• June 2, 2003
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

One CRM Success Leads to Another

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Executives at FSC Securities were so pleased with its first CRM project that they happily took on a second. FSC, a subsidiary of AIG SunAmerica, is a financial services support organization for a community of 2,200 independent financial service professionals--all of whom need access to exclusive financial information and forms based on their partnership status and their clients' needs. Delivering this access across the enterprise proved to be challenging. "Each department had its own content, using everything from Maximizer to GoldMine. It became a workflow problem when trying to transfer information from department to department," says Matthew Schlueter, FSC's service director. After evaluating several CRM vendors, it came down to Siebel and Onyx. Siebel already had an agreement with FSC's parent company, AIG, and was therefore able to offer FSC a discount on the price per seat, which initially would have made the implementation cheaper than the Onyx solution. However, Schlueter says Onyx had better out-of-the-box functionality, which saved FSC from extensive programming and development costs. So despite the discount and decision of its parent company, FSC boldly forged ahead on its own with Onyx. That first Onyx CRM solution, called Onyx Customer Center, was implemented for FSC by consulting firm c360 in late 1999. There was some resistance from employees who rejected the Onyx client-server application, simply because they were set in their ways, according to Schlueter. He says it took roughly a year and a half to get all of FSC's employees to use the Onyx solution. Schlueter says the technology slowly sold itself as various benefits became apparent. Employees were getting a "360-degree view of everything that was happening," for example, and instead of cutting checks manually, checks are quickly processed electronically. "No one can even imagine doing paper forms today," Schlueter says. Although FSC was enjoying the success of Onyx Customer Center, it faced a new challenge: The only way to manage sensitive client information among its large group of dealer/brokers would be to create a portal where each would be assigned a password to obtain their individual information. So FSC looked once again to Onyx and c360. After some testing, c360 installed the financial services-- specific Web portal Onyx Advisor Portal for FSC within 90 days. FSC rolled it out by October 2002, and called it MyFSC.com. Two key benefits of the portal are its 24-hour accessibility and its integration with FSC's back-office databases, according to Mike Wazny, director of information systems at FSC. "While the original [Onyx solution installed by c360 consultants] had already driven thirty-five percent of all interaction from the call center to a less expensive online service center, we now expect to see more than fifty percent of all service interaction being Web-based," Schlueter says. "Our dealer/brokers used to prefer to talk to their customers on the phone. Now they prefer the Web, because they can interact on their own time," he adds, noting that the dealer/brokers can handle their administrative tasks after business hours, because the portal is available "24/7." As a result of the Onyx implementation, Schlueter says, "We wouldn't blink an eye at spending more money on CRM again." The Payoff FSC Securities is reaping the benefits from two key CRM projects:
  • 35 percent of call center interactions moved to the Web, with a total of 50 percent of call center interactions expected to move to there
  • 24-hour accessibility and integration with back-office databases
  • implementation completed on time and under budget
  • expecting a 30.8 percent return every year for the next five years, and a total ROI in 28 months after the implementation
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