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Customer Relationship Management
May 2004

Fifth-Annual CRM Excellence Awards: Part 1

ACCPAC International, Inc.
Product: ACCPAC CRM version 5.6

The client reports, 'We've been using the software like crazy and loving it! We're getting an immediate return on investment and realizing big productivity gains, and we continue to tweak the product as needed. Thanks to ACCPAC CRM, we have left the days of the glorified Rolodex behind us and can move forward managing our sales and marketing campaigns with confidence.'

AltiGen Communications, Inc.
Product: AltiGen's AltiServ IP Phone System And Integration
With Microsoft CRM

The client reports, 'We are extremely happy with the integration capabilities of the AltiGen solution. The integration with Microsoft CRM is a standard feature of the AltiGen contact center. The automatic screen pops of customer records when they call into our new system is saving time and improving each interaction my customers have with my business. It has improved the overall effectiveness of each member in my service groups. They are doing more work in less time and that adds to my bottom line every month.'

Aplicor, Inc.
Product: Aplicor CRM

Client experienced, among other benefits, an increase in 'closable' pipeline volume of 60 percent after three months of use, and an increase of 23 percent in the number of partnerships with a slightly greater increase in corresponding partnership revenues. The client states, 'The system was indeed the missing link that would tie our new partner products together with our process and our team members. Without Aplicor CRM, we could not have made our vision into a reality.'

Artisoft, Inc.
Product: TeleVantage

With TeleVantage, the client now saves almost $30,000 a year in costs previously associated with service contracts, legacy hardware maintenance and phone lines. Employee productivity has improved by almost 20 percent with the call handling and routing features of TeleVantage. The client states, 'New employees used to take a week to get acclimated to the phone system. But with TeleVantage, new employees are trained in 15 minutes and comfortable in an hour and a half.'

Aspect Communications
Product: Aspect Call Center/Aspect Enterprise Contact Server/Aspect Customer Self-Service/Aspect Adapter for eGain

The client, a utility company, reports, 'When there's an outage and service goes out for 5,000 customers, 3,000 of them will try to call us within 30 minutes. We weren't able to handle that kind of volume. Now we can handle twice the number of calls with the same number of agents, and by adding more tie lines between the IVR and the ACD, we could handle triple the number.'

Autonomy Corporation plc
Product: Audentify
Autonomy's Audentify provides an innovative way for the client to better serve its customers, vastly improving its customer call centers, which are often the first line of defense in solving customer problems. The client is able to better utilize employee time with Audentify's solution, as it automates processes in its call centers and assists the agents' 30 supervisors in quickly searching the call database for calls used in training.

Avaya, Inc.
Product: Avaya IP Office

The client, a full-service travel agency, reports, 'Because a connection to the Internet is all you need [to access the IP Office system], you could be in China, and if you can get a broadband connection to the Internet with a static IP address, I can put you on my IP Office system. Now I can schedule an agent in Tennessee as part of my corporate call center. She's part of the call queue and logs in and out just like everybody else. I can track and get a report on her productivity. I can see when she's on the phone, just as though she's in the same building as I am.'

Best Software
Product: SalesLogix

Before implementing SalesLogix, the client, a large health insurer, entered everything into the database manually, therefore the time devoted to preparing quotes was staggering. Now, the company has all this information in real-time. The efficiency gain was immediate. Previously, it took five to ten minutes to generate a quote, now with SalesLogix integrated with the client's membership enrollment system and rating engine, it takes half the time. Companywide, SalesLogix generates 1,000 quotes for the client on an average day.

Call Compliance, Inc.
Product: TeleBlock Do-Not-Call Blocking System

TeleBlock empowered the client to dictate outbound compliance at both its call centers by screening all calls against the same Web-based, customer-specific centrally administered, secure DNC database managed by them on their own behalf. According to the client, 'Implementation of a cutting-edge technology is the only way to survive the DNC crisis and not adversely affect calling performance. It is unfortunate, but telemarketing companies that do not recognize the usefulness of a system like TeleBlock, and continue to conduct business as usual, will probably not survive the hyper-regulation.'

CCC Interactive Corp.
Service: Customer Acquisition Campaign

CCC Interactive states that the client, a supplier of heating oil, selected CCC's service because of their ability to provided the needed focus, flexibility and experience. CCC's technology provided them with a higher level of efficiency, more accurate forecasting tools and immediate cost savings. By using CCC's services, the client's customers experienced an average handle time that was eight seconds less than the client's internal call centers, and sales conversions that exceeded expectations at greater than 37 percent.

Center Partners, Inc.
Product: CP-WNP

Implementation of CP-WNP, a proprietary, fully customized CRM system that integrates process rules against error messages, resulted in a multitude of benefits for clients, including: reducing the port-in transaction backlog from 43 percent to less than 2.5 percent; reducing the total fallout correction time from days to less than four hours; achieving 100 percent port message capture rates; and implementing process improvements and automation.

