Formalize the Experiment

IN 2004, SONY CORPORATION’S electronics business in the United States suffered when the press took note of its poor customer service. Two years later, the company was earning rave reviews instead. At the heart of its approach to improvement was a series of disciplined experiments.

Sony asked one of its senior executives, Phil Petescia, to review the company’s customer service practices. Petescia hypothesized that customer service agents would be more effective if they specialized in certain products or certain issues. He anticipated that they would develop deeper knowledge and solve more problems. And he guessed ...

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