You are on page 1of 22


Computer software, or just software, is a collection of computer programs and related data that provides the instructions for telling a computer what to do and how to do it. Software refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of the computer. In other words, software is a set of programs, procedures, algorithms and its documentation concerned with the operation of a data processing system. It is usually written in high-level programming languages that are easier and more efficient for humans to use (closer to natural language) than machine language. High-level languages are compiled or interpreted into machine language object code. Software may also be written in an assembly language, essentially, a mnemonic representation of a machine language using a natural language alphabet. Assembly language must be assembled into object code via an assembler.

Types of software
The types of software include web pages developed in languages and frameworks like HTML, PHP, Perl, JSP, ASP.NET, XML, and desktop applicationslike, Microsoft Word developed in languages like C, C++, ObjectiveC, Java, C#, or Smalltalk. Application software usually runs on an underlying software operating systems such as Linux or Microsoft Windows. Software (or firmware) is also used in video games and for the configurable parts of the logic systems of automobiles, televisions, and other consumer electronics. Practical computer systems divide software systems into three major classes: system software, programming software and application software

System software
System software is computer software designed to operate the computer hardware, to provide basic functionality, and to provide a platform for running application software.System software includes device drivers, operating systems, servers, utilities, and window systems. System software is responsible for managing a variety of independent hardware components, so that they can work together harmoniously. Its purpose is to unburden the application software programmer from the often complex details of the particular computer being used, including such accessories as communications devices, printers, device readers, displays and keyboards, and also to partition the computer's resources such as memory and processor time in a safe and stable manner.

Programming software
Programming software include tools in the form of programs or applications that software developers use to create, debug, maintain, or otherwise support other programs and applications. The term usually refers to relatively simple programs such

as compilers, debuggers, interpreters, linkers, and text editors, that can be combined together to accomplish a task.

Application software
Application software is developed to perform in any task that benefit from computation. It is a set of programs that allows the computer to perform a specific data processing job for the user. It is a broad category, and encompasses software of many kinds, including the internet browser being used to display this page.

Software projects have certain characteristics that make them different.

3.. 2. The Feasibility Study: This investigates whether a prospective project is worth starting. An outline plan will be formulated for the whole project and a detailed one for the first stage.Design is thinking and making decisions about the precise form of products that the project is to create. The clients and other stakeholders may be aware of the problems but not be sure about the means of achievement. Project Execution: The project can now be executed.Usually there are three successive processesthat bring a new system: 1. It often contains design and implementation sub-phases. With a large system. Information is gathered about the requirements of the proposed application. this could relate to the external appearance of the software. the user interface. all detailed planning is not done at the beginning. then the planning of the project can take place. In case of software. The operational costs will also have to be estimated. . the feasibility study could be treated as a project in its own right. For a large project. Planning: If the feasibility study produces results which indicates that the prospective project appears visible.

At the system level. 2. 7. Qualification Testing: The system. Installation: This is the process of making the new system operational. Integration: The individual components are collected together and tested to see if they meet the overall requirements. Code and Test: This could refer to writing code for each software unit in a procedural language such as C# or java. including the software components. decisions will need to be made about which processes in the new system will be carried out by the user and which can be computerized. 6. Requirement Analysis: This starts with a requirement elicitation which investigates what the potential users and their managers and employers require as features and qualities of the new system. These customer facing requirements then have to be translated into technical requirements from which the developers of the new system can work. Detailed Design: Each s/w component is made up of a no. This design of the system architecture thus forms an input to the development of the software requirements. Initial testing to debug individual s/w units would be carried out at this stage. A quality requirement might be. 3. of s/w units that can be separately coded and tested. 1. The detailed design of these units is carried out separately. These will relate to the system as a whole. that the user should be able to complete a transaction within a certain time. 5.The above figure shows a typical sequence of software development activities recommended in the international standard ISO 12207. has to be tested carefully to ensure that all the requirements have been fulfilled. . for instance. Architecture Design: This maps the requirements to the components of the system that is to be built. 4. It include activities like setting up a standing data such as payroll details for employees if this were a payroll system.

