industry, excellent, dependable support is essential. For customer service operations, downtime is not an option — and businesses can't afford to take their customer service operations offline every time they need to change configurations or update software. For this reason, a cloud-based call center — or contact center — is a valuable investment. When you choose a solution, find one that offers consistently high uptime and an ironclad SLA that guarantees excellent voice service.
Businesses can benefit from choosing a partner whose call and contact center offerings are scalable, allowing room for seamless growth, support for multiple locations, and even customization when needed. This way, companies have a future-ready infrastructure in place that can handle their emerging needs as they develop.
Cost is always a concern, but cloud-based call and contact centers provide attractive benefits. Rather than requiring considerable hardware, software, and upfront capital expenditures, cloud-based call and contact centers help a business gradually expand its operations and capabilities in a cost-efficient manner.
Today, customers expect businesses to deliver a high-quality customer experience, and businesses are responding accordingly by making strategic investments to fulfill these expectations. When the time comes to select a call or contact center to enable robust customer service, businesses have powerful options available to meet their needs today, tomorrow, and beyond.
Contact Vonage Business to learn more about how a cloud-based call center or contact center can benefit your company.