FedEx would have to hire 20,000 additional customer service representatives if it weren't for its web-based package tracking system. Cisco saves $600,000 per month just letting its customers print copies of invoices. Even small manufacturers can offer customer service via the Web.
The first half of the talk makes the case for on-line customer service and defines the two kinds of customer service usually automated via the Web: help desk applications and sell-side supply chain management. We look at examples of help desk applications and see the return on investment issues you should be considering.
The second half of the talk looks at examples of manufacturer web sites that allow their sales partners (reps or distributors) to check order status, inventory availability, see production schedules, request quotations, enter orders and download confidential sales and technical bulletins. Most of these sites have return on investments of less than a year, some just a few months. If you are looking for a low risk, high return start in the world of electronic commerce, this talk is for you.