Remote management. It is possible to see s/w maintenance as a series of minor s/w projects. Lack of standards. Lack of communication between users and technicians. Lack of communication leading to duplication of work. Lack of up to date documentation. The above list looks at the project from the manager’s point of view. Below is a list of the problems identified by staff members:               Inadequate specification of work Management ignorance of ICT. Changing s/w environment. Acceptance support: This is the resolving of problems with the newly installed system.8. and any extensions and improvements that are required. . Lack of knowledge of application area. Problems with software Projects Problems experienced by managers:       Poor estimates and plans Lack of quality standards and measures Lack of guidance about making organizational decisions Lack of techniques to make progress visible Poor role definition-who does what? Incorrect success criteria. Lack of quality control. including the correction of any errors that might have crept into the system. Deadline pressure. Narrow scope of technical expertise. Preceding activities not completed on time. Lack of training.

The Service Development Lifecycle Services marketing is built on carefully understanding the deeper needs of your customers. early adopter customers help you to identify services that will subsequently address the needs of your mainstream market customers months or years later. 2. There is a great deal of leverage in providing services. 3. objectives need to be broken down into goals or sub objectives. For ex. 4. The mnemonic SMART is sometimes used to describe well defined objectives: 1. you'll have the opportunity to hear your customers articulate progressively higher impact areas that they'd like you to address. Time constrained: There should be a defined point in time by which the objective should have been achieved. Specific: Effective objectives are concrete and well defined. Achievable: It must be within the power of the individual or group to achieve the objective. So. Measurable: Ideally there should be measures of effectiveness which tells us how successful the project has been. ‘to reduce customer complaints’ would be more satisfactory as an objective than ‘to improve customer relations’. An effective objective for an individual must be something that is within his control. since after your organization has started to delight your customers with your first services. When this occurs you have succeeded in building a services business based on a deep understanding of your customers! The diagram identifies the four phases of the Service Development Lifecycle: . and then providing services that will help to make them more successful. This is when a virtuous cycle emerges: your most demanding. Objectives should be defined in such a way that it is obvious to all whether the project has been successful or not.Setting objectives Setting objectives can guide and motivate individuals and staff. Relevant: The objective must be relevant to the true purpose of the project. 5.

they'll tell you their pain points. The .The starting point is the market research phase of Identifying the Customer Pain Point. Once the service is purchased by a customer. Insight gained during this implementation phase is used as input into the identification of new customer pain points. The next phase. during this phase of the Service Development Lifecycle you perform market research to identify in a very specific way the unmet services needs of your customers. the pain can easily be that of the frustration of wanting your product to do even more than it does today. the fourth phase. During this phase the customer pain points and requirements are captured. takes these needs and casts them into a set of service components that form the heart and soul of the customer engagement. Delivering & Supporting. In essence. The third phase. If you've established good communications with your customers. Marketing & Selling. Developing the Service Definition. The choice of the words "pain point" is intentional: only something that is severe enough to be painful to your customer will cause them to act to relieve the pain. develops the customer-facing portfolio used to communicate and sell the service product to a customer. This pain doesn't necessarily have to be in a negative sense. is used to implement the service. leading to the development of additional services Customer Pain Point Identifying the Customer Pain Point is the starting point in the Service Development Lifecycle.

since the deliverables are spelled out. The discussion questions are posed by an independent meeting facilitator. Customer focus groups. but is warranted when a significant investment (or risk) will be part of bringing the service to market. It's easy to overlook them as a source of information. A note of caution: a bit of probing is needed to make sure that the customer requests are an accurate reflection of their business need. concise statement of service deliverables and impact will enhance customer satisfaction. These can provide a ready-made forum for discussions of current challenges Since it's likely that a number of pain points will be identified. 5. since they're often in job roles in which there is no expectation for them to seek out and disseminate information on customer needs. Customer user group meetings. Field support personnel can be walking treasure troves of information on the customer's pain points. Your customers will feel that their purchase decisions have less risk when they are confident that they know what they'll get for their money. The interviews ideally include people in multiple roles in the customer organization so that a clear understanding of business impact can be determined. In-depth interviews with your field support staff. One-on-one customer interviews. 4. These are the low hanging fruit of market research! If the requests seem reasonable. With a bit of luck. The choice should of course align with the business plans of your support organization.identification of the customer pain point can involve the use of formal and informal market research methods. you'll want to leverage some business methods to prioritize and choose among the alternatives. Among the many techniques are: 1. you have a very viable candidate for a service. This is a formal market research method in which your customers participate in a group discussion with other customers. This method can be expensive. one of the pain points will clearly emerge as the most appropriate one to address with a service product. A clear. Similarly. Requests from your most important customers. During this phase the detailed characteristics of the service are developed. your organization will have more of an ability to resist scope creep during the delivery of the service. and especially if you hear similar requests from multiple companies. These can range from an informal conversation over lunch on through to interviews conducted with scripted questions. Once you've settled on a specific customer pain point to address. A number of methods can be used to define the service: . you're then ready to develop the service Service Definition The second phase of the Service Development Lifecycle is Developing the Service Definition. 3. 2.

