BPO vs. Call Center

What is the difference between a call center and a BPO? Even though they are very similar commonplace…

What is the difference between a call center and a BPO?

Even though they are very similar commonplace terms in the work world of today, and the majority of people do not see a difference between call center and BPO. Each one has its own features and while a call center can do most of the work of a BPO, the opposite is not necessarily true.

What is a call center?

A call center is a location where employees work at their own computer. The handle incoming telephone calls to answer the questions of customers or they may make calls depending on the nature of the project on which they are working. Some companies, such as Sprint, have dedicated call centers where the workers call customers to ask for back payments or to find out if they are giving any problems with the service. Other calls an include telemarketing calls, taking surveys, or taking orders. A call center only conducts business over the phone.

What is a BPO?

A BPO is a Business Process Outsourcing Office and it can also handle calls over the phone. However, it does more than this. It is in the business of hiring another company to do work on the projects it receives. The companies that it hires are usually overseas. The activities of a BPO are varied and can include HR, finances, administration, payroll and call center activities. Contractors take care of the critical work and the central office just handles the work.

A BPO is usually a partner of a large company and manages one or more aspects of the business. Companies save money by conducting business in this way because they do not need to have an office and staff and they save on rent and health benefits. Most of BPO companies are located in Africa and Asia and have proven that they can supply companies in the west with efficient and reliable service. They operate at cheaper rates, which is why they are utilized so much. It is cheaper for companies to place some of the work that has to be done to outsourcing companies.

Differences between a call center and a BPO

A BPO can perform some of the duties of a company and operate from a different location. Companies use such services because they are cheaper and then the company does not have to hire in the area because the rates of pay are higher at home. A call center only performs that part of the business that is handled on the telephone and in this regard it is a BPO operation. However, BPO is a much broader term and can include a call center as part of its operations.

Some BPO companies handle the IT component of a business or some aspect of the finances. A call center conducts all of its activities on the phone, but a BPO uses both the phone, manual work and the Internet.


  1. A call center is voice-based.
  2. A BPO is an overseas company that handles some of the work for a company in both voice and web-based terms.
  3. A call center can be part of a BPO, but a BPO cannot be part of a call center.


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