The last few years have witnessed the an increase in the importance of web‐based call service centers, which can effectively manage the consumer communications necessary for consumer satisfaction and loyalty. Many small firms lacking the financial and manpower resources to establish a wholly owned call center outsource these activities to independent call centers. However, managers are generally hesitant to outsource their communication management tasks to call centers which also service their competitors, fearing leakage of sensitive information. Independent call centers can counter this fear by having exclusive contracts with retailers in each product category. This will require independent call centers to have clients in different product categories, even though it is preferable to pick products to maintain synergies in their operations. It is hypothesized that managers can obtain these synergies by using the product classification scheme of search‐experience goods to pick products. The hypothesis is validated through empirical testing.
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