Develop a service methodology. Marketing & Selling The next phase of the Service Development Lifecycle is Marketing & Selling your new support service. Define and bound the range of work to be performed. Define the roles and responsibilities of field personnel: a. Will you need engineering resources to develop your service? b. At a high level. forms the inputs into the next phase: Marketing & Selling the new support service. customer needs (pain points) addressed by the service. mention those areas that won't be evaluated. Will you need the sales channels to commit quota and commission for taking on the sales effort? c. the methodology identifies the sequence of steps taken during delivery of the service. the impact and benefits that your customer will experience from your service. Similarly. the customer pain point "the computing throughput of the software is too slow for selected applications" can become a service that "performs a systematic evaluation and tuning of 20 parameters to reduce system response time by at least 10%. Restate the customer pain point into an action statement." 2. Develop a clearly stated definition for the completion of the services engagement. you'll have a very clear notion of target customer. 5. If you've done your homework carefully during the proceeding phases. Will you need to build staff within your support organization to be able to deliver and support the new service? 7. and how the service will be delivered. For example. together with the customer pain point statement for the customer. Dissect the customer pain point statement. 3. Will there be a named Engagement Manager for each customer engagement? The service definition. ideally across many different services. or by the same organization that provides break/fix support? b. Seek alignment with the goals and capabilities of other functional organizations in your company: a. 4. 6. The activities in the Marketing & Selling phase emphasize the customer facing issues for the service: .1. Will the services be delivered by a "Professional Services" organization. Provide a detailed description of which product areas and interfaces will be examined. The detailed points can then be used as the basis for the components of the service. The methodology provides a consistent approach to be used by your field delivery personnel. This phase packages the service into an offering that can readily be communicated and sold by your company.

On a performance/contingency basis? 2. The customer can use this as part of the purchase order to identify what they are purchasing. Based on time and materials? c. Shift an existing sales rep to become the company wide sales rep for support products. and many others. As a minimum. Sell through an indirect channel partner. 6. 8. This can be an incrementally lowcost way to start sales for a service that is a low-risk. Use factory based telesales reps. 5. Provide a standard sales contract 4. articles. webinars. low-cost customer purchase decision. As a fixed price engagement? b. Create marketing materials that provide an attractive description of the service. This will work if each sales rep will be effective selling the service. 9. customer satisfaction stories. and carries a high enough price to cover the cost structure of a dedicated sales rep. This can make sense if the service. Train your sales and delivery channels on the service At the conclusion of this phase the customer signs a purchase order for the service. Will the service be sold: a. or the customer usage. 7. Leverage the existing sales channel and personnel used by your company. Build customer awareness for your service via customer presentations. An indicator of appropriateness of this channel is whether the sales management will take on quota for your service product. Provide a fact-oriented summary of the service deliverables. d. is especially complex. The following is a sample of sales channel alternatives: a. The materials should emphasize the way in which the service addresses the customer pain point. c. b. the sales reps should be excited about the opportunity to sell your service product. web site. Develop a discount policy 3. These channel organizations often look to services to differentiate themselves from their competitors. for example. Select a pricing approach. Leverage an existing business development staff to also handle the your service product. a VAR or a systems integrator. email notices. Identify the type of sales channel that will be the best fit. This can include brochures. et al. conference presentations. conference call briefings.1. . ideally ones who currently sell support products like break/fix support renewals.

