Broad Daylight, Cisco Team for E-CRM Solution

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Broad Daylight and Cisco Systems said yesterday that they have combined their Internet-based customer service programs to offer a package including chat, e-mail and self-service features.

While Broad Daylight has handled combining its Broad Mind suite of services with Cisco's e-mail and chat applications, both firms plan to market the CRM package to their prospects and customers. The way the package is used at a Web site depends on a firm's customer care needs.

Snap Appliances, a company that makes laptop computer servers, in June became the first client to use the system. A search engine placed in a pop-up window is critical to the way the application is used at Viewers can type in a question, and the engine will search a database for potential answers. The users then can choose the most helpful answer.

If the database fails to deliver sufficient answers, viewers can scroll to the bottom of the pop-up window and send an e-mail to the company or engage in a chat session with a customer service representative. On the back end, these e-mail and chat exchanges are used to upgrade the database of answers for future viewer searches in order to make the overall system more effective.

The call center agent also can send pre-typed answers already in the database to expedite the chat process. This feature also is designed to help agents be consistent with the company's message.

Snap, a division of Quantum Corp., San Jose, CA, claims the system has answered 40,000 queries successfully. On average, the firm said, 200 viewers have used each published answer. What's more, the company claims to have seen customer calls drop by 15 percent and e-mail inquiries fall 50 percent because of the technology.

"I think those numbers prove that the self-help solution can lower your CRM costs," said Louise Kirkbride, CEO of Broad Daylight, Santa Clara, CA.

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