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Almost everyone knows what waiting for the cable guy is like.
You call for service, and the cable company assigns you a date and a window of time spanning several hours when you can expect a technician to come to your home. You clear your schedule to be on hand on the appointed day. The day arrives and you wait--and wait. Sometimes the technician doesn't show. After the designated time frame has elapsed, you put in another call to the company, and the person who answers your call sounds clueless. The process then starts over again. While you may have gotten a good deal for the cable itself, when it comes to repairs or maintenance, sub-par service seems to be a necessary--or at least widely accepted--evil.
In the business-to-business sector, however, some vendors are striving to give customers high-quality service after the sale. Unlike in the consumer cable market, rival vendors may be waiting to secure the business of frustrated customers, so such initiatives become even more imperative.
Service delivery problems originate within the vendor's operation, of course. But why is there sometimes a disparity between a great product and the quality of its maintenance program? After a customer has invested in a product, the vendor's reputation is at the mercy of the service department, says Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of Nucleus Research, a firm that tracks ROI on technology investments. "This is an important issue when it comes to customer retention."
Manufacturers can do better than the cable company on customer service by using service management software to coordinate activities and share information.
Source: Managing Automation, http://www.managingautomation.com
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