Cookie Preference Centre

Your Privacy
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Performance Cookies
Functional Cookies
Targeting Cookies

Your Privacy

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences, your device or used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually identify you directly, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. You can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, you should know that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site may not work then.

Cookies used

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.

Cookies used

Google Analytics

Functional Cookies

These cookies allow the provision of enhance functionality and personalization, such as videos and live chats. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, then some or all of these functionalities may not function properly.

Cookies used




Targeting Cookies

These cookies are set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant ads on other sites. They work by uniquely identifying your browser and device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will not experience our targeted advertising across different websites.

Cookies used


This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties


Here are some suggested Connections for you! - Log in to start networking.

Sales v Service v Retention - a unified theory - John Stavrakis - Blog

Sales v Service v Retention - a unified theory

For as long as I can remember, the discussion (or should I say the battle) around Sales versus Service in a contact centre context has been one of defining boundaries. These boundaries have been about setting a clear distinction between the functions, and those that participate in those functions have very strong, dare I say it, vested opinions about the distinction.  And this argument is not a local one alone, as global discussion appears to be centralized around similar themes.

In more recent times, as business acknowledges the importance of strategic retention functions in the contact centre arena, the division of the contact centre floor has widened even further.
So maybe we all need to take a deep breath, step back and possibly look at simplifying the discussion.
Let's start with a definition of the functions:

SALES:  is the act of selling a product or service in return for money.  It is an act of completion of a commercial activity aligned to a businesses growth aspirations.

Sponsor message - content continues below this message

2022 '17th annual' Global Contact Center World Awards NOW OPEN

Enter your Center, Strategy, Technology Innovation, Teams and Individuals into the ONLY TRULY GLOBAL awards program - regarded by many as being like the Olympics for the Contact Center World! Join the best from over 80 nations and compete for the most prestigious awards out there!


Content continues ….

CUSTOMER SERVICE OR SERVICE: is the provision of service to customers before, during and after purchase.  Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation.

CUSTOMER RETENTION OR RETENTION:  is the activity that a selling organization undertakes in order to reduce customer defections. Successful customer retention starts with the first contact an organisation has with a customer (the sales) and continues throughout the entire lifetime of a relationship. A company’s ability to attract and retain new customers, is not only related to its product or services, but strongly related to the way it services its existing customers (or more importantly the philosophy it undertakes) and the reputation it creates within and across the marketplace.  Customer retention is more than giving the customer what they expect, it’s about exceeding their expectations so that they become loyal advocates for your brand. Creating customer loyalty puts customer value rather than maximizing profits and shareholder value at the center of business strategy (even though that will be an outcome). The key differentiator in a competitive environment is more often than not the delivery of a consistently high standard of customer service.

So, if the above definitions are true and something you agree with, then I would argue that the functions currently at odds with each other are more similar than some like to admit.  I would further argue that as the marketplace environment has changed, with the exception of technological improvements, the contact centre floor has remained stale and largely unchanged.  Even further, I would argue in today's environment, the traditional concept of 'service' is and should be considered redundant and to remain competitive, we need to evolve to a new and improved contact centre structure, one focused on SALES and RETENTION.

If Sales provides commercial activity aligned to growth and Retention is the 'highest standard of customer service and is the activity that a selling organization undertakes in order to reduce customer defection', what place does traditional service functions have in contact centers today?

This does not mean we don't provide service, on the contrary, we focus on providing the 'highest standard of customer service' (which is focusing on a retention strategy) aligned to profitable growth.  We should use technology, where appropriate, to provide service offerings, those considered value add to the customer and unnecessary traffic for the contact centre, but focus all our energy on providing 'profitable' growth to business.
I appreciate that this may be considered extreme, but think of the ideological shift that will translate on the contact centre floor (referring back to the definitions noted earlier) - The next time you ask your new, focused Retention Team, who are now responsible for the 'highest standard of customer service' to cross sell or up sell, will they respond with "I'm a service person, not sales?"

Publish Date: August 29, 2012 6:06 AM

About us - in 60 seconds!

Newsletter Registration

Please check to agree to be placed on the eNewsletter mailing list.

Latest Americas Newsletter
both ids empty
session userid =
session UserTempID =
session adminlevel =
session blnTempHelpChatShow =
session cookie set = True
session page-view-total = 1
session page-view-total = 1
applicaiton blnAwardsClosed =
session blnCompletedAwardInterestPopup =
session blnCheckNewsletterInterestPopup =
session blnCompletedNewsletterInterestPopup =