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THE 2010 SERVICE AWARDS SERVICE ELITE 2010 Service Elite THESE, as you might imagine, are our favorite stories. club. Their successes remind us of the possible, and restore Favorites, of course, are subjective, but they share at least our faith in the benefits of service. one characteristic: They’re all impressive in one regard or One winner helps its customers purchase more of what another—occasionally in several. This year, in fact, the they want simply by chatting with them; another serves its quality of submissions compelled us to expand our set of customers by sparing them the need to wait on hold. favorites to include, for the first time ever, a fifth Elite. Even Perhaps most telling, all five display a commitment to with that, we know there must be other deployments worthy engage the customer at the level of the customer’s preference. of similar appreciation—but we challenge you to find others As social media continues to alter the nature of CRM— that are more worthy. especially in the customer-facing support and service These five—across industries as varied as e-commerce, sectors—we expect we’ll be seeing quite a bit more of that travel, insurance, and technology—represent an exclusive in our favorite stories. | B Y T H E E D I T O R S O F C R M M A G A Z I N E www.destinationCRM.com CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT | MARCH 2010 43 THE 2010 SERVICE AWARDS SERVICE ELITE WEB INTERACTION MANAGEMENT Chatting Up a Storm RightNow Technologies is helping Drugstore.com get better at making its customers look good AS THE economy suffered a recessionary 2008, and then a year later on discount flu, retail was one of the critical patients— contact-lens site VisionDirect.com. so Drugstore.com opted to self-medicate. A Chat’s made a big splash on Beauty.com. spoonful of sugar may not have been the “We’re trying to replicate, if not expand upon, only thing to help that medicine go down: In the beauty-counter experience you’d find in the third quarter of 2009, while the United the department store,” Kelly says. In 2009, in States Department of Commerce reported a an effort to hone its beauty focus, the com- mere 2 percent increase in overall e-com- pany created a select team. “We hired people merce spending, Drugstore.com’s over-the- with either an esthetician background or a counter segment saw 17 percent growth. love of fashion or passion about beauty,” Kelly “Wetalk about don’t just At the online retailer’s three properties— Beauty.com, VisionDirect.com, and, of course, Drugstore.com itself—products in the health says. Unlike typical phone or email customer service, agents have deeper, more-involved discussions with customers via chat, often listening to the and wellness, pharmacy, and beauty categories with longer engagement times. “They’re not customer— range from a $1.50 lipstick to a $200 calorie- just asking, ‘Where’s my order?’” Kelly says. management system. To manage its multi- Customers share specific needs, and agents we actually channel customer service—with more than a fulfill these requests as if in an in-store inter- do it. ” — R O N K E L LY million customer contacts a year through email, phone, and live chat—Drugstore.com enlisted RightNow Technologies in August action. “A chat does take longer,” he says, “but it’s for the right reasons.” Customers seem to like those reasons, too.
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