What Is a Point of Contact? (With Importance and Examples)
Updated September 30, 2022
Providing accurate information about an activity or project can help improve client and stakeholder interests and encourage participation. While it's essential for team members to know a project or activity's status, it can help to have a central information source, called a point of contact (POC). Learning the role of a contact professional or department can help you understand why they're crucial in professional settings. In this article, we explain what a POC is, discuss why having one is essential, describe tips to become one, answer common questions about these professionals, and show several examples.
What is a point of contact?
A point of contact (POC) is a professional or department knowledgeable about an activity or project that can provide information whenever required. As representatives, POCs handle communication with a company's clients. For example, if a client requires more information about a product line, they can connect with a contact professional or department. POCs are also helpful in internal operations. For example, they can help upper management learn about ongoing projects. While it's essential for clients and stakeholders to have a single POC, they can be different for every project or activity.
Why is having a POC essential?
Here are various reasons having a POC is crucial to an organization:
Ensures information clarity
With a central information source, a company can help ensure effective communication across all projects and activities. For example, a contact professional might coordinate a project to obtain information about all stages and send them to the management team. Information clarity can help a company save money, avoid workplace conflicts, and use resources efficiently.
Helps build trust
A POC can help establish a positive relationship with internal and external stakeholders, such as clients and investors. This way, these individuals and groups can rely on a contact professional or department to provide relevant information upon request. Increased trust in a POC's ability to resolve problems or provide timely details can help establish customer loyalty.
Creates a positive brand image
A POC can help improve a company's customer experience, retaining or attracting more customers. For example, if a receptionist positively affects a hotel guest, they may associate the positive emotions with the company. Similarly, if a project coordinator provides helpful insights to an investor, they may have a more positive image of the company.
Tips to become an effective POC
Here are helpful practices that can help you succeed as a POC:
Consider automation tools: You can use computer programs to handle information requests from many customers or stakeholders. For example, help desk software can help an information technology POC.
Gain relevant experience: Business experience is essential because it can help you understand customers and offer support.
Maintain personalized communication: Using a personalized approach can help individuals and groups feel more valued. Personalized communication involves adapting messages to each individual, like mentioning their names when responding to a request.
Use positive language: A positive communication tone typically fosters a better customer experience. It can also show confidence and encourage customers to have conversations with you.
FAQs about contact professionals and departments
You can review the following questions and helpful answers to gain more insights about a POC:
What is the difference between a POC and a liaison officer?
While a POC and a liaison officer have communication and information-sharing responsibilities, you can differentiate them by their functions. A liaison officer fosters healthy relationships with individuals in an agency or organization. This role typically involves helping a company handle public relations, conflict resolutions, and incident responses. A POC is a professional or department in any field that acts as a coordinator or information source for business activities. A liaison officer may also be a POC.
What skills and character traits are useful for a POC?
Here are qualities you can develop as an organization's POC:
Networking: This quality refers to your ability to form and maintain relationships with professional and personal contacts.
Interpersonal: This skill describes how you work and interact with clients and stakeholders.
Curiosity: This trait describes your desire to learn more about a company situation or find answers to questions customers or stakeholders might ask.
Active listening: This quality refers to your ability to focus completely on a customer's request and respond appropriately.
Is working as a POC a job?
Becoming a project or activity's POC typically extends your primary duties to include communicating information to others. For example, a security guard might be a contact professional for campus visitors. Similarly, a program coordinator might be a contact professional for sharing program progress. Business managers or supervisors typically appoint contact professionals or departments.
Examples of points of contact
Here are several examples that can help you learn more about a POC:
Example of a customer service POC
This example shows how a POC can be valuable in customer service:
Gouty Hills is a rental company that offers customer services through its website and mobile application. These channels are interfaces to the customer service team that handles inquiries, returns, and complaints. As the primary POC, this team helps ensure customers have information on rental prices and equipment. They also ensure lenders and borrowers enjoy a positive experience using the customer service platforms.
Example of a service desk POC
This example shows how a POC can be valuable in a company:
Mattery Secure is a manufacturer that produces and installs security cameras in offices. It has a designated IT department that can handle service support requests from clients experiencing lags in video recording. By calling a phone number or visiting a website, customers can also connect with this department to make inquiries or address security requests. Mattery Secure's IT department is its POC.
Example of a project POC
This example describes why having a POC can be valuable to implementing a project:
Harry and Roseline are managers at Open Bay Green, overseeing a construction project. They lead five technicians and act as the project's POC. This means professionals they manage can meet them for project details or express their concerns about work structures. Harry and Roseline are also the primary POC for the project's sponsors, who might require more information about the project's developments.
Example of a public service POC
This example outlines how a POC can help community members find information about public services:
Montbay Saint-Paul is a town offering free health services to community members in hospitals and clinics. It partners with a private service company that can answer health-related questions and schedule doctor appointments. As the primary POC, this service company helps ensure community members have the medical information they require before visiting a hospital or clinic.
Example of a business function POC
This example explains how a POC can be valuable in coordinating business functions:
Open Bay Green creates its financial report for the year and shares it with angel investors and shareholders. The company's financial auditor publishes a contact professional's email for anyone with a question about the report or inquiries on the accounting principles used. This listed professional acts as the auditing contact professional of the company.
Example of an event POC
This example describes how a POC can be helpful in coordinating industry events:
IETR Green is a conference for business professionals across all provinces and territories. As a new event, the conference organizers create a service desk for registrations, where its publicity committee handles inquiries from participants and companies. The publicity committee is the primary POC for the IETR Green conference.
Example of a local store POC
This example outlines how a contact professional can be valuable in a local store:
McGill Free is a local store in a community. It employs a shop assistant responsible for assisting customers in finding products and helping them complete transactions. This shop assistant is a primary POC for any customer who enters McGill Free.
Example of a restaurant POC
This example outlines how a contact professional can be valuable in a restaurant:
Harry and Jamal enter a restaurant for lunch. After seating them, a server offers the menu, including a description of special offers for the day. Harry and Jamal review the menu and requests more information about the specials. In this restaurant, the server is the primary contact professional who can answer guests' questions.
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