The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Eric Dolphy's "Out To Lunch" album, one I bought on recommendation and am giving a fair listen to, but not one I think I'll listen to many more times:
, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Dynamics CRM reseller, has announced that Beekley Corporation, a medical products company, has selected the company to provide CRM software implementation and consultant services to improve its sales process.
Ray Thomas, director of Finance and Technology for Beekley, cites its existing Microsoft platform as a key factor in selecting Microsoft Dynamic CRM.
"Our previous system required an enormous amount of time migrating data from our existing system," says Thomas. "Our sales and marketing team worked around the clock to get the system up and running, and we decided this was not a product to best meet our internal and customer care needs."
Beekly officials say they'll use the Microsoft CRM to track prospects, assign calls and manage e-mail-marketing campaigns through a single system. "An entire sales cycle can be easily tracked, they say, adding that "reports are generated to analyze and identify strengths and weaknesses in the sales strategy," and that "new opportunities can be identified through CRM."
Based on Customer Effective's User First Design Formula, a phased implementation approach with success metrics defined for each phase, the project "ensured a smooth CRM delivery," Customer Effective officials say. According to Martha Flannery, director of sales and marketing for Beekley, the way CRM was rolled out in a test environment "enabled us to make any required changes to the system prior to full implementation."
Ctrip.com International, a vendor of hotel accommodations, airline tickets and packaged tours in China, has been awarded one of the "Best Call Centers of 2008" by China Call- Center & CRM Association for the second straight year.
Maohua Sun, Ctrip.com vice president of customer service, was named one of the "Best Call Center Leaders of the Year" at the award ceremony hosted on October 16th, 2008 in Beijing. To which, it will be noted, First Coffee was not invited nor supplied with VIP travel, accommodation and passes.
Sun said the award "recognizes Ctrip's excellent call center service. We will continue striving to achieve the best customer experience for travelers in China and from all over the world. "With over 4,000 call center employees, Ctrip officials claim "the largest call center for travel industry in Asia, providing hotel, air ticket and package tour bookings to over 100,000 travelers each day."
The company aggregates information on hotels and flights, targeting primarily business and leisure travelers in China who do not travel in groups. These travelers form what company officials characterize as "a traditionally underserved yet fast-growing segment of the China travel industry."
, a vendor of online business optimization software, has announced that United Way of America has selected Omniture SiteCatalystWeb analytics to measure visitor engagement and activity for its newly-launched Web site.
One of the nation's oldest non-profit organizations, the United Way claims nearly 1,300 local United Ways across the country. United Way of America officials say they'll use SiteCatalyst to help ensure the organization's Web site "communicates the organization's mission and message in order to drive donations, advocacy and volunteer activity."
United Way launched the Live United Web site to support its "Live United: Give. Advocate. Volunteer" campaign, and to support its new brand positioning of "Advancing the Common Good." United Way officials expect Omniture to help increase audience interaction and engagement with the United Way brand and to increase site traffic.
"The better we understand how our brand connects with and engages visitors, the more effective we can be in mobilizing communities to join us in this movement," said Melvin Young, vice president, marketing and brand strategy, United Way of America. "Additionally, as an organization, making sure we are spending each marketing dollar effectively and appropriately is critical."
Non-profit organizations like United Way "rely heavily on their Web sites to not only generate financial support, but to also communicate their causes effectively," noted Chris Harrington, president of worldwide sales and client services at Omniture, saying that Omniture "measures how visitors react to site content and structure in real time."
Part of writing about customer relationship management and customer service is noting when it's done well. So a tip of the coffee pot to Cox Communications
, which announced that it received the highest ranking in the Western region among Internet service providers in the J.D. Power and Associates' 2008 Internet Service Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction Study. The study measures customer satisfaction among 12 providers in the West.
David Pugliese, senior vice president of product marketing for Cox, credited "speed enhancements each of the last five years, the introduction of new technology like PowerBoost and the safety of the Cox Security Suite powered by McAfee," as helping towards the customer satisfaction.
J.D. Power and Associates surveyed nearly 17,000 dial-up, DSL and cable Internet customers nationwide who answered questions about their service provider's performance and reliability, cost of service, billing, customer service and offers and promotions.
In the high-speed Internet segment, Cox received the top scores in the West for performance and reliability, billing and highest ranking in customer satisfaction overall. Cox scored 25 points higher than the West average for overall satisfaction.
Cox's high-speed Internet service also ranked the highest in overall customer satisfaction in 2005. Cox ranked highest in customer satisfaction with residential telephone service in the West (2003-2008), the Northeast (2006-2007), and the Southwest (2006-2007). Cox also ranked highest in customer satisfaction with cable/satellite service in the West in 2006, and for business customer satisfaction for small/midsize business data service providers in 2008 and 2006.
Cox launched Cox High Speed Internet in 1996. Since then, the company has expanded its Internet services to reach 18 markets, serving more than 3.9 million high-speed Internet customers.
The third-largest cable television company in the United States, Cox offers an array of digital video, high-speed Internet and telephony services over its own nationwide IP network, as well as integrated wireless services.
, a vendor of integrated software applications, has announced the appointment of Tom Aitchison to executive vice president, worldwide sales.
Aitchison's a 20-year industry veteran, with a track record in building and leading sales organizations for software and services companies. At InQuira, he will be responsible for the field sales organization worldwide, with personnel currently in North America and Europe.
Aitchison was most recently senior vice president of field operations at Sterling Commerce, an AT&T company, where he was responsible for North American sales of enterprise products to Fortune 1000 customers. Previously he held senior vice president and sales management positions at Comergent Technologies, WebMethods, McAfee, Legent Corporation and Computer Associates.
Mike Murphy, InQuira CEO, said Aitchison will be tasked with enhancing and extending the company's global sales efforts.
InQuira sells software applications for Web self-service, collaboration, knowledge management, and agent-assisted support built from a common technology platform. The product is designed to let users "author and harvest knowledge, make it accessible to the right people at the right time, and measure its effectiveness at resolving customer problems," company officials say.