Call Center vs. Contact Center: What are the Distinctions?


Both contact centers and call centers exist to serve the same purpose: to serve and support customers experiencing issues or have questions regarding products or services they have purchased, which is a crucial piece in operating a successful business today. It has been shown that consumers have increasingly high expectations regarding product and service support and expect to be able to contact a representative to help them with the issue or question they have in a timely fashion. They are even making their purchasing decisions based on the ease, speed, and quality of which they receive the support they need, which means businesses must invest in their customer service support options to serve their customer base in order to remain competitive. While “call center” and “contact center” are terms often used interchangeably, there are some fundamental and key differences between the two, which we will explore in further detail.

Call Center vs. Contact Center

Call centers have historically been the go-to method for companies to assist customers with their products and services via phone call only. Generally speaking, most call centers occupy large office buildings filled with cubicles assigned to agents that will clock in and out at the same time daily. Call center agents mostly receive incoming support calls but can also make outbound calls to continue helping customers whose calls may have been dropped, service lost, or experienced some other inconvenient interruption. Agents can help with product and service issues, to include billing, debt collection, and telemarketing services. 


While the main goal for call center agents is to take as many calls, to resolve as many issues, for as many customers, as quickly as possible, the focus for contact center agents tends to be more personalized and quality-based, offering multiple contact options to accommodate the modern person.


Contact centers were innovated from the call center model to provide several ways to contact a given company’s customer service support agents, including by phone, email, live chat, SMS, and social media using contact center software. This allows for customers to decide on the best contact method for their lifestyle and the urgency of their issue.

KPI Differences

Generally speaking, the key performance indicators for call centers include average wait times, the time it took to help the customer resolve their issue (length of the call), how many customers had their issues resolved, and overall satisfaction with the call center process as a whole. 

Because contact centers have multiple contact options, they are able to collect more data and log information to help them track more metrics, ultimately offering higher degrees of insight into the psychology and purchasing behavior of their consumer base, which helps give them an edge on innovation and competition. 

Omnichannel implementation among businesses soared to 300% from 2010 to 2020, leading to higher rates of customer retention at 89%. More contact options allow for better and more diverse data collection, which means more informed decision making, happier customers, happier employees, and higher profit margins.

Who is Ternio?

With more companies making the shift to omnichannel customer support, there emerges a need to use software to help automate metrics and data tracking as much as possible. The need for optimized contact center software intersects with a huge shift from in-person to a fully remote workforce, and in this cross-section is where Ternio shines. 

Ternio has been a fully remote telecommuting company since its inception. We intimately understand the need to stay connected with your team and customers from anywhere, at any time. At Ternio, we were born out of a commitment to elevate contact center technology and expansion, with strategies for how to best manage your remote customer service agent workforce, an increasing need in a post-COVID-19 world.

Why Ternio?

In 2015, we saw the writing on the wall for remote work to become mainstream. In service to contact centers, we developed a mobile app called the Ternio mobile app that helps mobilize your remote customer service agent workforce, so that they can stay connected with customers from their phones. No more missing calls while out meeting with prospects and no more friction from daily commuting to and from work.


With the Ternio mobile app, you get all the contact center data collection necessary to stay competitive while providing your workforce the ability to stay connected to customers through their phones, for the very first time. One top concern for companies is having an “in case of a disaster” plan in place, which the Ternio mobile app provides with ease. No more threats of isolated blackouts disrupting your ability to conduct business or interfering with employee productivity. 

Get with the times and provide your workforce with the ability to be fully mobile, with the Ternio mobile app. Schedule a demo with us, to preview how our contact center software can optimize your business today!

Get started today

Join the mobile workforce wave.

Explore the most powerful and easy to use mobile solution for your contact center.

apple app store icon
google play icon
TernioSwitch App Screenshots
Jonathan White
Jonathan White