Marcus Ball Contact Site Index
Welcome to MarcusBall.com.        This personal site features information about Marcus Ball.
Introduction ] Employment History ] Massage Therapy ] Psychology ] Cooking ] Customer Care ] Telecomunications ] Rental Property Mgmt ]
Customer Care ...

Marcus Ball –
Customer Support
Strategies Specialist

12 Steps to Loyalty
Automated Customer Care
Behavioral Aspects of Change
Being a Better Manager
Being a Resource
Call Centers Best Practices
Coaching Staff
Creating Value
Customer Centricity
Customer Loyalty
Decisions For Call Centers
Privacy Policy
Enduser Training
Developing Stakeholders
Being a Better Manager
Multiple Channels Interaction
Service Desk Tiering
Reference Library

Employment History
Massage Therapy
Customer Care
Rental Property Mgmt

Past Employment

Residential Property Management Community Manager PPA
Residential Property Management Assistant Manager, Leasing  HVA
Online Technical Account Manager
Massage Therapy Clinical Therapist
Telecom Products Sales Executive
ASP Support Client Services
Inquiry Center CRM Specialist
Call Center Design Engineer
Help Desk Desktop Support
Call Center Client Communications Hospitality Reservations Manager
Sales Special Orders
Retail Commercial Ast Manager

Personal Belief: Corporations must focus on creating an environment where as an organization they present a uniform look and feel to their customers.  Support, Sales, Marketing, PR and Billing departments must adopt a revised support structure that can better meet both end-user and customer service requirements by exploiting technology rather than headcount.

MySummary: In this document I will attempt to summarize my beliefs, opinions, and qualifications as a Customer Support Strategies Engineer.  It is my opinion that it is mission critical for companies to reinforce the concept that “customer service and support are not just done by individual departments, but the entire organization on a daily basis.”  The way an organization manages the incoming customer requests for service set the tone for all future interactions. With the creation of a single department drawing on the resources of the entire company, the organization simplifies the effort required to maintain image, consistency in information collection and distribution, and statistically reportable quality of service.

MyConclusions: The consolidation of support, technology, and customer service resources is quickly becoming a requirement for Internet companies needing to keep up with the widely distributed Internet computing communities they service. During my 13 year of professional development I have focused on gained considerable experience in the areas of Customer Contact Management. 

Clinical Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy

Being a Male Therapist


Many occupational hazards of adult life will be greatly alleviated by massage:

  • aching back and shoulder after a long office stint

  • exhaustion or overstrained muscles from physical labor or excessive exercise

  • circulatory problems from too little exercise by sedentary workers.


Customer Management Tip

Customer Centricity

Creating Customer Loyalty

End user Training

Coaching Staff

Creating Value














My Personal Opinions - Customer Care Library

• 12 Steps to Loyalty •
• Automated Customer Care •
• Behavioral Aspects of Change •
• Being a Better Manager •
• Being a Resource •
• Call Centers Best Practices •
• Coaching Staff •
• Creating Value •
• Customer Centricity •
• Customer Loyalty •
• Decisions For Call Centers •
• Privacy Policy •
• Enduser Training •
• Developing Stakeholders •
• Being a Better Manager •
• Multiple Channels Interaction •
• Service Desk Tiering •
• Reference Library •

Lets start with Conflict Resolution

  • Formal Consensus 

  • Decision making

  • Conflict and Consensus

  • The Art of Evaluation

  • Roles

  • Techniques



I have a wide variety of experience in Customer Care  Strategies related to problem solving and dealing with difficult situations. Many of my opinions have been formed based on my additional study in psychology, management of people in the hospitality industry, property management. I wrote this section initially while developing call centers and helpdesks and based it on my hands on work experience although it has evolved over the years as I continue to gain experience in other fields..

Defining the various levels of support and customer service in many diverse environments.

