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Customer Relationship Management
June 2004

CUSTOMER INTER@CTION Solutions' Magazine's Fifth-Annual
CRM Excellence Awards

Part Two


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 winners!


Alorica, Inc.
Product: Helix
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 service.

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.
Product: Cicero
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.

CenterPost Communications
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.

Cisco Systems
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.

eTelecare International
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 percent.'

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.'

Firstlogic, Inc.
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.

Product: GoldMine
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 Contact
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.'

GMT Corp.
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.'

iPhrase Technologies
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 percent.

Kanisa, Inc.
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 installed base.

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 shipping status.

Nortel Networks
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.

Onyx Software
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 of service.'

Performix Technologies
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.

Product: salesforce.com
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.

Salesnet, Inc.
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 and morale.

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.

West Corp.
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.'

Z-Firm LLC

Product: OmniRush
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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