Call Center or Call Centre is a centralised office used for the purpose of receiving and transmitting large volume of requests by telephone. A call centre is operated by a company to administer incomming product support or information inquiries from consumers. Outgoing calls for telemarketing, clientele, product services, and debt collection are also made. In addition to a call centre, collective handling of letters, faxes, live chat, and e-mails at one location is known as a contact centre.
A call centre is often operated through an extensive open workspace for call centre agents, with work stations that include a computer for each agent, a telephone set/headset connected to a telecom switch, and one or more supervisor stations. It can be independently operated or networked with additional centres, often linked to a corporate computer network, including mainframes, microcomputers and LANs. Increasingly, the voice and data pathways into the centre are linked through a set of new technologies called computer telephony integration (CTI).
Most major businesses use call centres to interact with their customers. Examples include utility companies, mail order catalog retailers, and customer support for computer hardware and software. Some businesses even service internal functions through call centres. Examples of this include help desks, retail financial support, and sales support.
A contact centre, also known as customer interaction center is a central point of any organization from which all customer contacts are managed. Through contact centers, valuable information about company are routed to appropriate people, contacts to be tracked and data to be gathered. It is generally a part of companyís customer relationship management (CRM). Today, customers contact companies by calling, emailing, chatting online, visiting websites, faxing, and even instant messaging.
Call Center is a physical place where customer and other telephone calls are handled by an organization, usually with some amount of computer automation. Typically, a call center has the ability to handle a considerable volume of calls at the same time, to screen calls and forward them to someone qualified to handle them, and to log calls. Call centers are used by mail-order catalog organizations, telemarketing companies, computer product help desks, and any large organization that uses the telephone to sell or service products and services. Two related terms are virtual call center and contact center.