New From Genesys, CCL Study, Fiserv, ISoBusy for IPhone, CoreMatrix, OrderDynamics

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
| CRM, ERP, Contact Center, Turkish Coffee and Astroichthiology:

New From Genesys, CCL Study, Fiserv, ISoBusy for IPhone, CoreMatrix, OrderDynamics

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a Frank Sinatra album we don't listen to much, 1962's Point of No Return. It's not great Sinatra, it's the last recordings he did for Capitol Records in a rushed two-day session, and apart from "As Time Goes By" and "September Song" there isn't much inspired here. But over the eight years prior to this he recorded his best work for Capitol and made them a boatload of money, so they can't complain about this album too much:

Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories officials have shared what they call "key breakthroughs" in Dynamic Customer Engagement, which go "beyond traditional customer service strategies to create an environment for customer service to engage at critical moments," they say.

Unlike what they call "traditional customer service, separated from the core of the business and too often regarded as a cost center designed to minimize overhead and quickly complete interactions," Dynamic Customer Engagement in the Genesys vision aims to "extend customer service beyond the contact center," and let enterprises "serve consumers who interact across multiple channels."

The announcements were made at a Genesys Asia-Pacific user conference in Melbourne.

Genesys officials discussed Service Delivery Optimization, "in which enterprises use intelligent Workload Distribution to virtualize customer service operations and improve productivity," designed to help "integrate branch offices, remote or home agents, mobile field employees and experts in the back office." 

With iWD software, enterprises can distribute customer service work items across all resources and departments of the enterprise while matching, prioritizing and managing service levels, Genesys officials say, adding that the iWD software "works in concert with virtually any existing enterprise software application including ERP, CRM, workflow, business process management and homegrown legacy systems."

Genesys officials also announced a Cross Channel Conversations initiative for "identifying the gaps in customer interaction today and providing a platform to serve as the hub of these interactions."

Customer and change management company Customer Consulting officials estimate that 40 per cent of all calls to contact centers, "especially those in the financial services sector," are the result of failure demand.

"Failure demand," CCL officials say, occurs "where an organization fails to deliver clear and timely information about a product or a service to a customer." That failure generates a demand for customer service.

"In my experience, an average of 40 per cent of all calls to a contact center could be prevented," says Brian Jopling, CCL associate director. 

CCL's managing director Simon Rustom noted that failure demand "results in more costs for the business because of the time and resources spent in responding to additional customer enquiries and complaints as a result of processes that do not work."

For example, CCL officials say, a product doesn't get to a customer on time, or the customer's bill is incorrect. Naturally, the customer telephones the supplier to find out what the deal is. Or when a standard letter sent to a customer doesn't jibe with what they customer was told on the phone, she's on the phone again.

Not only are these costs hidden within the operating costs of the contact center, he says, but "they mask the real problems that the organization is facing in not meeting customers' wants and needs first time... organisations find it hard getting to grips with this area of wastage."


Financial services tech vendor Fiserv has released a study "confirming the positive impact of electronic billing and payment on customer satisfaction, retention and profitability," according to company officials. 

The study is said by Fiserv officials to "quantify the impact of different billing and payment channels on an organization's customer relationships and key business drivers," finding what study officials said is "significant linkage" between billing and business benefits among early tenure customers -- those who had been customers for less than 28 months.

Conducted by Aspen Marketing Services on behalf of Fiserv, the study evaluated data from 8 million Qwest Communications residential customers over an 18-month period, with analysis concluded in April 2009.  

The study found that customers who receive paperless electronic bills at a company site or at a financial institution site, or who use recurring payments, are more profitable for the billing organization. 

Among those studied, 74 percent of customers who receive an e-bill at a bank site pay using a deduction from their bank account, and 40 percent of customers who receive bills at the company site pay using a card-funded payment, a higher cost method of payment.

Among early-tenure customers e-bill users are 12.5 percent less likely to leave, are 35 percent more likely to pay their bills on time, and purchase 20 percent more products than paper bill users, the study found.

