Customer Service Software

Category Compare: Call Center vs. Contact Center

By | 4 min read | Published

In this report, we define and compare call center and contact center software to help you decide which one aligns with your business goals.

Both call center software and contact center software facilitate customer service and outreach by ensuring that the service agents can meet the evolving customer requirements. The two platforms may appear similar but they deliver differentiated customer experiences. This report identifies the similarities and differences between the two software categories to help you understand which one is better suited to your needs.

What is call center software?

Call center software is a management solution that enables organizations to manage customer communications that occur exclusively via a phone call. The software allows business owners to manage inbound and outbound communications with prospects and customers.

Some of the notable features of call center software include automatic call distribution, call recording, call monitoring, computer telephony integration, interactive voice response, and desktop notifications among others.

Call center supervisors can also use the software to track important call center metrics, such as first-call resolutions, average handling time, and service level to enhance the performance of the customer support team.

What is contact center software?

Contact center software enables multi-channel customer interactions for businesses. The software automates and standardizes the process of receiving and responding to customer requests across different communication channels, such as voice calls, emails, live chats, text messaging, social media, and more. The system is used primarily by professionals in the customer service department.

A contact center solution provides functionalities for quality management, queue management, and workforce management. The platform offers necessary features to improve center agent retention, agent productivity, customer satisfaction, and compliance adherence. These include call scripting, monitoring, routing, automatic call distribution, and reporting features among others.

What do they have in common?

There are a few similarities between call center software and contact center software. Both the software solutions facilitate customer interaction and extend customer support. These help improve customer satisfaction and the overall customer experience with the organization. Moreover, both these platforms offer call recording, routing, and reporting features.

Call center software features

Contact center software features

Which tool is right for you?

The answer to this question depends on your use cases and the business communication model. For instance, if you wish to provide your customers with more than just phone support to communicate with contact service agents, a contact center solution should be ideal. The solution is best for businesses that are looking to meet customer expectations and enhance relationship management via multiple customer communication channels. These might include businesses such as healthcare, travel, and hospitality.

On the contrary, if you are looking for a tool majorly to provide technical support to customers or manage telemarketing and sales over phone calls, you may consider investing in traditional call center software. The system is majorly used by businesses that have a phone-based communication model, such as banking and manufacturing organizations.

Once you’ve decided which software to use, head to our call center software and contact center software category pages where you can find a sortable list of products, software reviews from verified users, and comprehensive buyers guides.

If you wish to narrow down your search to only the most popular and highest-rated solutions, visit Capterra’s Shortlist reports for the top call center software and contact center software tools. Our reports are based on an analysis of thousands of user reviews.

14 top-rated call center and contact center software

These 14 products, listed in alphabetical order, are top-rated in both software categories.

Note: Reviews and ratings data in the product cards is as of May 11, 2022. New reviews may have been added since the publication of this article, so the reviews data in this piece may not reflect current conditions.
The products in the category comparison images are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations by Capterra. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.

Methodology

To be included in the top-rated list, the products must:

  1. Be listed under Capterra’s 2022 Shortlist reports for call center and contact center software. Learn more about the Capterra Shortlist methodology here.
  2. Meet our software market definition for call center and contact center software:
    • Call center: “Call center software helps organizations manage inbound and outbound communications with customers and prospects across a variety of channels (e.g., voice, live chat, social media).”
    • Contact center: “Contact center software automates and standardizes the process of receiving and responding to customer requests across different communication channels.”

Looking for Customer Service software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Customer Service software solutions.

About the Author

Shephalii Kapoor

Shephalii Kapoor

Shephalii Kapoor is a writer at Capterra. She helps small businesses identify the right software for their needs by analyzing user reviews for top-rated software products. Prior to Gartner, she worked as an assistant content manager at InfoEdge India Ltd. She has also worked in company law, aviation, and real estate. She is a published author and has contributed to various magazines and websites. During her free time, she enjoys reading.

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