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Technology Highlights
September 2004

Amae Software Sows The Seeds Of Customer Loyalty

By David R. Butcher, Assistant Editor, Customer Interaction Solutions Magazine

I've always thought it would be gratifying if customer-facing companies had the customer commitment equivalent to the loyalty of Manchester United fans to their English soccer club. United is oft called the best-supported sports team in the world, home games played in front of typically 67,000 fans while millions of others follow the games via TV, radio or the Web. (Of course, both serviced customers and the club's fans would do well to eliminate their hellions and hooligans.) Yes, that kind of loyalty to customer-facing companies would be satisfactory.

Companies need customer loyalty. 'And then end life when I end loyalty,' Lysander says to Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream. The lives of service-offering companies end when those companies have lost their customers' loyalty.
In the same vein, Amae Software (www.amaesoftware.com) offers its entirely Web-based CI Suite to improve customer satisfaction, as well as to improve employee productivity (the latter affecting the former, of course).


Amae seeks to give customers an active voice in business processes, replacing a host of incommodious survey methods, manual processes and point solutions, by employing four application modules within the enterprise application: customer feedback, service quality management, enterprise performance management and customer research. With this modular architecture, the suite can provide flexibility to add application functionality as required and to deploy application functionality in increments, doing so without the necessity of changing existing business processes.

The suite allows for collection of intelligent feedback using the survey-builder, by which customized questions of any type are created and deployed via telephone, Web and e-mail without the need for programming skills. This can be done so immediately.

The customer feedback module analyzes and reports feedback and perspectives from contact channels as well as customer and transaction types immediately following customer interactions. The real-time and anytime formats include trend analysis, with the data presented in color-coordinated, online interactive graphs and tables.

The second module, the service quality management module (SQM), converts customer feedback and performance metrics into real-time organizational improvement drivers, generating alerts regarding more important customer interactions or agent, team or location performance. The SQM module automates customer retention programs, or manages activity that is customer feedback- or service performance-driven.

The third module, enterprise performance management (EPM), is good news for companies as entities but bad news for employee truants. Goals and service quality can be set at all levels within the organization using the EPM module. It can identify performance areas of slight and prioritize the areas that require improvement ' based on customer perspective and the organization's objectives. In other words, the customers are speaking to the company, telling those in charge what needs to change regarding service. It's similar to students giving the teacher criticism or gold and silver stars in specific areas, the principal or dean then being updated of their accomplishments or faults immediately after the critiques are shared by the students. (And teachers generally do not want to lose their potentiality for tenure, let alone find themselves seeking a teaching position at another school.)

The fourth and final module of the Amae CI Suite, the customer research module, manages the collection and analysis of customer feedback across all channels, comparing feedback by type: customer, transaction or channel. The information can be summarized as cross-tab analysis, rapidly driving business decisions because the collected information is revealed as actionable.

The suite, licensed or hosted, seamlessly integrates with existing enterprise applications. The system will link directly with existing telephony for a single user-interface that both measures customer feedback and reports it to relevant groups throughout an organization, linking telephony technology and enterprise networks. The built-in IVR can be easily programmed (questions/surveys created and structured, etc.) from anywhere, sound files and all, directly from a Web browser by someone with admministrative authorization. The application's database structure operates on a standard Windows platform and can optionally be deployed on any standard ODBC database.

A 360-degree view of the business allows those in charge the opportunity to improve that which needs to be improved upon because these decision makers have the ability to actually know what underachievement is taking place and where. In business, performance is the reality ' not words, explanations or promises. Performance and nonperformance can be measured. Service quality and goals-based productivity are both emphatically egregious ' so salient ' to the customer and to the company. Com-panies should want (because they need) their customers faithful, to think as Adam in Shakespeare's As You Like It: I will follow thee/To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty. (The Bard sure loved his allegiance.)
It is so basic, but without the customer, the company has only a commodity without an audience, like a European football club without fans; without, it is obsolete. Amae allows companies to, like team United, score their goals.

If you are interested in purchasing reprints of this article (in either print or HTML format), please visit Reprint Management Services online at www.reprintbuyer.com or contact a representative via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 800-290-5460.

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