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Contact Center vs Call Center: What is the Difference?

Posted by Randy Clapp on Dec 22, 2020

Call center or contact center? These terms are often used interchangeably, but did you know that these are two completely different models when it comes to the customer support offerings that they provide their clients?

Understanding the difference between a call center and a contact center, and how they apply to your brand’s needs, is an important first step in choosing the right outsourced customer service partner

With that in mind, let’s first take a look at what the traditional call center does. Once we understand that, we can dive into some more details on how the contact center is different and which one is the right choice for your organization’s customer service needs.

What is the traditional call center?

The traditional call center is a centralized office that handles a mixture of both inbound and outbound phone calls from customers. Call centers use both on-premise hardware and telecommunication infrastructure to send and receive a high volume of calls. 

Call center customer service representatives typically handle customer queries, take orders, as well other customer-related functions such as billing and telemarketing. Organizations can either create their own in-house call centers, or they can outsource this function to a customer service partner. 

Why is a contact center different? 

Just like the traditional call center, a contact center handles both inbound and outbound calls. However, a contact center provides much more than that, operating as a complete customer experience (CX) solution on behalf of your brand.

A contact center will use innovative technologies to interact with customers across multiple channels to answer customer queries on their channel of choice. Contact center agents provide customer service across channels such as live chat, email, phone, social media, web and encourage self-service options. 

A contact center focuses on a range of communication channels to deliver personalized service, superior customer experiences on behalf of your brand, and significantly reduce the effort a customer requires to find a resolution. 

How do contact centers meet the demands of modern customers?

Contact centers are designed around the notion that today’s customers want personalized interactions, fast responses, and round-the-clock care all from their channel of choice. Contact centers are able to achieve this through:

  • The use of CX technologies: The more effortless the customer experience, the more satisfied your customers will be. That’s why the very best contact centers leverage innovative CX technologies such as contact center artificial intelligence (AI), omnichannel service, operational intelligence and many others. 
  • Highly-trained customer service agents: Contact center customer representatives are highly-skilled and trained in providing customer service across a number of different channels and platforms. Not only that, but contact centers use insightful metrics to measure agent performance across a range of touchpoints - not just phone performance.

Which is the right choice for your brand?

Traditional call centers serve an essential function in customer service, but can they really meet your customers’ needs in today’s fast-moving and high-tech world? For some brands inbound and outbound calls might be enough to satisfy your customers, but for the majority that’s simply not enough. 

To be successful in what is an increasingly competitive market, your organization must now offer a customer experience that’s second to none. A contact center, such as Advantage Communications, can help you deliver that.


Want to learn more about the difference between a traditional call center and a modern contact center? Contact our team today. We would love to answer any questions that you may have.

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Topics: Contact Center, Canada Call Center




Randy Clapp

Written by Randy Clapp

Randy Clapp has sold over $1 billion in the services industry working with leaders such as Hewlett-Packard, Electronic Data Systems, CompuCom and Avis Rental Car. He received EDS’ Inner Circle Award as one of the company’s top 100 performers, as well as the Top Leader Award with CompuCom. He earned his Bachelor Degree in Business Management and Economics from Northwood University. Randy Clapp attributes his success to: “…showing clients how to make or save money in ways they never thought possible”.

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