INTER@CTION Solutions' Magazine's Fifth-Annual
CRM Excellence Awards
For the fifth consecutive year,
the editors of Customer Inter@ction Solutions' dared readers to prove that
their companies have what it takes to win the coveted CRM Excellence Award.
Below is Part Two of the winners' list. These are the companies that offer
the best and the brightest customer relationship management products and
services, all to the benefit of their clients and their clients' customers.
Winners were chosen on hard data'quantifiable results that convinced us,
without a doubt, that their clients were infinitely better off with these
companies' products and services than without. Congratulations to the
The client, a PC vendor that previously had some high product return
numbers, chose Helix for its scalability and real-time reporting functions.
In the first six months of using Helix, the client cut its product returns
by 50 percent, adding huge savings to the company's bottom line. The client
company reported its first profitable quarter ever, just three months into
the customer care program. Instead of receiving angry letters, the client
began receiving letters from customers praising its stellar customer
Alpine Access, Inc.
Service: Call center outsourcing using home-based agents
Alpine Access was able to exceed volume expectations of the client, a
national retailer of flowers and gifts via the telephone. As a result,
Alpine Access is now the number-one outsourced call center services provider
for the client and is expanding its services to other brands under the
client company's umbrella.
Product: Amdocs Clarify
The client, a large U.K-based utility company, was looking for a CRM product
that fit well with its business processes, particularly one that delivered a
real-time, personalized view of each customer. As a result of the Clarify
installation, more than 70 percent of customer calls are resolved on first
contact, representing a 75 percent improvement in the handling of
operational calls. More than 95 percent of callbacks are completed in 30
minutes. These improvements have resulted in a 20 percent reduction in
operational interactions, a 50 percent cut in field jobs and a 10 percent
fall in repeat customer calls.
APAC Customer Services, Inc.
Service: Managed Customer Loyalty Services
The client, a regional newspaper, states, 'We're happy to report some very
positive findings related to the customer service survey that we mail to all
new starting customers. The statistics show a significant improvement in all
categories of customer service as perceived by customers making inbound
calls. The results reflect the first year our calls were handled by APAC. We
think it is a great improvement and a compliment to APAC's abilities.'
arvato services, Inc.
After a thorough testing phase, arvato implemented the Cicero product for
the client, a major European airline. The agent response was extremely
positive ' most agents found the GUI-based account management processes to
be considerably easier than the old commands. Within three months of
implementation, average call duration dropped by 5.6 percent and training
time improved by 33 percent. By year-end 2003, overall service quality
scores had improved to nearly 95 percent.
Product: Automated Customer Reach Solution ' Customer Self-Service Module
The client, a bank, launched FYI Alerts, a messaging service powered by
CenterPost that enables its online banking customers to receive such account
information as recent transactions, low balances, new e-bill arrivals via
phone, e-mail, fax and text message. In 2003, the bank's subscriber base
grew by 125 percent over 2002 and is maintaining this pace in 2004. The bank
believes it is successfully building a solid footprint within the
small-business banking segment as a result of this value-added service.
Product: Cisco Internet Service Node (ISN)
The client, a large bottled water provider, selected Cisco ISN as a
platform. The client company reports, 'We're able to offer a much more
personalized feel to our customers by incorporating speech recognition into
our self-service platform. Customers are able to complete their transactions
in a much more natural, conversational manner than they could ever do in a
touch-tone environment. The feedback from customers has been very positive,
and the results show in the IVR utilization numbers.'
Citrix Online, a division of Citrix Systems, Inc.
Product: GoToAssist 5.0
With more than 1,100 customers worldwide, the client, a provider of document
solutions for inter-enterprise system environments, needed a reliable remote
access solution. The company liked GoToAssist's ability to access systems
behind firewalls. With GoToAssist, the client company has been able to
control its personnel overhead through quick turnaround on handling cases to
close: fewer engineers are needed to support the larger case volume.
Handling time was reduced by 60 percent as a result of GoToAssist.
eGain Communications Corp.
Product: eGain KnowledgeAgent and eGain Knowledge SelfService
The client, a communications company, implemented the eGain solutions for
use by contact center agents and consumers, the latter through guided Web
self-service, and engaged eGain's professional services for business process
consulting and implementation. Among the results reported by the client
company were a 17 percent reduction in call handle time or approximately
$1.53 million in operating staff expenses; a 7 percent increase in
first-call resolution; and a 2 to 5 percent increase in key customer value
metrics, the client company's independent measure of customer satisfaction.
Services: eTelecare customer care services
The client, a branch of a large financial services company, reported, 'Based
on surveys offered to every customer, an average of 99 percent describe
themselves as either 'satisfied' or 'very satisfied,' with almost 70 percent
describing themselves as 'very satisfied' with the service they received.