Service: ClientLogic's outsourced customer service

Fraud is expensive, particularly for large companies that are targeted frequently. On several days during the first quarter of 2004, the dollar amount of fraud attempts successfully thwarted by ClientLogic topped $30,000, and total savings thus far for the client, a large technology company, have exceeded $1 million. At times, nearly 20 percent of all the company's incoming orders were fraud attempts. The client company also depends on ClientLogic to stop identity theft and stolen credit cards from disrupting their customers' lives and trust in their brand.

Concerto Software
Product: EnsemblePro
With EnsemblePro, the client has seen tangible results, such as reducing the price per minute of each call. And these savings trickle down to [end customers], allowing the client to offer more competitive pricing and giving the company greater leverage to win new business. Having an expanded inbound solution and multiple contact channels at its disposal has also aided the client's new business efforts, enabling them to offer compelling new tools to prospective clients and generate new revenue opportunities.

Cross Country Automotive Services
Service: Volvo On Call Plus ' Telematics Services
One year following launch, thousands of Volvo drivers have activated their On Call Plus system, offering Volvo a way of interacting with customers long after the purchase of their vehicles. This state-of-the-art system dedicated to the safety and security of Volvo drivers offers more positive, value-added experiences, increasing customer satisfaction and the likelihood of retention.

EADS Telecom
Product: Centergy M7480 plus PointSpan platform

The increase in the number of calls processed is a clear illustration of the positive response by customers to this new solution. The number of calls handled has jumped from 40 to 500 per day with only 12 information managers handling the call volume, and more than 40 e-mails a day are now answered in a detailed fashion with all of the necessary information for the complex process of patent filing and registration of trademarks.

etalk Corporation
Product: etalk Qfiniti, etalk Recorder and etalk Survey
By choosing etalk's Performance Impact solutions, the client, an energy company, was able to boost quality levels across multiple departments, both in and outside the contact center. Not only was the company able to drive higher quality and customer satisfaction levels within its contact center, but it was also able to increase the quality levels within its field operations and billing department, and achieve cost savings across the board.

FrontRange Solutions
Product: HEAT
The client states, 'HEAT provided us with a rich and flexible set at a price that made sense. When compared to the CRM system we had in place, it provided us the flexibility to customize workflow to our specific business needs rather than costly re-engineering our business to meet the needs of the CRM system.'

Hispanic Teleservices Corporation
Service: Spanish-language teleservices

Within six months of HTC's relationship with the client, a large ISP, the FTE count quadrupled. HTC has gone from serving two to four queues for the client. HTC was awarded additional lines of business in congruence with the company's strategy to capitalize on having one center capture all the U.S. Hispanic queues to optimize information gathering. HTC has consistently ranked at the top for metrics such as first call resolution, averaging approximately nine percent above goal in the last six months.

IEX Corporation
Product: TotalView Workforce Management
The client, a direct seller of consumer items, reports, 'It's amazing to see the efficiency and cost savings that TotalView has brought to our contact center. Our customer satisfaction continues to improve because we can accurately predict our peak contact volumes and staff accordingly so our customers are serviced quickly.' In one year, the client has reached its goal of increased efficiency and has experienced remarkable cost savings and significant operational improvement.

InfoCision Management Corp.
Service: Q3 Quality Assurance Program

The client, a large issuer of credit cards, contracted InfoCision to discover why its customer retention rate was so low. InfoCision's quality assurance program identified a staggering non-compliance rate of 41 percent after a month of seed calling. The issuer would review InfoCision's findings daily using its online system, which was available any time of the day. In the event a call was marked non-compliant, an independent verifications group reviewed a digital recording of the conversation to verify the observations. Upon receiving the results, the issuer's vendor management team addressed compliance issues with each of its vendors. As a result of the information provided by InfoCision's seed call program, the issuer was able to decrease non-compliance by nearly 90 percent, reducing it to five percent during the course of the year.

Product: KANA IQ

By deploying KANA IQ, the client, a leader in the document industry, has been able to effectively deliver information on its ever-changing product lines directly to customers and via the Web and its Welcome Centers. As the company launches new products, it is able to build out its knowledge base with up-to-date product information in the required languages necessary to support its global customer base.

KnowledgeBase Solutions
Product: KnowledgeBase.net

Since launching its Answer Engine, a central repository of information for agents and customers which was created using KnowledgeBase.net, the client, a Web hosting provider, has dramatically improved efficiencies and decreased the operational costs of its customer support organization. Overall, there has been an approximate 30 percent reduction in inbound calls.

Product: WebInteractive

The client, an information management solution provider, states, 'After the first three days in service, the cost of the WebInteractive implementation was offset by the revenue generated from the associated service level upgrades.' By the end of the second week, the implementation of WebInteractive had generated more than $2,500 in additional revenue from service level upgrades. The client also reported, 'An additional ROI factor that has not been calculated to date is the 50 to 70 percent reduction in call time on a per-call basis, which has dramatically increased our level of service.'

