In golf they say, "Drive for show, but putt for dough". The meaning is that while the high-visibility drive with all its strength and flash is exciting to watch, executing the small, down-to-earth, four-foot putt - consistently - really improves scoring. Carry that idea over to technology products. We sell products and solutions to add customers, but we provide excellent customer support to build profitable relationships. The Customer Relationship Management industry evolved from the necessity to provide customer-specific, focused, intuitive customer support. We have learned that satisfied users drive loyalty and retention. This leads to both add-on sales and higher profits.
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Service Level Management (SLM) is nothing new in the support services industry. The concept of establishing a customer's service expectations up-front and measuring performance to ensure that the vendor has met those expectations is a necessary insurance policy -- especially in an industry where the stakes are often the continuation of business. However, SLM is not something that can just exist on paper. It has to be carried out to each and every customer, through every support interaction, between all parties involved in resolving a customer's problem. Seneca Corporation's approach to SLM enjoins the entire support ring, by tying SLM to performance, on an individual and organizational level, utilizing tools to ensure SLM awareness throughout all organizations.
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