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

Is Your Back Office Causing Customer Dissatisfaction?

Posted by Mary Lou Joseph on 8/10/17 5:00 AM

Digital transformation has traditionally centered on customer-facing parts of the organization (the contact center, online self-service, mobile apps, etc.), but that’s changing. Increasingly, that focus is spreading into back-office functions and the broader enterprise as a way to digitize and optimize the entire customer journey. In fact, according to a March 2017 Digital McKinsey post titled, "Putting Customer Experience at the Heart of Next-Generation Operating Models," they say, “The benefits of improved customer experience can be fleeting unless changes to supporting back-end operations are made as well.” The article also goes on to state, “Delivering a great customer experience calls for disciplined execution and consistent service delivery.”

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Topics: customer satisfaction, TSIA Partners, back-office management, back office

How to Get CFOs in Product Companies to Fall in Love with Professional Services

Posted by Varun Parmar on 7/20/17 5:00 AM

For many product companies, it can seem difficult at first to get CFOs to see the value in professional services (PS). The simple answer to addressing this challenge is to focus your PS business on profit margin growth. Only when margins are great, should you focus on revenue growth.

As a PS executive in a product company, you probably are all too familiar with this reality. Valuation multiples for PS revenues are 1x to 2x compared to 8x to 10x for product revenues. So, CFOs are not interested in PS revenue growth, but what matters to them is earnings contribution of PS business. The current trend of optimizing PS business through headcount reduction and expansion of partner-led implementations is a direct result of CFOs desire to increase earnings contribution of PS business.

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Topics: professional services, TSIA Partners

3 Sales Tips for Selling Customer Value

Posted by Glenn Gramling on 7/5/17 5:00 AM

Increasingly, technology products that are merely “good enough” are permeating the market. Clients are not looking for perfection and accept the limitations of a lower-cost product. Software allows these good enough products to be enhanced over time, with new features being delivered through software updates that can make a product more valuable.

After researching several large hardware providers, we discovered that a large percentage of their monthly sales were either fulfillment or products, while only a small percentage of their monthly sales were high-margin solutions that included high-value services. Every manufacturer would like to improve their percentage of high-margin products and services, so, why don’t Sales teams sell more high-value solutions to solve the business problems of their customers?

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Topics: sales, customer outcomes, TSIA Partners, outcomes

Creating Engaged Millennial Employees in Your Contact Center

Posted by Kelly Koelliker on 5/30/17 5:00 AM

Now that Millennials are officially the largest population segment, they can no longer be ignored. Organizations must come to terms with the idea that Millennials have different needs and skills, and make the appropriate changes in the workplace to maximize them. It seems that many businesses have a ways to go in achieving this, as research studies have shown that roughly 2/3 of today’s employees are disengaged in the workplace. So why is this? And what changes can be made to provide an engaging environment for this growing segment of the workforce population?

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Topics: knowledge management, TSIA Partners, millenials

3 Resource Management Challenges that Demand New Models and Practices

Posted by Chris Scalia on 4/25/17 5:00 AM

This is an exciting time for services providers. As established by the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) in the ground-breaking book B4B, there is major transformation taking place: providers are evolving from simply delivering products and implementing software to delivering business outcomes. This transformation is necessary and, moreover, exciting, as it brings tremendous new opportunities. However, it is also a very challenging time. 

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Topics: professional services, resource management, TSIA Partners

How Professional Services Automation (PSA) Supports Business Transformation

Posted by Technology Services Industry Association on 11/22/16 5:00 AM

It’s no surprise that services organizations rely more and more on various technologies to successfully run their businesses. Recent research shows that planned spending and adoption of Professional Services Automation solutions is on the rise, and has become a must-have technology for most business stakeholders within services organizations. PSA provides automation in core business areas along with the information necessary to make important business decisions in real-time.

We interviewed Lori Ellsworth, GM of PSA Solutions at FinancialForce to get her perspective on typical challenges that services business face while undergoing a business transformation and how technology, specifically a Professional Services Automation solution, plays a role in these events.

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Topics: professional services, professional services automation (PSA), TSIA Partners

3 Reasons You Should Invest in Professional Services Automation

Posted by Michelle Manimtim on 11/9/16 5:00 AM

Per TSIA's professional services benchmark reports, professional services automation (PSA) adoption is on the rise, and organizations that implement it gain the following benefits when compared to their industry peers:

  • Higher billable utilization.
  • Better rate utilization.
  • Fewer days to staff projects.
  • Increased project margins.

However, despite the growing maturity and use of PSA solutions, I continue to see even mature professional services organizations still drowning in spreadsheets and highly inefficient manual reporting. To thrive and compete in the current business climate, companies need to transform and evolve to meet the needs of today's customers.

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Topics: customer experience, professional services, professional services organization (PSO), professional services automation (PSA), TSIA Partners, digital transformation

3 Steps to Leverage Digital Disruption in Your Sales Efforts

Posted by Barbara Geraghty on 9/20/16 6:30 AM

What do landlines, books, postage stamps, greeting cards, and taxis (and the companies that sell them) have in common? Obsolescence! Meanwhile, startup companies like Uber and Airbnb have reached unicorn status with with zero inventories, and Amazon has changed the face of retail forever.

The fact is, there are forces at work that are changing everything. We are in the middle of a strategic reinvention of every industry as a result of cloud computing, mobile apps, social media, data analytics and the Internet of Things. A new study by IBM found that the “Uberisation” trend, or industry disruption caused by an unlikely competitor, has become a dominant concern of the C-suite.

Executives understand that the biggest threat to the future of their company is what they don't know, they don't know. That uncertainty is the lever that opens the door to outside sources of information and ideas. How can you help your prospects and customers become masters of digital disruption?

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Topics: x-as-a-service (XaaS), sales, TSIA Partners, disruption

4 Steps to Successfully Move from Hardware to Software and Services

Posted by Neil Jain and Chris Kammerer on 9/15/16 6:30 AM

The world has been changing over the past 10 years for hardware companies. Today, faster innovation cycles and falling barriers to entry are driving commoditization, virtualization is fueling demand for software running on industry standard hardware, and everyone is chasing higher margin, recurring revenue offers. Hardware companies are responding to these shifts by augmenting their portfolios to include more software and services offerings, but many are struggling with the transition.

Whether your company is looking to break into a complementary software market, enhance your hardware products with managed services, or respond to the virtualization trend, here are four key steps you should take to address common challenges hardware companies face.

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Topics: x-as-a-service (XaaS), managed services, service revenue generation, services, service offers, TSIA Partners, hardware manufacturers

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