The service level, defined as the percentage of calls answered within 20
seconds, regularly surpasses 95 percent and has never dipped below 80
Product: VoIP Virtual Contact Center
Post implementation, the client, a contact center outsourcing solutions
provider, reported, 'The Five9 solution allows our clients to quickly
streamline their business processes, including marketing analysis, lead
qualification and help desk. We can service both inbound and outbound
contracts in a completely blended and FTC-compliant environment, something
we were never able to do with our previous technology. As a result of
Five9's technology, we reduced our phone bill by 41 percent, reduced IT
staff from 5 to 3 engineers and generated an increase in projected revenues
in 2004 of 28 percent over 2003 while decreasing our IT budget and
facilities overhead cost.'
Product: Information Quality Suite, Data Quality Link for Siebel Systems
The client, an importer and distribution subsidiary of a large European car
company, wanted to improve its customer satisfaction, customer service and
customer communication, all of which the company felt would help drive an
increase in sales. As a result of the implementation of Firstlogic
technologies, customer satisfaction ratings have increased from 69 percent
to 75 percent. Sales in November 2003 were 30 percent higher than in 2002,
and represented the best November sales in 16 years. The company was also
able to reduce costs significantly, as Firstlogic software eliminated the
need to purchase its own customer names through third-party sources.
The client, a technology reseller, refers to its enormous team of 1,200
consultants and reports, 'I don't see how it would be possible to track all
1,200 people, know where they are located, sort to find the ones with the
skills we need and keep up with their past performance without GoldMine.
GoldMine allows us to run that group with 5 people instead of maybe 25.'
Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc.
Product: Genesys Voice Platform, Genesys Framework & Genesys Outbound
Post implementation, the client, a utility company, increased the amount of
calls completed in self-service to 50 percent, reduced call handling times
by 18 seconds, moved 10 percent of service outage calls handled by a
third-party vendor in-house and assumed 100 percent of late payment
notification calls in order to eliminate contracted services. Additionally,
of the calls transferred to a live agent, 60 percent were delivered along
with customer account data. The utility company states, 'We've not only seen
the cost benefit, but also have been able to improve the service experience
for customers and agents alike.'
Product: GMT Planet
The bank that chose the GMT Planet product praises the installation, stating
that, 'GMT Planet is much less expensive than competitors, while not lacking
any functionality or vendor support. It has the ability to scale as high as
we may want to go. It's the leading edge in the workforce management arena.
GMT has helped with retention from the standpoint that a manager, team lead,
etc., is able to share with an employee the reason for their decision to
approve/decline a time-off request based on its mpact to client service.'
Product: One Step
The client, a large seller of PCs and high-end electronics, chose iPhrase's
One Step software that uses a natural language interface to search both
unstructured and structured information. Within days of installing the
software, the client saw improvements in customer and employee satisfaction
as well as support costs. Online resolution rates have increased by 37
Product: Kanisa Support Site
Post implementation results experienced by the client, a large computer
security solutions provider, include reports that the client company has
exceeded all its service level, adoption rate, customer satisfaction metrics
and call deflection goals. Web site usage has grown by 116 percent from 2002
to 2003, registered users more than doubled, transactions per registered
user are up 140 percent, customer loyalty and satisfaction are at or near an
all-time high, and 2003 call volume is down 10.4 percent despite a growing
Product: Speech Driven Information System (SDIS)
With the installation of SDIS, the client, Direct Store Delivery, a provider
of consumer household items, can allow a merchandiser to call an order into
the speech-enabled system, provide the store's number, their employee number
and then the product number and quantity to order. Their speech is then
translated into text and sent to the ordering database, which then
automatically creates the warehouse order. Once the order is shipped, a
text-to-speech message is generated so the merchandiser can easily confirm
Product: IP Contact Center (using Symposium Express Call Center 4.2)
The client, a city on the west coast of British Columbia, chose an IP
infrastructure and IP contact center because it needed to be dynamic and was
looking for an architecture that allowed very quick adaptation to community
needs and demands. The city has experienced a demonstrable ROI for VoIP and
Symposium Express Call Center, saving approximately $500,000 a year. But
cost was not the only driver: previously, after a fire in the building that
housed the fire dispatch center, it took about three hours to physically
relocate the personnel and re-route their calls. Today, this would take only
minutes ' the time it would take to get people to a new location.
Product: Onyx Enterprise Suite
A provider of security software solutions chose Onyx Enterprise Suite for
its technical capabilities and its understanding of the business goals. The
client reports, 'We are handling 45 percent more cases today than when I
started a year ago without significantly increasing our staff. The ability
to obtain metrics and generate reports that allow us to set goals and
monitor our progress is invaluable. In addition, the system gives us a
platform to expand our eServices and work toward driving case volume down in
the second half of 2004.'
