Difference between BPO and Call Center

Key Difference: BPO is the business that focuses on tasks, ranging from manufacturing products to providing customer care. On the other hand, a call center is the subset of BPO and mainly focuses on telephone calls.

BPO and call centers are often used interchangeable, but in reality there is a profound difference. Let’s get a brief knowledge on both the terms: BPO and call centers.

BPO, short for Business Processing Outsourcing, is the business that focuses on tasks, ranging from manufacturing products to providing customer care. It usually consists of the back office or front office operations. It is a process where number of people are working for a specific business. It is originally associated with the firms' production of goods for use or sale using labor and machines, tools, chemical and biological processing, or formulation, such as Coca Cola that outsourced large sections of its supply chain.

The trend started in the late eighties when businesses sent parts of their processes to be completed in foreign countries. It is helpful for those who are under-graduate or graduate and are not able to be employed in any company. If one has skill, he will definitely be employed in a BPO. Nowadays, it has become a fashion or trend for youngsters in some countries to work in BPOs just for time pass. Data entry, call centers are some examples of BPO operations.

On the other hand, call center is the subset of BPO. It is an office which mainly focuses on telephones calls. They receive or transmit large amount of requests by telephone in which one side is a receiver and the other side is a transmitter. Its purpose is to solve queries of the customers related to the particular company, brand, etc.

In addition to a call center, a company handling letter, fax, emails or some software is known as a contact center. Its a workstation where all the employees or workers need a computer and headsets through which they will be connected to the receiver calls and will be able to answer them. The calls can be consisting of telemarketing, survey generation, customer support, taking orders, and many other functions.

Thus, the call centers can be considered as BPO organization, however, this is not true because there are some BPO organizations which handle their businesses through websites, and they do not need to process telephone calls on behalf of their clients.

The key differences are listed in the table below:



Call Center


A BPO is responsible for performing a process of another business organization.

A call center performs that part of a client's business which involves handling telephone calls.


Good communication skills and computer knowledge

Basic computer knowledge and fluently speak in any language


Higher services than call centers

Lower services than BPO


One or two business operations of an overseas company

Work done over telephone lines

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