Desired Outcomes of Implementing Service Management |

Appropriate field services are desirable for companies that face changing challenges in their operations. Business-to-business or B2B service management systems are needed today to impact the business service.There is a growing number of software systems developed to be implemented seamlessly with most mobile devices to keep the mobile or field service team constantly updated for optimal performance.Business to consumer services are also common in the marketplace today where excellent field services are desired with proper service management approaches to impact consumers with a more efficient mobile workforce that operates on an optimal level.ProvidersSuch service management providers must have the means to support their customers in this area. It is not a matter of trained and qualified field service team but also the implementation of available service management systems in the business environment.There are software systems which have been appropriately designed to support B2B or B2C companies which require immediate field services. High performances in this environment are expected with a desired outcome. Such service management systems should be seamlessly integrated to any mobile device for an impactful productivity of the assigned mobile workforce.The service providers need to be able to provide the best management software system with a built-in scheduler that would optimizes the service appointments with the best service team and tools to ensure a minimal drive time for job completion.System outcomesThe use of service management software with real-time capabilities such as storing and accessing the latest job information would provide a better outcome for the field service workforce to approach and complete the task.The management system is designed to provide unrivalled collaborations among the call centre, customers and the company’s mobile workforce to get the job activated and completed in the shortest time required.An increased productivity is what is desired and expected by most customers when calling for efficient professional services. Field workers who arrive at the work site with the latest and correct information stand to secure the job at hand. This amounts to a 95% job resolution with a first visit. Appointments are automatically rearranged for the best operative to happen considering the site location and availability of workforce.The assigned appointments are delivered to appropriate service team members through their connected mobile device. Thus, implementation time and fuel costs are reduced to improve the profit margin. Both customers and service providers are happy with their individual outcomes with the service management.

How Can an E-Commerce Online Store Ensure Efficient Customer Service? |

An e-commerce or online retail business is primarily dependent on the efficacy of its customer service. Recent studies have revealed that E-commerce sales have increased by around 13% in 2012. An effective online customer service center should be able to address the problems and resolve queries within the fastest possible time. The cut-throat competition amongst online retailers has also increased the importance of rendering efficient service to all the E-commerce consumers.The success of an e-commerce website depends primarily on two aspects, nature of response and the response rate. The key requirement of every online customer is that he should be able to access and communicate with the contact center easily and navigation through the site should be comfortable. A business can ensure a repeat customer only if it meets the primary requirements of speed, simplicity, security and perfect order execution.How to ensure customer service for an E-commerce website Imbibe a culture of personalized service Every website offers similar products, but it is the quality of customer service that sets it apart. Consumer service can be perfect only with a combination of updated knowledge about the company, and a driving passion to service personnel of the company. The company executives should be imparted continuous training on the latest trends in providing service to customers, and on the latest knowledge about the company policy and products. Facility of self-service : The E-commerce website should be designed in a manner to allow every customer to navigate easily through the site, and find solutions for his problems easily. A detailed list of FAQs providing solutions to every possible customer problem should be added as a section on the website. The business will not like to incur recurrent manpower and infrastructure costs to reply to simple and regular queries. Hence, these FAQs should be exhaustive and updated based on the customer queries being routed through call centers or emails. A video section on ‘How to use’ or ‘Troubleshooting actions’ can be a valuable addition in the field of customer service. The self-service facility will enable the store to save on costs and also facilitate a quick-fix solution for the customer. Easy availability of contact information There are numerous websites that offer multiple modes of communicating with the company. The contact feature through social media networks is the latest addition in the field of customer service. All contact information should be available in a single page and the navigation should be easily accessible. Every possible contact option, be it mail, phone, click to call, online query posting feature or social media posts, should be operational with minimum waiting time for the customer. Request a feedback Every business entails huge costs on maintenance of the best customer service center and query resolution. However, due to the lack of face to face interaction, an online retail store should include a feature of feedback after every interaction. A feedback survey or feedback options on the website can go a long way in judging the level of customer satisfaction. A feedback link in mail for ‘order acceptances’ or ‘order receipt’ acknowledgement can also make the customer feel pleased and valued by the business. Social networks or review sites can also be a major source of customer feedback in recent times.A business can also take extra steps to judge the fulfillment of its customer service and satisfaction parameters by tuning the software to bring out customer service analysis reports on a routine basis.Continual improvements are a part and parcel of every business venture and an e-commerce retail store should ensure that it meets the highest standards of customer service and satisfaction to be able to thrive in the competitive world.

