Archive for the ‘Crystal Ball’ Category

E-Business Crystal Ball (Part 2) – Customer Service

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Customer services is a headache for many businesses. The previous statement in itself is a reason why many businesses are failing to have repeat customers. Customers are the reason we have a business today and continue to grow. Customer service should be looked at as a positive challenge, especially to the people performing the face-to-face customer service.

Future customer service will incorporate many of the technologies in use today. Customer service will also employ many of the same techniques employed today. The difference will come in the marrying of both aspects.

  1. People will expect prompt service. Waiting on hold for twenty minutes is totally unacceptable. The way to combat the wait time is with centralized dispatching. In other words, calls go into a centralized location and are dispersed to another regional location. Some organizations are already doing this; however, I have seen where contractors hang up on customers to reduce their average wait-time or continually transfer customers to also reduce wait-time.
  2. People will want to talk with a representative. Using VoIP this becomes very reasonable. Couple with that a low cost web cam and you can handle online and POTS customers without specialized equipment or added costs.
  3. Localized hold music and announcements. No one wants to be on hold and have to listen to music that is not familiar. Announcing a plug for your business is fine, but if you continue to mention your online services customers will start to feel alienated for using the device of their choice.
  4. Responses using multiple media. Once the phone call ends the organization starts to work to improve their services. You should respond to the customer using as many means as posible, like email, phone and the postal service. The correspondence should address their specific concern and explain how your organization will make changes towards satisfying the customer’s concerns.

Everything sounds just like customer service is today, right? Examine your organization’s customer service and also the customer service you have received and I can guarantee you that the above mentioned principles are not being addressed. Every organization needs to examine their customer service to find methods for improvement.

Remember, when it comes to customer service addressing any less than all four of the areas mentioned is not good enough. Successful organizations take customer service seriously, because during economic strain customers are going to return to the organizations they feel are concerned with their needs.


Mike Kniaziewicz, MIS

E-Business Crystal Ball (Part 1) – Internet

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

E-Business Juncture LLC would like to take a moment to kick back and see where e-business is going in the future. So, from time-to-time we will place posts on our blog to provide the entrepreneur with some “food for thought” about the direction of e-business. Today we would like to concentrate on the Internet.

Do not confuse the Internet with the World Wide Web, because they are not the same. The World Wide Web (WWW) is servers containing the information required to point to where resources exist. The Internet is how people and organizations obtain those resources.

A key term that needs to be understood in regard to the Internet is bandwidth. We see bandwidth expressed in terms of megabytes or kilobytes per second. A telephone modem would be expressed as 56 kbps, while DSL and Broadband would be expressed as 1.5 or 2 mbps.

Breaking bandwidth down a little further we have upstream and downstream rates. How fast this page is viewable in your web browser would be downstream, while how fast you can send email would be upstream. Upstream and downstream are vital in regard to e-business and your decision to host your own web site locally or use a hosting provider.

Where are we going? Backwards. Web 2.0 is all about collaboration; however, the Internet service providers are beginning to place quotas on the amounts of downstream data. This means e-business needs to be concerned about the amount of data being downloaded by their viewers. Forcing a viewer to download a video they do not want to watch when they click on your web page is going to become a turnoff.

We actually see web pages, at least the opening pages, becoming lean once more. E-business will still be able to have videos and sound tracks; however, they will only be provided to viewers that request them. Cellular phones with web browsers are a prime example of this theory right now, because the viewer pays per so many megabytes.

E-business will also depend more upon hosting plans rather than hosting their own web sites locally. Web Site Hosting  can provide a better break down of associated costs of web site hosting. However, we would like to reiterate that hosting plans generally provide enough bandwidth for your viewers while costing a fraction of what you would pay to obtain the bandwidth yourself.

E-business will also be transformed from design and implementation of web sites to customization and content management of existing software. Why reinvent the wheel? If there is an organization that has the infrastructure to enable you to meet your customer requirements, why not use that infrastructure?

Dynamic web sites. Dynamic web sites are generated according to viewer requests and or requirements. The HTML script is housed in a database, which is queried to render the page. This enables the e-business organization to change web site language and display based upon geographical regions. A prime example would be the holiday in the United States of Mothers Day, which would allow the e-business organization to market Mothers Day gifts in the United States on their web site, while displaying a different page to viewers who do not celebrate Mothers Day.

Our last forecast for now in regard to the Internet is satellite communications. As the technology becomes more affordable we will see organizations start to implement satellitecommunications for Internet access. Many people are using satellite dishes for television at this time, so all that is required is an up-link to make communications bidirectional.

Enjoy and leave a comment on how you feel,

Mikhail Kniaziewicz, MIS