[Book Review] Into the Diamond Mine, by Patrice Eberline

Posted by John Ragsdale on 9/28/17 5:00 AM

In 2015, Patrice Eberline, Vice President of Global Customer Transformation at ServiceMax, from GE Digital, published her first book Diamond in the Rough, Unleashing the Power Of Field Service Transformation, which gave an excellent overview of field service operations, including metrics, key trends and business challenges. Patrice’s second book, Into the Diamond Mine: A Field Service Transformation Handbook for Executives, has just been published, and I was lucky enough to get an advance copy.

I always think the sign of a great book is when you read it, you can hear the author’s voice, and that is absolutely the case with Into the Diamond Mine, filled not only with great insights, but also a healthy dose of humor and real-world examples to drive the points home. In this blog post I’d like to highlight some of my favorite parts of the book.

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Topics: knowledge management, benchmarking, field services, webinars, book review

Connecting Customer Value with Recurring Revenues: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Posted by Jodie Paxton on 9/27/17 5:00 AM

Have you heard the expression “two sides of the same coin”? It means that there are different ways of looking at or dealing with the same situation. In TSIA’s Service Revenue Generation line of research, we dig deep into the health of recurring service revenue, both from the perspective of the internal operational journey and from the external customer journey. Each point of view offers gateways and insights into how customers connect value to the service offerings that are developed, marketed, sold, and renewed. But as models shift from on-premise to XaaS, or from hardware only to hardware and software, these gateways have become more complex.

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Topics: service revenue generation, recurring revenues, Art and Science of the Customer Journey

2 Ways to Supercharge Your Support with Video

Posted by Jesse Ariss on 9/26/17 5:00 AM

According to your customers, support just got personal. In Salesforce’s 2017 State of Service Report, 69% of consumers and 82% of business buyers now expect support to be personalized to them. That doesn’t sound unreasonable until it’s stacked upon their additional desires to receive faster resolutions, be routed to the right agents, and be recognized across a multiplicity of channels.

Where can support executives turn for help shouldering the growing weight of modern customer expectations? To the power of video.

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Topics: customer support, video, self-service support, TSIA Partners, digital support

3 Ways Education Services Can Advance the Customer Journey

Posted by Maria Manning-Chapman on 9/22/17 5:00 AM

Journeys come in all shapes and sizes. Some are short and easy, like a quick weekend getaway, while others are long and arduous, like a multi-week trip to parts unknown. The longer and more complex the journey, the more a plan or a roadmap, literally and figuratively, is needed to ensure success. Any journey starts with some basic questions: Where do I want to go? How am I going to get there? What do I want to see and do? What do I need to bring? A customer journey is no different than any other type of journey—it starts with some basic questions and is supported by a well-thought-out plan.

So, what does education services (ES) have to do with the customer journey? Everything. Think of ES as the tour guide, that person at the front of the pack describing what you’re seeing, answering all your questions, and shepherding you to the next destination. Just as a tour guide has a map, education organizations do too—a curriculum roadmap, which serves to guide customers through every stage of their product usage journey. Here are three stops along the customer journey where education services can play a critical role.

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Topics: education services, customer adoption, customer engagement, channel partners, Art and Science of the Customer Journey

The Digital Transformation Journey: Growing Customers Successfully

Posted by J.B. Wood on 9/21/17 5:00 AM

Pivoting your company’s portfolio to subscription-based, recurring revenue offers, either in whole or in part, is a two-step intellectual journey for senior executives. The first step is deciding if customer demand is changing sufficiently enough to warrant making all the changes and facing all the challenges of effectively moving to XaaS offers. The previous five blogs have focused on that decision-making journey. Once you have made that decision, with all its myriad implications, you are ready for the second major step: What changes do I make in my go-to-market (GTM) model? That is the focus of our final blog in "The Digital Transformation Journey" series.

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Topics: customer success, XaaS (x-as-a-service), sales, LAER, customer success manager, recurring revenues, digital transformation, The Digital Transformation Journey

Welcome New TSIA Members! September Edition

Posted by Andrew Cromey on 9/20/17 5:00 AM

At TSIA, we are dedicated to helping services organizations both large and small grow and advance in the technology industry. We'd like to take the opportunity to welcome our newest members, as well as acknowledge companies already a part of the TSIA community who have recently expanded their membership to include additional research areas TSIA has to offer. Here's a little bit about each company, in their own words.

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Topics: cloud, professional services, professional services automation (PSA), SaaS (software-as-a-service), New TSIA Members, cloud computing, IT, healthcare technology

How Embedded Product Support Can Boost Customer Adoption

Posted by John Ragsdale on 9/19/17 5:00 AM

For our fall Technology Services World conference, we used the crowdsourcing approach to select a theme. We gathered input from members and asked our various advisory boards for feedback on the suggestions, arriving at what I think is truly a “big tent” topic: The Art and Science of the Customer Journey. Regardless of where you fit in the customer lifecycle—sales, implementation, post-sales support, field service, customer success, expand selling, etc.—improving and accelerating the customer journey is a critical component of your job. 

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Topics: customer support, self-service support, digital support, self-service, Art and Science of the Customer Journey

How Customer Journey Mapping Improves the Customer Experience

Posted by Phil Nanus on 9/15/17 5:00 AM

We’re excited about our upcoming Technology Services World conference this fall in Las Vegas. This year’s theme is the Art and Science of the Customer Journey, and within my area of research, customer success, many attendees will realize this theme is definitely in our wheelhouse.

