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.
International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, 2006 Vol.1 No.2, pp.166 - 193
Published online: 19 Sep 2006 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article