At the heart of customer engagement, contact centres are so multi-faceted that their ownership within organisations can be legitimately allocated to several departments.
While it often remains a customer-focused service owned by the sales and marketing departments in most companies, the call centre can also be seen to belong to Customer Service, Operations and, less frequently so far, to Information Technology.
That it should be most frequently run by sales and marketing departments is good news. It acknowledges the fact that contact centres and quality of customer service are vital in driving sales and business growth, and that they shouldn’t be seen as an operational necessity. It also reflects companies’ commitment to maximising the overall effectiveness of call centres as a communication channel by placing them under the aegis of those with the expertise to do so.
However, this may well change in the future: because of the technical and logistical nature of contact centres, there is an emerging and growing trend to give their ownership to Operations and IT departments.
It is easy to see why it would seem like a sensible move, as call centres involve sophisticated technology. However, doing so can create a disconnect between the main decision makers and customer experience, and place too much emphasis on technology as the end game rather than a conduit to engage with customers. And it is all the more evident when call centre services are outsourced, as is the tendency nowadays.
To avoid this peril, it will be imperative to establish comprehensive processes so that all business areas affected by call centres are still informed and involved in decisions. Likewise, contact centres should have a voice among the decision makers at the highest level: the marketing department may no longer be in a position to devise and implement strategies within that crucial side of the business, but its targets and objectives should remain the driver of the contact centre practices.
In addition, it is essential that any obstacle between marketing and customer service, be it structural or operational, be removed as there need to be full cooperation and integration of both under the broader banner of customer engagement.
So, who has ownership of the contact centre / call centre (whichever you call it) in your organisation?
If you want to provide your customers with a great contact experience, and you’re interested to know more about how we can help, please contact us.