Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Support is Part of Your Product

Your product is valuable only insofar as it solves, and doesn't create, problems for customers. It's nice when your product is so easy to use, and so robust, that customers never have to call on anyone for help or support. Such products are rare, however.

Given that customers will need support when they use your product to solve their problems, support is part of the customer experience. Support is not a goal in itself, however. Assume that your product's existing use cases and constraints will encompass calls to customer support.

2 comments :

Cote' said...

Do you have any good references or cases along these lines? I see tech companies struggling to plan for (time and money), train for, and otherwise perform support well. As you're pointing out, it is kind of a "we'll think about it later" type of thing: so it'd be great to get more detail.

Roger L. Cauvin said...

Dell seems to have a pretty good metrics-oriented approach to improving their overall customer experience. With stopwatch in hand, they visit customers and observe as they unpack, set up, and begin using a new Dell computer. I imagine they include customer support calls in their observations.

I don't have any proof or references I can cite for this information; it's based on anecdotal conversations with Dell employees.