Business Strategy

Interception or Completion?
April 1, 2005

Tips for helping customers without sending out a truck By Janet Pinkerton When a customer calls a C-tailer with a problem, the goal is to try to resolve it over the phone in order to avoid a service truck roll, which costs money. Custom Retailer recently interviewed five C-tailers about how to improve success rates for resolving service calls over the phone while keeping customers happy. Each retailer had its own way of handling customer problems, but there are some relative constants. The service call typically is first directed to the sales associate who sold the system or equipment. If sales isn't able

Ready to Play is Ready to Rip
January 1, 2005

Complementing the rise in digital media servers and hard drive portable players is a potential consumer headache: time spent ripping a massive music collection. That's the opinion of Jeff Tedesco, CEO and founder of Ready To Play, a Palo Alto, Calif., company that is working with retailers and integrators to offer its service of encoding music files for consumers. "For the retailer, it doubles the price of the ticket," says Tedesco. Ready To Play has been offering its services to consumers via its web site, but now it is extending its reach as a service sold in the retail channel. Tedesco sees a larger

What's Your Plan if Disaster Strikes
January 1, 2005

So your business is not in hurricane country or sitting on the San Andreas Fault. How can you say it's completely immune to major disruption? What about flooding or storm damage? Computer viruses? A lasting, regional power outage? Fire? Chemical spills? Or violence? What's your company plan if a disaster strikes? "Everyone needs a plan," says Philip Jan Rothstein, president of Rothstein Associates Inc., a management consulting firm and publisher specializing in business continuity and disaster recovery. Buying insurance does not constitute a plan, Rothstein says. "Insurance comes after contingency planning." Most people feel, "We've got insurance. We don't have to worry about this."