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Vital differences between Business Phone and Contact Center which you should know

Gone are the days when businesses used wired phones to speak with customers. With the increased usage of the Internet all over the world, customers are communicating with businesses over multiple channels at their convenience. To tackle this challenge, Contact Centers came into existence. An omni channel platform makes it easy for businesses to interact with customers and solve their queries.

Vital differences between Business Phone and Contact Center which you should know

In this blog, let us learn the primary differences between business phones and contact center services and why switching to a contact center service is essential for different businesses.

Business Phones and Contact Center: What are they exactly?

A Business Phone handles calls, which means making and receiving calls. In addition, a business phone can forward calls to different extensions or numbers and manage voicemails. It comes with features such as Call forwarding, Auto-attendant, conferencing, headset support, etc.

On the other hand, Contact Centers go a step further and help businesses communicate effortlessly with their customers. It is an advanced communication system that also handles other modes of conversation with different channels. Contact centers come with top-end features such as Automatic Call Distribution (ACD), Advanced IVR with Conversational AI, Call Recording, Integration with other platforms, Speech Analytics, and other futuristic features.

Difference between Business Phones and Contact Centers:

The only difference between Business Phones and Contact Centers is that Business Phones are designed to handle only calls. In contrast, contact centers can handle conversations from different platforms in addition to the calls. Although both are responsible for managing the conversations, they differ in the different types and qualities they offer. Let’s explore the types and features involved.

Business Phone Systems are of three major types:
Business Phone Systems are of three major types:
Key Service Utility (KSU)

This is the most basic phone system, available from the three types and suitable for small organizations with around 50-100 employees. Someone will pick up the phone and dial the required number to place the call. You will need a professional for installation and setup on the company premises. Also, they have limited features, such as on-hold, speakerphone, and intercom capabilities.

This is a landline-based phone system, so it supports only a limited number of phone lines. Additionally, since the system needs on-site installation, it can be costly and time-consuming compared to other systems. As a result, KSU Systems are used by less modern businesses.

Private Branch Exchange (PBX)

PBX Systems is a more advanced system than KSU. These PBX Systems are operated and monitored through a switchboard that receives, processes, and routes the calls. This becomes an excellent option for internal employees and customers as it provides effective call routing. Also, PBX systems can be either hosted in the cloud or installed on-premises.

On-premises require physical installation, and the cost is comparatively higher than hosted solutions. Also, these solutions do not burden your IT team with maintenance issues, as the solution provider is responsible for handling them.

Meanwhile, a hosted PBX deals with the Cloud technology for hosting the business. The implementation process is simple and quick. You just need to sign up for the service online, install the application, and make subscription-based charges instantly. These charges also include regular maintenance and troubleshooting.

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

VoIP services are closely linked with cloud-PBX systems. This modern phone system works on the cloud, so you don’t need to install any hardware or perform expensive maintenance activities. Additionally, it is accessible through the web, smartphones, mobiles, desktops, etc. It can be implemented with desk and IP phones, too.

These VoIP phones use digital packets to transfer voice communication and do not deal with wires & cables.  It converts analog audio signals into digital packets and transmits them over the Internet. It is again converted to analog audio signals on reaching the recipient’s end. VoIP technology has dozens of features, such as texting, chats, video conferencing, virtual faxing, etc.

While each of these phones has its own pros and cons, the following are the standard features of a Business Phone System that is entirely related to calls:

1. Call Waiting

As the name suggests, businesses can record messages informing the caller of the available agent and the estimated time to pick up. They can also play greeting music over the line when the caller waits.

2. Call Forwarding

This feature enables businesses to forward calls to the unoccupied agent to avoid long waiting times, which may lead to poor customer satisfaction.

3. Auto-Attendant

Auto-Attendant is a digital receptionist feature that redirects the customer's call to the required extension. This is an excellent feature for businesses that handle huge customer calls daily.

4. Call Conferencing

Call Conferencing allows multiple callers to participate in a single call. Companies that have remote-friendly environments find this an exceptional solution.

5. Multi line handling

In order to cope up with multiple customer calls at the same time, agents can switch between different calls and engage their customers effectively.

Contact Centers are of six major types:
Contact Centers are of six major types:
Inbound Contact Centers

With Inbound Contact Centers, customers can reach out to businesses for their queries using different modes. A few examples are tech support, sales inquiries, and other complaints. Customers may generally reach out for product questions, promotions, locations, business hours, etc.

Outbound Contact Centers

Outbound Contact Centers are the ones where agents reach out to customers to pitch their products, collect survey data, post-sale follow-ups, fundraising, new product updates, etc. It uses predictive dialers to call numbers on the list automatically.

Cloud Contact Centers

Cloud Contact Centers routes inbound and outbound calls through the Internet server, allowing agents to communicate with customers globally. These contact centers enable omnichannel contact centers to exist, offering multiple channels such as voice, emails, social media, web chats, etc.

On-Premise Contact Centers

On-premise contact centers use hardware to host the business at a specific location. They are a more traditional solution but are probably outdated since they are expensive and less flexible. They will require a separate IT team to troubleshoot and manage maintenance activities.

Omnichannel Contact Centers

Omnichannel Contact Centers connect with clients through traditional phones or digital channels such as social media, web chats, emails, etc. This is one of the best solutions, as it can be picked up instantly from any channel, and the data is synched in the dashboard instantly.

Also, every interaction is recorded so that agents can provide the correct information without issues. It includes details such as conversation history, account type, order history, payment history, and other personal contact information.

Multichannel Contact Centers

Like the former, Multichannel Contact Centers can also help agents connect through the same platforms. But the only difference is that all the customer information from different channels is not synced on the dashboard. This means interactions can’t be switched from one channel to another.

Contact Centers have the following features along with handling calls:
Contact Centers have the following features along with handling calls:
1. Automatic  Call Distribution (ACD)

ACD automatically identifies, answers, and routes the incoming calls. The primary goal is to distribute the calls effectively to different teams/agents to eliminate extended hold times. With skill-based call routing, customers can get in touch with the right agent, and agents can also efficiently handle customers as they are trained in the specific field.

2. Deeper Analytics and Reporting

Contact Centers provide flexibility to businesses to know in-depth information by extracting reports. It offers real-time monitoring and customized reporting features to get a complete insight into your business performance.

3. Powerful Integrations

This is one of the essential and crucial features of Contact Centers where businesses can integrate with their favorite tools for seamless communication. You can sync CRMs for up-to-date information and customer interactions. At TeleCMI, we help businesses with CRM Integrations, WhatsApp integrations, and other platforms as per business requirements.

4. Self-Service options

This unique feature allows customers to choose the required option on their keypads, and depending on the input, the contact center redirects the call to the respective team or department if required. For instance, if the agent wants to know about their product delivery, they can simply pick the option, and the software will provide the update. This eliminates the need for an agent and also enhances customer satisfaction with minimal time for inquiry.

5. Omnichannel/Multichannel

Contact Centers resolves multiple customer pain points by offering end-to-end communication on a single platform. It can be social media, web chat, email, or anything in such a way that they don’t miss any customers unknowingly.

To Close:

As traditional phone systems are outdated and come with dozens of complexities, it is wise to switch to VoIP Contact Centers, which come with numerous benefits. As a small business, you can save a hefty amount, along with providing an intuitive solution for your customers. Undoubtedly, cloud solutions are the future, and your business can survive and experience skyrocketing growth by adopting them.

If you are looking to try out one, TeleCMI can be the right place for you. Our solutions are designed to support different industry verticals and help them with instant customer communications. You can explore our features with a free trial and get in touch with us for a demo; our team will connect shortly.

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