Contact Center 101: what it is

and how it differs from Call Centers

Contact Center 101: what it is and how it differs from Call Centers

Contact Center 101: what it is and how it differs from Call Centers


Call centers play a vital role in companies that prioritize customer experience (CX). As customer expectations continue to rise, organizations are finding new ways to connect with them, and this has caused many companies to switch from call centers to contact centers.

Let's delve deeper into the world of contact centers, explaining the definition, benefits, main features and how they differ from call centers.

     What is contact center, contact center software and CCaaS?
     What is the difference between call centers and contact centers?
     Key contact center features
     Benefits of having a contact center
     How to adopt a contact center solution?

 

What is a Contact Center?

Contact centers are groups of agents or departments in organizations. They serve customers and provide support through multiple channels, including phone, email, chat and social media. In other words, contact centers go beyond voice; They also offer support through digital means of communication, which allow customers to contact a supplier and seek assistance through their preferred channel.

Below are explanations for more contact center-related terms:


- Contact center software

Contact center software refers to a set of technology tools and applications used by organizations to streamline their contact center operations and enhance the customer experience. Provides a central interface for agents to efficiently handle customer interactions from multiple communication channels.


- Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

Like UCaaS, Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) is a cloud-based model that provides companies with the infrastructure and software needed to operate their contact center. Instead of investing in and managing their own on-premises contact center infrastructure, companies can leverage CCaaS to access all the necessary tools and resources through the cloud.

 

Contact Center x Call Center – What’s the difference?


Call centers and contact centers provide customer service in different ways, and decision makers must understand the differences to determine which is best suited for their business goals.

As the name suggests, call centers handle customer service over the phone, both inbound and outbound. Contact centers, on the other hand, facilitate a wider range of communication channels, including but not limited to voice, in parallel with Chat, SMS, email, Social Media and more.

Nowadays, customer expectations have skyrocketed; Not only do they expect quick responses, they also want to contact suppliers using their preferred communication channels, be it phone calls or live chat. Therefore, establishing a contact center allows your company to offer more options for your customers to get in touch and increase customer satisfaction.


How to adopt a Contact Center solution?

If you are thinking about implementing a contact center to improve customer service, there are two common solutions on the market. Based on your specific goals and budgets, decide which is best for your organization:


- Integrate with your existing UC platform:

The first option available on the market is to choose contact center software that can be fully integrated with your existing unified communications (UC) platform. Integration is typically achieved through APIs, allowing real-time data exchange between the two platforms. The most significant advantage of this method is that it allows you to preserve current communications infrastructure and reduce costs while expanding resources to provide improved CX. However, agents and employees navigating more than one interface can cause inefficiencies in daily operations.


- Choose a complete solution:

A better and more convenient option is a complete solution that integrates UC and contact center functionality into a single platform. A potential downside is that it has higher upfront expenses, but a comprehensive platform helps foster closer teamwork and increases overall efficiency.

Agents can access a holistic view of each customer's interactions and provide a consistent experience, and web chats can easily be transformed into voice/video calls to help customers more effectively. Furthermore, they can communicate with other experts on the team through the system, if consultancy is needed. For administrators, choosing a complete solution means simplified system management and maintenance. Furthermore, relying on a single supplier can result in faster resolution of any technical issues that may arise.

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