Chordiant Aims To Pair Call-Center, Marketing Suites

Orchestrating business processes is key to running a well-tuned marketing operation, according to executives at Chordiant. The software vendor’s new marketing and contact center suites were designed to be complementary, underscoring the company’s emphasis on automating and managing processes, ranging from back-office systems to communication with customers.

Chordiant’s Enterprise Marketing suite focuses on campaign management and marketing execution, while its Enterprise Contact Center product promises to improve agent productivity by rapidly changing processes and work management in real-time. The two offerings aim to address business-process pain points at large service organizations, particularly in the company’s core market, retail financial services.

The suites are complementary because customers are seeking applications that can solve business problems and improve efficiency in both the branch office and the contact center, said Chordiant product manager Matthew Stainer. Integrated marketing automation and contact-center applications potentially could provide more detailed cost and revenue data, he told CRM Buyer.

Putting Their Heads Together

Indeed, these two areas are naturally related, according to Erin Kinikin, vice president and research leader at Giga/Forrester Research.

“A lot of marketing campaigns in financial services are either outbound campaigns from the call center or are fulfilled by the call center,” Kinikin told CRM Buyer. “Marketing creates the campaigns, and the call center executes them. Marketing then looks at the results and decides what to do next.”

Other companies offering products in both of these areas include E.piphany, PeopleSoft and Siebel. The challenge for these companies as well as Chordiant is that marketing and call-center applications have different buyers, and suite vendors must compete against best-of-breed sellers in both markets, Kinikin said.

Campaigning for Efficiency

Enterprise Marketing is designed to make direct marketing campaign delivery more efficient by enabling users to alter four metrics — whom to contact, what to offer them, and when and how to communicate with them, Stainer said.

The suite’s new capabilities include support for collaboration between corporate and field marketing and sales managers. This collaborative marketing approach builds on Chordiant’s segmentation-based campaign automation and execution applications.

In segmentation-based campaigns, lists of customers to be included are developed after analyzing customer attributes to find those most likely to want a particular product or service. In collaborative marketing, meanwhile, corporate marketing defines campaigns associated with products or services, but inclusion of customers in the campaign depends on local demands.

Enterprise Marketing also incorporates enhanced support for wireless messaging, and the application’s Marketing Director function includes new features, such as an improved graphical view of campaign schedules.

Making Contact

The quest for efficiency and cost reduction motivated development of the Enterprise Contact Center suite, according to David Straus, Chordiant senior vice president of product marketing. The aim is to adapt quickly to changing business processes and policies, he told CRM Buyer.

Enterprise Contact Center can increase servicing request volumes and reduce end-to-end servicing time by up to 50 percent while also reducing contact-center headcount, according to company executives.

The offering is designed to automate enterprise work management, so contact-center managers can handle fluctuations in activity with optimal staffing while maintaining service quality. For example, during periods of low call volumes, all customers may receive verbal cross-sell offers, but when call volumes are high, only high-value customers may be targeted to receive these offers, Straus said.

Enhancements to the call-center suite include a process-centric thin-client application, new capabilities in the offering’s business-process server module to support push-and-pull enterprise work management, and new features enabling managers to design, extend and change business processes in the contact center as well as across service centers and the back office.

For large organizations, Enterprise Marketing averages US$500,000 to $600,000 per deal, while Enterprise Contact Center averages $1 million to $1.5 million for the first deal.

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