Do you think the call center industry is dead? Replaced by the contact center? It’s not just a matter of semantics.
Just like schools have wrestled with grade inflation, business has it’s own (non-financial) inflation problems. Sales reps became account executives. The personnel department became human resources. Everybody wants to sound more important. So is contact center just a fancy name for the same old call center? And what’s next?
As with many other cases where terminology changes, there is an underlying reason—an important one—why we call them contact centers instead of call centers. Quite simply, a call refers to the telephone. And calls are only one way that we make contact with (or are contacted by) our customers. They also use email, SMS, social media, web forms, etc. A modern contact center supports all forms of communication (called channels).
These contact centers are enabling better customer support through multichannel and omnichannel contact center software to seamlessly provide service on the channels that their customers are choosing to use.
And that brings up issues of its own. For example, most contact centers added additional channels piecemeal over time, and using technology and systems from different vendors. They did it reactively and had no choice in the matter. But the result are systems that either don’t talk to each other, or systems that are built on expensive and brittle integration tools. One of the reasons Bright Pattern was founded was to advance the state of the art in Unified Customer Service Management, because without the “unified”, it is hard to solve customer cases efficiently and effectively.