Recently, we reached out to our readers in the hope of finding another name for the call centre.
While we had come across the more obvious names for a call centre, like contact centre and customer service centre, we were looking for some more creative suggestions.
Our readers did not disappoint and came up with some novel suggestions, like “Customer Therapy Facility” and “Human Response Centre”.
But, before we get to these, let’s have a look at some names that you may be more familiar with.
Other Names Commonly Used for Call Centres
In our research, there were a few other names for a call centre that immediately came to mind. These included:
- Contact Centre
- Customer Centre
- Customer Support Centre
- Customer Service Centre
- Customer Support Department
- Customer Service Department
- Customer Management Centre
- Customer Care
- Global Support
- Help Desk/Centre
- Technical Support
While many of these names are conventional, a couple of our readers highlighted their dislike of the words “centre” and “department” which appear in a few of these examples.
Should We Use “Centre” and “Department”?
Nerys Corfield, Director at Injection Consulting, believes: “If you take other business departments and put the word ‘centre’ at the end, I think it dehumanises and de-skills them.”
“With contact centres being in a constant battle to be heard and recognised as a crucial function of an organisation, I think the word centre (particularly now when so many are virtualised) degrades the perception.”
Rene Laerm, a Contact Centre Operations Manager, agrees with this and also takes issue with the word “department” being used.
Rene says: “Using the names ‘centre’ and ‘department’ creates virtual silos and, in many cases, service staff are seen more like the fifth wheel and their work is often not fully appreciated. This then results in high churn, low quality and more.”
Using the names ‘centre’ and ‘department’ creates virtual silos and, in many cases, service staff are seen more like the fifth wheel and their work is often not fully appreciated.
So, Rene came up with an unusual solution, as he “found that not naming ‘it’ resulted in more engagement and a better team harmony, which was in line with goals and objectives.”
With Rene’s success should we also consider using no name at all? Perhaps, but let’s first look at some of the more innovative suggestions.
Creative Names for Call Centres
Initially, it seemed difficult to find alternatives to the standard names list without rearranging the terms at the beginning and end of each title.
For instance, if we had the suggestions Contact Centre and Customer Service Department, another name could be Customer Service Centre.
Other examples can be found in the table below, where you can mix and match name beginnings and endings to find your own contact centre name.
|Mix and Match Contact Centre Names|
But, after talking to our readers, we were able to create the list below, which includes more innovative ideas for how to name the contact centre.
- Access Team
- Assistance Centre
- Centre of Excellence
- Command & Control Centre
- Communication Hub
- Customer Crew
- Customer Engagement Centre
- Customer Engagement Hub
- Customer Experience Centre
- Customer Experience Hub
- Customer First
- Customer Happiness Centre
- Customer Service Action Zone
- Customer Support Area
- Customer Support and Engagement
- Customer Team
- Direct Response
- First Response
- Help Choice
- Information Transfer Centre
- Omni Help
- Query Response Centre
- Support Zone
- Service Team
- Solutions Hub
- Virtual Support Centre
- The Contact Company
This list is more than a large mix and match of suggestions, with unique ideas for names like “Customer First”, “Direct Response” and “Customer Crew” all included.
Yet it does include a number of repeated beginnings (i.e. Customer Engagement, Customer Experience and Customer Support) and repeated endings (i.e. Centre, Hub and Team), as in the above table.
With so many of our readers putting these suggestions forward, it is clear they are well liked. But which are the most popular options?
Customer Engagement Is a Popular Option
After highlighting her dislike of the word “centre”, Nerys Corfield recommended using the name “Customer Engagement Team” instead. Matt, one of our readers, was fond of this suggestion, expressing his liking for the name to start with “Customer Engagement”.
Think of contact centre more like a Customer Engagement Hub that is part of a wider engagement ecosystem.
Matt said: “The importance of end-to-end customer experience means that we should think outside in, and look at all touchpoints of engagement.”
“For this reason, I think of a contact centre more like a Customer Engagement Hub that is part of a wider engagement ecosystem.”
“Couple this with breaking down organisational silos, and building teams of multi-disciplined people, and you’re onto a winner.”
