Title: Modelling improved customer responses in web-enabled support networks

Authors: K.R. Ravi Shankar, P. Vijayaraghavan, T.T. Narendran

Addresses: Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, Chennai 600036, India. ' Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, Chennai 600036, India. ' Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, Chennai 600036, India

Abstract: Customer support is assuming strategic importance in emerging markets. An authorised service centre offers field support in a sales territory. Employing |web-enabled| support services (remote services) helps in hassle-free field support. However, restricted working hours and volatile intraday service demand hamper customer response in field support. A manufacturer has to address the |cost-related decisions| in field support under these conditions. The study uses the stochastic principle to relate the cost of customer support and customer response in a territory. The study determines daily demand for support services and analyses this relation with real-time data satisfying the conditions. The outcome of the analysis reveals the following findings: at a constant daily demand, there exists an |optimal staffing point| in remote services (research implication); and when a company improves its response times, the system demands high staffing rates for further improvement of customer response (practical implication).

Keywords: customer support; stochastic modelling; field support costs; customer waiting time; remote services; web services; web enabled support; agile systems; agile management; customer response; staffing rates.

DOI: 10.1504/IJASM.2006.010948

International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, 2006 Vol.1 No.2, pp.166 - 193

Published online: 19 Sep 2006 *

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