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Understanding Call Center Vs Contact Center

Outbound Call Center Software
 January 29, 2024

As technology continues to advance and evolve, many businesses are finding it challenging to keep up with the ever-growing technology landscape to meet changing consumer demands. With each new technology discovery, consumers become curious about trying out these innovations. "Call Center" and "Contact Center" are two common terms often used interchangeably by marketers to convince potential prospects to buy their products or services. In this blog, we will provide a complete breakdown of both the call center vs contact center, offering clarity on how to choose the ideal solution that will benefit your business in the long run.


What is a Call Center?

We have all engaged in online shopping at some point in our lives. As Businesses anticipate, Customers often have inquiries that lead them to contact the business through toll-free or virtual numbers to address their concerns.

Have you ever wondered how businesses effectively manage a high volume of customer calls, ensuring minimal errors while addressing queries within a specified time frame? This is where call centers prove invaluable for businesses.

A Call Center is a dedicated department or office where trained customer service representatives handle customer concerns over the phone. Many call centers leverage specialized call center software to streamline customer interactions and ensure prompt resolution of all queries.

Call Center Software General Features

  • Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
  • Call Queue
  • Call Recording
  • Call Monitoring
  • Auto Dialers
  • CRM Integration
  • Call Scripting
  • Lead Management
  • Voicemail & Callback
  • Compliance Management
  • Reporting and Analytics


A Call Center can generally be divided into the following 3 types:


1.Inbound Call Center:

An Inbound Call Center is a service facility where agents/ business representatives receive incoming calls from customers or clients. Its primary focus is to address inquiries, provide support, and handle customer concerns, contributing to positive customer experiences.

Use Cases

  • Addressing questions and concerns about products, services, or policies.
  • Assisting customers with placing orders, tracking shipments, and resolving order-related issues.
  • Providing troubleshooting assistance for products or services.
  • Resolving complaints, handling returns, and ensuring overall customer satisfaction.
  • Handling urgent situations or crises, providing necessary information and assistance.
  • Furnishing details about features, specifications, and usage of products.
  • Addressing billing inquiries, processing payments, and resolving billing disputes.

Inbound call centers typically utilize software known as inbound call center software to enable their agents to handle all incoming customer calls with ease. Inbound call center software is a solution designed to manage and streamline all incoming customer calls within a contact center.

Technologies Incorporated:

Agents working in an inbound call center are typically familiar with key metrics including Average Handle Time (AHT), First Call Resolution (FCR), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Call Abandonment Rate, Occupancy Rate, Call Quality, and Agent Adherence. These KPIs are crucial for the effective functioning of an inbound call center.


2.Outbound Call Center

An Outbound Call Center is a facility where agents initiate outgoing calls to customers or prospects. Its primary focus is on activities such as telemarketing, sales calls, lead generation, market research, and customer follow-ups, aiming to proactively engage with individuals for various business purposes.

Use Cases:

  • Telemarketing
  • Sales Calls
  • Lead Generation
  • Appointment setting
  • Follow-up calls
  • Debt collection
  • Fundraising
  • Event promotion

Outbound call centers typically utilize outbound call center software to ensure their agents connect with the maximum number of potential prospects within a set period. Outbound call center software is a solution that facilitates and manages outgoing calls made by agents.

Technologies Incorporated

  • Conversational AI

Agents in outbound call centers are generally familiar with key metrics such as Conversion Rate, Contact Rate, Call Success Rate, Average Call Duration, Lead Response Time, Agent Productivity, List Penetration, Abandonment Rate, Compliance Rate, and Cost per Contact. Adhering to and scoring positively in these KPIs ensures the success of the call center, leading to increased revenue generation.


3. Blended Call Center

A Blended Call Center is essentially a customer service facility that integrates both inbound and outbound call-handling functionalities. This flexible approach allows agents to manage incoming customer inquiries as well as initiate outgoing calls for activities such as sales, telemarketing, or proactive customer engagement, optimizing overall call center efficiency.

Use Cases:

  • Customer Support
  • Sales and Telemarketing
  • Appointment Scheduling
  • Order Confirmation and Updates
  • Membership Renewals
  • Lead Qualification
  • Cross-Selling and Up-Selling
  • Customer Retention
  • Billing and Payments

Blended Call Centers generally utilize software known as blended call center software that empowers their agents to handle both incoming customer inquiries and outbound marketing activities.

Blended call center software is a comprehensive solution that integrates both inbound and outbound call management functionalities. It enables agents to handle incoming customer inquiries, support requests, and sales leads, while also facilitating outbound activities such as telemarketing, sales calls, and proactive customer engagement within a unified platform.