Product: PeopleSoft Enterprise CRM
The client, a privately owned real estate brokerage, states, 'Satisfaction
among our internal customers has increased dramatically. Our real estate
agents love the speed of service they receive, because it means they don't
have to take time away from their clients. They like to have their problems
solved right then and there ' and with PeopleSoft, we can deliver that level
Product: Emvolve Performance Manager
One of Britain's largest banks has introduced Emvolve Performance Manager
first to the customer-facing areas of the bank: its call centers and branch
network, where it has primarily been used to focus employees on service
quality improvements designed to drive customer loyalty, retention and
sales: all key priorities in today's increasingly fickle banking climate.
Over the last three years, the bank's customer satisfaction scores have
outstripped those of other major UK banks, according to independent reports.
Primus Knowledge Solutions, Inc.
Product: Primus Self-Service Center
Customers of the client, a manufacturer of photographic and imaging
products, began using the self-help option as soon as it was available. Over
130,000 answers were delivered from the knowledge base in the first 90 days
of use. As new questions were asked, they were answered and added to the
knowledge base within 24 hours. Within 90 days, the knowledge base reached a
steady state: usage was growing, but the percent of escalated inquiries was
reduced dramatically. To date, the client company has delivered over two
million self-help answers online.
The client, a large IT support services company, has said, 'Thanks to the
insight salesforce.com provides into our pipeline and account relationships,
we have substantially increased our win rates, renewal rates and average
deal size. Salesforce.com has been a major factor in our recent sales
successes.' The company also reports that its add-on deals with existing
customers have more than doubled in the last year.
Product: Salesnet Standard
The client, an online photo sharing company, has stated that the
implementation of Salesnet significantly exceeded its ROI goal of 100
percent for the first year of deployment. The company states, 'Salesnet
works fantastically. There were no hidden upfront costs and we pay as we go.
We have seen a tremendous impact on new accounts and generated over $10,000
in incremental revenues the first month. It essentially paid for itself
immediately ' but that is just gravy, as the new accounts continue to
generate ongoing revenue.'
Product: SAS 9
The client, a well-known entertainment publication, states that in the first
year alone, marketing executives estimate that SAS improved returns in the
'seven figure' range. And perhaps most important, while the economy remains
weak and general interest magazine subscriptions remain flat or worse, the
publication has begun to see a halt in its subscription slide. The database
marketing team's success in deploying SAS has won rave reviews from the
publication's executives. The response from the first models built was so
phenomenal that they justified expansion of the group.
Product: HiPath ProCenter Agile
The client, a large Texas school board association, wanted to give a more
customer-service-friendly face to its school district clients. HiPath
ProCenter Agile put the organization's call centers on the map. The client
claims its customers are getting better and faster service when they call
in. 'We don't have angry callers on the line anymore,' the client states.
Its agents are happier, too, with new tools that have improved productivity
Service: Outsourced customer support services
The client, a life insurance company, reported it has saved 20 to 25 percent
of its total customer care cost by outsourcing: these savings amount to $4
million per year. These cost savings were realized within the first year.
Most of the savings were due to a reduction in internal personnel required,
and a small percentage of the savings was from a reduction in overhead.
Product: Talisma 5.1
Talisma states that the client, a large state university, finds that staff
and student users are immediately productive using an intuitive interface
and response templates. Talisma facilitates communication between staff,
instructors and students, and helps the university process admissions e-mail
quickly, with more accuracy and quality than before. Talisma captures all of
the data needed for the marketing staff to effectively target and segment
prospective students to successfully promote the university.
Product: TuVox CVR 3.0
An international publisher of interactive entertainment software products
stated, 'We've found TuVox CVR to be very effective in getting customers
quicker answers to their problems. They don't need to wait as long because
we're not tying up valuable reps on far more calls. It allowed us to offer a
24/7, 365 days per year capability to the customers. While we're not a small
company, we are not large enough to justify a 24/7, 365 days per year call
center operation. We looked to TuVox to enhance the customer experience and
to preserve a very scarce resource ' our live customer support reps ' for
those people who need live customer support activity.
Service: SmartSell Transfer Marketing Solution
Addressing results attained for the client, a credit card issuer, West
states, 'To date, West consistently delivers over 20 percent conversion on
the primary and 30 percent conversion on the secondary offer. By utilizing
SmartSell's intuitive and patented technology, West is also able to achieve
higher conversion rates because we are able to match customer tailored
offers to individual customers, creating compelling purchase opportunities
for every caller.'
The client, a provider of telephone 'message-on-hold' technologies,
implemented OmniRush to put business processes in one place. Customer
communication, newsletters, automatic update reminders and shipping needed
to be logged centrally. OmniRush streamlined the company's operations by
making merger forms a single click for users and by linking received faxes
to CRM contact records for easy reference by the work group. Shipping became
easier from inside the CRM system, requiring just a couple of clicks. The
client states, 'OmniRush makes us 10 percent more efficient as a team, and
saves us at least $30,000 a year in labor costs.'
EDITOR'S NOTE: Because of the very large volume of award applications
we received, the CRM Excellence Awards were presented in two parts. Part One
was featured in the May 2004 issue of Customer Inter@ction Solutions'.
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