Customer Service

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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.,

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.

13-Innovation-500

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.

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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.

09-Marketing-500

In Praise of Honest Pricing

Companies should spend less time trying to fool customers with hidden charges and devote more effort to competing on differences that really matter, say the authors. Imaginative managers may want to consider how a move toward honest pricing in their industry — such as unit pricing at supermarkets and the U.S. government”s Energy Star program — could help sell more and better products to a loyal customer base.

016-Strategy-500

Winning the Last Mile of E-Commerce

As the holiday season drew near, e-commerce retailers were either working anxiously to get their in-house processes ready or were double-checking with partners and service providers on order-fulfillment operations. Fears of revisiting the previous year’s fulfillment problems hounded them during their preparations for the projected high sales of Christmas 2000.1

04-Marketing-500

Understanding Customer Delight and Outrage

Delivering quality to customers in a competitive marketplace dictates the need to continually enhance a customer’s experience and satisfaction. However, evidence indicates that satisfying customers is not enough to retain them because even satisfied customers defect at a high rate in many industries.

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05-Strategy-500

The Decline and Rise of IBM

IBM is making a comeback. Although many observers had counted the company out — “It’s a dinosaur, an implosion, a wreck,” various commentators said — its revival was probable, even predictable, because cycles of decline and revitalization have been the company’s pattern through many decades.P

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09-Marketing-500

Returns Policies: Make Money by Making Good

ALTHOUGH RETURNS POLICIES HAVE BEEN WIDELY USED FOR MANY YEARS, THEY CONTINUE TO BE A SOURCE OF CONTROVERSY. THE AUTHORS present a framework that explains when and how to adopt returns policies. They analyze the benefits and costs of accepting returns from distributors, and also compare returns policies to alternative ways of coordinating the distribution channel.

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