BPO vs. Call Center

What's the Difference?

BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) and Call Center are two related but distinct concepts in the field of customer service. BPO refers to the practice of outsourcing specific business processes, such as customer support, to a third-party service provider. It involves the transfer of entire business functions to an external organization, which may include call center services as part of the overall package. On the other hand, a call center is a centralized office or facility where customer calls are handled, typically for a specific company or organization. While BPO encompasses a broader range of services beyond just call handling, a call center primarily focuses on managing incoming and outgoing calls to address customer inquiries, resolve issues, or provide support.


AttributeBPOCall Center
DefinitionBusiness Process Outsourcing (BPO) involves contracting specific business processes to a third-party service provider.A call center is a centralized office or facility where customer calls are handled by agents who provide customer support or assistance.
ScopeBPO can encompass a wide range of business processes such as customer service, finance and accounting, human resources, etc.Call centers primarily focus on handling customer calls and providing support or assistance related to products or services.
ServicesBPO services can include customer support, technical support, data entry, payroll processing, content moderation, etc.Call centers provide services like inbound and outbound customer support, telemarketing, order processing, appointment scheduling, etc.
Communication ChannelsBPO can utilize various communication channels such as phone, email, chat, social media, etc.Call centers primarily rely on phone calls, but may also use other channels like email or chat for customer interactions.
FocusBPO focuses on outsourcing specific business processes to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and access specialized expertise.Call centers primarily focus on providing excellent customer service and support to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.
LocationBPO services can be outsourced to service providers located anywhere globally.Call centers can be located in-house within a company or outsourced to a third-party provider, often located in a different country.

Further Detail


Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Call Centers are two distinct entities that play crucial roles in the modern business landscape. While both involve customer service and communication, they differ in various aspects. In this article, we will explore the attributes of BPO and Call Centers, highlighting their differences and similarities.

Definition and Scope

BPO, or Business Process Outsourcing, refers to the practice of contracting specific business processes to a third-party service provider. These processes can include customer support, back-office operations, data entry, finance and accounting, human resources, and more. BPO companies handle these tasks on behalf of their clients, allowing them to focus on core business functions.

On the other hand, Call Centers are specialized units within BPO companies or standalone entities that primarily handle inbound and outbound customer calls. Call centers are often associated with customer support, technical assistance, telemarketing, and sales. They serve as the primary point of contact for customers seeking assistance or information.

Operational Focus

One key distinction between BPO and Call Centers lies in their operational focus. BPO companies typically offer a broader range of services beyond customer support, such as finance, HR, and IT. They aim to streamline and optimize various business processes, leveraging economies of scale and specialized expertise to deliver efficient and cost-effective solutions.

Call Centers, on the other hand, have a narrower operational focus, primarily centered around customer interactions. They are designed to handle high volumes of calls, ensuring prompt and effective customer service. Call centers often employ specialized software and technologies to manage call queues, track customer interactions, and provide real-time support.

Staffing and Skill Requirements

When it comes to staffing, BPO companies typically require a diverse workforce with expertise in different domains. They hire professionals with specialized skills in finance, accounting, IT, HR, and other areas to cater to the specific needs of their clients. BPO employees often undergo extensive training to ensure they possess the necessary knowledge and capabilities to handle complex business processes.

Call Centers, on the other hand, primarily focus on hiring individuals with excellent communication and customer service skills. Call center agents are trained to handle customer inquiries, resolve issues, and provide a positive customer experience. While they may not require specialized domain knowledge, they need to be proficient in using call center software, managing customer databases, and following predefined scripts or guidelines.

Customer Interaction Channels

Both BPO companies and Call Centers utilize various customer interaction channels to engage with customers. BPO companies, due to their broader scope, may interact with customers through multiple channels, including phone calls, emails, live chat, social media, and more. They aim to provide omnichannel support, allowing customers to choose their preferred mode of communication.

Call Centers, as the name suggests, primarily rely on phone calls as the main channel of customer interaction. However, many call centers have expanded their reach to include other channels like email and live chat to cater to changing customer preferences. These additional channels enable call centers to provide a more comprehensive and flexible customer support experience.

Geographical Considerations

BPO companies often operate on a global scale, with clients and employees located in different countries. They leverage the advantages of outsourcing to tap into a global talent pool, access cost-effective resources, and provide services across different time zones. This global presence allows BPO companies to offer 24/7 support and cater to diverse customer needs.

Call Centers, while they can also operate globally, often have a more localized focus. They may have multiple centers in different regions or countries to provide localized support and language-specific assistance. This localization helps call centers understand cultural nuances, provide personalized customer experiences, and ensure effective communication.


In conclusion, while BPO and Call Centers share similarities in terms of customer service and communication, they differ significantly in their scope, operational focus, staffing requirements, customer interaction channels, and geographical considerations. BPO companies offer a broader range of services beyond customer support, catering to various business processes, while Call Centers specialize in handling customer calls and interactions. Understanding these attributes is crucial for businesses seeking to outsource specific functions or establish effective customer support operations.

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