Employees in Services – The Most Valuable Asset? |

Before going on to discuss the employees role in services, we feel it is important to differentiate between products and services. Services in most simple terms are deeds, processes and performances. Services may also be defined as any activity or benefit that one party offer to another that is essentially intangible and does not result in the ownership of anything [1]. These simple definitions give us good idea about what services are. We can give examples of a barber, a tailor, or a restaurant as services. Products on the other hand are offerings that are tangible in nature like for example a car.In today’s world, services are becoming more and more significant in any country’s economy. As Louis V. Gerstner said in 2001 “Services are going to move in this decade to being the front edge of the industry”. This quote comes from the former CEO of a company which claims to be the world’s largest service business in the world, IBM. The importance of services in today’s world can be further emphasized by the fact that services comprised of almost 80% of United States of America’s Gross Domestic Product in 2003 [2].If we talk in Pakistani context we can see that the structure of the Pakistani economy has changed from a mainly agricultural base to a strong service base. Agriculture now only accounts for roughly 20% of the GDP, while the service sector accounts for 53% of the GDP with wholesale and retail trade forming 30% of this sector [3]. This fact also demands that more work should be done on services marketing for proper growth of the sector.Now that we know about the difference and importance of services, we would like to shed some light on the difference between marketing of products and marketing of services. Marketing for services is thought to be different from that of a product by a lot of experienced marketers. This was found out by Gary Knisely, a principal of the consulting firm Johnson Smith and Knisely, in 1979 when he interviewed several high-ranking marketing executives who had all gone to work in consumer services industry after extensive experience in the consumer packaged goods industry. There are generally 4 Ps considered in packaged goods marketing namely Product, Price, Place and Promotion. But when we talk about services, it is believed that there are three additional P’s that should be considered for services marketing namely People, Process and Physical evidence [4].The fifth P i.e. People include both employees and customers as customers also play an important role in the service delivery process. But we are going to focus on employees as far as this article is concerned. From the above discussion it is obvious that employees play an important role in the services marketing because of the vary reason that employees are involved in the process of delivery of any service e.g. a waiter in a restaurant is actually the conductor of all the process related to the customers. So it is of great importance that he gives the right image to the customer otherwise the customer might never return. So those employees that are a part of service delivery, we can call them customer-contact service employees, play an absolutely crucial role in building a repute for any service.The importance of customer-contact service employees can be understood because of the following statements, which will also show that why employees may be the most valuable asset of a services organization. Customer-contact service employees are very important because:o They are the service
o They are the organization in the customer’s eyes
o They are the brand
o They are marketers [4]In many cases, in a service, there is just the employee and nothing else i.e. employee is the service e.g. hair cutting, physical trainers, legal services etc. This means that the service being offered by the business is the employee. Thus, investing in the employee is same as investing in the manufacture of a product.A customer-contact service employee may reflect the image of the service organization even if he or she is not directly providing the required service. If you enter a hospital, every employee that you encounter from the receptionist to the clerk might influence your opinion about that organization. Thus, employees sometimes do become the organization in customer’s eyes.Employees also become the brand for a service. A very good example can be of a university which is well reputed amongst students. The quality of most universities is judged by the caliber of the teachers that are teaching there. When a student interacts with a professor, he has positive emotions about the university only when he feels that the teacher is knowledgeable and understanding and has complete control over his subject. We can say that one reason, among others, LUMS is thought to be better than other universities is due to the perception that its faculty contains more PhDs than anybody else, hence having better educational quality than others. Thus, an employee also becomes the brand for a service.Because contact employees represent the organization and can directly influence customer satisfaction, they perform the role of marketers. They physically embody the service and are walking billboards from a promotional point of view [4] If we are on the road and we see a person sitting on a motorcycle, going to deliver a free delivery, or to deliver letters or documents, you can tell from their appearance, clothing or even kind of vehicle that which organization they belong to. So, even when the service employees are just doing their duty, they are acting as marketers for their organization.Here we would like to refer to Mr. Dennis Harting who says “What is the most valuable asset that a company has? Is it the name, customers, goodwill, physical resources, or product line? The answer is that it is none of these. A company’s most valuable resource is its’ employees. Any organization will go only as far as the people who are driving it. In fact, a company is really just a group of people who interact for a common purpose. They are the ones who make up the organization.” [5].He also states that “It is important that managers and owners begin to realize that the employees are the most valuable asset any organization can have. Those who accept this new business model will structure their compensation and bonus program to reflect this belief.”Above discussion only points to one thing, generally for every business, and particularly for any services business, employees are definitely the most valuable assets. We personally feel that in Pakistan employees are still not given the right place and importance. One feels that more and more attention should be paid to role of employees in services and investments should be made to improve the most valuable asset of services.

