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Call, Contact or Engagement Center?

Sep 15, 2011

There are a number of industry terms thrown around these days to talk about what we all generally refer to as call centers. Some of us may even interchange call center and contact center in the same sentence.

The difference is pretty basic:

  • Call centers take calls
  • Contact centers receive some combination of calls, emails, online chat, video conferencing, social media, or more. It’s sort of a silly generic term that’s easier than saying, “We have a chat/email/call/social media center”

By way of example, when staff in our centers began taking online chat requests and Video Remote Interpretation requests (in addition to phone interpretation) some time ago, we graduated from call center to contact center.

What about engagement center? This is a newer term, thrown around by a few outsourced contact centers. I think it’s a bit of marketing spin, but it may describe a growing realization for many companies: contact centers serve as a relationship-building operation for customers. Many customers’ sense of loyalty comes from interactions with a company, not just marketing or advertising.

  • Engagement center – a center built around managing every possible customer engagement in an engaging way.

Contact centers are not just cost centers: they are drivers of competitive levels of continued service, responsible for enhancing customer satisfaction and retention.

How do contact centers drive service and enhance customer satisfaction? We recently discussed this issue in the Q&A session of one of our webinars with best-selling author Jeanne Bliss.

Chris Patten


Voiance Language Services provides language interpretation and translation services, including telephone interpretation, through interpreter contact centers, with over 85,000 square feet of floor space. We manage contact centers, and so do many of our clients, which is part of the Voiance Advantage.