Marketing & Customer Management
A call center or call centre (see spelling differences) is a centralized office used for the purpose of receiving and transmitting a large volume of requests by telephone. A call center is operated by a company to administer incoming product support or information inquiries from consumers. Outgoing calls for telemarketing, clientele, and debt collection are also made. In addition to a call center, collective handling of letters, faxes, and e-mails at one location is known as a contact center. A call center is often operated through an extensive open workspace for call center agents, with work stations that include a computer for each agent, a telephone set/headset connected to a telecom switch, and one or more supervisor stations. It can be independently operated or networked with additional centers, often linked to a corporate computer network, including mainframes, microcomputers and LANs. Increasingly, the voice and data pathways into the center are linked through a set of technologies called computer telephony integration (CTI). Most major businesses use call centers to interact with their customers. Examples include utility companies, mail order catalogue firms, and customer support for computer hardware and software. Some businesses even service internal functions through call centers. Examples of this include help desks and sales support.
Customer Relations Management (CRM) Software or Sales Force Automation (SFA) Software or Contact and Customer Manager Software is used by virtually any type of business to track sales prospects, opportunities, customers, support cases, employees, job applicants, and many other types of people-interaction-management needs. Customer relationship management (CRM) is the practice of intelligently finding, marketing to, selling to, and servicing customers. CRM is a broadly used term that covers concepts used by companies and public institutions to manage their relationships with customers and stakeholders. Technologies that support this business purpose include the capture, storage and analysis of customer, vendor, partner, and internal process information. Functions that support this business purpose include Sales, Marketing and Customer Service, Training, Professional Development, Performance Management, Human Resource Development and Compensation.
Point of sale or point of service (POS or PoS) can mean a retail shop, a checkout counter in a shop, or the location where a transaction occurs. More specifically, the point of sale often refers to the hardware and software used for checkouts — the equivalent of an electronic cash register. Point of sale systems are used in supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, stadiums, and casinos, as well as almost any type of retail establishment. POS Point of Sale Software is used by a wide variety of industries and business owners to manage daily customer, employee, and inventory activity. Some examples of these point of sale activities include: real-time tracking of customer purchases, returns/credits, employee activity, inventory, orders, and more. Enterprise versions of POS Software, or multiple stores, can be networked together or operated independently of eachother. A POS Software system can vary in size from a stand-alone computer, to thousands of linked workstations.
Marketing Automation has a focus on lead generation with targeted marketing programs to drive awareness and interest in a company’s products and/or services and nurture leads from first interest through to sale. Commonly used in business-to-business(B2B), business-to-government(B2G), or longer sales cycle business-to-consumer(B2C) sales cycles, Marketing Automation involves multiple areas of marketing and is really the marriage of email marketing technology coupled with a structured sales process as delineated by a CRM program.