Technologies Incorporated:

  • Cloud Telephony Integration (CTI)
  • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
  • Intelligent Call Routing
  • Omnichannel Communication
  • Self Service Automation
  • Speech Analytics
  • Callback Management
  • Compliance Management System
  • Security Protocols
  • Integration with External Systems

Agents in blended call centers are generally familiar with both inbound and outbound metrics, while other metrics such as agent utilization, omnichannel engagement, and campaign performance are observed carefully. Ensuring adherence to these metrics presents more opportunities for the expansion of the blended call center.


What is a Contact Center?

We all have a situation where we would have encountered an issue be it in malfunctioning of a washing machine or an issue in a desktop. As most would do either we would try to reach the concerned department via chat or email so the concerned person assist us in the form of precise instructions when implemented help us resolve our issue.

This is where a contact center can prove to be a valuable asset to a business by assisting customers through multiple channels be it in the form of a chat, email, call or social media.

A contact center is a centralized facility/ office that manages and handles customer interactions through various channels such as phone calls, emails, and live chat. This office's sole purpose is designed to streamline business communication and provide efficient customer support for resolving their queries boosting brand engagement.


Contact Center can have a multitude of services, given below are some Contact center services examples:

  • Customer Support
  • Product Inquiries
  • Outbound Sales
  • Technical Support
  • Live Chat Support
  • Email Support
  • Social media Management
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Collections
  • Data entry and processing
  • Back-Office Support

Contact centers generally handle large of volumes of customer queries in the form of calls, emails, chats, SMS, social media, etc. To promptly address customer queries, these centers leverage a software known as contact center software/ contact center solutions.

A contact center solution is a technology platform that facilitates customer interactions through various channels such as phone, email, chat, and social media. It typically includes tools for customer relationship management (CRM), automatic call distribution (ACD), analytics, and other features to optimize business communication, streamline contact center operations, and improve customer support.


General Features of Contact Center Solution:

  • Automatic call distribution (ACD)
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
  • Multichannel communication
  • Call recording and monitoring
  • CRM Integration
  • Skill based routing
  • Predictive dialing
  • Cloud telephony integrations (CTI)
  • Knowledge base articles
  • Performance Analytics
  • Artificial Intelligence integration

A contact center solution relies on varied technologies that aid in streamlining business processes, improving the efficiency of agents thus enhancing customer experience. Given below are a few technologies:

  • Speech Analytics
  • Workforce Management
  • Chatbots and virtual assistants
  • Cloud-Based Solutions


Decoding differences between call center vs contact center

As we know both call center and contact solutions are used to address customer concerns in different channels, let's explore the differences between call center and contact center solutions:

Analyzing Call Center vs Contact Center Solution

A glimpse into understanding the differences:

  • In terms of communication channel-wise, the call center solution focuses on handling calls while the contact center solution supports a wide variety of channels beyond calls such as email, chat, and social media.
  • In terms of customer interaction wise, call center solutions are generally transactional where most agents handle calls efficiently while contact center solution is more relationship-focused providing personalized interactions with customers.
  • A call center solution can only have basic integration with other systems, however contact center solution can have extensive integrations with various channels and business systems for a unified customer approach.
  • A call center solution often lacks support for multiple communication channels but contact center solution offers complete support for various communication channels that meets diverse customer expectations.
  • To work in a call center, you need to be specialized in handling phone calls. To work in a contact center, you need to have broader skill sets in handling diverse communication channels.
  • A call center solution provides basic call analytics and reporting while a contact center solution provides robust analytics covering various communication channels providing deeper insights.
  • Businesses may find it difficult to scale when using call center solutions. However businesses that leverage contact center solutions can easily scale up or down their business as these solutions are built to scale and adapt to evolving business needs thus ensuring flexibility and growth.

Call center or Contact center: Which to Choose?

As business owners, we often struggle with choosing the ideal call center vs contact center solution for our business needs. Below are a few questions you can ask yourself when facing a dilemma on selecting a call center solution or a contact center solution:

  • How can my customers contact me?
  • What is the preferred communication channel?
  • Will the customer's preferred channel evolve in the near future?
  • What are my business goals?
  • Which solution aligns with my business goals?
  • Does the solution integrate with other business systems?
  • What level of analytics and reporting do I need to monitor and improve my business performance?
  • Do I have the resources or the infrastructure to manage my in-house call center?
  • Is scalability important for me?
  • Are there any specific industry regulations must I need to be aware of to implement an effective business strategy?
  • What is my business budget?



For enterprises or budding businesses, maintaining optimal customer experience is paramount for success. By carefully analyzing your business and investing in the right solutions, you can benefit in the long term. To learn how to choose your ideal solution that improves customer experience, connect with the Pulse team today. Let us assist you in selecting the best solution that meets your business needs and goes beyond.

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