Title: Can the call centre contribute to innovation? A multiple case study in service companies

Authors: Roberto Marx; Luis Henrique Rigato Vasconcellos; Felipe Ferreira De Lara

Addresses: Production Engineering Department, University of São Paulo, R. Cayowaa, 2046 apto 133-2, 01258-010 São Paulo, SP, Brazil ' Production and Operations Management Department, Fundacao Getulio Vargas, R. Itapeva, 474 – 8th Floor, 01332-000 Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil ' Production Engineering Department, University of São Paulo, Av Prof. Almeida Prado, trav. 2 num 128, 05508-900 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Abstract: The objective of this paper is to gain an insight into the contributions of call centre services to all innovation processes. To this end, a number of case studies were conducted and revealed that the companies adopt different call centre models based on distinct strategies. Some companies choose not to use a call centre in their innovation process, despite the fact that it could represent a channel for interaction with users while serving as a source of ideas for innovation. Our findings reveal that the strategy of not incorporating a call centre in the innovation process is strongly tied to the belief that it represents a cost centre. On the other hand, in some cases, the call centre plays a major role within the company's innovation process. The paper concludes with a proposal for an alternative call centre model oriented to take the best advantage for innovation efforts.

Keywords: innovation process; call centres; services; service industry; innovation management; user interaction; cost centres.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBEX.2015.069145

International Journal of Business Excellence, 2015 Vol.8 No.3, pp.251 - 267

Published online: 30 Apr 2015 *

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