Trends Report

Enhance Your Product Strategy With Convenient Customer Service

June 22nd, 2009
DW
Doug Williams
With contributors:

Summary

Customer service has become an integral part of product strategy, and, as such, it should now be a primary concern of consumer product strategy professionals. Customer service has also grown more complex: Consumers used to simply bring the product back to the store from which they purchased it or call a toll-free number to obtain service. More customer service options now exist, including email, IVR, and online chat. Moving customer service online is a double-edged sword — it's expensive to provide effective online solutions, yet the more customers move to them, the lower the costs. We apply our Convenience Quotient methodology to various forms of customer service and find that nothing beats having a live person on a phone line available for troubleshooting. Other methods offer their own mixes of benefits and barriers to consumers. Consumer product strategists should think of customer service, in whatever guise, as a critical product attribute and weave their choice of interaction directly into their overall product strategies.

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