Warranty, Maintenance and Support

How would you define these three terms: warranty, maintenance and support?  Many times in conversation I hear these terms used interchangeably.  I’m guilty of it too as there can be overlap in the definition of these terms.  However, I will argue in this blog that when it comes to selling software and especially hardware these terms are distinctly different.  I’ll begin by first providing my working definition of these terms. Then I’ll share where and why I see these terms used incorrectly.


Warranty: warranty is the guarantee that a […]

Looking to cut costs? Don’t do it with software.

I don’t watch much public television, but a program caught my eye a couple weeks ago about a company called Zappos, their company culture and in particular the call center.   The program discussed how they threw out their scripting, tossed the wall boards of endless performance statistics and decided to focus on one thing:   customer service.   They don’t care how much time an agent spends on a call and they replaced pointless rules and procedures with agent empowerment, ownership, and pride.   Zappos does monitor their agents for quality, but the scoring isn’t rigid and really boils down to one […]

Using Social Media to do your job

I have looked. And looked.

But I can’t find it anywhere.

Using Social Media for doing your job – a complete list!

Let me backup for a moment. You see, the genesis for this blog came from discussions that my boss and I have had surrounding the business uses of social media. I claim there are a ton of very good business uses for social media, like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and others. However, I can’t find enough information on the Internet to support my claim.

His claim is that while he can see some basic uses for social media […]

Younger Consumers and the Contact Center

According to a study by a telecom technology provider, 60 percent of consumers over 45 are just as inclined to use SMS as to make a phone call with their cell phone. Also, 80 percent of the study participants said they felt that an SMS would be responded to more quickly than either an email or a phone call.

This may be surprising to those of you who thought SMS, or “texting” as it is called in North America, is solely the province of teenagers. The call to action for contact center management, however, is the reverse of the […]

Predictive Dialers Get a Bad Rap

When I used to explain what I do for work, I would include something about "an automated dialing product… you know, when you get that call around dinner time with a guy trying to sell you new windows?"  I decided that I needed to come up with a more positive (and fair) explanation of an automated or predictive dialer.  If Predictive Dialers were a people group, they would probably claim to be misunderstood or to have gotten a bad rap [side note: I wasn’t sure how to spell ‘bad rap’, so I looked it up – interesting article for those […]

Social Media for Business — Walk Cautiously

I’m going to break rank with my marketing peers on this topic. As a B2B marketer about every other thing I read related to my profession has something to do with social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN, etc.). It seems like every marketer is chasing these new found media types in search of gold. My message is, walk cautiously. Here’s my reasoning.

Just because everyone is enamored with twitter and the like, doesn’t mean there is a business case to justify spending a lot of time and money building campaigns around it. What is the return on that investment? If you […]

How a Hundred Bucks Can Cost Your Business Thousands

As I sit here with my wife at the Detroit airport waiting for our next delayed connection I can’t help but wonder what companies are thinking at the customer contact level when dealing with long term profitable customers. I know that the airline letting us get on that earlier connection (that was on time of course) would have cost them nothing since I sat here watching it pull away without us onboard and only partially full but the gate agent when we checked in insisted they were powerless to make any changes and insisted on trying to charge us […]