Online Backup Services – What You Should Know to Make the Right Choice |

When it comes to finding the best online backup solution it can be quite difficult for solo business owners who might not be technically savvy to decipher how these services work. Just typing in “online backup services” in Google will bring up about 14 million different results.There are mainly three different types of backup services – Consumer class backup providers, Local online backup providers and Commercial class back up providers. With consumer class backup services you will most likely be charged $20 or less a month for them to back up your important files. Most of these providers have a limit to what they will hold and how long they will hold it for you.Using a local online backup provider is another great online backup solution for all of the important files on your computer. In recent years hosting companies and VARs have started to provide their own services to help people make sure that they have backups of all their computer files. Local providers will setup as well as support your system and provide backup and management services.A commercial provider is one of the best ways of having an online backup solution. These services are provided by huge corporations that will likely stay in business for a long time, possibly even longer than you will need their services. Unlike consumer services, the commercial providers will allow you to store files from several different computers onto one account and store files for long periods of time. Rates start at $35 a month and go up.Here are several questions you should ask yourself before making your final decision on a backup provider:Will the backup solution support all my systems such as Windows, Macs etc?
Let’s imagine that you have four computers in your office, two of them are Windows run and the other two are Macs, you will need to have one back up provider that supports all of your systems.What are your service hours – if I want to restore my data at 2pm can I?
You will want a service that is flexible. There are times where you may need or want to restore your system at a certain time. You will need to find a provider that will allow you to restore your systems
whenever you want or need to.How many versions of my data will you keep & how long will you keep my data?
This is crucial. You need to know how much the provider is willing to hold for you, how many copies of your files and how long they are willing to keep the files. You should find one that suits your needs.Where are you storing all my data – Will it be duplicated?
This is something that you as a solo business owner need to know. You will need to know where they will be keeping your files, how to get to them, and how many copies of your files they will make.How fast is the restore capability?
You may require something that is speedy enough to keep up with your ever-growing business. If you have to restore your system in the middle of the workday you do not want your computers to be down for too long, that can disrupt the things that need to be done.What type of security you use?
Everyone wants to make sure that their files are going to be safe from viruses and hackers. This is an important question because if they do not have good security it is likely that after all the trouble you went though to keep your files safe you loose everything because of hackers or viruses.It is very important to have a backup solution, so you do not end up losing everything you work so hard to create. Make sure you research carefully before you decide on a online backup service provider. You need a service that will work great for you and keep your files protected, after all that is what they are there for – right?

Customer Service Improvements |

Customer ServiceWhile sales are often considered to be the lifeblood of any business, good customer service is like the oxygen that gives the blood its power. It is true to say that you can bring in plenty of new clients but unless those customers a truly satisfied with your service, your business is not likely to be a profitable concern.Providing first class customer service can be a challenge especially for the small and medium sized companies. Most often, the sales manager or general manager will handle complaints on an ad hoc basis, behaving as fairly as he or she can while trying to please the customer.This kind of relaxed approach may work fine when there is less pressure but when a new product launch is in progress or you are away at a sales convention, customer service can grind to a halt. In such a situation, where will your customers go? Most likely to the competition.Advantages of a Customer Service SystemWith an ad hoc approach, it is so easy for a customer complaint via email or telephone message to go missing and to slip through the cracks. Running a simple and easy to use customer care system will relieve you and your staff of a great deal of anxiety regarding customer satisfaction. By directing all clients to use your website based customer support system, you can relax in the knowledge that all issues are recorded and followed up by the system on an automatic basis.Your technicians and other personnel can easily check the current level of unresolved issues and can respond to customer support requests from anywhere in the world that is connected to the internet. Online software offers a great deal of flexibility over the older hard-coded systems.Consumer PerceptionGreat customer service and care is all about the consumers perception of your ability and desire to solve their problems. If they feel that you are on top of the situation, that you can easily and happily solve any problem that may surface, then their confidence in you, as a reliable supplier, will grow.A Visible Advantage: The Trust SealBy displaying your customer service trust seal on your website, you not only demonstrate your commitment to consumer service but you also provide the means of handling it. Your customer support is no longer hidden away in the back office, but brought out onto the sales page to become an honorable seal of approval for your business.

