The Papers PageFor 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…
From a single post and a handful of readers, The HotLine has warmed up considerably over the past ten months. There are now regular readers from more than 70 countries around the world and all 50 states of the USA. From Hawaii to Georgia, the Maldives to Sri Lanka, Slovakia to Senegal, the Ivory Coast to Ireland, Austria to Australia, Support executives and C-Level officers alike are looking for answers and insight. 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." The HotLine is about that "something new."
For SaaS companies, where the application and its data resides out on the web instead of on the local PC, the support burden is less -- and that means lower headcount in the customer contact center. Why? Because the shift to the webtop promises to sharply reduce the impact of the Windows operating system and lower the volume of support requests. What will this mean to companies and support professionals?
The role of Support in the SaaS/Cloud era desperately needs to be reinvented. The reputation of the group hasn't changed despite the advantages of SaaS, it's still about waste rather than generating value. What's needed is a complete redesign of the functional elements of the entire company. Support is a core strategic issue, and to bring that fundamental shift into reality will require leadership and clear vision from the senior management team.