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Contact Center vs. Call Center

The terms “contact center” and “call center” are often used interchangeably, but are they really the same thing? Not exactly – and it’s important to know the difference. Why? Because success today boils down to one thing: customer experience (CX). Learn more about how contact centers compare to call centers and the ways you can create the best CX possible – today and well into the future.

What is a call center?

A typical call center includes certain elements:

  • You communicate with customers via mobile and landline phone systems.
  • Agents are available 24/7 to answer customer queries.
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR) routes customers to the right department.
  • You offer simple order processing for smooth and quick transactions.
  • A help desk handles basic troubleshooting issues, such as password resets and activations.


Call centers have been around for a long time, and many businesses still maintain them, especially if voice is their primary method for communicating with customers. With a powerful call center solution, customers reach you easily and get assistance when needed. It also lets your staff place outbound calls to connect with prospects and new customers as well as existing ones.


If you’re a smaller business, you may have started with a call center and stuck with it over the years. Hopefully callers are happy with the service they receive, but you may find that some customers prefer to reach out through a different channel. Maybe they don’t want to pick up the phone and call you, but chat or text instead. When this starts to happen, it may be time to make the move to a contact center.


What is a contact center?

A contact center offers the same services as a call center, but it lets your staff and customers communicate through a variety of channels. A typical contact center:

  • Supports communication via voice calls, email, text, web chat and more
  • Provides omnichannel support, allowing customers to seamlessly move between communication channels
  • Compiles customer data for new product or service suggestions
  • Shortens wait times for customer inquiries
  • Improves service levels with advanced routing to the right agent


Contact centers often use VoIP and cloud services to provide consistent and reliable communications platforms across channels. Your customer reach increases dramatically given the number of channels available. Also, a contact center improves the customer experience by offering users the freedom to communicate in their preferred manner. It even lets them navigate between channels without skipping a beat.


How are call centers and contact centers the same?

In a nutshell, call centers and contact centers both serve as methods through which a customer can communicate with you. Oftentimes, they are used for customer service purposes, and they both integrate voice as a primary channel. The differences start when contact centers are referred to as an expansion of the call center – as they usually are – that integrates omnichannel communications.


Future-proof your contact center

The key to creating and maintaining an improved customer experience is adopting a future-proof solution that grows with your business. Mitel’s cloud-based contact center solutions let you scale up or down easily. We’re committed to innovation, so we continually add new features and functionality as technology advances. That way, you’ll always be able to provide the best customer experience possible. From Artificial Intelligence (AI), workforce optimization (WFO) and omnichannel support, Mitel contact center solutions keep your business on the cutting edge of communications technology.


Better Customer Service With Call & Contact Centers

  • Meet customers in their preferred channels with voice, SMS, chat and even social media options.
  • Improve first-contact resolution by allowing agents to instantly collaborate with in-house experts.
  • Answer calls and communications faster with intelligent routing.
  • Enable self-service with the integration of chatbots.
  • Create a more personalized customer experience with CRM integration.
  • Gain deep insight into customer preferences and provide superior service through AI technology.
  • Find and retain top talent with a cloud solution that lets agents work from anywhere.


Call & Contact Center Services

These are just some of the services offered through Mitel’s contact center solutions:

  • Real-time and historical reporting
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology
  • Intelligent routing
  • Omnichannel support
  • Global scalability
  • Workforce management
  • Speech analytics
  • Call recording
  • Pre-built integrations for CRMs and APIs
  • Voice, chat, SMS, email, fax, social media and third-party media


Learn more about call centers and contact centers
Cloud Contact Centers and the Future of Customer Experience
Customer expectations have never been higher – and they’re constantly changing. Learn how to transform your contact center into a strategic asset that helps grow sales and reduce customer churn.
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10 Trends Impacting Your Contact Center (and How to Profit from Them)
Customers’ expectations are higher than ever before, and they continue to change. Successful businesses adapt quickly by embracing the latest in contact center technology. This free guide outlines 10 trends in contact center solutions so you can position your business for success.
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Make Your Contact Center More Productive
Your contact center is often the first point of contact customers have with your business. Make a good first impression with a robust contact center solution that improves customer satisfaction while keeping costs in check.
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