Contact Center vs. Call Center: What Is the Difference?

February 26

Because of technological trends, businesses are turning to contact centers as their mode of customer interaction. 

“While call centers are still a viable form of communication, contact centers offer additional pathways of interaction that customers may find convenient. “

—Angela Ruth

Have you ever experienced a great door-to-door salesman?

The courageous door to door salesman can go a long way to help us understand the crucial, but subtle, difference between a Call Center and a Contact Center.

This distinction matters because the business you run must serve its customers. For every new customer acquisition, your business gains or loses revenue and referrals. For every unhappy customer, your business becomes less remarkable. How your future customers get their needs immediately met will make sure your business does not fade into the past.

Some time ago, your business established its front line sales activities. You created momentum and top-line revenues by mastering lead generation, lead qualification, booking and setting appointments, and closing sales with one or many sales. You and your business did this by consistently and constantly educating and attracting your target market. Pivots. Failures. Success! Ultimately, what you did exceedingly well was something worth celebrating – you got the numbers. 

Second, your business shifted gears from having a sole focus on acquiring and converting customers to serving them and scaling. Acquiring customers was just the first stage of growing a successful business. In order to serve and scale, a mindset shift and major systems upgrade had to happen. Or perhaps it still needs to happen. That shift was the shift to including great customer service. 

Customer service is where companies that grow traditionally will have two fundamental choices: build an internal customer service solution or hire an external customer service solution. 

This choice is still the current fork in the road. The best way to build that external solution used to be by hiring a top-notch, reliable customer service solution called a Call Center. 

Call Centers answered the phone and served customers by phone to manage emotions, answer questions, retain customers, and perform upsells. They were focused on the call. By phone. 

Call centers were able to handle huge numbers of calls daily so you could focus on growing the business and leading the builders. Call Centers delivered customer service, sometimes good, sometimes not. Call Centers provided technical support and even sales by managing inbound calls, outbound calls, or often both.

Now is a perfect time to think about our door-to-door salesman. 

A Call Center is like the door-to-door salesman who knocks on doors. It’s a necessary job, and someone’s gotta do it or businesses go out of business. We keep the interaction brief. We don’t usually like it. Sometimes it’s a fit. Sometimes its a scam.

A Contact Center, however, is like the salesman who shows up because he’s been requested. When he arrives, he is recognized, appreciated, invited in for coffee or tea. He respectfully develops a relationship, makes sales now or relationships for the future, and handles all the details as you rest easy. 

Contact Centers evolved as technology improved and customers became used to getting what they want when they want it. Contact Centers are solutions for an on-demand, right-now economy.

Contact Centers solved the basic needs that Call Centers solve to make sure your customers got their needs met, but added more communication channels, better sophistication, consistency and creativity so you can innovate and lead with confidence. 

In summary, Call Centers take care of the phone while Contact Centers take care of the customer. 

When the time is right, your decision to use a full-service Contact Center or a focus and fundamental Call Center is all about your specific goals and business growth plan. How do you plan to scale? How do you plan to serve? How much technology needs to be integrated? Do you want premium customer service to reflect your brand promise and bigger mission?

At QCSS, a Call Center and its promises is one part of a larger web of how we make sure your customers are not just answered, but cared for. We have a whole team behind everything that we do. We develop our plan from client engagement to business development to operations to team and IT and team. There’s an enormous amount of time that goes into setting up each individual campaign and everything that we do is very customized because responsiveness is a new name of the game. 

The game used to be that businesses could just create products that worked.

The game up-leveled so that businesses had to serve the satisfaction and happiness of their customers. 

Tomorrow, If you’re not responding to your customers’ needs within minutes and then staying in touch, you’re losing uncountable opportunities.

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

That should never again be the question.

QCSS makes our clients profitable, bringing multichannel, inbound customer support and outbound telesales, appointment setting, and lead generation solutions, as well as much more. 

QCSS has been a leader in the Call Center Industry for over 25 years. We are a trusted partner & source to align with, for all your Contact Center needs. We deliver results. Every aspect of our business from our Philosophy to our day to day operations, set us apart from other call centers.

Quality Customer Service & Sales

Call Center and Contact Solutions

Established in 1991, QCSS Inc. is a network of multi-channel BPO customer contact centers specializing in inbound and outbound communications. We handle millions of interactions on behalf of our clients annually in our U.S. based contact centers. QCSS is dedicated to providing best-in-class services, to your customers, members, donors, partners, and prospects.

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