What is a Contact Center?

A contact center is a physical or virtual department where a company handles customer inquiries and most commonly is a part of the customer service function. Companies staff contact centers with agents who are trained to deal with service issues. They can handle inquiries coming in via digital channels (e.g., email, chat, messaging), inbound calls, outbound calls or be blended and handle both.

They will typically utilize some type of computer automation software such as an automatic contact distributor (ACD) to route calls and digital messages to the appropriate agent. Contact center software is critical to ensuring a great customer experience, enabling companies to quickly connect customers to the agent trained to best handle their customer service issue.

Companies looking to modernize operations and transform their ability to deliver exceptional customer experiences are increasingly turning to cloud contact center software solutions as they offer greater agility and flexibility to meet rapidly changing customer expectations.

What’s the difference between a contact center and a call center?

It is not uncommon for either term to be used when talking about the place customers go to interact with a company for service and/or sales. There is a difference in that a call center focuses on telephone-based interactions with customers whereas a contact center supports multiple interaction channels including voice (telephone), chat, email, messaging and more. Contact centers that can support multiple channels are often called multichannel.

In most cases specific agents are assigned to each channel. In an omnichannel contact center, agents can manage interactions across multiple channels simultaneously and customers can seamlessly move between them to solve their service issues. Today, the trend is rapidly moving to contact centers, driven by consumer preference to utilize digital channels they are comfortable with in their personal interactions to engage companies.

How NICE can help

NICE is the market leader in providing customers the cloud contact center software they need to deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences. NICE provides innovative contact center software, called NICE CXone, that includes:

Workforce Optimization – unlocks the potential of your team by inspiring employee’s self-improvement, amplifying quality management efforts to enhance customer experience and reducing labor waste. These solutions include workforce management (WFM), quality management (QM), recording and performance management (PM).

Omnichannel Routing – contact routing and interaction management that empowers agents to positively and productively interact with customers in digital and voice channels. These solutions include an automatic contact distributor (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), interaction channel support and proactive outbound dialer.

Automation & Artificial Intelligence (AI) – leading-edge, intuitive technology that eliminates mundane tasks and speeds resolutions of customer issues for better business outcomes. It provides self-service, agent-assisted and fully automated alerts and actions.

Analytics – turns insights into results by making data relevant, easy to consume and actionable to drive measurable improvements and understand the omnichannel experience customers receive. These solutions include interaction analytics, customer surveys, reporting and performance management.

Open Cloud Foundation – enables rapid innovation with an extensible enterprise-grade platform that scales securely, deploys quickly and serves customers of all sizes globally. We guarantee an industry-best 99.99% availability and offer easy customization through RESTful APIs and DEVone developer program.