Putting the Customer First

ICT Group Leverages Oracle’s Siebel Software to Build Strong Relationships.

by David A. Kelly, August 2009

When you call a company for information or to place an order, the last thing you want to do is waste time waiting on hold or providing information the company should already have.

However, if you’re calling a contact center run by ICT Group, there’s a good chance you won’t have to do either. Serving a wide range of industries across multiple countries, ICT operators are leveraging customer relationship management (CRM) software to achieve a complete and cohesive view of customers, while at the same time optimizing operations and contact management processes with business intelligence and analysis.

“Our corporate clients are more interested than ever before in performance data and our ability to efficiently handle calls,” says Pam Goyke, CIO of the Newton, Pennsylvania-based company. “That’s why our technology platform is built on a Siebel and Oracle foundation, including Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition. We’re able to handle a client interaction for many of our clients using Siebel so that we can script those calls efficiently and reduce the handle time by providing agents with the information they need to satisfy the end customer quickly.”

On the back end, ICT stores all customer interaction data in its Oracle database, along with any information coming from Oracle’s Siebel applications (such as Q&A help information or product data), from telecommunications equipment (such as call statistics), or out of specialized call center applications (such as call recordings). The data is then leveraged using Oracle Business Intelligence Applications.

For example, by using Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition in conjunction with its CRM applications, including Siebel Marketing Server and Siebel HelpDesk, ICT can provide clients with statistical information for targeting marketing efforts or forecasting the budget and calls more effectively for the following year. It’s a strategy that has paid off for ICT and its clients by enabling ICT to manage sophisticated and integrated customer interactions across a wide set of industries and channels.

“We’re finding that today, especially in an economy where people are trying to do more with less, providing better service is actually a very compelling value proposition,” says Richard Caballero, vice president of service products at Oracle. “By investing in good CRM and infrastructure software, companies can obtain a dramatic reduction in costs while at the same time providing a better customer experience. That’s what it’s all about.”

At the core of ICT Group’s business is the goal of understanding every aspect of the customer relationship and how any individual customer is likely to respond to different offerings and programs. The more a company knows about its customers, the more likely it is that those customers will respond favorably to well-planned campaigns. “The goal is to understand your customer’s value,” says Caballero. “Because Oracle and Siebel CRM provide integration into all types of back-office systems, we can help companies understand a lot about their customers and then use that to provide a differentiated experience so the customer gets the best possible value.”

Using Analytics to Differentiate
Perhaps no type of company handles more interactions with customers than outsourced contact centers such as ICT Group. As a global provider of outsourced customer management services, ICT serves a wide range of industries, including financial services, insurance, telecommunications, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, government, consumer, and energy. Unlike old-style call centers that focused on basic telemarketing operations, ICT’s services include customer care and retention, technical support, collections, cross-selling, business-to-business lead generation, and more.

Increasingly, the company is differentiating itself via its marketing analytics capabilities, as well as through business process outsourcing services such as data entry, scanning, imaging, remittance processing, and e-mail response. In addition, ICT offers technology services to its customers, including its own proprietary interactive voice response platform for call handling and outbound alerting, a customized knowledgebase service, and access to a hosted contact management system for contact management and self-service requirements.

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