Customer Service Software |

Customer service software is often sold as a component of a much larger enterprise-wide customer relationship management solution for medium to large companies. This is frequently out of the range of the budget for the small internet business owner.While consumer service is a vital issue, it needs to be handled in different ways for different organizations. One extremely effective method is to combine a customer support service with a web trust seal. This is ideal for the online business who also wants to give proof of his trustworthiness.The very fact that a business is operating an after-sales support program demonstrates that they take consumer service seriously and deserve the trust seal.By adding on to the trust seal, an automated support mechanism for the vendor and a publicly viewable “outstanding issues” log for any poor performers and you have a system that practically guarantees excellent customer support.Customer support software can run into tens of thousands of dollars for license fees and implementation. The trust seal approach is a monthly subscription service that can be started for around twenty dollars a month.This method of providing first class customer support also does away with any difficult technical problems. As all the software programming for the service is on the service providers servers, all that is required is the simple copy and pasting of some html code for the trust seal to be visible and the service to be available.The trust seal is usually placed on the home page and sales pages of the website and this makes it easy for the customer to find and use the feedback forms.Provided that all support issues are answered fairly and promptly, the vendor keeps his “Excellent” support rating. Should he fail to do so, potential new customers will see that his status is less than adequate.This method of providing consumer care provides clear focus on building better and more sustainable customer relationships for both small and medium sized businesses.

Federal Debt Consolidation Services – Easy Way Out |

When you are in over your head with debt, it may appear impossible to pay the bills or to keep up with the crushing amount of credit that you have taken out and used. Bankruptcy fears can loom high, and tax season does not help matters as the IRS does not really care whether you have spent all of your income or not. From taxes to bills to other consumer issues, your credit card debt or other debt can put a serious hindrance on your life and may even lead to legal action against you. That is why there are federal debt consolidation services for those who are truly in need.Applying for federal debt consolidation services (not to be confused with the private company by the same name) is often less expensive than applying for a regular debt consolidation service, as the government is more focused on stabilizing you than on making a profit off of you. They will help to negotiate your interest rates with your current debtors, helping you not only to stop unwanted phone calls but also to make one, lower payment to the government. The government will then disperse the money to your creditors for you, saving you the trouble of writing so many checks and of trying to negotiate your interest rates on your own.This consumer service by the government can be a huge help when you need help with military debt consolidation or consumer debt consolidation. It can provide you with the relief that you need to get back on your feet, as long as you are careful to stop charging money to your credit cards (this includes emergencies). Set aside a little bit for emergencies, then dedicate yourself to getting rid of the debt, and you will find that you are in a much healthier place financially than you could have imagined before.

Elements of Well-Designed Healthcare Services for Higher Revenues |

This short article provides a checklist of seven elements that the most successful service program contain. The more of these elements that a service program has, the more likely the program will generate higher revenue.Profitable service delivery systems include the following elements:

Services are consumer oriented. Staff have the authority to meet client needs or can refer clients elsewhere. Client pathways are clearly understood. Whether within the agency or outside, all staff working on a case interact with each other through email, teleconferencing, or meetings.

The design clearly describes outputs and outcomes. Special emphasis is given to demonstrating impacts at the conclusion of the program and at least six months or one year following discharge.

The program planning documents contain explicit assumptions and maintain a logical sequence of results (if certain conditions are met). This takes the form of a series of if A, then B events. For example, if clients were to attend a minimum of 10 substance abuse group sessions, and if they tested negatively for illicit drugs for 10 weeks, and they become gainfully employed in a job, then they qualify for less restrictive treatment.

The program is designed with a marketing perspective (with special emphasis on being responsive to consumer needs). That is, the emphasis is on providing outstanding consumer service, including meeting the clients’ total needs, where possible.

The program fits the larger organization’s mission. It is feasible and the projections based on available or potential resources.

The program has good feedback mechanisms in the form of focus groups, formal and informal surveys, and client complaint procedures.

The organization considers the needs of external markets including the needs of funders and public officials. Program Directors determine how best to balance the needs of the external markets with those of the clients.