  • Email Outsource Support Helpdesk providing telephone and email support services to a 16 language customer base with a 15 million end user community supported in 4 different languages. – Commtouch Inc.
  • Email and Telephone support center servicing a Web based and POP3 Business Email and Domain registration solution.  – Commtouch Inc.
  • Desktop Support Helpdesk servicing 300+ onsite users and offering telephone, Email, Interactive remote support services to 1000+ additional remote users. – Gartner Group
  • Customer Contact call center handling or escalating approximately 300 thousand calls annually and servicing internal associates, potential customers and existing customers with services costing a minimum or $25,000. - Gartner Group/Dataquest
  • Internal Information Center servicing all internal departments and processing all operator calls. - Gartner Group/Dataquest
  • Corporate Internet/Telephone Contact Center providing support for web and CD Rom based software. - Gartner Group/Dataquest
  • Secure Information Outsource Site providing High Speed Laser Print and MicroFiche services with a 4 to 48 hour turnaround on approx 10,000 jobs daily. - First Financial Management Company/FDC
  • Hotel Night Club door security team and processing 350 unique charged entries nightly while maintaining customer safety and public relations.  - Red Lion Hotels and Inns
  • 5 star Business Restaurant with a maximum occupancy of 117 seats, the #1 Sunday Brunch in the Bay Area for 5 years running, and an average turnover of 400 covers daily. - Red Lion Hotels and Inns

Analyzed methods of implementing and consolidating Technical and Customer Support Services so organization might best evolve.

  • Lead the exploration of electronic data transfer over transportation of data using tape media.  Exploited the early development of Email and internet technology to improve productivity and profitability. - First Financial Management Company/FDC
  • Suggested and assisted in the developed and migrated of the entire western region to a customized PC Contact tracking system. - First Financial Management Company/FDC
  • Developed technical skills by actually working in different support centers to better understand their daily operations. - All
  • Four years of technical research and study as a requirement of the position held, focused on providing solutions to actually live contact centers situations. - Gartner Group/Dataquest
  • Successfully created, developed and evolved all customer service strategies for the bMessaging service. Creating a fully functional Email and telephone contact center in a 3 month period. – Commtouch Inc.
  • Applied technology instead of manpower by spearheading the development of tiering, and internet based support to reduce cost and allow the addition of telephone support as a service option. – Commtouch Inc.

Attempt to identify and select the proper mix of technical and customer support to maximize service levels and minimize support costs?

  • Designed ACD routing tables and call handling process for the entire Technical and Customer support services organization. – Commtouch Inc.
  • Developed Internet support sites and implemented new technologies and planned the implementation of future technologies to reduce support costs. Emphasized monitoring of statistics over “feeling”, determined and continually re-evaluated support needs applying technology when available. – Commtouch Inc, Gartner Group/Dataquest, First Financial Management Company/FDC
  • Developed Support databases and web based tools to for Technical support agents to used, removing the need for paper on the desk.  - Gartner Group/Dataquest
  • Implemented inquiry tracking to improve customer contact management. - Commtouch Inc, First Financial Management Company/FDC

Organizations throughout the world are experiencing a technical-support crisis, especially with increased product complexity and demands for greater reliability. In my opinion the primary challenge for Internet organizations continues to be creating a support structure that channels problems and service requests to the best resource and maintains effective inquiry management while still satisfied end users needs. I feel that a consolidated service desk approach (see Note 1) with a simple tiering structure (see Note 2) offers many advantages over the separated departmental service structure typically used in the past.

(Note 1)  Components of a consolidated service desk

  • A single point of contact or consolidation of resources

  • An integration of IT processes (e.g., problem management/resolution, change management, asset management, user management)

  • The consolidation of management data (e.g., approach of sharing data from asset, change, and problem management among multiple departments)

My earl experience in the purely customer service driven Food and Beverage, and Retail industries has allowed me the focused my ability to quickly evaluate situations and satisfy customer needs by applying creative but effective solutions. The shock of initially working as the only site customer/post sales liaison supporting the outsource and processing of financial information for over 100 of Silicon Valleys companies effectively transitioned my skills service into the corporate world. More recently 4 years of applied studies working for the Worlds #1 IT Consulting firm has developed a need to continue expanding my knowledge of customer contact center development and a need to further apply my skills to real life situations.  My current position gives me the challenges of designing, and developing a technical support team with customer service able to evolve with the continuing transition from a startup into a Fortune 500 corporation. 

