What Is a Point of Contact? A Definitive Guide
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published December 14, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Building relationships between a company and its customers is essential to a business' success. A point of contact (POC) acts as a liaison between a business and a customer to provide centralized and personalized service. Understanding what a POC is can help you better understand how useful they are and a how business might benefit from using one. In this article, we define what a POC is, explain their importance, list some examples and offer tips on how to create a POC that offers customers a positive experience.
Related: Guide to Customer Service
What is a point of contact?
A point of contact, or single point of contact (SPOC), is a brand representative who provides customers with information and promotes brand awareness to both current and potential clients. The POC can be an individual or a department customers can contact for information regarding an ongoing task, sale or project. Usually, any employee who speaks directly to customers on behalf of a business can become a POC.
Why is a point of contact important?
A point of contact provides an important service for their business' clients by acting as a source of information for customers that's consistent and familiar. Points of contact can also track information about current and potential customers. This can provide the business with information about what their customers find helpful and what kind of information influences the conversion of potential clients into current ones.
The POC also helps build relationships between the business and its customers. They can provide positive customer service, including helping to resolve any issues the customers might encounter. If potential customers have questions about products or services, a POC can provide answers and other helpful information to improve brand knowledge and help grow the customer base.
Examples of points of contact
A POC can be any individual who provides information and customer service to customers. This means that there are many ways to integrate a POC to help customers and clients. Some examples of points of contact include:
At a restaurant, the host is often the first person a customer meets when they enter the building. This helps the restaurant present a "face" customers can connect with. Hosts can also help answer customers' questions, help them find a seat or advise them when a seat might become available.
Related: How To Open a New Restaurant
A salesperson acts as a POC for customers while on the sales floor or when contacting the store for information. Salespeople can provide customers with information about products or services, such as functionality or pricing. They can also help convert potential leads into sales.
Customer service department
A customer service department serves as a POC for customers who have questions or may experience issues. They can help customers resolve those issues, such as educating the customer about a product's use or replacing a malfunctioning part. There are many ways to provide this service to customers, such as through:
Customers sometimes might encounter common, solvable issues with a product. Providing a POC, such as a tech support service, can offer customers the information they need to resolve these issues. Tech support can provide step-by-step guidance on troubleshooting, determine the specific issue and ensure that the customer receives a satisfactory resolution.
Maintaining an online presence can provide a POC for customers. Using social media as a POC can also allow a business to focus on a particular demographic or cross-section of their customer base. Some of the benefits of employing social media as a POC include the ability to:
Distribute information to many customers simultaneously
Help potential customers find products or services
Provide a forum for customers to receive direct responses to queries
Link directly to the company's products or services
Tips for creating a point of contact
When looking to successfully implement a POC, consider the following tips:
Consider automation tools
Automation tools can help a POC assist customers more efficiently by enabling easy access to useful information. For instance, at a customer service call center, software can automatically display customer information to those answering their call. It's also possible to automate items such as responses to customer emails. Automating this helps assure the customer that their issue is under consideration while allowing the team to prioritize their tasks as necessary.
Related: What Is Email Automation?
Keep communication informal
Informal communication can help the customer feel more comfortable with the service they receive. This can help them feel like they are receiving more personalized help from the business. Referring to them by their name in communications, signing emails with a team member's name and using a friendly, conversational tone can help offer customers a positive experience.
Points of contact set the tone for interactions with customers. Using positive language can help put customers at ease. For example, if a customer experiences a delivery delay, the POC can focus the conversation on what the POC can do to resolve it. They might politely apologize, explain the situation and offer a solution, such as a coupon for future purchases or a refund on a delivery charge.
Use clear language
Using clear language when speaking to customers can have several benefits. It can help them better understand the information they receive and can help customers feel that the POC is confident in their duties. Asking customers to use clear language can also help guide the POC in resolving a situation and offering more actionable information.
Practice time management and efficiency
A POC likely has many customers to help. Understanding how to leverage time management skills with each customer can help them aid customers more efficiently. For instance, guiding the conversation to the information or solution most helpful to the customer may help both the customer and POC get the necessary information in a shorter amount of time. It may then allow the POC to reach their next customer more quickly, too.
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