You may need to outsource tech support and customer services to streamline the business in the customer services industry. In search of the best customer support services, you may come across call centers and BPOs. 

According to a recent report, the marketing size of a global AI call center was estimated at USD 1.6 billion in 2022. Moreover, it is estimated to reach USD 4.1 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of around 21.3%. The stats show companies are significantly looking to outsource services to run a profitable business. 

Many businesses think there’s no difference between BPO and call centers; they are synonyms. Their differences lie between functionality and strategies. 

Understanding the differences between both is critical to improving your business strength. To help you find the best solution, we’ll explain details about BPO, call centers, and specific attributes. Let’s take a deep dive. 

What is BPO?

Simply put, BPO (Business Processing Outsourcing) outsources specific business functions from third parties. The BPO services include core and non-core tasks such as tech, legal, and customer support.

A recent report from Statista shows the average amount expend per employee in the BPO segment is around US$100.50 in 2023. The global marketing size of business process outsourcing was around 261.9 USD billion in 2022. It is estimated to project around 9.4% at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) from 2023-2030. BPO services are expanding worldwide as they help to stay focused on the production and build better revenue strategies. 

The most common BPO categories include outsourcing off-hours, marketing agencies, and managed service providers. Outsourcing firms help businesses to focus on initiatives and R&D to provide new services to their customers.

Companies can choose contractors for outsourcing based on the locations of call centers and BPO. Some of the important tasks handled by BPO services providers are as follows:

Market Research

BPO services provider helps to reach potential customers to gain information about their experience. The information collected by them helps to improve services and products. BPO also helps in determining soft leads using profiles of targeted customers.

Inbound and Outbound Calls

The BPO agents are also answerable to customers’ calls. They make inbound and outbound calls to improve brand awareness. In addition to calls, outsourcing firms generate real-time leads followed by in-house teams to turn them into customers.

Help Desk Services 

Many business organizations use BPO services to assist with customers’ queries. They have in-depth knowledge and are specific about politely answering customers’ questions.

Sales Generation and Leads 

They also act as your sales team that helps to generate maximum leads and sales. The BPO services save a lot of time for in-house employees; they invest in searching for leads. 

About Call Centers 

call center statistics
call center statistics [Source –FinancesOnline]

The call center is generally the subset of business process outsourcing. Voice-based services are the primary services of the call center. They help to stay connected with customers through outbound calls and inbound calls. For businesses, staying connected with customers and targeting new customers is helpful. So, it is essential to outsource your call center services. There are three different forms of call centers:

Inbound Call Center

These centers only receive incoming customer calls from existing or new customers. Inbound call center agents connect with customers to answer their queries and provide instructions about services.

Outbound Call Center 

Outbound call centers are to make calls on behalf of businesses. These services are generally cost-effective and help to expand businesses. Outbound call representatives make new calls to sell potential services to previous customers and new ones.

Virtual Call Center 

A virtual call center doesn’t tie to only a single service provider. They can assist in attending calls from remote zones and work as outbound and virtual call centers. 

Keynote: The difference between a BPO and a call center difference is that BPO can act outbound, inbound, and virtual. But the call center cannot act as BPO. To reap the maximum benefits of BPO services, you must know the type of work and services you want to outsource. Else, BPO doesn’t make any sense to grow business.

Is BPO and Call Center the Same?

 The simplest answer is “No.” To clarify, BPO centers often act as service sets outsourced to business organizations as a third-party services provider. Many businesses have multiple departments and business domains under one structure. However, businesses still look to outsource their services to resolve issues of customers faster. On an average 35% of customers need customer support agents who help them solve their queries faster within one interaction. 

The BPO is a complete business structure that encapsulates all services under one roof, such as accounts, finance, data entry, human resource, management, and call center. 

On the other hand, the call center is only a part of the BPO center, specifically designed to meet customers’ requirements and resolve queries. Call center services are often called a medium to connect with customers on social media, messages, and phone calls.

What is the Difference between BPO and Call Center?

Some of the key differences between BPO and call centers are as follows:

Structural Difference between BPO and Call Center 

The prime difference between BPO and Call center is that business process outsourcing is a complete outsourcing department. In contrast, a call center can be a third-party or in-house team. Depending on your requirement, you can use BPO in various ways within business organizations. 

Some companies develop a special in-house department for a call center to control inbound and outbound calls. But BPO can only be outsourced from third-party firms. To make it clear, let’s take an example. 

Suppose you outsource BPO services from a third-party website; they’ll manage the contact center, performance, hiring, educating employees, and other tasks. You get complete access to data analytics from outsourcing firms. But you don’t have to take the pain of managing day-to-day business operations. 

On the other hand, if you build an in-house team for the call center, you’re limited to only outbound and inbound calls. Moreover, you may have to manage day-to-day activities, which are time-consuming. In such a scenario, BPO is a good option to run a business more profitably. 

Activities Difference between BPO and Call Center Services 

Another key difference between BPO and call center services is activities management. Call centers can easily handle multiple communication channels, such as social media, offline calls, outbound messages, etc. 

Moreover, call centers also schedule an appointment with qualified leads. However, these centers cannot compute sales brochures, design taxes, etc. In such cases, businesses can use BPO to cater to all the services from the third party instead of building a call center.

Call Centers Fit in Various BPO Categories

Call centers can vary according to the customer’s and industries’ requirements. The call centers for the outsourced task of HR interact with real-time employees and easily fit into the BPO category. Of the above, call center services only focus on communication and interaction. 

That is why nearly 37% of small businesses outsource their at least one business process to stay competitive. BPO can cover a variety of tasks. You can even outsource call services, payroll services, and taxation from third parties. In addition, you may get additional call center services for customer support from a BPO services provider.

When to Use BPO and Call Center?

Choosing one fit service for a growing business role depends on the type of responsibilities you want to get assistance with. If you want to connect with someone for customer communication and for making outbound sales calls, answering calls, and live chat conversations, all at a limited budget; offshore call center outsourcing is the way forward.

But you can choose the BPO category if you want more help to handle various tasks such as managing customer calls, payrolls, billing of customers, employee payments, data entry, fetching leads, accounting, and more. 

Key Takeaways 

In a nutshell, now you clearly know the difference between BPO and call center terms. With the above information, you can make a clear decision about which services are better for you. Contact us if you still have vague thoughts about which services to outsource.

  • Kajol Dayalani

    I am a content writer and I love to help businesses build quality content by converting business ideas into engaging and powerful words.