The HotLine Magazine Archives
For The Profession of Cloud/SaaS Product Support

New Resources

The Papers Page

For over thirty years, Mikael Blaisdell has been writing about customer retention through support and service.  Long before Customer Relationship Management became an industry, he was engaging in online discussions via the early time-sharing resources and sharing insights and best practices in published articles and columns in the print media. The Papers page is where…

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More than ten years ago, Ken Shevock, then the VP of Worldwide Support Operations for Cisco, commented “Nobody is really "winning' at Support. We're all doing the same things to try to keep up, but to get to the next level, we're going to have to do something new.” From the beginning of the technology industry, Support / Service — Customer Care — whatever the name — has been about reacting to problems reported by customers in their use of technology products. If ever we are to win, we need to recognize that how the industry has defined Support is inherently flawed. Invited to speak to a consortium of Support & Service executives in Bellevue, Washington, about The Redefinition of Customer Support, my presentation focused on why winning, under the current definition of the profession, is impossible -- and a vision of that something new.

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Almost five years ago, Bill Gates warned Microsoft about the significant challenge to the company and industry posed by the advent of SaaS.  While the new business model has yet to fully reach the gains predicted for it back then, the momentum is building.  An ever-accelerating number of traditional perpetual-license software companies are readying SaaS products or have already quietly…

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Thinking that the act of restoring lost functionality in exception situations is somehow of the same stature as the value-purpose for buying the product in the first place is unfortunately all too common, but it's still flawed. No one buys a product in order to experience a breakage and then getting it fixed. Business products are purchased because they offer the potential for increased productivity and profitability to the purchaser. The real economic value exchange is: I give you an amount of money so that I can use the product to make much more money for myself. If Support is to become a true profession, it will be found in being perceived as a necessary component of that value expression. The new Mission Statement for Support needs to be: “We directly contribute to making more sustainable profitability faster/better for our company and yours -- and we can prove it.”

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