The Top Differences Between Call Centres and Contact Centres

Call centre vs contact centre concept

In this article, CallMiner uncovers important differences between call centres and contact centres, including:

  • What is a call centre?
  • What is a contact centre?
  • Call centres vs. contact centres: 4 important considerations
  • Your customers depend on you to choose wisely
  • Frequently asked questions

Your customers are your business’s number one priority, but how can you ensure they get the support they need when they have questions or concerns?

Using a call centre or contact centre to address customer needs is key, but you should be aware of the different features these two customer service hubs offer to find the best solution for your business.

What Is a Call Centre?

A call centre is a group of agents that answer inbound calls or make outbound calls for a business or multiple businesses.

Some large organizations have a dedicated in-house call centre, while smaller businesses may outsource their customer service needs to a remote call centre.

Call centres are for phone calls only. Agents answer phones and assist customers throughout the call, sometimes escalating calls to higher-level representatives for additional help.

Call centres can also offer extra services, such as customer callbacks, answering services, and interactive voice response (IVR) systems to route customers to the right department at the start of the call.

What Is a Contact Centre?

A contact centre is similar to a call centre as it’s a centralized service for addressing customer needs.

However, contact centres deal with multiple modes of contact in addition to phone calls, like email, live chat, text, social media, or ticketing.

As a result, contact centres allow customers to contact a company in ways convenient to them, often with more flexible hours.

Contact centres also usually incorporate performance management technology, such as conversation analytics and compliance monitoring, to improve the customer experience and ensure best practices for agents are being followed.

Call Centres vs. Contact Centres: 4 Important Considerations

Although call centres and contact centres have similar purposes, they don’t operate the same or meet the same needs for businesses. Here’s what to consider if you’re deciding between the two.

Small vs. Large Business Customer Service Needs

Small businesses may find that a call centre can meet the needs of their customers, especially if those customers primarily contact the companies by phone. These businesses may outsource calls to a call center and handle other not-as-frequent customer contacts, like emails and social media messages, themselves.

However, large companies with customers in multiple time zones might find that a contact centre with several contact pathways better fits their customers.

If customers routinely use phone, email, and a website ticketing system to contact a company, a contact centre can help manage correspondence from all avenues without interfering with the customer journey.

Agent Skill Level

For a call centre or contact centre to succeed, agents need to have a few key skills, like the ability to use a computer, problem-solving skills, and adaptability.

However, contact centre agents may need to be a little more tech-savvy than call centre agents.

Because they might need to move between ticketing, live chats, phone conversations, and emails in a single hour, contact centre agents must know how to transition between applications, make notes on customer profiles, use automation tools, and easily handle other digitized tasks.

Multi-tasking is an absolute must for a contact centre agent.


A contact centre can generally grow with a company better than a call centre. You can start off using a call centre, but as your customer base grows, transitioning to a contact centre might become unavoidable.

If you choose a contact centre from the start, you’ll already have access to the tools you need as you grow, like omnichannel customer support, speech analytics for sales conversations, and real-time agent assistance.

Self-Service Capabilities

You can free up a lot of time answering questions or addressing concerns by offering self-service options like text bots or live chatbots, which are available through omnichannel contact centres.

With these resources, customers can get answers to basic questions about their accounts, pricing, or a product or service without needing to contact an agent.

Your Customers Depend on You to Choose Wisely

The avenues you build into your business to provide customer support become the bridge that anchors you to your customers.

Those customers expect to get quick help conveniently. Your business size and its customer base can help you decide whether a call centre or contact centre is your best option.

To sum up, call centres can be more affordable for smaller businesses, especially if their customer base primarily contacts support via the phone.

Contact centres generally help mid-size to large businesses with customers who prefer various contact methods, from social media to live chats.

However, these solutions can be more expensive as they involve more software and technology, like conversational intelligence and data redaction for privacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There Much of a Difference Between Call Centres and Contact Centres?

Call centres and contact centres both have the primary function of providing customer support to one or multiple companies. However, they differ in how they provide that support.

Call centres only provide phone support, but contact centres provide omnichannel support, meaning they assist companies using multiple methods, like phone, social media, and email.

What’s the Difference Between a Phone System and a Contact Centre?

Some smaller companies use an automated phone system to direct callers to the appropriate department or agent.

Meanwhile, a contact centre usually integrates a phone system into its operations in addition to other contact systems, like a ticketing system and a live chat system.

What Should I Look for in a Call Centre or Contact Centre?

Whether your business decides to use a call centre or a contact centre, you should consider features like pricing, scalability, integrations, and learning curves.

The right solution will be straightforward to implement, have excellent growth potential, connect to your other tools, and offer value in its pricing model.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of CallMiner – View the Original Article

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Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Author: CallMiner

Published On: 4th Jul 2024 - Last modified: 9th Jul 2024
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