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 â€” Customer Care â€” whatever the name â€” 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.
For more than 25 years, I've been working with companies across a range of industries on all aspects of their sustainable profitability and customer retention efforts. What you'll get here in the Commentary section are the observations that come out of those years of direct experience. Strategy will be a consistent theme in Commentary articles, as will the importance of alignment with it of all of the other elements of success. The technology industry is in a time of profound change, and the pace of the transformation is accelerating rapidly. The intent of The HotLine Magazine is to be an active resource to C-Level corporate officers to help them navigate and to succeed.