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Quick Wins
For the rest of the October 2004 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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In search of a wireless solution that would allow field technicians to communicate effectively and exchange customer information while in the field, Pitney Bowes implemented a three-prong approach using Siebel Field Service, Antenna A3 for Siebel, and various handheld devices, ranging from laptops to Palm Treos: "You can't disconnect one from the other. You've got to put these three tools in play, link them, and then you measure the benefits of the combined [tools]," says Mark Davis, vice president of customer service for the $4 billion manufacturer of mail- and document-handling systems. "You couldn't get the benefits without all three." The benefits Davis is referring to include the ability to communicate over multiple cellular networks, as well as to provide anyone from call center agents to field service reps with improved visibility into the entire customer experience. The system was rolled out to approximately 1,000 call center agents and 2,000 field representatives. Pitney Bowes projects an increase in productivity of between 5 percent and 8 percent, a reduction in emergency parts orders in the range of 20 to 25 percent, and an improvement in the first-call fix rate. "Combine all of these, and the story is pretty powerful to suggest that customer loyalty or customer satisfaction will increase as a result," Davis says.

The myriad client databases often found within professional services firms can splinter prospect organization, and the lack of a centralized look at the client base can put a hurdle in the path of firms on the quest for new clients. Accounting firm Vitale, Caturano & Co. faced this challenge before implementing Interface Software's InterAction. "We might have several people contacting the same person over at a law firm about an opportunity," says Jill Hulsen, director of marketing at Vitale. "We had no central database for knowing whom knew whom, [and] we couldn't manage our mailing list properly." The firm gathered the databases and Excel spreadsheets that people were using, then imported them into InterAction to create a master database. "Since [then] we have done some very targeted marketing," Hulsen says. The key to making this work was to make it very easy and have it completely integrated within Outlook. At Vitale they have that tight integration, and have acquired several new customers as a result of using the new system.

Seeking to improve online application conversion rates and to increase the quantity and quality of online leads, France-based Societe Generale (SG) turned to personalization. Using a solution from Kefta, SG creates predefined business rules made to personalize everything from email messages to the individual customer's Web experience, without heavy intervention from the IT team. Since SG no longer relies on IT to make adjustments to campaigns, it has benefited from much more confident, effective marketing efforts. The solution "has dramatically impacted our own marketing culture and has made the Web a key marketing communication channel," says Olivier Chedeville, vice president of market research and development at SG. In addition to a more comprehensive view of online customers' needs, SG is now able to reengage clients who drop an application prior to completion--an efficiency that has translated to a 30 percent increase in online application rates. The firm has boosted its online revenues, cut service costs, and significantly increased its online channel's ROI.

Looking for a way to better communicate with prospects, The Inner Circle (TIC) also found about $16.5 million over the course of its first weekend of sales. The real estate company embarked on a project with new luxury resort property The Lodge at Lincoln Peak at Sugarbush Resort, in Warren, VT. TIC's main concern was how to more efficiently identify and communicate with customers visiting its Web site for The Lodge. Eloqua helped TIC create a resort-specific Web site that integrated with TIC's lead management process, which in turn helped the sales and marketing team to continuously track online marketing, direct mail campaigns, and advertising efforts, and to integrate that information with its CRM system. The company was able to create reports that drew on prospective clients and their specific interests in the property for sales follow-up, and provided the sales team at The Lodge with weekly reports of reservation holders' online activity. According to Jeff Fagan, president of TIC, Eloqua has helped to streamline information and avoid complications often associated with the company's relatively complex sales processes. "What we found was that it wasn't only a better way to understand our customers, but it was a way to communicate with our customers," he says. What's more, The Lodge's first weekend sales figure was 50 percent higher than any other New England resort or real estate launch in history. With that momentum TIC plans to take this template to the next level, hoping to double the size of the company within the next 24 months, and reach its goal of managing $750 million to $1 billion in real estate inventory.

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