(Responsibility centers; research; writing) Organizational spending on out-sourced contact centers (previously referred to as call centers) continues to increase. Contact centers are critical to organizational success because these units often have primary responsibility for interactions with customers. In some companies, the con-tact centers are established primarily for customer support; in other companies (especially in the financial services sector), these centers not only provide customer support but also sell additional services to customers who call. Use library, Web, or interview research to gather information on contact centers.
a. Contact centers often have a large responsibility for customer relationship management (CRM). What is CRM, and why is it so important to companies?
b. List five well-known companies that use such centers and indicate the primary purpose of those contact centers.
c. For each company identified in (b), do you think that its contact center would primarily be considered a cost or a profit center? Discuss the rationale for your answers.
d. For each company in (b), list three possible methods of allocating the costs of con-tact centers to operating departments. Discuss the rationale for your answers.
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e. Although outsourced contact centers (especially those that are offshore) may create cost reductions, what other measurements might be useful in gauging contact center performance and customer satisfaction?
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