Configuration and Call Center Activity
Customer Perception Drivers and Timing
Dropped Product But Continuing Service Center Calls
Profitability of Demand Drivers
Service Center Demand Drivers
Value of Higher Levels of Service Outsourcing
“Are product quality, service quality, and availability perceptions a function of current-quarter conditions or previous-quarter conditions?”
Product quality, service quality, and availability perceptions presumably are mostly based on current-quarter conditions, with previous-quarter conditions having some possible residual impact on current-quarter customer perceptions. While this is a reasonable generality, service quality perceptions are more complicated. Since service quality perceptions are based on customer surveys, customers are surveyed this quarter about their service experiences, most of which probably occurred in the previous quarter. Thus, last quarter's conditions (e.g., call center service levels and performance) influence this quarter's service quality perceptions.
“We’ve dropped a product from region #1 but service calls (and service costs) are still continuing. Why is that?”
Service activity/demand continues after dropping a product due to past sales that involved a lengthy warranty. Eventually, past sales’ warranties will lapse and calls to your service center will cease (and service charges will also cease).
“What are the demand drivers of calls to our service centers?”
Service center call volume is mostly driven by current sales volume, but warranty levels obviously represent downstream "exposure" to service calls from past customers. Other "special" events or circumstances (e.g., introductions, reconfigurations, unfilled orders, etc.) may also generate additional call-center volume.
“What is the value of higher levels of service outsourcing? There’s nothing in the manual about customer impact, cost savings, or other tangible benefits of higher quality service.”
Your question about the benefits of higher quality service raises the general question of effect sizes … the relative sizes of all demand drivers. For example, in the set-top boxes industry, price, perceived quality, perceived service, and perceived availability are the known demand drivers. But, how important are each of these drivers? And, how does this importance vary across markets (channels and regions)? Just as in real life, there are no simple answers in LINKS.
The costs of service are relatively easy to see, but the benefits are uncertain.
So, it's back to general analysis approaches for assessing effect sizes: managerial judgment, analysis of historical data (perhaps via multiple regression models), competitive benchmarking (especially comparisons across similar competitive offerings that differ on only one demand driver level), and in-field experimentation.