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What is a Contact Center?

A contact center (or contact centre) is a business office where employees engage in customer service and sales interactions via methods that may include telephone, email, live chat, social media, traditional mail, and more.

Image of agents working in a contact center

The main goal of a contact center is to communicate with people on behalf of a business. Some companies build their own in-house contact centers while others outsource that function of their organization to a dedicated BPO (business process outsourcing) partner that provides contact center solutions. Generally, customer service and sales functions are the primary focus of contact centers.

Partnering with a contact center is  very popular with businesses that do not want to pay for or manage internal support staff. Outsourced contact centers provide professional support services both to companies and their customers by  using highly specialized contact center software to handle multiple simultaneous transactions. Contact center technology must be on the cutting edge with plenty of backup redundancy to ensure that operations are executed efficiently and that customers are getting a top-notch experience at all times.

To provide customer service and sales interactions, contact centers may use a variety of methods to communicate. Those methods include one or any mix of telephone conversations (inbound and outbound), email response, live chat, social media, or traditional post mail. Contact centers tend to operate by processing significant volumes of interactions.

The primary employee found in a contact center is an agent or representative. Depending on what type of communications the contact center provides, agents often sit in rows, cubicles, pods, or other office layouts, interacting with consumers one after another. Often, contact centers are very busy hives of activity, which can make them exciting operations to be a part of.

Contact centers don’t all look the same or operate identically. Some contact centers are small with less than 25 employees, while others can be quite large with staff numbering well over 500. Certain contact centers may specialize in one form of communications like the telephone. If they only communicate with people via the phone, they may simply be considered a call center. Other contact centers might focus on email management and live chat, so they perform all their communications with computers and typing. Furthermore, there are also contact centers that focus primarily on social media interactions, or on processing and responding to traditional mail.

Contact centers come in all different shapes and sizes, and they all might operate a little differently, but in the end, the goal remains the same. Customer support and sales are the primary objectives of contact centers. And since consumers all have varying preferred methods of communicating with businesses, it’s important to that there are all types of contact centers out there to provide an array of communication services.

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This entry was posted in BPO (Business Process Outsourcing), Call Center News and tagged by Brian Gabriel. Bookmark the permalink.

About Brian Gabriel

As the Call Center Manager for Sound Telecom, Brian is responsible for overseeing the daily operations and long term success of the company while managing a variety of inbound customer support programs. He also has a hand in taking care of the Solaxis services division. Prior to joining Sound Telecom, Mr. Gabriel held management positions with several prominent Internet Services companies including XpenseWise.com and Greatfood.com. Brian started his career in advertising and sales before moving to Washington State. He joined AEI Music in 1995 and supervised their international customer service department and technical support call centers. Brian received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish languages from San Diego State University. Brian teaches adult education at his church and actively supports Christian ministries.