Call Centre vs. Contact Centre: What’s the Difference? (And Which One Do You Need?)

Posted: 22 July 2022

The traditional call centre is evolving. Gone are the days when the humble telephone was the sole means of communication between customers and businesses – in today’s digital world, new forms of technology are making it increasingly faster, easier, and more convenient to connect.

With their multichannel capabilities, contact centres empower businesses to reach customers through various channels, such as voice, email, SMS, and web chat.

So, is a contact centre that different from a call centre? And which one offers the most advantages? In this article, we look at the key differences between call centres and contact centres, how each is used, and whether a call centre or a contact centre will be most beneficial for your business. 

Firstly, what is a call centre?

When defining a call centre, the name is a bit of a giveaway – a call centre provides customer service via inbound and/or outbound calls. While call centres traditionally use telephone lines, today’s call centre often employs the digital technology of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

 Inbound call centres are used to handle customer enquiries, with customer service representatives offering technical or other types of support. On the other hand, outbound call centres see employees making calls for various purposes, including sales calls, marketing offers, billing, or fundraising requests. 

And what is a contact centre?

Technology has advanced drastically over the past few years, and so has how businesses interact with customers. Enter the contact centre, which uses various channels to handle inbound and outbound customer communications.

Unlike call centres, contact centres go beyond phone calls, taking an omnichannel approach to connect with customers across various platforms. The channels used by a contact centre to interact with customers may include:

A contact centre is the point of convergence for all customer communications, where call centers tend to be used for more transactional interactions. It is an excellent opportunity for businesses to deliver richer, more personalised customer experiences. As a result, contact centres can lead to improved customer retention and an increase in revenue.

So, what do I need: A call centre or a contact centre? 

While businesses have employed the traditional call centre model for decades, contact centres are the innovative new frontier for companies looking to elevate their customer experience, increase efficiencies, and – ultimately – boost their bottom line.

By providing a broad range of communication channels – from delivering an order status update via SMS to sending details of a promotion as an email – contact centres allow you to utilise the most appropriate and efficient channel for each form of communication.

There’s no doubt that contact centre solutions can empower businesses with a wide range of benefits. However, whether you decide to utilise a call centre or a contact centre, it’s essential to be aware that the model you choose is only as powerful as the technology that underpins it.

You will need a contact center solution if you would like to offer your customers the flexibility to interact with you through their preferred communication channel.

What’s more, the right contact centre software can enable you to replace manual tasks with streamlined, automated processes that are faster, more efficient, and less error-prone.

Here are some of the ways in which your business could benefit from the right contact centre software:                

  • Enhance customer experience through call-back features such as Maintain Position in Queue (MPIQ) where customers can request a callback without having to wait on hold
  • Personalise interactions with customers, through accessing interaction history with CRM integration. CTI adaptors can be leveraged for Salesforce, Dynamics, Zendesk, and Service Now
  • Gain visibility of your customer experience through reporting tools that can provide deeper insights for businesses to make data-led decisions
  • Cater to different communication preferences by offering more convenient ways to connect with your business such as Voice, Email, Web Chat and SMS

While contact centres have a clear advantage for businesses, what do your customers think about these multichannel interactions? It turns out they tend to like it! Studies have shown that:

  • 90% of consumers want omnichannel experiences that offer seamless service across different communication channels[1]
  • 70% of customers prefer brands that offer or contact them with proactive customer service notifications.[2]
  • Almost half (49%) of consumers use three to five different communication channels to contact customer service[3]
  • 89% of customers are retained by companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement[4]

    Are you keen to discover how the right contact centre technology can transform the way your business interacts with customers? Learn more about ipSCAPE’s powerful contact centre solution or get in touch and find out how our award-winning software can help your contact centre operate more efficiently and effectively. centre operate more efficiently and effectively.

    ipSCAPE is a cloud communication technology solution that is feature-rich, scalable, and has advanced integration capabilities. We help businesses connect with their customers through multichannel communications, including Voice, Web Chat, Email, SMS, IVR, and other emerging channels.