A contact center (also referred to as a customer interaction center or e-contact center) is a central point in an enterprise from which all customer contacts are managed. The contact center typically includes one or more online call centers but may include other types of customer contact as well, including e-mail newsletters, postal mail catalogs, Web site inquiries and chats, and the collection of information from customers during in-store purchasing. A contact center is generally part of an enterprise’s overall customer relationship management (CRM).
A contact center would typically be provided with special software that would allow contact information to be routed to appropriate people, contacts to be tracked, and data to be gathered. A contact center is considered to be an important element in multichannel marketing.
Virtual Call Centre
A virtual call center is a call center in which the organization’s representatives are geographically dispersed, rather than being situated at work stations in a building operated by the organization. Virtual call center employees may be situated in groups in a number of smaller centers, but most often they work from their own homes. This is an attractive arrangement for many employees: the hours are often flexible, and there’s no dress code or commute. For the organization, the virtual call center model saves housing and equipment costs and can lead to lower employee turnover rates, which tend to be high for physical call centers.
To appear professional and increase customer confidence, even bricks and mortar call centers attempt to present customers with a virtual representation of an organization’s offices. The customer, dialing a customer service or technical support number, is given the impression that their call reaches a physical department within the organization, when in fact, it is likely to reach a company that outsources support for several different organizations.