Other suggestions for names that use Customer Engagement, aside from “Customer Engagement Hub”, include:
- Customer Engagement and Support
- Customer Engagement Area
- Customer Engagement Centre
- Customer Engagement Team
- Customer Engagement Zone
Beginning the name with the term “Customer Experience” was also popular. This was perhaps due to Matt’s point of organisations placing a greater importance on the end-to-end customer experience, and the “contact centre” team wanting to highlight the vital role they have within that.
Should We Be Using Terms Like Happiness, Excellence and Solution?
Changing the name from call/contact centre seems to have been done by many of our readers, to highlight the importance of the “department” to the rest of the business.
It could be for this reason that we have been given names like “Customer Happiness Centre”, “Centre of Excellence” and “Solutions Hub”, to include in the longer list above.
Yet if you’re going to describe your contact centre in any of these ways, the service offered had better be world class. A contact centre named “Customer Happiness Centre” will only serve to let customers down if it does not make the customer any happier than when interacting with other organisations.
So, if Customer Satisfaction (CSat), Net Promoter Scores (NPS) or Customer Effort Scores (CES) are low, it may be best to refrain from putting these names into the public domain. Perhaps, only refer to the contact centre in this way within the business.
Industry-Dependent Names for Call Centres
While we may have covered all of the names that can be used for “generic” contact centres, there are some industry-dependent names that have not yet been discussed. These include:
- Answer Desk
- Citizen Help Centre
- Command and Control Centre
- Direct Response
- Emergency Support Centre
- Expert Team
- Guest Relations
- Help Desk
- Incident Response
- Membership Rewards Centre
- Member Support
- Member Assistance
- Resolution Team
- Support Team
- Traveller Support Centre
While these can only be used by organisations in certain sectors, they do highlight a number of different angles that you can take.
In fact, many organisations choose to create their own unique name for their contact centre. Think of Helpline and Childline as an example.
Perhaps you could even use some alliteration, like “Connect 2 Cardiff C2C”, as used by Cardiff Council, so the words really roll off the customer’s tongue.
The Whacky and Catchy Names for Call Centres
As well as the many names listed above, there were also some suggestions that our readers gave us that were a little outside the box. These were:
- Customer Therapy Facility
- Human Response Centre
- Mission Control
While “Customer Therapy Facility” might be a little too “whacky”, the name “Human Response Centre” may be a name to remember for the future.
The “Human Response Centre” May Not Stay Whacky for Long
Anyone who has played close attention to the industry over the past few years will have heard the story that more and more contact centres use self-service and Artificial Intelligence (AI), e.g. chatbots, to automate contacts. This will give advisors more time to handle the more challenging calls.
Yet it seems like it will be a long time until these two channels can “take care” of the majority of contacts that an organisation handles. For many, the hype seems too soon.
However, Forrester predicts that investment in AI will grow by 300% in 2017. This rise will likely impact the contact centre.
Forrester predicts that investment in AI will grow by 300% in 2017. This rise will likely impact the contact centre.
With this in mind, it now seems that the argument is not whether the contact centre will become a place where humans only handle the most challenging calls, but how soon this will happen.
So, while it may seem whacky now, remember the name “Human Response Centre”, because you may want to use it at some point in the future.
Has the Name “Call Centre” Become Outdated?
With all these replacement names for the “call centre” emerging, it is only natural to question whether the term is outdated.
While this will vary from country to country, in the United Kingdom, the term was long replaced by “contact centre” as the most used name. This is according to Google data at least.
When we searched Google Trends, we found that, in the United Kingdom, “contact centre” has had more searches than “call centre” in nearly every month since August 2011. The only exceptions came in the times when Nev’s TV show “The Call Centre” was aired on the BBC.
This trend emphasises how organisations are now handling a much greater variety of contacts. The term “call centre” only highlights that it is the place to go to use the voice channel, whereas the name “contact centre” encompasses all channel types.
In fact, there were almost half the number of people typing the term “call centre” into Google than there were in 2005, perhaps demonstrating how much the industry has changed since then.
So this trend reflects that contact centre is the name that most organisations now opt for. But will “Customer Engagement Hub” ever take over? And how long will it be before we get our first “Human Response Centre”?
For more on the topic of contact centre names, read our posts: