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POWER

The Service Factor

Customer service is vital to keep customers coming back and talking about their great experiences

Customer service is vital to keep customers coming back and talking about their great experiences
Photo by Craig Bares

I think most would agree that customer service has declined in quality over the past several years. Wait staff at restaurants might be the biggest culprit in my world. In the last month, I’ve had a snotty waiter who acted like it was beneath his station to take my order, a super spacey waitress who was pleasant but got everything wrong, and my favorite: the disappearing help. You can’t find them for more water—or even the check.

I’ve had bad experiences on the phone with the credit-card company, where they treat me like a criminal even though—or maybe because—I pay the full balance on time every month. And the hair salon, where I thought the stylist would pull the hair right out of my head. And the car dealership, where the service writer kept trying to tell me I was stupid.

But the one place I’ve had great service consistently is my massage spa. From the moment I walk in, they cater to my every want or need. Hot towel? No problem. Some tea? Which of the 10 flavors is your pleasure today? I recline in darkened, well-decorated, quiet rooms with soothing music, cushy furniture and babbling fountains. Every time I go, I feel like I’m the only person who matters. I love it—and I keep coming back. I also recommend it whenever I can.

Your IT department can be the customer-service hero at your company too. (And I’m not talking about quick troubleshooting; the best IT staff doesn’t have to troubleshoot because operations are already running smoothly.) IT heroes provide what your team needs to be productive and profitable. And one tool in IT’s belt is virtualization.

The cover story shares how you can use POWER7* and PowerVM* technologies to push your hardware utilization to 90 percent while still making each department feel like it has its own box. The feature takes you even deeper into the new PowerVM release and how it can boost your IT department’s strength and flexibility. With support that spans all three Power Systems* operating systems, PowerVM technology leverages innovations made possible in the new POWER7 architecture—taking your business to new, superhero heights.

You’ll also find some customer-service success stories in the case study, where an agribusiness co-op improved applications with a new GUI, and in the Snapshot profile, where the IT manager of casino and hotel operations runs night and day.

Long live customer service! You and I both know it’s vital to keep customers coming back and talking about their great experiences. Now, if you’ll excuse me, the spa is calling.

Tami Deedrick is the former managing editor of IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems edition.



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