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The focus is now on Quality…

Over the years every organization with a customer support DNA strived to give a superlative experience to its customers. However, the last five years we had a shift of focus. What’s changed, as is obvious with market interactions and the changing business landscapes, is the stressing of a cost focus in companies support organizations versus quality.

In my experience, five years ago amidst heavy business uncertainty and market doldrums, most organizations heavily focused on cost cutting. The mandate for support organizations was simple – cut costs. More service at less cost, more support with less resources, best shoring models…anything that meant savings, was the need of the hour. Only the fittest would survive, and only the most cost efficient were the fittest.

However, over the last year, the picture has changed. It is interesting to note how the mindset now continually swings away from cost consciousness to a renewed quality awareness. It is as if the market has woken up to the fact that at too tight cost and services, quality was severely compromised.

Now in an increasingly competitive market, no one is willing to compromise on quality or cutting corners, merely to get a cheaper solution. So if cost is not the only consideration, how will customers assess their support? What would be the most rational approach to measure if your support organization is doing a good job? Today, it is the equilibrium between cost and quality. CSS Corp recommends an approach to assess this balance. We call it the Balanced Scorecard approach.

Today a Balanced Scorecard approach has set the definition of how a support organization should be successful. Quality matters, and it must be balanced with cost and other variables to assure success.

One added new variable impacting support organizations is the increasing awareness and dominance of social media and communities in our delivery structures. From just a unilateral service system, we now have multiple support mediums. It is important to manage these emerging areas efficiently as well with the same Balanced Scorecard approach, all the while ensuring agility and integration between them. Clearly, today agility will take center stage in customer support activities, especially significant because of the complexity in the interplay between these channels. Technology will play a big part but we need to ensure that complexity in technology does not affect the agility in our service and customer experience. The Balanced Scorecard approach leaves no room for trip ups. It assures that your support organization is success.

Chris Horning

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