The Business Case For A Business Case

Natalie L. Petouhoff, Ph.D. By Dr. Natalie Petouhoff

In covering Customer Service, I have divided the topic into three aspects:

  • “Get the Basics Right”
  • “Understand the Business of Customer Service"
  • “Plan for the Future of Customer Service.”

I just published a document, “How To Win Funding For Your Customer Service Project." Forrester suggests to standardize the process and template for a business case. We use the discipline Total Economic Impact™ to calculate the ROI for an initiative. I’m hearing from a lot of my clients that in order to get their project approved, they need to justify it.

Today I had an inquiry call from a vendor that wanted to know how best to standardize the business justification process. They are finding that they can’t even get a meeting, or if they do, then one of the first sales objections of their clients is, “What is the ROI of this solution?"

Hopefully this doc will help you in creating your business case. Think of four buckets: benefits, costs, risks, and the other advantages that a particular solution offers for the future. Forrester calls this last buck flexibility. One of the most difficult parts of writing a business case is understanding the metrics you’ll use to describe the benefits and assigning value to them.

Questions for You:

  • Are you finding that you need to have a business case to justify the changes you want to make to customer service? or other departments?
  • What are executives asking for?
  • What are you struggling with?

Write and let me know how what you are dealing with!

P.S. In case you haven’t seen some of the docs I’ve written, here’s a link to some of them. Category is listed above.

 “Get the Basics Right”

·         Forrester’s Customer Service Innovation Framework And Self-Assessment The Forrester Wave™: Customer Service Software Solutions, Q4 2008

·         Forrester's Customer Service Innovation Capabilities Self-Assessment WorkSheet- Take the Survey and see how you rate! We can provide an online survey to your whole organization to give you a holistic picture of where you are on the continium of providing best practices for customer service.

·         Forrester Wave¿: Interaction-Centric Customer Service Solutions, Q4 '08 vendor comparison tool (This worksheet has a detailed comparison of vendors that focus on customer interaction-channels for instance like eGain, KANA and RightNow Technologies…)

·         Forrester Wave¿: Process-Centric Customer Service Solutions, Q4 '08 vendor comparison tool (This worksheet has a detailed comparison of vendors that focus on customer processes, for instance, vendors like Ciboodle, Pegasystems and Consona CRM…)

·         Forrester Wave¿: Record-Centric Customer Service Solutions, Q4 '08 vendor comparison tool (This worksheet has a detailed comparison of vendors that focus on customer records, for instance vendors like Salesforce.com, SAP, Oracle Siebel…)

·        Why Talking To Your Customers Is Ruining Your Business: Five Ways To Deliver Extraordinary Customer Service Agent Interactions

 

 “Understand The Business of Customer Service”

·         Customer Service: A Keystone Of Your Corporate Revenue Strategy 

·         The Economic Necessity Of Customer Service

·         How To Win Funding For Your Customer Service Project: Use The Discipline Total Economic Impact™ To Boost ROI

 

“Plan for The Future of Customer Service”

  • The ROI Of Online Customer Service Communities: Social Media Provides Better Customer Service Experiences at Lower Costs - Coming soon in Q2.

Social Media Best Practices for Customer Service- Coming at the end of Q2;Beginning of Q3.

  • Social Media Customer Service Case Studies: How Vendors are Changing Their Solutions and How Companies are Deploying Social Media Solutions and Transforming Not Only Customer Service, But The Whole Company
  • How Knowledge Management Makes Agent-Assisted and Self-Service Pay-off in Better Customer Experiences and Lower Operational Costs
  • Comments

    re: The Business Case For A Business Case

    Thank you very much for sharing this great information. I am happy to read this complete article and come to know about Customer Service and various aspects of covering customer service. This will really helpful for customer service program.

    re: The Business Case For A Business Case

    Thanks for the feedback! Glad to hear it is helpful! Let me know what you'd like to see me write about!Natalie