What is the Difference Between Call Center and Contact Center?

Call centers and contact centers are two of the most common environments where customer service representatives will work. In both locations, you’ll provide a company’s customers with the help, support, and information that they’re seeking. You might field some inbound calls and make some outbound calls, too! While a call center and a contact center might sound pretty similar, in reality, there are some distinct differences between these two customer service environments. Read on to find out more.

What is the Difference Between Call Center and Contact Center?

Call Center

A call center is defined as a subsidiary function of the customer service/support department of a company. The call center agents who work in this department handle the telephone interactions between customers and a company by taking inbound and making outbound phone calls, using automated technologies, such as interactive voice response, automated outbound dialers, and automatic call distribution, to assist with the functions and responsibilities of this role.

Companies often hire customer service representatives to answer phone calls from customers who are seeking assistance and to provide those customers with the assistance they require. This is a crucial service, as it is a communication channel that allows customers to connect with businesses that provide the products and/or services they require. Call centers can boost customer confidence levels in the service that the company offers by ensuring that they are able to find the answers that they seek.

What Do Call Center Agents Do?

Call center professionals can be tasked with a variety of responsibilities. They may be responsible for making outbound calls to customers and/or they may receive incoming calls that customers make to a company when they are in need of assistance. Streamlining communication between a business and its customers, thereby improving efficiency and boosting customer satisfaction, is the entire purpose of a call center.

Professionals who work in a call center can be tasked with a variety of responsibilities, which may include but are not limited to:

  • Offering technical support – You may be asked to handle the technical support and customer concerns, as well as provide customers with the guidance and support they need to fix the products they’re having issues with.
  • Operating dispatch services – Call center professionals may also be responsible for fielding incoming calls from customers and transferring those calls to the appropriate departments when customers need a particular type of assistance.
  • Transferring phone calls – You might also be required to transfer client phone calls to the relevant departments that customers need to be connected with; for example, if a customer has a complaint, you might transfer them to the complaint department.

Contact Center

A contact center can be defined as a function of customer engagement that is leveraged by sales, marketing, support, and other teams to reach out to and engage with customers across multiple channels, including phone, email, automated web chat, live chat, social media, and instant messaging.

While a contact center may be similar to a call center, there is a distinct difference. The primary function of a contact center is to enhance the efficiency of interactions between a company and its customers. Those who work in this role rely on various technology-related tools, such as AI chatbots, live chat features, and phone calls.

Generally speaking, the services that contact centers offer tend to be more automated than the services that call centers will offer. This is because contact centers don’t just rely on employees in order to mediate discussions between a company and the clients it serves. Contact center professionals can assist a company with improving customer satisfaction by offering faster response times, and by allowing customers to make purchases with ease.

Call Center vs Contact Center

There are several key differences between a call center and a contact center, and some of the most notable of these differences include the following:


Contact centers rely more on technology while call centers rely more on human interaction.


Communication skills are important in both fields; however, contact center agents may need to possess more technical knowledge.

Customer Contact

Another key difference has to do with customer contact. Customers who attempt to reach a call center rep may need to wait on hold until someone is available to speak with them. On the other hand, contact centers tend to use different modes of communication, such as chatbots, to accommodate customer needs faster.

Call Centers & Contact Centers: Can You Tell the Difference?

In short, call centers are more people-centered while contact centers are based more on technology. While technology is the wave of the future, there’s no doubt that the human aspect that call centers provide will always be in demand.

Related Technology: Avaya Aura™ Communication Manager

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