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4.0 out of 5 stars Support from the Ground Up, 2 April 2003
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This review is from: The Art of Software Support: Design and Operation of Suport Centers and Help Desks (Paperback)
For all the importance of Call Centers, Help Desks and Support Networks, not much attention is given them in industry literature. It's almost as though these functions are an afterthought, as though the first support call might come in and someone would say, "Oh, yeah. We need someone to answer these, don't we?"
This book is the first I've seen that looks at the building of a Support Center from the ground up, from budgeting to staffing, to training and retention, support software to development and dissemination of updates. It does so logically, step by step, providing sound reasoning and justification on each page, even to the point of including a complex and reasonable metric for determining staffing levels.
I thought Tourniaire and Farrell fell somewhat short of giving the Support field a complete analysis, concentrating as they do on larger call centers rather than giving weight to the whole spectrum of support providers, like Internal Help Desks or smaller tech centers. Their initial thesis, on the Front Line/Back Line vs. One Hand models of support, is sound, but limited, giving no attention to the possible hybrids or any other models of support center. On the other hand, their description of the call completion cycle is thorough and unlike any I've seen. I also like the idea of writing a "Support Agreement" for one's clients, so everyone knows up front what is and is not covered.
Overall, this is a very fine book and I would recommend it to Support professionals, especially to anyone just starting a new Call Center. Better to have all the info to start than to try and switch focus after ramping up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic source of guidance for providing software support., 20 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Art of Software Support: Design and Operation of Suport Centers and Help Desks (Paperback)
I'm am (slowly) reading this tremendous wealth of information in order to ponder and absorb as much as possible. So far, it's been like gold to me.
I manage a support organization for a US$40M/yr engineering software company and the advice and guidance found in this book is extremely practical and applicable to what I do every day. It's been helpful in the way it presents several options and objectively weighs the PROs and CONs of each. This has provided a good "sanity check" to confirm that many of my initiatives to-date are sound. It has also suggested practices I had not previously considered, but which make so much sense now that I've read and thought about them. I have already started to implement several such practices to improve my support organization and my staff is ecstatic. Finally, there are some useful tidbits that I cannot act on at this time, but which I will come back to later as we continue to grow and expand our business. I am sure to refer back to this insightful and well-written piece over and over again in the months and years to come.
If you manage or direct a software support group, this book will help you put in place the processes you need to provide effective and cost-efficient customer support. And if you help staff a support group, this book will get you noticed by giving you a lot of great ideas to propose to the boss and perhaps make that move to the next level along your career growth path.
I would definitely buy this book again and highly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is the Software Support Bible, 1 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Art of Software Support: Design and Operation of Suport Centers and Help Desks (Paperback)
This is not a paid commercial. I do not know or have any affiliation to the authors or publisher. This is the complete book for Software Support. Regardless if you are running a small, medium or large size call centers the fundamental structure and operation is the same. This book is the Software Support Bible. I have read most of the books on support and this one is the best. The authors (Francoise Tourniaire and Richard Farrell) are to the support field, what Yoda is to the force. Ok.. That's the only analogy that comes to mind. Well anyway you get the point. You won't be disappointed. Hats of to the Editor (Eileen Clark).
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Find...., 22 Dec 2006
By 
Simon Walker (Fire Fighting..till now..) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Art of Software Support: Design and Operation of Suport Centers and Help Desks (Paperback)
This book is a real find for me.

It has a superb mix of theory, practical advice and real world advice about the support of software. It amazed me to find that there are not many books around on this subject considering the size of the market and the millions of people who must be in this industry. It is one of those rare books that enable you to flick to the appropriate section easily or read cover to cover.

I recommend this book to anyone involved in the support of software from Engineering to Senior Management.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 12 July 2001
By 
M. Blanche - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Art of Software Support: Design and Operation of Suport Centers and Help Desks (Paperback)
This book is packed with excellent information. The closely-spaced text (no large point sizes and big diagrams here) has full, helpful descriptions and while it is aimed at a software support organisation (there's sections on support contract pricing and bug reporting etc) most of the book is equally applicable to any helpdesk situation. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice book containing ready to use info, 28 Oct 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Art of Software Support: Design and Operation of Suport Centers and Help Desks (Paperback)
I've read this book and recommend it. It can be read through and used as a reference. The authors know their subject and provide insight based on their own helpdesk experience.
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