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Spot the Difference: Call Center Company vs BPO Company

When we read or hear about call centers, the phrase automatically relates to the BPO industry. When someone mentions “BPO industry,” one directly thinks “call centers.” For many, both are synonymous and are often used to indicate the same thing.

Now let’s have a new mind-set about this matter. Call centers are different from BPO companies. The two entities are related but the two can’t be treated as the same because each has its own characteristics.

When we read or hear about call centers, the phrase automatically relates to the BPO industry. When someone mentions “BPO industry,” one directly thinks “call centers.” For many, both are synonymous and are often used to indicate the same thing.

Now let’s have a new mind-set about this matter. Call centers are different from BPO companies. The two entities are related but the two can’t be treated as the same because each has its own characteristics.

To start with, a call center is an office established to handle large volumes of telephone calls. A BPO (business process outsourcing) company, on the other hand, serves as a third-party service provider that contracts operations and responsibilities of a specific business function or process. Now, both are offering outsourcing services but the scope of tasks varies. While a call center only caters to answering or making telephone calls, a BPO company handles various job functions.

A call center can be distinguished in five types:

1. Contact Center – This type of call center supports interaction with customers, using various media of communication, including chat, e-mail, and of course, telephones.

2. Inbound Call Center – This type mainly handles calls initiated by the customers, which is more known as inbound calls. It usually assists customer complaints and other concerns.

3. Outbound Call Center – This type makes outbound calls to customers or sales leads. This is also called telemarketing.

4. Blended Call Center - This type consists of automated processes like automatic call distribution for incoming calls and predictive dialling for outbound calls. The automation is an effective tool for inbound and outbound agents to control the flow of incoming and outgoing calls.

5. Telephone Answering Service – This type serves the sole purpose of answering calls from a single client. The agents basically act as a virtual assistant (VA) for a client; or they work in an office where they answer and monitor the calls received by a single client or office.

A BPO, on the other hand, can be categorized into back office outsourcing, front office outsourcing, and middle office outsourcing. Most of the times, middle and back office outsourcing are merged to back office outsourcing alone.

A call center belongs to the front office outsourcing category of a BPO company. A BPO is a bigger and more complex entity than a call center.

There are now many companies that belong to the industry of BPO in the Philippines, but the pioneer outsourcing companies that settled in the country were actually call center companies. These call centers have modified their services and have evolved into the BPO companies that they are today.

With regards to the kind of workforce each entity needs, the two differ greatly. Call centers hire people that have above-average analytical and communication skills, in order for them to properly cater customer support services to the callers. A BPO company has specified qualifications to fill the specific job functions like HR, accounting, payroll, finance, and the like.

A BPO company is an independent company that offers outsourcing services to usually-foreign businesses; thus, the need to have its own infrastructure and location is important. A call center can be housed within a company or within a BPO company. It does not necessarily need to have its own building and locationFeature Articles, since it only covers a certain number of employees.

These are the most common differences that help distinguish a call center company from a BPO company. It is important for this classification to be known to avoid misinterpretation of purpose of each entity.


Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Sheila is a  freelance copywriter, with majority of her work focusing on the outsourcing industry.



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