by: John Caddell

1. This article in the Wall Street Journal that discusses Delta pulling its call center back to the US from India.

2. This post by Felix Salmon (off his usual topic): “How To Succeed In Customer Service.”

Here’s my preferred customer service strategy, in a nutshell. For basic information and services that customers can easily access on the web, put it there and make it easy to use. For everything else, invest in good, human, customer service. For people who call and want web-available information, give it to them over the phone, but perhaps offer to walk them through the website to find it (perhaps you’ll learn that your website is not as easy to navigate as you thought). And, if they don’t use the web, treat them like kings instead of annoyances.

[And don't, like Comcast did today, make me listen to a commercial before you even let me navigate your IVR system! Frank, your folks need to know that is a bad strategy.]

Find other metrics of service levels than average handle time–say, first call resolution. And, of course, gather calls and listen to them to find out what’s going on directly between you and your customers (to get the insight discussed here).

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