As part of the customer journey, we usually see two bigger phases of customer success maturity. The first is when we observe a group of professionals working across a company on projects and initiatives that improve the customer’s experience, which we refer to as the “thematic” view of customer success. The second is an organization that has one or more of three common charters of customer success: adoption, retention, and expansion. Regardless of maturity of your customer success and customer experience initiatives, being able to improve your customer’s experience should be a top priority for these teams.

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Topics: customer success, Customer Success Maturity Model, Art and Science of the Customer Journey

[Ebook] The Building Blocks of Customer Success

Posted by Phil Nanus on 9/13/17 5:00 AM

Before you can establish and grow your own Customer Success function within your company, you must first have a firm understanding of the basics. I’ve written this ebook to help technology companies of all types get an overall view of what customer success means, how its performed, and how to tell when you’re doing it right. Whether you’re brand new to the concept or just need a refresher, this ebook can be your reference to all things customer success. 

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Topics: customer success, ebook, Customer Success Maturity Model

Where Professional Services Fit Into the Customer Journey

Posted by Bo Di Muccio on 9/12/17 5:00 AM

How far the industry has come in the last 5-10 years! At the beginning of this transformation nearly a decade ago, virtually all technology professional services organizations were perfectly content to play a “Level 2” role. That is, they had capabilities and offers that were almost exclusively focused on getting customers up and running on the core technology product. 

Of course, that’s still an important function of professional services (PS) for any tech company. But nowadays, we’re getting a lot more questions indicating that PS is rapidly being pulled and pushed into being more of a Level 3/Level 4 engine, that is to say, a capability that directly helps customer achieve business outcomes. 

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Topics: professional services, LAER, recurring revenues, Art and Science of the Customer Journey

Optimize and “Appify” Your Customer Journey Maps with Analytics

Posted by Jeremy DalleTezze on 9/8/17 5:00 AM

Customer journey maps are typically the result of a business planning exercise to better understand B2C customer experience sequences. With journey maps in hand, suppliers can then purposefully control and optimize the interactions to improve supplier outcomes in typically narrow circumstances.

However, the customer journey for a large technology buyer is complicated and dynamic. In this post, I’m going to explain that journey and how you can deliver a dynamic and more customized approach to customer journey mapping, an approach I like to refer to as “appifying,” with the help of analytics.

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Topics: data analytics, customer experience journey mapping, LAER, Art and Science of the Customer Journey, customer journey mapping

The Digital Transformation Journey: Supplier Keys to Success in Subscription Business Models

Posted by J.B. Wood on 9/7/17 5:00 AM

Successfully transitioning your business model from “CapEx,” where customers pay up front for your solution, to an “OpEx” or subscription model where your customers pay over time and your revenue becomes ratable is not easy. And, it’s not just the transition in your revenue model that’s difficult­—it’s also not simple to generate GaaP profits once you have substantially pivoted. That was the point of the last post in "The Digital Transformation Journey" series. But fortunately, with so many hardware, software, industrial and medical equipment suppliers playing today in the subscription business model, some best practices are emerging. 

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Topics: XaaS (x-as-a-service), subscription-based offers, SaaS (software-as-a-service), recurring revenues, digital transformation, The Digital Transformation Journey, subscriptions

Learn TSIA Insights at These Upcoming Industry Events

Posted by Tom Anderson on 9/6/17 5:00 AM

Whenever a new trend emerges in the world of technology and services, TSIA is already active in developing new research, frameworks, and expertise around what that trend can mean for your business and the future of our industry. To share their latest findings in the areas of support services, expand selling, sales, marketing, improving customer journey, and creating profitable subscription offers, TSIA executives will be presenting at several upcoming conferences and speaking engagements, including: TSIA International Support Services Summit, Marketing Loves Sales, Technology Services World, and ProductNEXT. 

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Topics: XaaS (x-as-a-service), support services, sales, expand selling, summit, marketing, products, product leader

3 Steps to Smarter Customer Support

Posted by Dave Campbell on 9/5/17 5:00 AM

It’s no secret that great customer service is growing harder and harder to deliver. Customer expectations are rising and there is a lot of pressure for support organizations to deliver more with less. Surveyed IT support organizations report that ticket volumes are up 57% over the past year, and yet headcount has remained flat. In addition to having more tickets, the issues they are working on are becoming increasingly more complex as customers demand support across more devices.

The “do more with less” challenge can feel like an uphill battle for most support organizations, but there are ways to maximize efficiency. It’s all about working smarter and not harder. In this post, I’ll be sharing some steps you can take to get started in building a smarter customer support organization. 

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Topics: knowledge management, support services, customer support, TSIA Partners, knowledge base

Why Hardware Suppliers Need Artificial Intelligence, Business Analytics, and Machine Learning

Posted by Vele Galovski on 9/1/17 5:00 AM

If you’re an industrial equipment, telecommunications, or healthcare organization with hardware on a customer site, you’re going to want to understand how artificial intelligence (AI), business analytics, and machine learning fit into the picture. Through conversations with our membership community and TSW conference attendees, it’s become clear that these are are all hot topics that technology suppliers are interested in learning more about but are still having a hard time understanding. In this post, I’ll share what each of these terms mean, how they are fitting into the business strategies of hardware suppliers across the industry, and how you can learn to apply these emerging and highly beneficial capabilities and apply them to your business.  

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Topics: data analytics, healthcare, industrial equipment, internet of things (IoT), hardware manufacturers, smart, connected products, analytics, smart services, machine learning, telecommunications, artificial intelligence (AI), business analytics, remote services continuum

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