Call centres and contact centres, which one is better? The call centre is the hub of customer service for many companies. Customers call in for assistance, and sales representatives call out for business. Since phone support is the primary way of interaction in conventional customer service models, we refer to it as a “call centre.”
Moreover, call centre employees now communicate with clients via a range of media. The call centre has changed into the contact centre as a result. A call centre simply permits voice and SMS texting as forms of communication, whereas the contact centre method enables communication over a variety of channels, including voice, SMS, live chat, email, video, etc.
Which option should you pick, though?
The use of contact centres instead of call centres has become more common in B2C customer care in the past few years. Retailers, e-commerce enterprises, financial firms, and other organisations are discovering that customers desire to have the option to contact them by any method, whether it be text, call, or something new.
The main differences between a contact centre and a call centre will be explained in this post, along with recommendations on how to determine which is best for your target firm.
How Does Software for Call Centres Function?
Key components of call centre software, such as Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Outbound Dialers, and CRM Integrations, optimise and manage call centre agent-customer communication.
Inbound and outbound calls are the only communication method they concentrate on; although some call centre solutions may also offer SMS texting. Consumers spend less time waiting on hold and more calls are resolved on the first attempt thanks to call centres’ assistance in managing inbound and outbound call flows more effectively.
Nevertheless, call centres don’t merely make life simpler for incoming or outgoing calls. These systems also make it simple for agents to acquire the data they require to rapidly address the callers’ issues, whether that content is an internal understanding of the goods and services they provide or previous client interactions.
How Do Contact Centres Function?
Contact centre services function by instantly integrating consumer and agent interactions into a single, unified interface. It implies that the conversation can continue where it left off regardless of the line of communication it started on, even if another operator picks up the interaction on a separate channel.
Furthermore, contact centre platforms also:
- Automate common business operations, such as data entry, task approval, etc.
- Enhance the level of team adaptability.
- Boost the workforce by streamlining the employee planning process.
- Enable omnichannel routing to ensure that consumers are linked to the most appropriate agent irrespective of the channel they contact you on. This includes chatbots, automated SMS responses, IVR, and much more.
Comparing Call centres vs. Contact centres: 5 key differences
To choose the strategy that best matches their organisation, decision-makers should recognize how call centres vs. contact centres differ from one another.
1. Communication channels
Both call centres and contact centres offer customer assistance and outreach, but they operate through different means of communication. Whereas contact centres use a variety of channels, call centres only use the phone. In an era before digital platforms, call centres first appeared. Nevertheless, they are advantageous to many businesses since live agent phone conversations provide a personalised experience that other channels frequently don’t. On the contrary, contact centres have digital channels that let clients communicate with a company on the platform that most matches their requirements.
2. Customer data
Contact centres are able to gather more customer data than call centres since they provide more routes for connection. Additionally, they can strengthen consumer profiling, enabling businesses to offer individualised customer care to boost CX (customer experience).
To analyse calls and learn more about a customer’s personality and preferences, call centres can utilise speech analysis tools. The same is done by contact centres, but their omnichannel strategy provides more options for data collection. For example, contact centres can leverage information from social media, such as views and follower counts, to identify the connections and opinions of customers that would not be clear over the phone.
3. Client self-service
CSS (Customer Service and Support) functionality is typically provided by interactive voice response (IVR) systems, which are automated phone assistants that respond to speech and keypad input. IVR systems can direct callers to the appropriate agents and handle straightforward tasks like reordering prescription medication, but they can also irritate customers with extensive options on the menu that don’t cater to their needs.
Alongside IVR, a contact centre’s CSS features include chatbots, FAQ pages, online knowledge bases, and forums, all of which can assist clients in individually locating answers. Automated text messages that verify or reschedule appointments and mobile apps that let users place or modify orders are additional types of contact centre CSS.
4. Operator skills
Contact centre operators require additional skills since they use more varied channels that allow for various sorts of communication, despite the fact that call centre employees also need customer support abilities like compassion and understanding.
Customer service is provided over the phone by call centre staff; therefore, they require strong verbal abilities, affability, and problem-solving abilities. Customer support is also offered by contact centre representatives over the phone and through text-based channels like social media, email, live chat, and messages. Thus, contact centre agents require abilities in social media politeness, coordination, written communication, and comprehension skills.
Customers may become irritated by unclear writing from contact centre staff, which may result in needless follow-ups. Furthermore, operators must be grammatically correct because poor grammar can give a company an unprofessional picture.
Although the technologies used by call centres and contact centres sometimes converge, contact centres need extra services to assist them to handle their multichannel qualities. In addition to the essentials of phones, computers, and headsets, call centres may also use the following technologies:
- IVR: Based on speech and keypad responses, IVR’s automated phone assistants choose the best agent or department to serve a consumer.
- Automated call distributor (ACD): An ACD will easily switch a caller to the appropriate agent or department once an IVR has determined who the caller wants to speak with.
- Speech analysis software: Such a programme can examine calls and identify emotions like satisfaction and rage. An organisation can use speech analysis software to determine when to follow up with dissatisfied consumers.
- Better internet connectivity: To use call centre software, remote operators need quick and secure connectivity, which could demand internet improvements.
Contact centres also include the following in addition to call centre systems:
- Email response management system: Huge amounts of emails can be sorted, tracked, and archived with the aid of these tools.
- Omnichannel routing: Agents may have difficulty managing their various engagements in contact centres because of the variety of channels they employ. Irrespective of the medium, omnichannel routing employs AI to determine a customer’s purpose and route all queries to a live agent.
- Advanced analytics: This approach uses a variety of AI technologies and analysis methodologies to give a comprehensive perspective of the user journey and provide predictions about the decisions that a customer will make in the future.
- Channel reports: To develop KPIs, such as first call resolution and customer effort scores, reporting software gathers relevant data from several channels. To guarantee quality validation across networks, executives can keep an eye on KPIs.
Contact Centre vs. Call Centre: Which Is Better?
Determining whether your company would gain more from a call centre or a contact centre should have been a lot simpler after considering the pointers mentioned here:
A contact centre software is recommended if:
- To boost general levels of interaction with your organisation, you want to promote omnichannel contact with clients and prospects.
- As per research, the phone call is not preferred by your consumer base for interaction.
- You have sufficient personnel to handle communications through different networks.
- Phone calls are overburdening your operators, particularly when they are about issues that may be dealt with by automated chatbots.
Adopting call centre software is recommended if:
- Your main means of communication are VoIP audio calls.
- Your company has expanded to the point that you need a better means to organise calls, but you don’t want to overburden a small workforce with too many lines of contact.
- You need a flexible communication platform that is both economical and scalable while also allowing employee flexibility.
Every business seeks to maintain contact with its clients and establish a reputation in the marketplace. By implementing communication systems like call centres and contact centres, these objectives can be easily attained.
Even though the networks that each use are different, they share two goals in order to succeed: first, they both want to attract as many clients as they can. Secondly, make absolutely sure that customers are happy and satisfied with the service the company is offering.