Monday, May 23, 2005

This blog has NOT been abandoned

Fortunately, here at Servimetrica we have been busy with a new full-time project with a client. As soon as the “situation is stabilized” we’ll be posting as frequently as our readers deserve.
Keep us in your RSS feeds.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Customers Behaving Badly

In the latest installment of the Retailing Issues Letter from the Center of Retailing Studies at Texas A&M University, there’s a report (pdf) by David Speights and Mark Hilinski about “customers” that abuse merchandise return policies at stores.

It also includes comments regarding the impact of the crackdown of these swindlers in the shopping patterns of good customers.

Great read.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Offshoring – Literally

SeaCode offers computer engineering outsourcing services aboard ships located just a few miles off the California coast. Because the vessels will have foreign flags and will be “sailing” on international waters, SeaCode will be able to hire foreign workers who will be working almost in Southern California. And no visas required.

We’ll wait for the first call center located aboard a ship.


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

A "Peer-to-peer Airline"

Ed Iacobucci –founder of Citrix- is creating an airline, well, not an airline but a "Per-Seat, On-Demand" jet service called DayJet. Technology columnist Robert X. Cringely calls it “a peer-to-peer airline”.

Using more than 250 small jets (quite small jets), DayJet will be able to provide point-to-point air service particularly to smaller airports that traditional air carriers reach after a hop or two, including a connection at a hub.

Let’s see how this service will impact the experience of business flying.

BTW, this is from the FAQs page in DayJet’s website:

Does the name DayJet mean I can only travel by daylight?

Certainly not. As a regional business traveler our services mean that you will finally get control of your day travel needs with our personalized jet service. Our new services will not be restricted to night or day flying.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Change or Die

Interesting article in Fast Company magazine. Efforts to improve the way things are done in businesses involve some kind of change. But fear of change is one of the main obstacles. Therefore, your service quality improvement effort has to consider the change process that employees have to go through.

There’s plenty of good literature about change management, and Fast Company’s article is a good start.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Call center comments from McKinsey

The McKinsey Quarterly Web exclusive for April 2005 is titled Getting more from call centers by Keith A. Gilson and Deepak K. Khandelwal (free registration required).

Here’s an outline of the article:

Defining a customer service strategy

  • Don't overmanage costs
  • Integrate call centers with the organization
  • Segment customers

Choosing the right infrastructure

  • Pause before outsourcing
  • Use technology with care

Ensuring execution

  • Develop effective coaches
  • Manage performance
  • Reduce employee turnover

From the executive summary:

A good customer service strategy should balance costs, quality, and revenues. Companies that restructure call centers in this way can often cut their costs by up to 25 percent and boost the revenue they generate by as much as 35 percent, thereby transforming them into strategic assets that provide a competitive advantage.

Grieving Customers Dealing with Data Loss

From the front page of the Washington Post: Repair Teams Try to Calm 'Computer Rage' (requires free registration). The article is an example of the importance of dealing with customers’ feelings in addition of the technical issues that originated the service transaction. The customers in this case are computer users that have lost all their data in their crashed computers (been there, done that)

Here’s an excerpt:

The challenge is to recognize which of the five stages of grief -- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance -- a given customer is in, and respond accordingly.

A customer service rep also needs to be a counselor.