Customer service has always been synonymous with business. After all, treating customers well and delighting them is best for a business’s reputation. As technology improves, so does the speed and quality of product that a business offers. Has your company kept up with the times when it comes to managing customer service? Find out the difference between call centers and contact center technology and discover which is best for your business.

What is a Call Center?

A traditional call center is a centralized office capable of handling inbound and outbound calls from new and existing customers. These calls are often handled by a team of advisors or agents.

How does it work?

An agent often has a login and password as well as a certain set of skills that relate to the work of a specific Call Center. The agent associates themselves with a physical telephone set by logging-in on that telephone. An agent can control the flow of calls by entering the “In” mode and returning to the “Out” mode. If an agent would like to change to a different telephone set, they would need to log-out and log back in to take calls again..

Call Center Technology Key Features

  • PSTN or VoIP telephony
  • inbound, outbound, or blended agents


Traditional call centers can help ease the day-to-day burden on your business.

  • They often assist with handling the telephone inquiries/interactions, which can include general Q&A, order placement etc.
  • Services offered costs less than a full contact center if telephone handling is all that’s needed.
  • A call center allows a high volume of calls to be handled simultaneously.
  • Has the ability to put users on hold and answer their inquiry according to their position in a queue.

What industries often use call centers?

  • Banks
  • Utility companies
  • Electronics manufacturers
  • Service providers
  • Credit card issuers
  • Non-profit organizations

Problems with Call Centers

Customers don’t like to wait on hold. Studies have shown that 32% of customers placed on hold will hang up immediately. 60% of customers willing to wait on hold feel one minute is too long.

What are Contact Centers?

A contact center is similar to a call center and is a central point in an enterprise from which all customer contacts are managed. Implementing contact center technology would allow customers to be routed to the appropriate agents via multiple channels.

How does it work?

A contact center handles a business’s communication through multiple channels like the telephone, email, live chat, and social media.

Contact Center Technology Key Features

  • VoIP telephony
  • Email
  • Text chat
  • Fax
  • Web call button or interface
  • Blended agents capable of all of the above communication


As said before, by utilizing a contact center technology, you’re helping customers by providing multiple channels for communication. A recent study by inConnect showed that 67% of customers preferred communicating with a live agent vs. self-service when they needed assistance.

The findings of the latest Dimension Data Global Contact Center Benchmarking research report indicates that 87% of contact centers expect non-voice traffic to increase within the next two years.

What industries often use contact centers?

  • Banking
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Retail
  • Telecommunications
  • Travel & Hospitality
  • Resources

The main difference


  • A call center communicates only by voice.
  • A contact center still uses voice communication, but also offers multi-channel options via email, text chat, and web interfaces.


  • Call centers contain a mix of inbound and outbound agents or “blended agents” that handle both types of calling.
  • Contact centers feature agents that can handle all its forms of communication.

Final Thoughts

Contact centers cover everything. If your business has a receives a large amount of mail, email, social media, and/or telephone traffic, a contact center is definitely an option to consider.

Call centers limit your agents to only one means of communication. With a contact center, your agents can help multiple customers via online chat or texting. Studies show that your customers will prefer this as well.

As a value-added reseller of XCally, we can help create exceptional customer experiences for you and your clients, one cloud-based solution at a time.