Magazine article Marketing

Agency of the Year 2007: Contact Centre Agency of the Year - Best of the Rest

Magazine article Marketing

Agency of the Year 2007: Contact Centre Agency of the Year - Best of the Rest

Article excerpt

The contact centre world sometimes seems remote from other disciplines, its highly technical activity catering for routine calls and administration as much as marketing.

Yet the telephone continues to be one of the most powerful channels at marketers' disposal. Agencies' expertise is valued as much as ever, not just in handling day-to-day contacts, but in using these to develop customer relationships and win new business.

This has been brought home to companies by the failure of some Indian off-shore ventures. More and more businesses are recognising that while low-cost operations are fine for back office, they are decidedly risky for customer contacts.

As a result, several agencies have made strong running for this year's Agency of the Year award.

Close behind The Listening Company is Omnicom-owned CPM. The winner in 2005, the agency added pounds 5m to reach pounds 15.6m in its most recent financial year, an increase of 47%.

CPM has consolidated its success in the automotive market with a contract to provide multichannel inbound and outbound services for DaimlerChrysler UK/Mercedes-Benz Corporate. Other new contracts included Royal Mail, Kia, Barclaycard and Diageo.

The agency has also grown its account with British Gas, quadrupling outbound calls to existing and lapsed customers over the past three years.

CPM particularly stood out for its environmental initiatives this year It is promoting a 'share a lift to work' scheme, recycling facilities, and initiatives to promote lower levels of paper use, as well as carrying out regular energy audits. It also plans to replace its staff vehicles with more environmentally friendly models.

Teleperformance was another strong contender, with new wins in excess of pounds 10m, including utilities e.on and Centrica, Vodafone, Peugeot and the Training and Development Agency for Schools.

Testament to the high regard in which the agency is held is the fact that 13 major clients retendered this year, including NHS Blood & Transplant, Sainsbury's and Renault, and all were retained. The most recent was the Identity and Passport Service, whose tender took 12 months and started with more than 50 suppliers.

Teleperformance found itself on the front line in crisis management, with its admired Floodline service handling calls throughout last summer's flood emergencies. …

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