Help Yourself

By Heather Baldwin

It’s 3:00 a.m. and you’ve got a question about a function on some new software. Are you going to pick up the phone or the computer mouse? Increasingly, the answer is the mouse, and not just because of the early hour. Web self-service technology is growing rapidly. Experts predict that almost 70% of software support incidents within enterprise organizations will be resolved through self-service within the next three years. That’s one reason Surado Solutions recently rolled out Web Self-Service module for its CRM solution. The module is the first of a series of modules comprising SCM WEB, Surado’s Web-based CRM solution, which is scheduled to roll out completely by the end of the first quarter of 2003.

“Today, more than ever before, CRM implementations must provide a self-service option for customer service and support,” says Cheryl McCarthy, executive vice president of Surado Solutions. That’s because businesses are looking for ways to maintain or improve service levels while reducing costs, particularly in the current economic downturn. “Understanding that it costs nine times more for a sales representative to handle a call than if the call is supported automatically, the ROI on self-service options is compelling,” says McCarthy. What’s more, she adds, “Companies that are able to respond to customer inquiries in a fast, accurate and flexible manner will realize the greatest gains in an increasingly competitive business environment.”

Surado’s SCM Web Self-Service module is not designed to replace traditional support. Instead it addresses repetitive issues around the clock and provides the growing body of Internet users with the ability to resolve issues without having to wait for traditional support.

ECS Imaging, the top Laserfiche reseller in the world, is using the module in yet another way. The company implemented Web Self-Service not only to offer clients direct access for submitting and tracking tickets for support but also to strengthen relationships with its clients. Immediately following resolution of an open ticket, ECS account reps automatically receive notification of the problem and resolution, getting a more complete view of customer interactions and an opportunity for follow-up to ensure complete customer satisfaction.

McCarthy says her company “rolled out Surado Self-Service Module first because it made the most business sense based on feedback from our clients and industry trends.” Next, she says, Surado will roll out a new version of SCM Web eLeads, which provides the capability to capture leads from the Internet and route them internally. Surado will continue releasing additional Web modules through the remainder of 2003, including SCM Web for Contact and Account Management, Sales, Marketing and Customer Support/Service. By the end of the year, Surado’s entire CRM solution will be completely Web-enabled using Microsoft .NET technology. For more information, visit