By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is X’s More Fun In The New World, as good as post-Ramones American punk ever got:
A recent study presented by NewVoiceMedia, a European hosted telephony service provider, says contact centers are failing to use CRM data for business initiatives.
The findings were presented at an event showcasing Individual Caller Treatment, a concept being pushed by NewVoiceMedia, and basically elaborations of the principle that the “missing link” between contact centers and CRM is costing millions in lost revenues.
David Beard, Partner Development at Sage CRM and a participant at the showcase event, noted that while companies collected customer data and invested heavily on marketing campaigns to entice customers to make contact, “many businesses fail to use the data they already have to use the contact center to provide individualized customer care.”
Customers, Beard believes, are at their most receptive when they call into a business, and urged businesses and contact centers provide the same level of highly personalized and interactive customer service that consumers get online over the telephone.
“Getting callers to hold for long periods of time or asking them to go through endless menus is not the best way to make a customer feel valued” agreed NewVoiceMedia’s CEO Jonathan Grant. He advocated combining CRM with telephony to offer businesses “an intelligent marketing tool that can cross and up sell services to clients,” increase revenues and boost caller satisfaction.
ICT, Grant explained, allows customers to be fast-tracked to their dedicated agent, based on their previous call or based on the information a business might already have about the caller. The customer can also be played relevant, targeted messages (translation: phone ads) while they’re on hold.
The majority stakes of Norwegian CRM provider One Software have been acquired by Bisnode, along with One Holding, of which One Software is a subsidiary.
One Software’s CRM combines software products with business and consumer information, company officials say. Bisnode officials say the acquisition will strengthen Bisnode’s position as a Scandinavian provider of services within direct marketing and Customer Relations Management.
One Software develops and provides different CRM software using the SaaS model). Another subsidiary of One Holding, OfficeTeam, is an IT vendor targeting smaller and medium sized companies.
The group was founded in 1996 and has 19 employees. The revenue for 2006 amounted to $4.1 million. Bisnode has about 90 subsidiaries in 19 countries. The acquired companies will continue to be independent companies within the business unit CRM and Direct Marketing.
“This acquisition is a logical progression of Bisnodes’ offering of market information and direct marketing services,” said Geir Felstykket, business area manager for Bisnodes’ CRM & Directing Marketing.
Felstykket said the company’s objective is to offer the entire suite of services “starting with the information in our databases, analysis, and consulting through to complete systems at the customer’s location.” Through this acquisition, he said, Bisnode will be able to offer “a complete range of Web-based CRM software,” in the Nordic region and elsewhere.
Centric CRM, a developer of open source Customer Relationship Management, has released a preview version of its new Centric Team Elements suite, which officials are billing as bringing Enterprise 2.0 capabilities to businesses.
Enterprise 2.0 describes “the business use of social networking and Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis and RSS feeds,” Centric officials say, adding that Centric Team Elements also includes project management, issue tracking, document repositories and discussion forums.
Centric Team Elements is described by company officials as an open source, Java-based Enterprise 2.0 product tying together discussions, wikis, blogs, RSS feeds, issue tracking and trouble-ticketing, project management, document management, and federated search in a single, unified application running on a relational database.
Like Centric CRM, the company’s open source CRM program, Team Elements is enterprise class and offers scalability, role-based permissions and secure access as well as all of the benefits of unstructured collaboration. Externally, Centric Team Elements can be deployed as a customer-facing, community-management system which can support a company’s efforts to generate viral marketing within its community of stakeholders.
Easy Software UK, a European vendor of integrated document and e-mail management, products, has announced that the Premier League has standardized on its suite of document management products.
The Premier League, Britain’s top-level soccer league, is owned by 20 shareholders — the member clubs, whose membership in the league is dependent on the performance of their soccer league. Simon Thunder, Head of IT at the Premier League, recommended the electronic document management technology.
“We were aware of the benefits of reducing paper storage not only because of the physical space that it takes up and the costs per square foot, but also the implication of loss through fire or flood or some other disaster,” he noted.
The football department of the Premier League stores a wealth of documents and historical records on the league, its members and players. Easy Software worked with Simon and his team to integrate the Easy Enterprise product into the player contract system.
CRM consultancy Touchstone Group assisted with the project.
And the winner for the First Coffee Company Name of the Day award goes to… online children’s wear retailer Glamajama.com. They’re celebrating their fourth anniversary with a — what else? — glam makeover of the Web site, with sleeker design and a new tagline: “From the Crib to the Catwalk.”
The new site was built using NetSuite, the e-commerce and accounting based software system with integrated CRM, scheduling, inventory management and accounting.
Company owner Heather Nolte said Glamajama’s sales have doubled each year and “it soon became clear that we needed a better way to manage that growth. The integration NetSuite provides will make our operations more efficient, which will save us both time and money.”
VinSolutions, a vendor of an integrated CRM software suite designed for automobile dealers, has announced the appointment of Cody Garnett to be their Director of Sales — National Accounts.
Garnett will be responsible for developing and managing a team that concentrates on large market multi-rooftop dealer clients for VinSolutions. He over 10 years of retail automotive experience to VinSolutions.
Prior to joining VinSolutions, Cody was a Regional Sales Manager for the Dealix Corporation, providing Third Party Lead volume to Major Accounts. Prior to Dealix he worked at AutoTrader.com, assisting with the Southwest Regional Manufacturer Advertising Cooperatives.
VinSolutions, formed as a Delaware Corporation in 2003, sells photo and data collection services, combined with suite of integrated inventory management tools and CRM products. Its “VinSolutions University” provides dealership staff with Internet marketing process training, CRM installation training and business development consulting.