With U.S. online retail sales for Q1 2007 totaling $31.5 billion, a study has revealed that "U.S. online retailers are failing in key areas of customer service, which has the potential to be devastating to the online retail market which is forecasted to reach $329 billion in 2010," according to Talisma officials.
Mystery shopping from April to June 2007, 34 percent of e-mails went unanswered by what Talisma officials describe as "100 of America's top online retailers," with just over 50 percent of responses providing accurate and complete information. The findings of the audit are highlighted in a downloadable report published by customer service and Customer Interaction Management (CIM) software vendor Talisma.
Talisma asked its targets "What credit or debit cards can I use to make payment," and "what are your shipment charges?" The audit then awarded each online retailer a score out of 100, based on a range of customer service criteria including speed of response, accuracy, completeness of information provided, and the personalization of interactions.
Ninety three percent of companies audited responded to phone queries within 30 seconds, but only five percent were able to communicate with personalized content -- by referring to caller ID or a customer profile. 51 percent of e-mails and 72 percent of phone calls answered provided accurate information.
Of the 230 million U.S. Internet users, Talisma officials say, "many are well versed with the use of chat, and prefer to communicate with online retailers that way. However, only 30 percent of the audited retailers are able to accommodate that channel preference." Even worse, they charge, for those customers who prefer to find information themselves before contacting customer service "a mere three percent of online retailers offer full-fledged Web self-service."
But every one of the audited companies provided access to phone-based customer service, with 95 percent providing it for free, and 96 percent provided access to e-mail.
VeriWave, a vendor of wireless networking functional and performance analysis systems, has announced the integration of WiMix, what company officials call "the industry's first performance prediction tool for wireless Quality of Experience" with an open-air test methodology using VeriWave WT20 Traffic Generator/Analyzer units to load a wireless infrastructure network with traffic from thousands of users.
The test subjects the network to realistic conditions and reports end-user QoE for a wide variety of vertical deployments, such as healthcare, corporate offices, education facilities and retail outlets. This allows for the testing of control variables impacting end-user experience and performance of CRM applications, as well as e-mail traffic, Web browsing, audio and video file transfers and others.
Trapeze Networks, a launch customer for the test suite, is using the open-air test to replicate various vertical market environments and test the performance and scalability of its Smart Mobile wireless technology. Prior to deploying this methodology, Trapeze used dozens of laptops to attempt to create large-scale testing in its open-air labs.
The open-air test methodology combined with WiMix, VeriWave officials maintain, "offers the ability to evaluate a realistic network environment in a wide range of conditions, including complex traffic mixes encountered in various vertical industries, various types of security mechanisms and combinations of data, voice and video traffic."
Autonomy Corporation, a vendor of infrastructure software for the enterprise, has announced that its contact center clients can now use an off-site hosted archiving product for storing, managing, and retrieving their critical customer call recordings. It provides customers with "a secure storage environment and direct access to their contact center audio files, enabling them to effectively meet regulatory compliance and eDiscovery requirements," Autonomy officials say.
Autonomy etalk's hosted archiving offering "addresses the growing need for secure, long-term, and high-volume storage required by large enterprise contact centers," company officials maintain. The center provides an unlimited amount of hosting space, supplying companies a place to archive, search, and retrieve voice and screen recordings via the integration of Autonomy etalk's Qfiniti recording system with the Autonomy ZANTAZ Digital Safe consolidated archiving Software as a Service.
Because the product "integrates directly with Qfiniti," company officials say, "users can immediately search, access, and play back their archived recordings through the Qfiniti interface." Integrations with Lotus Notes and Microsoft Outlook also enable consolidated archiving of all of an enterprise's data.
Qfiniti Explore can perform a conceptual and contextual search of all data in the hosted archive, including audio, video, and text-based interactions, letting users find relevant content for liability disputes, eDiscovery requests, and even trend analysis.
SpeechCycle, a vendor of on-demand, voice self-service solutions for cable and telecommunication providers, has received the Rising Star distinction in the Deloitte & Touche USA LLP's Technology Fast 50 program for the New York Region. SpeechCycle has posted a none-too-shabby three-year average revenue growth of 1,808 percent.
Zor Gorelov, founder and CEO of SpeechCycle, said he's "always believed that the talent and business environment in New York is ideal for emerging new companies. We've been able to attract top technology talent from around the world. This combined with the rich resources that New York offers has helped us grow quickly."
SpeechCycle, a SaaS company, provides automated agents that help cable service providers enhance customer service. Founded in 2001, SpeechCycle has expanded its market reach to international markets. Last month, SpeechCycle was named winner of the Market Leader award in professional services by Speech Technology magazine.
Salesboom.com, an SaaS CRM and ERP vendor, has announced Salesboom V9 will be released next month. The product will include "over 226 customer-driven upgrades to its flagship CRM and ERP SaaS Platform," company officials say. Highlights include AJAX drag-and-drop layout and workflow Studios, Order and Inventory Management, Web 2.0 mash-ups, and upgrades to the Web Services API.
Company officials point to five areas where the product has been upgraded, including workflow -- with a focus on upgrading the Time-based Workflow Automation Engine, Salesboom V9 can send real time Ajax alerts, performing Cross-Object creation and updates, and highlighting data rows and fields.
There are also custom tabs, objects, fields, layouts, views and reports, and dashboards can be created and managed via user-friendly drag-and-drop user interface. Salesboom can be integrated with legacy systems using the enhanced Web Services API, supporting REST and SOAP calls. Many Web 2.0 mash-ups are also included, such as Google Maps, Ebay, Skype, Weather, Shipping and News.
Creative Manager has released version 8.4.4 of its flagship product, Creative Manager Pro optimized for Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch and ready for Apple's upcoming Mac OS X Leopard. As a Web-based product, Creative Manager Pro's Ad Agency software had little to change to have it work with the iPhone and iPod Touch.
The iPhone and iPod Touch are commonly used by ad agency managers to check on the work of the team, Creative Manager officials say.
Using the integrated Safari browser of the iPhone and iPod Touch, clients of Creative Manager Pro can review the status of projects and contact clients. Designers and other staff can also enter timesheets anywhere they can get use the iPhone and iPod Touch.
No installation or conversion is necessary, and all updates are at no cost to users of Creative Project Manager and Creative Manager Pro, company officials say. Client logins and vendor logins are always free.
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