Automatic, recurring payment users are 14 percent less likely to leave and 86 percent more likely to pay their bills on time. "Users who combine e-bill with recurring payment are more loyal and more profitable than other customer segments," the study's authors concluded.

Founded in 1986, Aspen Marketing Services is a privately-held marketing services agency headquartered in West Chicago.


We love the endless creativity that comes with iPhone app creation: A partnership called iBeSilly, formed by Detroit techies Stout Systems and branding consultant David Brier of DBD International has created iSoBusy, which they tag as "The Ultimate Social Repellent."

The concept was a simple one: Enable iPhone owners to have believable alibis to excuse themselves. Yes, and you thought the ultimate social repellent was prefacing a remark at a cocktail party with "My therapist thinks..."

This app is designed to call its owner anytime or on an immediate basis with any of the 23 pre-recorded "accomplices" who will "rescue its iSoBusy owner from any situation in business or social settings," company officials say. Such as somebody yakking on about what their therapist thinks.

But you say, I already have a fake call app on my iPhone. Yes, but as Partner John Stout says, you need "a more believable" excuse. Hence the 23 accomplices. 

Once an accomplice calls, they continue to talk until the user terminates the call. Accomplices include a contractor with ADD, a French Maitre d', a family attorney, a promotional call from hell, a dry cleaner calling about that stain he can't get out, family members -- mom, dad, sister, brother, daughter on a spring break and "the bodily pierced son."

There's even a "Nigerian statesman with a sincere offer that will make the iPhone owner an immediate millionaire," Stout noted.

Those don't grab you? ISoBusy also has a Virtual Accomplice Recording Studio where you can create up to 17 original callers: "Oh hey, sorry, I have to take this, it's the director of the CIA... look, I'll take care of the check here, why don't we call each other...Leon, what's up?"

Brier said iSoBusy "arose from the fact that so many people dread long-winded meetings, socially odd circumstances and even family gatherings," including "a disastrously bad blind date. Some people need a bit of help extricating themselves from those situations."

Check that: Some people need socially acceptable help. First Coffee is able to extricate himself from pretty much any disagreeable social situation without help.


CoreMatrix Systems, a consulting company in the cloud computing space, announced a 51 percent increase in revenue in Q2 2009 over the same period last year, crediting "the tripling of customer service and support-related CRM revenue" for fueling growth.

Company officials say they see a shift to cloud-based IT services resulting from the economy and tightening IT budgets, since cloud computing allows companies to hit the ground "without significant hardware or infrastructure investments."

In tough economic times "companies are looking for ways to work smarter," said Frank McMahon, co-founder of CoreMatrix Systems. It's a growing field -- according to Gartner, the go-to guys for these sorts of numbers, worldwide cloud services revenue is estimated to not only surpass $56.3 billion in 2009, but top $150 billion in 2013.

Simple cost isn't the only advantage, though -- the undeniable customer service advantages are causing companies to "focus more heavily on an integrated customer view and new ways to communicate with them through social media," CoreMatrix officials say.

According to Steve Grant, managing partner of Customer Research Center, a CoreMatrix partner, said many companies want 360-degree customer view since they realize "the importance of using that data to find new revenue. The support center can be a crucial part of this process."


OrderDynamics would like to remind you that two of its competitors, payment providers were down within four weeks of each other (Authorize.NET July 3, 2009, and PayPal August 3, 2009). 

"Failures like this are considered unacceptable to executives, although they are an unfortunate reality of doing business online," OrderDynamics officials say.

And as providence would have it, they offer "one way of mitigating the impact of a payment provider failure," an on-demand eCommerce platform with an integrated Order Management System.

The OrderDynamics Order Management Systems "facilitates the capture and processing of Web site orders for retailers," company officials say, describing their OMS as a system "linked into all areas of the eCommerce platform, such as eMail Marketing, Customer Relationship Management, Fulfillment and Inventory Control" and others.

And this is important because... OrderDynamics "eliminates order errors by capturing all order information without being dependent on third party systems, like payment processors," company officials say. 

The product also automatically creates a customer service ticket for any abandoned PayPal or Google Checkout orders.

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