Message Time Technology
Product: Business Center 4.1
When the client began searching for a solution, they priced out what it would cost to install a file server, fax server, database server, mail server and interactive phone system. They were not surprised to hear a quote of over $75,000. This did not include a full-time IT manager to set up and maintain the system. With Message Time, they set up the whole office for $29.95 per user, and there was no software or hardware to maintain.

Oncontact Software
Product: Client Management Software (CMS)
The client, a business-to-business distributor to the jewelry industry, uses CMS to follow up on sales calls, track customer activity, share information in real-time, monitor marketing programs and gauge customer needs. Team members no longer have to struggle to remember every business process, because CMS provides automated templates for them to follow.

RightNow Technologies
Product: RightNow Service and RightNow Locator
As a result of the online knowledge base, the client's site visitors began answering up to 100,000 questions every month. RightNow Service and RightNow Locator, combined, answer 95 percent of the site visitors' questions. By providing these answers on the Web site, the client reduced call center volume by 30 percent and e-mail volume by 50 percent. Because of this reduction, agents are able to handle incoming calls more quickly, and the company's call abandonment rate has dropped more than 70 percent.

Saratoga Systems Inc.
Product: iAvenue 6.2

The client, a large auto insurance company, calculates that its nightly update cycle has been reduced by more than 80 percent, lowering processing time on a monthly basis. The client reports, 'That is a significant improvement. In just a few months, what we have saved in database usage has pretty much paid for the costs of the upgrade. I couldn't ask for a better return on investment.'

StarTek, Inc.
Product: Complex Process Management

For more than five years, StarTek has managed orders for this highly successful telecommunications company, and the results of the strategic partnership have been incredibly beneficial for both companies. In the first 18 months alone, operating costs were reduced by 35 percent. In addition, consolidation into two facilities garnered a 10 percent productivity gain.

Support Soft
Product: Real-Time Service Management (RTSM)
Immediately after deploying Support Soft SmartAccess software across its entire customer base in less than 70 days, the client, a cable broadband service provider, saw the benefits. The solution gave the client the ability to dramatically change the installation environment and remove the inefficiencies from the prior CD-based installation method. The client reports, 'In the short time that we've been able to measure results, we're seeing a significant change in the way our installation consistency is occurring.'

Product: CallCenter@nywhere
The client, a prominent outsourced help desk and support organization, has seen, after its deployment of CallCenter@nywhere, a significant increase in attracting new customers, a significant reduction in the number of calls to resolution ratio, reduced call resolution times, reduced customer follow-up activities and improved overall agent productivity. The client states, 'Telephony@Work has definitely made a difference in the services and SLAs we can offer our customers. It has allowed us to create stronger, more profitable relationships with our existing customers and market our services to new entities we would not have been able to service.'

UniPress Software
Product: FootPrints for eService

The client, a world-class customer service organization with a range of clients in the travel and hospitality industries, replaced its home-grown CRM solution with the hosted version of FootPrints for eService. The client states, 'FootPrints for eService helped us exceed client expectations and minimized the time to launch a customized call center operation.' In addition to meeting its own clients' reporting requirements, the company is able to measure its own performance and ensure the company meets internal business objectives.

Vertical Solutions, Inc.
Product: PowerHelp Enterprise

The client, a leader in the build out of corporate Intranets, Extranets and Internet connections, has reported, 'With the implementation of VSI's PowerHelp Enterprise software, sales reps have found the quote-to-sale process greatly improved. The package has streamlined their efforts and has given them better insight into their personal sales activity. VSI also has given management a real-time view of all sales opportunities and allows better collaboration of resources to go close more business.'

VoiceLog, LLC
Product: VirtualLogger
'It has not been so easy for the representatives that the client had decided to record all their calls ' not just the 'up sell' ones. VirtualLogger's unique pricing allowed them to record as little or as much as they wanted without any increased cost. The unexpected benefit has been on the quality assurance side. The client found there was a huge benefit to their bottom line to record the customer service calls as well. They estimate they are getting 15 percent more productivity out of their representatives now that they've instituted a comprehensive monitoring, logging, QA and feedback process.'

Witness Systems
Product: eQuality Balance/eQuality Evaluation/Witness Systems Performance Optimization Workshop

Since the eQuality implementation, the client, the automotive financial services arm of a major automobile manufacturer, has experienced significant return on investment. Specific results include helping the company realize cost avoidance of close to $1 million if it was to hire and train new agents, instead of retaining current staff; raising productivity among newer agents by 40 percent and among experienced agents by 6 percent; reducing average handle times by 33 percent among new agents and 25 percent among experienced agents; increasing overall quality scores by 32 percent; and improving agent retention rates.

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call 203-852-6800.

Basil Bennett is president and CEO of WillowCSN , a virtual contact center service provider based in Miramar, Florida.

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