Getting Out of the In-BoxBy Brian P. Watson Print
Before deploying an on-demand system, ResortCom's Alex Marxer had to realign the company's business processes.
San Diego, Calif.
MANAGER'S PROFILE: Oversees financial operations for provider of financial and managerial services to the vacation industry.
IN-BOX CRUNCH: Annually, between October and January, ResortCom sends out about 100,000 bills to customers. That tends to generate a lot of customer service e-mail messages: In the first week of January alone, they spiked from 450 in 2006 to 750 this year. Sometimes the issues addressed in those e-mails could be resolved at first contact, but others needed further attention. A lot of the time, Marxer says, they'd get lost in the shuffle.
HIS PROJECT: As Marxer saw it, ResortCom needed a better customer service system. Specifically, "We really needed to get a handle on our e-mail management," he recalls. But before bringing in a software tool, the company took two years to realign some business processes, like consolidating two call centers into one and integrating it to back-office support. Then, in 2004, Marxer put out a request for proposals to CRM vendors.
FORTUNATE FIND: Then a funny thing happened: A day before ResortCom stopped accepting proposals, Marxer saw an ad in a CRM trade group e-mail for RightNow Technologies. The former CRM consultant tried the online demo; he particularly liked the workflow component, which let him see turnaround times on customer requests.
SMOOTH SAILING: Within a week, Marxer deployed RightNow's software. The system helps ResortCom track customer communications from origin to resolution. Today, Marxer says, with RightNow, those issues are being resolved 75% faster, without additional staff.
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