Live from the SSPA Best Practices Conference: Opening Day Highlights
What a beautiful day in San Diego! Our 2007 Best Practices Conference kicked off today, with 4 SSPA Training Day Sessions, a meeting of the SSPA Advisory Board, and the opening of our Technology Services Expo. Here are some highlights for you.
This was my first Advisory Board meeting, and although no one likes to spend a sunny Sunday in a hotel conference room, this was a great meeting with great attendees. Support executives from Intuit, Sun, Sony, Xerox, RIM, IBM, Network Appliance, Cisco and BEA put their heads together with the SSPA leadership team to discuss many industry issues, including these which really peaked my interest:
- Consumer support models. Clearly multi-vendor support is a big problem for both customers and companies. How will support in the future address consumer devices with hardware and software from multiple providers, so enmeshed that identifying a single failing component is growing more difficult?
- Proactive and pervasive support. With a greater number of issues solved by proactive monitoring, meaning problems are solved before customers are impacted, how can support organizations continue to show value to corporate accounts when interactions are fewer? As my former colleague at Forrester, Chip Gliedman, always says, “If you go a year without being sick, no one calls their doctor to thank them.”
- Outsourcing/offshoring. Is offshoring actually less expensive when you factor in longer talk times, quality impacts, and customer satisfaction? With costs and turnover rising so quickly in India, where else should companies look? Multiple participants discussed their success with Manila centers, which offer less challenges with both accent neutralization and cultural barriers than India centers. Other discussions on this topic included how customers perceive offshoring, will customers pay more for an onshore agent, and how home workers can change the cost equation for outsourcing.
The SSPA Training Day Sessions, day long classes with an industry lumianry, were well attended. Topics and presenters were:
- Achieving Self-Service Success, Allen Bonde, eVergance
- Can We Talk? Better Communication Between Support and Product Development, Frederick C. Van Bennekom, Dr.B.A., Great Brook
- Paying for KM: Building Honest ROIs that Stand the Test of Time, Francoise Tourniaire, FT Works
- Turn Over the Keys! Let your Staff Drive Performance Improvement, Dave Brown, Support Center University
The Technology Services Expo opened at 5pm, with around 30 exhibitors, a stage for technology presentations, and important to me after a day of meetings–an open bar.
Stay tuned for daily updates on hot sessions, industry gossip, and the winners of the SSPA Recognized Innovator Awards!