What is a contact centre?
A contact centre handles all forms of communication, not only voice calls but email, letters, social media, and instant messaging.
This is where it differs from a call centre which traditionally handles calls only. The contact centre originated as a call centre, and used letters and calls. This then evolved to include fax, and then email. The modern contact centre does not usually use fax anymore, but includes social media, such as Twitter and Linked In, and live chat.
What is the difference between a call centre and a contact centre?
Contact centre is often used as a synonym to call centre, as all call centres are contact centres, but not all contact centres are call centres.
Therefore by this summary, contact centres are all encompassing with their methods of customer interaction.
Contact centres are used by large companies to assist the customers’ needs, via different media routes. They are much more appealing to a larger customer base, because there are alternative ways of contacting the centre, rather than just by telephone.
In terms of preference in today’s market, the term contact centre has a higher preference than the term call centre. This was shown in a reader poll (April 2012) which asked the question “Contact Centre or Call Centre? Which do you prefer?”.
It found a 60% preference of contact centre, over a 32% preference for call centre. This reflects the changing atmosphere of customer service, one towards convenience, and ease of access.