Contact centres and call centres both provide customer services and the terms are often used interchangeably. That said, the principal difference between the two is that call centres only handle inbound or outbound calls, while contact centres provide multi-channel customer support via, for example, e-mail, chat, Voice over IP (VoIP) and the web. The key characteristics of a contact centre include: Advanced distribution of calls, enabling us to maximise the number of calls managed while ensuring a positive customer experience; Reports in real time via the various channels used, so that clients can quickly observe and analyse our performance with respect to the objectives and the satisfaction of end users; Contact scripts, created together with our clients considering their specialisations and unique characteristics, that enable us to deliver a customised service and a warmth that provides both effective support and opportunities to generate new sales or increased loyalty; Interchangeable roles, given that all our operators share the same contacts and objectives, enabling them to work as part of a synchronised team at all times. The modular infrastructure of the contact centre also allows managers to maximise team efficiency, while also benefiting from enhanced security, better data protection and increased flexibility. Both contact centres and call centres have multiple functions and process enormous volumes of telephone interactions. Like contact centres, call centres generally provide customer service and technical support or assist with sales interactions. They can also be used for telemarketing, information gathering, credit or payment collection and fraud prevention. Both contact centres and call centres provide self-service opportunities for customers to report and resolve their problems, with bidirectional instant messaging, guided by key words and text messages, or interaction with a chatbot. This self-service facility cuts the time spent by agents on calls, thus reducing customer waiting times and lowering overall costs. Contact centres also improve the profiling of customers. Whenever customers interact with call centres or contact centres, they share information about their preferences and personal behaviours, which are collected and used to improve their experience in future exchanges. While call centre agents are able collect some data via their calls, the digital channels used by contact centres make the process even simpler and more effective. The contact centre software collects customer data from all the channels used and pulls it together into a single profile. Since most contact centre customers interact using several channels, more data is collected. This improves the ability of the contact centre to adapt its CX for the benefit of individual callers, thus processing better their calls and other inbound communications.
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