SOURCE: Aberdeen Group a Harte-Hanks Company

April 04, 2007 06:55 ET

Telcos and Utilities Resolve 59% of Problems at the Support Desk -- Leading All Other Industries

54% of Telecom/Utilities Firms Report Leveraging Knowledge Management Solutions to Help Speed Problem Resolution

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 4, 2007 -- Telecommunications and Utility organizations not only excel at resolving customer problems in their service call centers, they also boast the lowest total service delivery costs at 13% of revenue according to the newly published benchmark report, Industry Best Practices in Service Contact Centers and Support Desks, by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS).

The benchmark report reveals that all industries agree: early problem resolution is crucial to the overall financial success of their organizations. In fact 85% of polled companies say that early problem resolution is very or extremely important to their overall success. Yet despite the stellar performance in early problem resolution reported by telco and utility firms, only 14% of firms across all industries are actually satisfied with their early problem resolution capabilities.

"It's apparent that companies understand the importance of resolving customer problems as quickly as possible," said Michael Israel, Research Director, Service Chain Research at Aberdeen and author of the report. "It's equally apparent that a large majority of organizations know they're not doing as good a job as they should in this regard. There is obviously significant opportunity for improvement here, which technology solutions can help facilitate."

Israel offers manufacturers and service providers specific recommendations for improving their ability to resolve problems at the call center and support desk levels, which include the following:

1.  Invest in technology to facilitate your call centers' problem
    resolution capabilities.
    
2.  Evaluate and implement a knowledge management or scripted trouble
    shooting solution.
    
3.  Establish a 2nd, 3rd, or higher level technical support organization.
    
4.  Dedicate your support desk to providing service, and not other
    activities.
    
5.  Staff and train call center agents with the appropriate skills to
    support products.
    
6.  Formalize post-service survey efforts, get feedback from your
    customers.
    
More than 170 companies participated in the quantitative study which is the foundation for the Industry Best Practices in Service Contact Centers and Support Desks report. Companies responding to the survey included Bombardier, Cablevision, Fujitsu, GE, Philips, Siemens Communications, Xerox, and many others.

The report is made available by the underwriting of: eGain, FrontRange Solutions, and Satmetrix. For a complimentary copy of this report, please visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=3961

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

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