.are delivered to an organization's computers and devices through the Internet.Delivering & Supporting The final phase of the Service Development Lifecycle is Delivering & Supporting the new service product with a customer. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). You'll then be on your way to developing another service. or solely by your company. Client training and support 9. 5. Warranty 10. engineers on-site from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM every business day. These services are broadly divided into three categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). whether jointly. Who will deliver the service. How the service will be delivered (e. Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. with specified roles and responsibilities. The components of service that will be delivered 2. Payment terms and conditions 8. Timeline & milestones 7. Prerequisites and requirements to be fulfilled by the customer before and during the services engagement 4. storage and applications -. once per month visits to install system updates and retune the system) 3." where different services -. Your team will now have significant access to key audiences in the customer organization. . the customer has a clear understanding of: 1.such as servers. Service methodology to be used 6. In cloud computing. who may be very eager to articulate their needs to a good listener. the word cloud (also phrased as "the cloud") is used as a metaphor for "the Internet. or. The name cloud computing was inspired by the cloud symbol that's often used to represent the Internet in flowcharts and diagrams. with a launch customer from the very beginning! Cloud computing Cloud computing is a type of computing that relies on sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications. Engagement closure During delivery of the service is a great time to actively engage in the first phase of the Service Development Lifecycle: Identifying the Customer Pain Point. The management structure and reporting relationships for the engagement are clearly identified. If the prior phases have been implemented carefully." so the phrase cloud computing means "a type of Internet-based computing.g.

Services can be anything from Web-based email to inventory control and database processing. the end user is free to use the service from anywhere.) A private cloud is a proprietary network or a data center that supplies hosted services to a limited number of people. Infrastructure-as-a-Service like Amazon Web Services provides virtual server instanceAPI) to start. Significant innovations in virtualization and distributed computing. there are not standards for interoperability or data portability in the cloud. website portals orgateway software installed on the customer's computer. as well as improved access to high-speed Internet and a weak economy. (an outgrowth of Salesforce. A cloud can be private or public. Because this pay-for-what-you-use model resembles the way and GoogleApps are examples of PaaS. the goal of cloud computing is to provide easy. the software product and interacts with the user through a front-end portal. Because the service provider hosts both the application and the data. A public cloud sells services to anyone on the Internet. scalable access to computing resources and IT services. and bring more online as soon as required. (Currently. Some providers will not allow software created by their customers to be moved off the provider's platform. Force. It is sold on demand.A cloud service has three distinct characteristics that differentiate it from traditional hosting. cloud computing allows a company to pay for only as much capacity as is needed. and the service is fully managed by the provider (the consumer needs nothing but a personal computer and Internet access). it's sometimes referred to as utility computing. fuel and water are consumed. it is elastic -. Platform-as-a-service in the cloud is defined as a set of software and product development tools hosted on the provider's infrastructure. PaaS providers may use APIs. Developers need to know that currently. typically by the minute or the hour. Developers create applications on the provider's platform over the Internet. the result is called a virtual private cloud. The diagram below depicts the Cloud Computing stack – it shows three distinct . In the software-as-a-service cloud model. SaaS is a very broad market. stop.a user can have as much or as little of a service as they want at any given time. the vendor supplies the hardware infrastructure. Private or public. In the enterprise. have accelerated interest in cloud computing. access and configure their virtual servers and storage. When a service provider uses public cloud resources to create their private cloud. Amazon Web Services is the largest public cloud provider.

networks.• Software delivered in a “one to many” model. delivered over the web  PaaS is the set of tools and services designed to make coding and deploying those applications quick and efficient  IaaS is the hardware and software that powers it all – servers. it is important to ensure that solutions sold as SaaS in fact comply with generally accepted definitions of Cloud Computing.• Users not required to handle software upgrades and patches. or (increasingly) at no charge when there is opportunity to generate revenue from streams other than the user. Some defining characteristics of SaaS include: Web access to commercial software. such as from advertisement or user list sales. ”  SaaS is a rapidly growing market as indicated in recent reports that predict ongoing double digit growth.•       . a very simplified way of differentiating these flavors of Cloud Computing is as follows:  SaaS applications are designed for end-users. in a “pay-as-you-go” model. through a subscription. Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service. operating systems Software as a Service Software as a Service (SaaS) is defined as:“…software that is deployed over the internet… With SaaS. Characteristics of SaaS Like other forms of Cloud Computing.categories within Cloud Computing: Software as a Service.9 This rapid growth indicates that SaaS will soon become commonplace within every organization and hence it is important that buyers and users of technology understand what SaaS is and where it is suitable.• Software is managed from a central location. a provider licenses an application to customers either as a service on demand. storage.

