Service Business Software Meeting the Customer Service Challenge

Effective service management demands excellent customer service. This is particularly pertinent in today’s world as the level of a customer’s overall satisfaction with a company is becoming increasingly important for any business.

Effective customer service is known to deliver greater productivity, increased customer retention and better long-term revenues for a business. To drive customer service in the economic and social climate, businesses need to turn to leading-edge technology to offer solutions.

Leading-edge technology can deliver solutions that are not only efficient but also effective when used by service delivery people to provide a high performance service. Technology can drive mobile workforce management, workforce scheduling and call centre management, so that customers experience improved levels of customer service.

Software helping to drive customer service

Using specialist service business software, business has the potential and capability to improve customer service levels. So it is no surprise that modern businesses should embrace what the latest software can provide and reap the higher levels of customer satisfaction it will deliver.

How can software help?

Service management teams will be responsible for service delivery and working in the field, often on the road and between hectic schedules of appointments. Such teams require vital back office support systems and business tools to enable them to be as productive as possible, all day, every day. Service business software will provide the scheduling tool and appointment booking systems necessary to provide excellent customer service and meet the demands of increasing customer expectations.

The latest field service management software on the market will also provide a huge boost to a business’s service management performance and potential. With the most up to date software using cutting-edge technology to its fullest, the software can also drive major increases in productivity and subsequently reduce operational costs.

Designed to be compatible with and fully utilise the latest mobile technology, service management teams will find they have all the information they need at their fingertips; on their mobile device. This will massively benefit a mobile workforce, make mobile workforce management easier and simpler, and help to maximise the way teams communicate and interact with customers.

One of the major advantages of software which links seamlessly with mobile devices is that mobiles can be use as a palm-top resource, containing vital customer information and considerations. The mobile device can be used to inform the field worker about health and safety considerations, previous customer complaints or background to the customer which they might require. All of which will maximise the service a business can provide and lead to greater customer satisfaction.

So, all in all, with huge leaps in the technology service management businesses are finding that increased levels of customer service are a welcome benefit.

History of Managed Funds

Managed funds are a form of investment where funds are pooled together and these joint moneys are then invested in various securities to form one strong investment. They are professionally managed on behalf of the investors.

In the USA mutual funds are the managed funds that spring to mind and many people think that it is in the US that they were first formed. In fact the history of managed funds goes back further than the first modern universally recognised US mutual fund, the Massachusetts Investors Trust which was started in 1924.

There is uncertainty of the exact origins of managed funds but there is evidence that a Dutch merchant named Adriaan van Ketwich created an investment trust whose name, when translated meant “unity creates strength”. This form of pooled investment was created in 1774 and gave the Netherlands king, King William 1, the idea for a fund in 1822.

By 1849 Switzerland also had pooled investments and the concept caught on throughout Great Britain, particularly in Scotland, and also in Europe. It was in the late 1800s that the idea came to the USA.

In 1907 the creation of the Alexander Fund in Philadelphia was an important move towards the progress to what is now know as the modern mutual fund. The Alexander Fund featured semi-annual issues and allowed investors to make withdrawals on demand.

The Massachusetts Investors Trust went public in 1928 and eventually spawned the firm known today as MFS Investment Management. Managed funds continued to grow in popularity and by 1929 there were almost 700 closed-ended funds and 19 open-ended funds. With the stock market crash of 1929, the highly leveraged closed-end investments were wiped out while the small open-end funds managed to survive.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was created and safeguards were put in place to protect investors. Mutual funds were required to register with the SEC and to provide disclosure in the form of a prospectus. Additional regulations came with the Investment Company Act 1940 and more disclosure was required with the idea of minimising conflicts of interest.

The managed fund industry continued to expand and at the start of the 1950s, the number of open-end funds topped 100. By 1954, they had risen above their 1929 peak.

Hundreds of new funds continued to be launched throughout the 1960s. The bear market of 1969 cooled the public appetite for managed funds and money was withdrawn. Growth later resumed.

The bull market of the 1980s and ’90s meant some niche providers became household names and managed funds again raced ahead. Unfortunately the “tech wreck” and subsequent scandals in the industry has taken much of the shine off these types of investment.

The history of managed funds in Australia and New Zealand is much more recent. The Second World War saw their start in Australia while New Zealand only began this type of investing with the introduction of the Unit Trust Act of 1960.

Throughout history managed funds have had their critics but for all of this they have survived. The pooling of investment can still mean “unity creates strength” and truly adds diversification to any investor’s portfolio.