Toiling silently in the Forgotten Space of Customer Service and Support (CS&S), are the Forgotten Men and Women in IT who are responsible for maintaining the company’s Amdocs Clarify CRM system, and who try to enhance the tools of the company’s support agents, against difficult odds.
It sounds grim, and it often is, for IT people dealing with the legacy Clarify install. Today’s markets, and today’s customers, demand a business agility and a personalized response to every situation.
“It emphasizes the ability of companies to look from the outside in (that is, from the customer’s perspective), rather than looking from the inside out (that is, the company’s perspective). Balancing both perspectives is critical in this next generation of CRM. The upcoming Summit will look at customer experience management, innovation, customer loyalty, reengineering customer processes and customer analytics as major themes.” – Is Your Organization Ready for the Next Generation of CRM?
This requires ad hoc querying, and full sets of retrieved information pertaining to the case at hand. This in turn requires flexible software, with power and performance built in. Customer support requires full knowledge of case status, from sales commitments and notations made, to fulfillment in the shipping department, through to the global supply chain.
“Knowing inventory status ensures that product is available when and where customers demand it. Use technology to meter the flow of materials and product through the supply chain to avoid production shortages or stockouts.” – How to Succeed With a Global Supply Chain
Customers don’t want agents merely to know their names, they want somebody who can take care of the situation now.
“In the Web 2.0 world, the customer service team is a critical and primary participant in relationship forming conversations with customers. Too often, the service and support organization defines itself purely in terms of case-closing. Cases come, one after the other, in an endless wave of disconnected transactions. But this assembly line approach to support often means that the customer relationship is ignored and the enterprise loses its opportunity to learn.” – A Modern Approach to Improving Customer Support
All of this places demands on software. And software often brings better changes than management policy alone can mandate. Workers need more than guidelines for action: they need tools to act with. The forgotten people in IT hear the requirements from the business side every day. Their great problem is how to supply the functionality of today’s new tools.
“Software creates change, or else prevents it. We’ve talked before about democratic software, and the empowerment of customer-facing and problem-solving agents. We’ve said that software, as with all institutional protocols, can be an enslaving dictatorship, in fact here’s a quote from us:
‘Of course it’s a lot easier to say that a company should remember the fundamentals than it is to put this into practice, especially as the technology of the times imposes its own dictatorship on the business processes of the enterprise.’” – The Power of Software
What the forgotten space of service and support needs most is flexible and powerful software. With the Clarify system, this means Dovetail Software. The reasons are many, and include Dovetail’s being designed specifically to fit into the Clarify installed base seamlessly, with identical look and feel, and with enormously expanded capabilities. Dovetail doesn’t only perform out of the box, it exposes most of the Clarify business processes to extension through APIs and Web Services, offering a development path for the future.
The forgotten men and women of IT laboring in the forgotten space of support gain from Dovetail the capability they were looking for but couldn’t find with Clarify tools. And they gain a future.