Contact center vs call center

What is a contact center?

A contact center is a hub for all customer conversations coming in through email, phone, chat, and social media. A contact center software is used by customer-facing teams to handle customer conversations.

What is a call center?

A call center and a contact center are often used synonymously. However, the two terms vary in meaning. A call center is a hub for business or customer conversations that occur through the phone channel alone. A call center system is used by phone teams to engage with customers or prospects.


A contact center is an advanced version of a call center. While the capabilities of a call center software are limited to business phone communication, a contact center software lets you engage with customers across channels.

Why does your team need a contact center software?

Customers today prefer to reach out to support teams through the channel of their choice and do not restrict their engagement with a brand over email or phone. Sometimes, customers even use multiple channels to reach out to businesses.

To add on, customers want a unified experience across channels. For your team, this translates to having enough context about a customer’s issue before getting back to them.

Be it chat, Twitter, Facebook, or email, engaging with customers without losing context on their issues is the key to providing a true omnichannel experience.

A contact center software streamlines incoming requests from different channels into one platform and serves as a one-stop shop for you to engage with your customers by retaining complete context of their issues.

How to pick the best contact center software for your team?

Choose between the two types of contact center solutions  

Based on the nature of your organization and the workflow, you can choose between the two types of contact center solutions: on-premise and cloud-based solutions. The main difference between the two solutions lies in the way they are hosted. While an on-premise solution is hosted on a business’s local server, a cloud-based solution is delivered over the internet.

To help you pick between the two types of solutions, we’ve listed a detailed comparison below:

On-premise solution

- To set up an on-premise solution, you will need the help of an experienced IT professional and the hosted partner to install the software.

- Since the software is hosted on the company’s server, it isn’t easy to access the tool outside your office premises.

- Businesses using an on-premise solution invest heavily on security features to protect their data and mitigate cross-site scripting.

- For updates and upgrades to be implemented, they require a shutdown of operations.

Cloud-based solution

- To get started with a cloud-based solution, you need to create an account for your company and just log in to the tool.

- Your team can access a cloud contact center from anywhere as long as there is a live network connection.

- Security for a cloud-based solution is taken care of by the service providers.   

- The updates from the service provider require no slips in performance.

Once you’ve selected between the on-premise and cloud-based solutions, you need to look for features that will enable your team to reach their optimal level of production and deliver moments of wow.

Look out for the following features

Social media support

When customers reach out to a business using social media, they expect their issues to get resolved in a short span of time.

A business that fails to do this can get its brand image tarnished.

Hence, you need a powerful feature that lets you filter relevant mentions, posts, and comments.

This way, you can prioritize important requests, assign them to the right groups or agents, tag conversations, and track progress.

contact center software - social

Easy collaboration

Sometimes, to resolve a customer’s issue, your team members might have to collaborate within themselves, with another team, or a third-party who isn’t a part of your system.

If your agents have to switch between tools to collaborate, it affects their productivity and takes up a lot of their time.

To save your agents’ time, look for a software that allows easy collaboration.

Apart from increasing the agent’s productivity, it also gives them context on the issue.

contact center software collaboration

Analytics and reporting 

In order to measure important metrics like the volume of incoming requests, agent productivity, resolution time, etc. and keep track of key perforamce indicators, your contact center software needs an inbuilt analytics and reporting feature.  

Having real-time data in a dashboard helps you stay on top of metrics that matter the most to your team.

contact center software reporting

Self-service portal

Most customers today prefer finding answers on their own. With a well-structured self-service portal or a knowledge base, your customers can navigate their way to find solutions.

When the knowledge base is a part of the contact center software that you use, it becomes easy for your team to document frequently asked questions and write solution articles.

contact center software self service

Freshdesk: the best contact center software on the cloud

Integrate with phone and chat

Our phone and chat channels seamlessly integrate with Freshdesk and lets your support team carry out their day-to-day activities with ease.

Scale your support

Along with providing support through phone and chat, Freshdesk lets you offer support on various channels like email, Facebook, and Twitter without juggling between tools.

Collaborate more effectively

With Freshdesk’s power-packed features, you and your team can collaborate on a resolving one or more tickets right from the ticket interface.

Track and measure progress

The dashboard and reports in Freshdesk let you monitor real-time metrics, track and measure progress, and prevent any bottlenecks.

Help customers help themselves

Empower your customers to resolve their issues on their own by maintaining a vast and strong self-service portal using Freshdesk.

Extend your support capabilities

The Freshdesk marketplace has over 500 apps that are built to help you extend your support capabilities. You can also build custom apps on Freshdesk.