Service with a :-) by ProQuest


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    Service with a :-)
                              E S P I T E their best efforts to cut       CSRs now working as telephone agents, companies
                             customer support costs during the last       will need CSRs working as social media agents, or
                             U.S. recession in 2001, organizations        “community experts” (see the Rising Star profile,
                             are looking to cut more. What’s differ-      “Clouding Up the Scene,” by Senior Editor Marshall
                  ent this time—thanks to technological innova-           Lager). Clearly, social media will play a significant
                  tion—is that they have more options. Instead of         role in customer service strategies.
                  merely focusing on cost-cutting efforts that can           This is not to suggest that other areas of cus-
                  harm customer relationships (i.e., decreasing call      tomer service should be ignored. Companies
                  handling time or offshoring customer service            should pay close attention to the latest develop-
                                operations—effectively pushing the        ments in all eight of our Service Leader categories
                                customer interaction to another           (which start on page 26) as the vendors there seek
                                company), today organizations can         to lower costs while improving customer interac-
                                cut costs while providing deeper cus-     tions. Some are including enhancements to their
                                tomer engagements. One of the ways        on-demand or hosted customer support solutions,
                                to do this is to leverage Web 2.0 tech-   an option quickly gaining favor among customer
                                nologies, such as social media tools.     service managers. Others are aiming to lower costs
                                   In today’s instant-gratification so-   by providing fully integrated customer service
                                ciety, customers not only want to         solutions, enabling companies to quickly and eas-
                                find information quickly, they want       ily transfer end users from a self-service system to
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