Archive for May, 2009

The Importance of First Call Resolution(FCR) in Tech Support

May 5, 2009

As the Founder & VP of Services Research for the Service & Support Professionals Association (SSPA), I have been getting a lot of member requests regarding the true value of the FCR metric. It makes sense that if we can resolve customer’s issues on first call-in then they will be happier but how difficult is this to achieve? Should we be focused on fixing things at all cost or should we be more concerned about making sure that we use some form of triage in the front end of tech support? These are good questions and I have developed 15 factors that affect first call resolution (FCR) that must be considered before we start to push hard on our tech support reps to fix everything the first time. I will start my post of these factors and would love to get your feedback. Bill


Servicing China, Goldmine or Landmine?

May 5, 2009

This afternoon at 4:30pm at the SSPA conference in Santa Clara, CA. I will be holding a session to discuss the challenges and opportunities for North American technology product companies who are servicing customers in China.  Aneel Jaeel from Symantec has tons of experience servicing the China technology marketplace and he will be the resident expert for this session.

This is part of our SSPA Communities of Interest (COI) program where we take an interesting topic and hold open forum discussions where everyone can participate.  I really like the format because most people that attend this session and participate in the follow up conversations all have a common interest, in this case, it is doing a great job of moving into a new marketplace.

After our session today I will update this blog and provide some of the highlights of our discussions.  From what I have seen so far moving into China is far more difficult than Japan and some of the same techniques that we deployed in Japan just won’t work here.  I am very interested in the maintenance revenue and profitability aspect of this move and have heard several members comment about reduced margins for service in China.  So, what is that?  What service methods work best and what should we not be doing in this new space?  Today, our session will start this dialog and open up the floor for a whole lot more questions.  This should be good.

The SSPA Conference is a Blast

May 5, 2009

Yes, we are at the SSPA conference in Santa Clara, CA with over 500 of our closest friends. It is amazing that we were able to bring together this many tech services execs under the current economic conditions and it is a testament to our dedicated member and some great conference planning. In fact, the free airfare and hotel night was a brilliant concept by our events team and several members told me that it was the key reason that they were approved to come to the conference. Great idea!

J.B. Wood, CEO, SSPA opened the show with a very strategic view of where the service business was heading. In my experience the management of tech support is a very tactical role so some folks had a difficult time understanding what this talk was all about. But, if we are going to be leading our companies into the future, we need more strategic thinking in our lives. If you missed this session go to and have a look at J.B.’s vision of the future.

Bill Steenburgh who heads up services for Xerox is my idol and his presentation helped everyone understand why his company is pulling away from the pack and leading our industry in customer sat and loyalty. One thing that Bill has figured out that we can all use more of is gaining upper management commitment to services. Xerox, as a company, trust Bill’s decisions and he pays them back by implementing unique and differentiating service programs. These guys are really good at understanding their customer needs and delivering on their promises. If I was ever going to take a “real job” again it would be with Xerox Services.