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Harvard Professor Ranjay Gulati Warns The Call Center To Reorganize For Resilience

Blake Landau

Ranjay Gulati, Ph.D., Professor at Harvard Business School and expert on leadership and strategy, recently stopped by the Customer Management IQ offices to talk about his new book Reorganize for Resilience: Putting Customers at the Center of Your Organization (January, 2010, Harvard Business Press).

Gulati provides new insights on critical leadership and strategic challenges to build high growth organizations in turbulent markets. He looks at the call center as an operation that has defined its sandbox too narrowly—namely as a cost center and a commodity that can only compete on price. In reality the call center can be your most effective tool in reorganizing for resilience.
High performing organizations can sustain their business in turbulent markets by investing in the call center. To adapt to the customer’s needs over a long period of time the call center should be used as a strategic tool. Leaders that do not see the opportunity with the call center, a direct conduit to the customer, will be left dead in the water.

Dr. Gulati is interested in the call center that goes beyond the platitude of customer-centricity. The call center must be taken advantage of in order to gain a broader holistic understanding of who the customer is.
The call center can expand the footprint of the conversation to start turning customer data into profit. Profit will follow an understanding of how customers are using our products, and leveraging the call center to organize this data.
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