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What is the Difference Between a BPO and a Call Centre?

It’s no secret that the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry is booming. Businesses around the world are seeing the merit in these long-term partnerships to stay ahead of competitors, so they are actively seeking the services of trusted BPO providers like Rewardsco, which has been delivering exceptional value in the South African and international B2B and B2C sectors for over 26 years.

Thanks to businesses realising how BPO partnerships can spur rapid growth, it is important to distinguish between BPO services, like those offered by Rewardsco, and regular call centres.

In a nutshell, the difference between BPOs and call centres is the focus of the services provided. A BPO typically provides a broader range of services, including sales, customer service and distribution, whereas call centres tend to focus primarily on just one area of a business, like customer support. Let’s take a closer look at each type of business:


Business Processing Outsourcing involves handing over certain business departments or specific tasks to a third-party provider. This can include anything from direct sales to customer support. In most cases, it is non-core company functions that are outsourced. In addition to growing revenues, the main advantage of outsourcing is that businesses can refocus their attention on other areas like research and development, as well as new initiatives to grow revenue and brand awareness. As a result, they have capacity to develop innovative products or services and stay ahead of the competition.

Call Centres:

A Call Centre is a type of BPO that mainly emphasises telephone-based services to help businesses stay connected with their customers. What are Inbound and Outbound Call Centres? A Call Centre that takes care of incoming calls, such as support or account queries, is an Inbound Call Centre, whereas a call centre that primarily makes outgoing calls to customers, such as for sales and leads, is called an Outbound Call Centre.

A BPO cannot really be classified as a call centre as they are responsible for much more than just handling calls and digital communications for their clients.

Another key difference is that BPO providers are usually located offshore, while single-focused call centres tend to be domestic. This setup can impact the cost and quality of services, so it’s crucial for businesses to choose BPO partners with a proven track record of delivering value and growth over the long-term instead of looking for short-term cost savings that could negatively affect their revenues and brand perceptions over time. Rewardsco being an offshore BPO in an ideal time zone with a highly skilled and westernised work force is one of the main reasons South Africa has surpassed other countries in becoming an offshoring destination of choice for some of the largest, most reputable businesses across the world.

If you’re considering outsourcing your business processes, it’s important to understand the key differences between BPOs and call centres, and why a full-service company like Rewardsco can fulfil and often surpass your needs.

For more information, please contact us to find out how we can help your business grow.

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Fathima Dildar
Chief Business Development Officer - International
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