Integration with web services and databases via common standards. All the varying services needed to fulfill the application development process. Platform as a Service Platform as a Service (PaaS) brings the benefits that SaaS bought for applications. it is a platform for the creation of software. storage. datacenter space or network equipment. PaaS is analogous to SaaS except that. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) allow for integration between • different pieces of software. test and deploy different UI scenarios. but over to the software development world. Web based user interface creation tools help to create. network and operating systems – as an on-demand service. Characteristics of PaaS There are a number of different takes on what constitutes PaaS but some basic characteristics include. clients instead buy those resources as a fully outsourced service on demand Generally IaaS can be obtained as public or private infrastructure or a combination of the two. . PaaS can be defined as a computing platform that allows the creation of web applications quickly and easily and without the complexity of buying and maintaining the software and infrastructure underneath it. deploy. host and maintain applications in the same integrated development environment. deployed on a self-service basis over the Internet. delivered over the web.        Services to develop. modify. “Public Cloud” is considered infrastructure that consists of shared resources. Built in scalability of deployed software including load balancing and failover. Multi-tenant architecture where multiple concurrent users utilize the same development application. Tools to handle billing and subscription management Infrastructure as a Service Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a way of delivering Cloud Computing infrastructure – servers. Support for development team collaboration – some PaaS solutions include project planning and communication tools. test. rather than being software delivered over the web. Rather than purchasing servers. software.

IaaS is generally accepted to comply with the following: • Resources are distributed as a service • Allows for dynamic scaling • Has a variable cost.By contrast. utility pricing model • Generally includes multiple users on a single piece of hardware Proposal (business) A business proposal is a written offer from a seller to a prospective buyer.” Characteristics of IaaS As with the two previous sections. “Private Cloud” is infrastructure that emulates some of Cloud Computing features. whether it is to persuade a potential customer to purchase goods and/or services.. Business proposals are often a key step in the complex sales process—i. where both parties get what they want. A proposal puts the buyer's requirements in a context that favors the sellers products and services. like virtualization. The professional organization devoted to the advancement of the art and science of proposal development is The Association of Proposal Management Professionals The general purpose of any proposal is to persuade the readers o do something. SaaS and PaaS. Additionally. whenever a buyer considers more than price in a purchase. A successful proposal results in a sale. or to persuade your employer to fund a project or to implement a program that you would like to launch. and educates the buyer about the capabilities of the seller in satisfying their needs. a win-win situation. This combination approach is generally called “Hybrid Cloud. but does so on a private network. IaaS is a rapidly developing field. Types of Proposals There are three distinct categories of business proposals:    Formally Solicited Informally Solicited Unsolicited . some hosting providers are beginning to offer a combination of traditional dedicated hosting alongside Public and/or Private Cloud networks. That said there are some core characteristics which describe what IaaS is.e.

and vendors are available. Request for Information (RFI) Sometimes before a customer issues an RFP or RFQ or IFB. . RFIs are used to shape final RFPs. RFQs can be very detailed. when availability or delivering or service are considerations. such as quality control. but the primary consideration is price. so potential vendors take great care in responding to these requests. Request for Quotation (RFQ) Customers issue RFQs when they want to buy large amounts of a commodity and price is not the only issue--for example. Request for Proposal (RFP) RFPs provide detailed specifications of what the customer wants to buy and sometimes include directions for preparing the proposal. contained in a Request for Proposal (RFP). services. RFIs are issues to qualify the vendors who are interested in providing service/products for specific requirements. detailed RFP is issued to qualified vendors who the organization believes can provide desired services. hoping to shape the eventual formal solicitation toward their products or services.000's of pages. These proposals can be lengthy but most of the length comes from cost-estimating data and detailed schedules. with small narratives addressing customer issues. Proposals in response to RFPs are seldom less than 10 pages and sometimes reach 1. The requirements are detailed. Request for Quotation (RFQ). RFQs. Customers issue RFPs when their needs cannot be met with generally available products or services. and IFBs. or an Request for Information (RFI). such as construction. Invitation For Bid (IFB). as well as evaluation criteria the customer will use to evaluate offers.Formally Solicited Proposal Solicited proposals are written in response to published requirements.[1] RFQ proposals consist primarily of cost data. The purpose of the RFI is to gain "marketing intelligence" about what products. without cost data. so proposals written to RFQs can be lengthy but generally much shorter than an RFP-proposal. For example. the customer will issue a Request for Information (RFI). Based on the response to RFI. a customer provides architectural blueprints for contractors to bid on. Invitation for Bid (IFB) Customers issue IFBs when they are buying some service.