(Note 2)  Advantages of simple tiering structure.

One of help desk's many critical roles is to capture and manage incoming calls, assign severity levels, attempt resolution and then escalate problem trouble tickets. By funneling inquiries through a Tier 1, an organization can guarantee accurate call tracking, status reporting and auditing procedures. For this to work though; it is critical that the support organization develop a policy outlining that calls be reported to the help desk first before being passed to local support and, lastly, to a dispatched resource.

The help desk's mission is to provide quality and timely resolution of problems. Tier 1 agents resolve low-level technical and end-user problems (e.g., password resets and "how to, how much, why" calls) within a specific time frame. A target time for problem resolution (e.g., five to ten minutes) should be assigned depending on the analyzed complexity and volume of incoming emails and calls. If the inquiry is not closed within the target time, it is automatically escalated to Tier 2.

The first level of support handles calls or email inquiries from end users and acts as the primary point of contact to the service desk. The purpose of dividing the support into tiers is to provide a front line; creating the ability to move call quickly, to capture incoming call information for later data mining, to assign appropriate severity levels, to manage availability of help desk analysts, to minimize the calls going into phone mail, and to eliminate the frustration of end users.

The Tier 2 level provides support services beyond the Tier 1 help desk's mission or capabilities by handling either problems requiring a greater depth of knowledge or services that require "arms and legs," such as installation, maintenance, moves, adds and changes. Tier 2 resources are located in various IT groups, such as applications, data center and networking, and can reside inside or outside the IS organization, or even be a help desk outsourcer. Enterprises must lobby with business managers and get buy-in to make peer support part of the formal strategy. Tier 2 personnel should interact with external vendors on a tactical product basis, such as gathering support information for existing products and downloading bug fixes and upgrades for these products.

Tier 3 Support is generally a small, dedicated group that provides core services and VIP problem resolution within the organization. Its most important role should be strategic planning and design, serving as a key focal point for both operational and customer development planning. Another role of the Tier 3 organization is the investigation, testing and implementation of new products to fulfill the strategic plan requirements. Tier 3 should work with other internal departments and vendors strategically planning, and discussing long-term product directions and technologies that can be integrated or improved on in new product releases. After new products are implemented, Tier 3 personnel should also serve as product trainers for the Tier 1 and 2 support groups, the primary users and beneficiaries of the new technologies. Additionally, Tier 3 serves as the last point of escalation and resolution for all "trouble tickets" unresolved at Tier 1 or 2. Tier 3 should not spend more than 5 percent to 10 percent of their time resolving inquiries. Since their main focus is discovering the "real cause" of failure, Tier 3 should be dedicated to working with Tier 2 to take preventative measures and handle root cause analysis.

My experience and training has helped me develop the opinion that consistent timely information distribution and an organized structure for agents to escalate issues as is the most critical components of a good support strategy. - consolidation and cooperation across departmental boundaries is not dependant on job function but on information management and communication. By implementing IT technology and simple customer service techniques like proactively, and individual attention into the service/support formula, the organization automatically will begin to ensure its role as the provider of choice among its customers.

[12 Steps to Loyalty] [Automated Customer Care] [Behavioral Aspects of Change] [Being a Better Manager] [Being a Resource] [Call Centers Best Practices] [Coaching Staff] [Creating Value] [Customer Centricity] [Customer Loyalty] [Decisions For Call Centers] [Privacy Policy] [Enduser Training] [Developing Stakeholders] [Being a Better Manager] [Multiple Channels Interaction] [Service Desk Tiering] [Reference Library]

Marcus Ball ] Contact ] Site Index ]