There are vital clues and indications in the search strings that bring readers to The HotLine Magazine from around the world every day. “What is the Definition of Customer Support?” “What is the profitability of customer retention?” “Define the SaaS support model.” “Usual customer retention rate for a SaaS company?” “How to profit from SaaS support?” All of these are indicators of the same fundamental problem. Every so often, an inquiry comes along that goes to the heart of the issue and begs for an immediate reply. “Fixing a broken customer support group” is a perfect example, prompting two immediate questions in return. What do you mean by “broken?” And how would you define “fixing?” Almost invariably, the source of serious problems with a customer support group is external to the group itself; they are inevitably strategic errors. Until the senior management team and the support executive or manager understand each other, and work together, producing a truly effective and lasting resolution for the broken group is unfortunately unlikely.
Mikael Blaisdell's proposal to locate outsourced customer contact centers on US and other western university campuses is based on two essential ingredients: Efficient technology, and the utilization of people who grew up with computers, enthusiastic young people who are inherently savvy about both technology and American expectations. Beyond the substantial profitability gains it gives sponsoring corporations, the program offers participating colleges new course potential, and a place where laboratory experience and customer support easily blend into a new, and profitable reality.