‘We sometimes hear people say that call centres and contact centres are the same thing but nothing could be further from the truth. There are a lot of fundamental differences between the two. A call centre deals with customers exclusively by telephone while a contact centre offers many more options for further helping your (end) customers.’
What is a call centre?
As the name suggests, a call centre handles incoming and outgoing calls. Inbound call centres receive calls with all kinds of questions about the product or service in question or other customer-service-related issues. The focus is on providing quick solutions.
In outbound call centres, the opposite happens: (potential) customers are called, often regarding information on offers, surveys, and more, the aim being to actively generate sales or measure customer satisfaction.
How is it different from a contact centre?
Technologies are constantly developing, consumers often alternate between channels of communication and more and more people do not want to be called. For these reasons, almost all self-respecting call centres are changing or have changed from offering only telephone assistance to providing multi-channel solutions. And this is exactly what a contact centre does: it offers solutions for contacting customers via various channels, which is much more diverse and customer-friendly.
The number of communication channels in itself has expanded, from conventional telephone calls for prospecting, for example, to e-mails, (live) chats and social media monitoring. This enables companies to respond to their customers’ needs and questions more quickly and easily. Customers themselves do not need to keep repeating the same steps; they do not need to supply information already provided via another communication channel.
Furthermore, all activities in contact centres are professionally recorded and kept in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. A lot of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be filtered from the collected data. These indicate what is measured, as well as how and how often, and who these data are reported to, based on service, quality and efficiency, among other things. KPIs enable you to very accurately analyse and, where necessary, optimise the performance of interactions in a contact centre. This constitutes great added value for reports for their customers/clients.
Broad and in-depth knowledge required
Another important difference between a call centre and a contact centre is knowledge. While traditional call centres mainly handle one type of interaction, a contact centre is flexible and diverse. Naturally, this means that customer advisors have to be continuously trained on various tools, social media, products and certification where necessary. Every channel requires a different approach or means of communication and, of course, all employees must be attuned to this.
As a partner, a contact centre offers more opportunities than a call centre. The omni-channel approach provides more options for your (end) customers. By working with a contact centre, your company will appear much more modern and accessible. In today’s world, this is not just about gaining an edge over the competition. It’s a must.