Customer Service

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What You Can Learn From Your Customer’s Customer

Innovative companies fund internal research and development to gain an edge in the marketplace. They also work closely with suppliers to offer greater functionality and performance for their customers. However, some critical new product insights don’t come from suppliers and customers working together but from the customer’s customers. Drawing on numerous examples from technology companies, this article explores the various ways parties can collaborate so that everyone benefits.

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The Benefits of Combining Data With Empathy

Everyone has experienced the frustration of having to repeat voice commands multiple times before finally asking to speak to a service representative. Many large companies have become so focused on optimizing their business processes and systems that they have become all too willing to forget about cultivating emotional connections with customers. But in order to detect and respond to shifting customer needs, companies need to show more, not less, empathy with their customers.

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3 Critical Issues in Internet Retailing

In the early, hyped-up days of e-commerce, Internet retailers tried to focus customer and investor attention on the bells and whistles of their product offering or Web pages, and hoped that no one noticed the poor performance of backroom operations — or they deluded themselves into believing that good execution

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01-Technology-500

Double Agents

Electronic information can easily overwhelm people with large volumes of data. An abundance of information often strains human limits: attention, memory, motivation or other factors. In response to this challenge, software that assists humans in filtering and organizing information into more digestible amounts and formats have appeared (Alba et al.,

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01-Marketing-500

Creating New Markets Through Service Innovation

Many companies make incremental improvements to their service offerings, but few succeed in creating service innovations that generate new markets or reshape existing ones. To move in that direction, executives must understand the different types of market-creating service innovations as well as the nine factors that enable these innovations.

02-Marketing-500

The Art of Making Change Initiatives Stick

Too many managers have experienced this scenario: The chief executive announces a bold new corporate initiative aimed at generating dramatic performance improvements. The initiative calls for sweeping changes in the company’s processes, systems and culture. The launch proceeds with great fanfare and a substantial investment of the company’s resources.

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Don’t Be Unique, Be Better

Even the best companies let their customers down sometimes, and many disappoint frequently. The authors lay much of the blame for this on companies’ obsession with uniqueness and differentiation. According to their analysis, companies are too quick to dismiss “category benefits” as a source of advantage. They explain why companies such as Toyota, Cemex, Orange, Medtronic and Sony are successful because they are simply better at offering what customers really want.

01-Strategy-500

Creating Growth With Services

In a world of commoditized products, companies are turning to service offerings for growth. The key to success involves redefining markets in terms of customer activities and outcomes, not products and services.

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