They are not designed to close a sale. an executive summary written in non-technical language. Components of a Proposal Any proposal offers a plan to fill a need. the customer does not ask for competing proposals from other vendors. as with any other written document. is simple. and your reader will evaluate your plan according to how well your written presentation answers questions about WHAT you are proposing. including the benefits the reader/group will receive from the solution and the cost of that solution. of your technical discourse community. The most basic composition of a proposal. Vendors use them to introduce a product or service to a prospective customer. just introduce the possibility of a sale. . Typically. To do this you must ascertain the level of knowledge that your audience possesses and take the positions of all your readers into account. WHEN you plan to do it. They are often used as "leave-behinds" at the end of initial meetings with customers or "give-aways" at trade shows or other public meetings. with no direct connection between customer needs or specified requirements. with many less than 5 page.  The INTRODUCTION presents and summarizes the problem you intend to solve and your solution to that problem. You must also discern whether your readers will be members of your technical community. it needs a beginning (the Introduction). You might provide. They are always generic. HOW you plan to do it. a middle (the Body of material to be presented) and an end (the Conclusion/Recommendation). There are no formal requirements to respond to.Informally Solicited Proposal Informally solicited proposals are typically the result of conversations held between a vendor and a prospective customer. and then use the appropriate materials and language to appeal to both. or you might include a glossary of terms that explains technical language use in the body of the proposal and/ or attach appendices that explain technical information in generally understood language. and HOW MUCH it is going to cost. Unsolicited Proposal Unsolicited proposals are marketing brochures. or of both. These proposals are typically less than 25-pages. This type of proposal is known as a sole-source proposal. The customer is interested enough in a product or service to ask for a proposal. for those outside of your specific area of expertise. just the information gleaned from customer meetings.

material. and detail of materials. equipment and personnel) Appendices . when the job will be completed. what method will be used to do it. There are several formats to a proposal. and personnel that would be required. It should be encouraging.  The CONCLUSION should emphasize the benefits that the reader will realize from your solution to the problem and should urge the reader to action. facilities. Proposed Solution(s). Program of Implementation. including the equipment. 200 word abstract) Introduction Body  Project Proposal: (Includes Statement of the Problem. but one that has the greatest flexibility and has achieved the widest acceptance is as follows:  Letter of transmittal  Title Page  Project Summary (approx. and. Conclusions/Recommendations) Conclusion/Recommendations Front Matter Back Matter Bibliography and/or Works Cited Qualifications (of writer(s) and/or project implementers) Budget  (Itemization of expenses in the implementation and operation of the proposed plan. when the work will begin. confident and assertive in tone. broken into separate tasks. The BODY of the proposal should explain the complete details of the solution: how the job will be done. It should also present a detailed cost breakdown for the entire job.

audiences. its primary activities. and services 1 page Conclusion: summary of the proposal's 2 paragraphs .Components of a Proposal Executive Summary: umbrella statement of your case and summary of the entire proposal 1 page Statement of Need: why this project is necessary 2 pages Project Description: nuts and bolts of how the project will be implemented and evaluated 3 pages Budget: financial description of the project plus explanatory notes 1 page Organization Information: history and governing structure of the nonprofit.

