Helpdesk is more of a technical term. Think of the the person or team your company turns to for help with everyday Microsoft office tasks. It tends to be the support team of a product or service. They provide simple answers and solutions for the user, like the information desk in a building. This is often referred to as Level/Tier 1 or 2 support and is often ideal for a contact center. If the need requires a higher level of expertise, then the call center will triage the need and refer the customer to a higher level of support, known as Level or Tier 3. It is often provided by the client's experts or a specialized team in the call center. The triaging saves expensive client resources from being dragged into low-value call support.
Customer service tends to be broader in nature. It is managing whatever request a customer might have so it is more multi-functional. It may be basic information, but it also might be a billing question or a product/service clarification. They are often the inside advocate for you customer by dissecting their need and getting them the right resources.
Call centers are a subset of customer service. This type of customer service includes all types of customer contact, meaning both inbound and outbound contact by voice, snail mail, email, chat, text and video. When it is done in more than one channel, it is referred to as multi-channel. Because of this variety of communication methods used in today’s market, call centers that support multiple channels are more appropriately called contact centers.
Often an outsourcer will assign agents to a specific channel. For instance, chat agents, voice agents or email agents. When the center technology allows those agents to see all the communication interactions of a single customer, regardless of the channel, it is referred to as an Omnichannel environment.
In this guide, we will explain the ins and outs of call center outsourcing, so you can make a decision about how best to handle the customer service at your company.