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What is The Difference Between Call Center and Contact Center?

The key difference between call centers and contact centers boils down to the communication channels they handle.

Call Center Services USA


Call center services are essentially outsourced customer support or telemarketing operations that businesses can leverage. They can be inbound or outbound, and even handle communication through various channels, not just phones.


Here's a breakdown of call center services:


  • Types:

    • Inbound call centers: Focus on receiving calls from customers who have questions, need support, or want to place orders. [Inbound call center]

    • Outbound call centers: Proactive in making calls to customers for sales, surveys, or marketing purposes. [Outbound call center]


  • Services Offered:

    • Customer service and support

    • Order processing

    • Telemarketing and sales

    • Technical support

    • Lead generation

    • Surveys and market research


Businesses use call centers to improve customer satisfaction, increase sales, and reduce costs associated with in-house customer support. Call centers can also be outsourced to other companies that specialize in providing these services.

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Contact center services are a broader term compared to call center services. While call centers typically handle just phone calls, contact centers are designed for a multichannel approach to customer interaction.


Here's a breakdown of contact center services:

  • Channels:

    • Phone calls (like traditional call centers)

    • Email

    • Live chat

    • SMS and messaging apps

    • Social media

    • Self-service options (web portals, FAQs)

  • Services Offered (similar to call centers but can include):

    • All the services mentioned for call centers (customer support, sales, etc.)

    • Web chat support for real-time conversations on websites

    • Social media monitoring and response to customer inquiries and complaints

    • Integration with CRMs (Customer Relationship Management systems) for better customer data management


Essentially, contact centers provide a more holistic approach to customer interactions, allowing customers to reach a company through their preferred channel and ensuring a smooth experience.

Because of this, contact centers require agents with a broader skillset to manage these different communication methods. Their training may involve aspects like:


  • Technical knowledge for various communication platforms.

  • Stronger multitasking abilities to juggle chats, emails, and calls.

  • Adaptability to switch communication styles depending on the channel.


Overall, call centers are a good fit for businesses that primarily rely on phone interactions. Contact centers provide a more comprehensive customer experience by catering to how customers prefer to connect today.

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