put yourself in the customer’s position. They just want their problem fixed The fourth technique is to avoid specific hot phrases such as. Fifth. make sure you apologize. most people run out of steam in less than a minute. Delivering great customer service in today’s retail world of big -box stores will help give you a competitive advantage. First.” and “you should have…” No one likes to hear statements such as these even if they are appropriate to use.main points Five Strategies to Deal with an Unsatisfied Customer Customer service is the backbone to every business. this simple step is enough to resolve the situation. Third. Make sure that what you say and how you say reflects the severity of the situation. The second strategy is to listen to the customer. take responsibility for the problem. It is also critical that you do not interrupt them while they express their anger and frustration. “that’s our policy. How would you be reacting if the same situation happened to you?While you may not respond in the same manner. you won’t make much headway in solving their concern. This tends to be the most challenging aspect of dealing with unsatisfied customers because they often lose their temper and become difficult to listen to. right? So why do the majority of retail people lack customer service skills? I believe the root of the problems lies in the fact that many organizations do not teach their employees how to deal with customers who have a problem. In many cases.” “I can’t do that. However. Let them tell you about their situation. Here are five strategies that will help you manage the situation when you find yourself face-toface with an unsatisfied customer. this approach can help you better understand the problem or concern by giving you a different perspective. Although it may seem like it takes forever for them to tell you their problem. Until their emotions are addressed. Your customers don’t care who is at fault. Regardless of how minor or severe the situation. You should discuss the importance of assuming responsibility for the mistake even if it was caused by someone else – which is usually the case. Be cognizant of your tone of voice and body language. . It is much easier to teach a team of five or ten employees the concepts mentioned above than it is to execute them consistently with a staff of a hundred of more. apologize. it is an extremely effective strategy because it gives the customer time to vent their emotions.

Today. The exact frequency you choose will depend on your industry and even seasonality. Build two-way communication. Customer loyalty or reward programs work well for many types of businesses. Whenever possible. Instead of a constant barrage of promotions." Use every tool and opportunity to create interaction. offer in-kind rewards that remind your customers of your company and its products or services. whether it's a springtime golf outing. 4. it's possible to combine e-mail. When it comes to customer relations. 3. The company-sponsored golf outing is back. The most effective programs offer graduated rewards. direct mail. most profitable clients or customers and cuts down on low-value price switchers-customers who switch from program to program to get entry-level rewards. Here are seven relationship-building strategies that will help you transform your company into a valuable resource: 1. phone contact and face-to-face communication to keep prospects moving through your sales cycle without burning out on your message. a summertime pool party or an early fall barbecue. from retail to cruise and travel. Hold special events. Offer customer rewards. "listening" can be every bit as important as "telling. It's a terrific way to add value. so the more customers spend. 2. the more they earn. it's important to communicate frequently and vary the types of messages you send.7 Relationship-Building Strategies for Your Business successful businesses don't just communicate with prospects and customers for special sales. Just choose the venue most appropriate for your unique customers and business. enhance your brand and position against your competition. How often do you reach out to customers? Do the bulk of your communications focus on product offers and sales? For best results. Communicate frequently. This rewards your best. Any event that allows you and your staff to interact with your best customers is a good bet. With the renewed interest in retaining and up-selling current customers. sending customer . company-sponsored special events are returning to the forefront. including asking for feedback through your Web site and e-newsletters. but for many types of businesses. sprinkle in helpful newsletters or softer-sell messages. making your company indispensable is a vital key to marketing success.

Customers who know they're "heard" instantly feel a rapport and a relationship with your company. Top-flight customer service on all sales will help you build repeat business. it's important to go beyond standard sales calls and off-the-shelf marketing tools in order to build relationships with top customers or clients. For example. Do you have a dedicated staff or channel for resolving customer problems quickly and effectively? How about online customer assistance? One of the best ways to add value and stand out from the competition is to have superior customer service. the head of your company? There's no better way to really understand the challenges your customers face and the ways you can help meet them than to occasionally get out in the trenches. . 6." This is what they can expect to receive in the way of support from your company after a sale is closed. For many entrepreneurs. When was the last time you spent hours.surveys (online or offline) and providing online message boards or blogs. with a customer-not your sales staff. Visit the trenches. Launch multicultural programs. Try it. or even a full day. Customers often make choices between parity products and services based on the perceived "customer experience. you might offer a Spanish-language translation of your Web site or use ethnic print and broadcast media to reach niche markets. create positive word-of-mouth and increase sales from new customers as a result. Bilingual customer service will also go a long way toward helping your company build relationships with minority groups. It may be time to add a multilingual component to your marketing program. Enhance your customer service. You'll find it can be a real eye-opener and a great way to cement lasting relationships. but you. Ethnic audiences will appreciate marketing communications in their own languages. 7. . particularly those selling products and services to other businesses. 5.