When a customer calls with an issue, you could set out to solve their immediate problem, or you could also take a deeper look at the issue to prevent it from happening again - with the same customer or with other customers.
There are business decisions and implications that stem from this approach. For many a company, the tech folk still sit in a different location from the customer support people. The value of solving a problem permanently (quality) may end up beating the cost of having the same problem over and over again (quantity).
Plus there are the good effects on your reputation and the recommendations you will receive from one experience to consider. That is quantity built on quality.
Yes, fixing a problem is more powerful than never having a problem in the first place. That's because the problem gives you the opportunity to prove yourself to your customers. When I bought my iMac and MacBook, I had the new operating systems uploaded into both on the same day.
I came home, unpacked everything, turned on both, and started to work. A few days later, I found out that one was missing iLife, which was supposed to be included with both new operating systems and computers. When I called the Apple customer service line, I learned that I would have had to reinstall everything as iLife was in the disk with the new operating system, but for some reason had been missed during the install.
I mentioned that I had already started working and creating files and that I was a first-time Mac user in a long spell of PC use. In fact, I learned to work on the little Mac IIs a few years back, but then had to switch to DOS and Windows in corporate America. The manager on the phone did not miss a beat. "In that case," he said, "I will send you iLife at no extra charge. You will have it by..." and he specified a date.
That simple. Another time they talked me through a little software burp with my iPhone - patiently, skillfully, and efficiently. I know that Apple products cost more, but I have no problems recommending them to anyone based upon my experience with their support.
In fact, I would dare say that the biggest failures of customer support is that you are solving the wrong problem. Fix the real problem efficiently and you can have the quality with your quantity - in some cases the other calls will just go away. Today at Fast Company expert blog we discuss the how to do quality without sacrificing value. Is quality subjective?