A call centre is a department or an office in which incoming and outgoing telephone calls from both new and existing customers are handled by a team of advisors, otherwise known as agents.
It is traditional for companies of a larger size to have call centres for the purposes of:
- Offering customers support
- Handling their queries
- Carrying out telemarketing
- Conducting market research
However, each of these functions has developed greatly in the past few years, which has led to the emergence of the contact centre.
What’s the Difference Between Call Centre and Contact Centre?
A call centre differs from a contact centre in that it traditionally only deals with voice calls. As soon as your call centre handles queries from another channel of contact – whether that’s email, live chat, messaging etc. – it becomes the contact centre.
However, while this is technically the case and almost all organisations now handle customer queries over email as well as the phone, the industry is yet to shrug off the call centre label. So the terms “call centre” and “contact centre” are often used interchangeably.
What Are Virtual Call Centres?
While it’s traditional to think of advisors as working in a busy, crowded environments, call centres have become more flexible over time, not just in size but in set-up too.
This trend has led to the emergence of virtual call centres, which consist of individual advisors working from home or smaller groups of advisors working in quieter branch offices.
All of the homeworkers/branch officers use the same cloud technology, so they function as one big contact centre, but from multiple different locations.
Homeworking especially is becoming more popular throughout the industry, with benefits that include attracting a new demographic of advisors, providing a better work–life balance and increased productivity.