July 23, 2023
With increased globalization, businesses are facing rigorous competition. Outsourcing has played a major role in helping them focus on growth. BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) and call centers are commonly used for outsourcing purposes today. But they are also often misinterpreted and used interchangeably. Many are unfamiliar with the difference between a BPO and a call center.
If you want to leverage these tools for your business, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work. A solid understanding of the difference between BPO and call center is vital to efficiently utilize each one to its maximum potential. In this piece, we will shed some light on the various characteristics of BPO and call centers and their points of contrast.
The major difference between a BPO and a call center is that BPO is a broader category of services and encompasses call centers. BPOs provide services in various non-core areas, including customer support, marketing, financial and accounting sectors, data entry and book-keeping, IT and technical services, content creation, programming, etc. On the other hand, call centers are a subset of BPOs and provide telecalling services, including inbound and outbound calling and multichannel support.
Another difference between a BPO and a call center is that BPOs render their services for both front-end and back-end areas, including HR, finance, marketing and IT support. Whereas call centers just cater to the front-end needs of their client and deal with the customers.
The kind of relationship they maintain with their clients also differentiates a BPO from a call center. BPOs aim to add value to their services and provide their client with the resources needed for scaling. On the contrary, call centers are purely customer-centric and focus only on handling customers and providing them with support and assistance.
Let's look at some specific characteristics of BPOs and traditional call centers. Both BPO and call centers are used for outsourcing purposes but the characteristics of both are very different. Strategic outsourcing of non-core corporate tasks to outside service providers is known as BPO. By boosting operational effectiveness and productivity, this strategic outsourcing enables businesses to focus on their core capabilities. On the other hand, call centers are renowned for their customer support services.
When a business hires another company to perform its secondary or non-core operations, we call it Business Process Outsourcing, or BPO. These outsourced activities may include a variety of tasks such as customer support, financing and accounting, marketing, technical services, data entry, etc. Let us look at the key features of a BPO:
A call center is a dedicated organization for managing the telephonic communication of businesses. They provide calling services to companies and handle their customers' calls, queries, complaints, feedback etc. Let’s have a look at the salient features of a call center.
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These are some of the characteristics of BPO and call centers, which highlight their functions and uses. Now that we know their primary roles let us look at the points of difference between the two.
Still confused? Here is a comparison chart of the characteristics to help you get a clearer picture - Is BPO and Call center same?
We are sure that you now have a better insight into the concept of a BPO and a call center. Let us move to the final step and figure out which one you should select. With the right choice, your business can enjoy the benefits of outsourcing.
Whether to select a BPO or a call center for your business depends on what your business needs. If it needs several operations, like finance, HR, or IT support, to be outsourced, a BPO is the right choice. However, you can opt for a call center if you need only front-end services like handling customers.
To summarize, the BPO industry is vast and provides many services, including call center support. Some other outsourcing processes involve technical services, finance, marketing, data entry, content creation, human resource management and other administrative functions. A call center is a service provider that is a part of the BPO industry.
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No. A call center can be a BPO. However, the reverse is not true, i,e, a BPO is not a call center. A BPO provides various services, including call center support, finance, IT services, marketing, etc. Therefore, call centers are a subset of BPO.
The primary difference between a BPO and a call center is scope. BPO is a broad-scope category, whereas call center services fall under the umbrella of a BPO.
The two types of BPO are Back Office Outsourcing and Front Office Outsourcing. Back office services include internal processes like finance and accounting, data entry, and administrative activities. Front Office operations include customer-facing processes such as customer service, telemarketing, sales, etc.
The companies that provide services to other companies are known as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies. These services include front-end and back-end processes such as marketing, HR, content creation, customer service, IT and technical support.
As the name suggests, a call center mainly focuses on telephonic communication with the customers. It handles inbound and outbound calls, resolvers queries and makes sales using voice process. Whereas, a contact center, besides voice communication, uses other mediums too. It provides customer support via many channels like SMS, chat, email and social media.