When it comes to providing stellar customer service, businesses must first understand their demographic. From the first point of contact, knowing who your clients are and how to best connect with them is essential to ensuring a smooth transaction. You may be wondering, What is a contact center? Isn’t it the same as a call center? In this post, we discuss the difference between them, as well as how your organization may benefit from using each.
As we’ve previously written, call centers have come a long way since they were first used in the 1960s. Just as technology has evolved, consumers have also drastically changed— along with their expectations. If you’re reading this, there is a good chance you spend a minimum of six hours a day online. Online adoption has grown at an incredible pace. Younger generations have especially taken to using text and social media apps instead of making phone calls. Bottom line: No matter when your business was established or how incredible your reputation may be, understanding how your clients want to communicate is crucial to your organization’s success.
While they have much in common, call centers and contact centers are not the same and shouldn’t be considered synonymous. Let’s dive in to understand the difference.
What is a Call Center?
A call center is exactly what it sounds like: It is a hub where clients can hold phone conversations with customer service representatives. These voice calls are both inbound and outbound, happening in real-time. While some customers may prefer speaking with a representative, others use these phone calls as a last resort.
Traditionally, a business’s call center department handles queries, complaints, billing, and sales. This one-channel approach is great for one-on-one interactions, but it has limitations. A phone call requires an agent’s full attention, so not much multitasking is possible. When the volume of calls increases, call centers must hire more agents or leverage IVR technology to keep wait times low.
Essentially, contact centers were created out of the need to assist call centers. With the surfacing of diverse channels of communication, customers wanted to contact businesses via their preferred platform.
What is a Contact Center?
A business’s contact center provides customers the service they need through a variety of channels. Like a call center, it offers clients the ability to speak directly to a representative. However, omnichannel contact centers also provide the ability to connect over SMS, social media, text, chat, messaging, and email. This centralized hub better caters to existing customers’ preferences while also having the capability to reach out to potential clients through social media and emails—making cold calling a thing of the past.
Designed to provide personalized interactions, as well as quick responses and results, contact centers are the preferred choice for those more accustomed to Facebook messenger and chat bots than making phone calls. Industries that tend to cater to younger generations—such as travel, education, and hospitality—could greatly benefit from cloud-based contact centers.
Because contact center agents must interact with customers over a variety of channels, it is crucial that they are trained in the best practices for each. In an omnichannel contact center, representatives need to learn how to properly multitask as well as coordinate with one another. As you may already know, this can be a downfall for contact centers if they don’t properly delegate and manage their representatives. This is where contact center solutions come in, and why they are so important.
The Importance of Contact Center Software
While contact centers are sometimes based in-house, more often than not, they are spread out across the country and even outsourced across the world. Because of this, as well as the diverse scope that contact centers include, businesses must prepare and coordinate their agents flawlessly. This might be possible for small companies, but for organizations looking to grow, the complexity could be baffling.
This is where SingleComm comes in. We understand your pain points and are here to help you through each step. Our contact center solutions include a single platform from which customer-facing teams can manage clients all over the world from any given channel. Our contact center software allows agents to connect with clients in real-time, providing them with suggested scripts on phone calls, customer history, and automated technology–all in a “single pane of glass.”
Automated technology, powered by artificial intelligence, is a tool that can slash customer service costs for many types of businesses. Contact centers are no exception. Contact center software solutions that feature chatbots and virtual representatives help companies lower these costs by approximately 30 percent. Each second of handle time that bots cut may result in some huge savings!
As your go-to cloud contact center software solution, SingleComm believes in the power of AI, but we also recognize the importance of human connection. Our contact center software focuses on the perfect blend of automation, simplification, and personal connection.
At SingleComm, our ultimate goal is your success—and we know that this starts with superb customer service. Every company has a different objective, and we’re here to help you decide whether a call center or contact center would better serve your clients.
For example, if you run an organization geared toward elderly consumers, a call center would be the obvious choice. If you’re selling the latest tech to Gen Z buyers, an omnichannel contact center would best serve you. Another factor to consider if you’re handling classified information, such as in the healthcare industry, you will need to be HIPPA-compliant. The best choice in this case may be to implement a call center strictly for this sector.
The key is to pay attention to what your clients want and how they prefer to communicate. Whether that’s a call center, cloud contact center, or a hybrid model, we at SingleComm are here to help you establish the easiest way to operate. With our contact center solutions, your daily interactions with clients will be effortless and efficient.
To find out more and to schedule an online demo, visit us at SingleComm to request a demo or give us a call at 1-800-960-7153—whichever you prefer. After all, we’re fans of omnichannel communications.