Contact Center vs. Call Center Explained [Infographic]

By: Chris Darr
January 19, 2023

I don’t know why we technology folks love to use multiple words to mean the same thing, but we do, especially as it relates to communication solutions. However, this is one instance where two similar terms actually refer to different things. The difference between a contact center and a call center is subtle but important. 

Contact centers are different from call centers in their structure, how they use data, how they empower customers, the skills of their agents, and the technology they use. 

Definitions of Contact and Call Centers

A call center refers to a specific department where customer service representatives handle incoming and outgoing phone calls. A contact center is able to provide similar services but through more forms of communication than just the phone. 

In addition to making and receiving traditional phone or VoIP calls, a content center can communicate through additional communication channels:

  • Text
  • Chat
  • Email
  • Social media platforms

As I mentioned earlier, there are other differences. Perhaps the clearest way to illustrate these is with the following chart. 

Contact center vs call center chart

Call or Contact Center Solution — Which Is Best? 

In the not-so-distant future, a contact center may be the best option for most organizations. However, at present, it’s not that clear-cut. There are pros and cons with each, and the best fit for your business depends largely on your customer base. 

If the customers your company serves are more comfortable talking to an agent over the phone, a call center can be more cost-effective. However, you’ll need to be strategic about IVR prompts and make sure your agents can communicate clearly to your customer base to minimize frustration. It’s unfortunate, but many call centers have earned their poor reputation to the point where some callers will become frustrated at the first sign of a foreign accent or a difficult speech pattern. 

If your customers are comfortable with chatbots, social media, and finding answers to FAQs online, a contact center may be the better choice. By investing in contact center technology, you’ll typically be able to provide better, quicker customer service with fewer agents.

Get a Custom Recommendation

In communication technology, sometimes one solution is just hands down better than another. Sometimes it’s complicated and depends on so many factors that it’s best to talk to a specialist. 

If the infographic above didn’t give you a clear-cut answer, Marco’s experts are here to help and are well-versed in the solutions that are available. In fact, this past year, Marco was again named Contact Center Partner of the Year by Mitel for our ability to provide excellent recommendations and world-class support.  

Regardless of whether call center or contact center technology is the better fit, we can help you make a well-informed decision and get you started with the technology that’s best for you. 

Talk to a Voice Specialist

Topics: Phone & Collaboration