DealerData: The Key is Customer Service

DealerData: The Key is Customer Service


Parks Associates recently released a white paper, “Marketing Triple Play and Value-Added Services,” which contains some interesting information that can apply as much to retailers that offer value-added services as it does to the content providers the report is intended for.

The survey finds the increased complexity of IP services, home connectivity and networked products provides the risk of deteriorating customer service and increased customer support costs. Parks suggests that if service providers (or, as we see it, retailers) are going to sell more advanced services and solutions, they are gong to have to account for an inevitable increase in customer support costs generated by longer help-desk calls (see charts 1 and 2).

Increased broadband access has led to distributed home computers and other IP devices, which consumers mainly buy through retail. But service and content providers will have an increasingly dominant role in that sales space, especially as they sell more advanced customer premises equipment. That includes DVR-enabled set-top boxes and other connectivity devices and services, including voice-over Wi-Fi and/or mobile-to-fixed-line-handoff services, network attached storage devices and networked system security features, Parks reports.

Despite the service providers’ push into the domain of retailers, retailers can still maintain a competitive edge by providing the customer service that large providers and carriers can’t match. There are also a variety of remote network management and diagnostic tools (which help save on unnecessary truck runs), as well as cost-effective help desk platforms available to retailers willing to step up their sales of advanced products and services (see chart 3).