When a vendor kicks off with a Bush-ism on the front of the presentation you know it’s not going to be a dry affair and thankfully taking a look under the hood of the Ciboodle CRM solution didn’t disappoint.
Having been in the CRM scene since the mid-80’s (under the guise of Graham Technology based in Glasgow, Scotland) it’s fair to say that they have a long history in the CRM industry. In 2008 they became part of the Sword Group and have since expanded operations across the US, securing Sears as their first client Stateside. Citing Pega as one of their main competitors in the immediate space they make a bold statement that they’re solution are faster to configure and deliver return, something which Sears experienced in 12 weeks revealed Erika Cappeart of Sword Ciboodle who led me through the demonstration.
One aspect Erika was keen to make me aware of was how customer engagement was changing and the traditional contact centre is no longer the first port of call for the customer, most preferring to engage in unassisted channels such as self-service web portals and this is why Sword recently refocused their attention to the overall ‘Customer Engagement Continuum’ as they term it.
Erika showed off Ciboodle 1, which is their new name for their Intelligent Desktop solution. It’s an entirely web-based interface giving the user via role and skills based profiling the information they need at the right time, including all the processes they interact with in context of their role. It looked very easy to configure and change what the user can see, adding and removing customer channels simply. Whether the case is pushed through (for example if an urgent case comes through a more immediate channel the system will push this through the queue for attention) or traditionally pulled and worked on by the user all the customer’s information and history is presented for digestion.
One aspect I was keen to explore was their process-oriented approach to CRM, since they also offer services in operational improvement together with their products which is a welcome find. Ciboodle Flow takes care of the workflow with a really clean and simple interface, drag and drop as you would expect and allows designers to call into play the usual array of services and database calls for customer information retrieval. You can monitor the processes and workflow from here, so keeping an eye on current work status and potential bottleneck problems is simple and there’s an escalation path and full audit trail of actions taken for administrators. Something which was an interesting parallel between CRM and BPM and obviously part of their process-based perspective was that they’ve embraced the concept of reusable process elements in Ciboodle Flow, so creating a process instance can be reused again and again, enforcing some standardisation at the same time. Flow also caters for creating business rules to handle more complex scenarios.
Ciboodle comes with a report generator out of the box, with both standard templated reports and an ad-hoc reporting wizard for those who want more bespoke information to be pulled. Other features include text chat, co-browsing and they’re partners with social media companies to introduce more in that context soon. One cool feature was a ‘customer mood’ icon which captures how the customer felt during the call (were they irate or relatively happy during the call), it’s a really useful monitor and ‘early warning system’ for case handling should the customer call again since the system can redirect the call based on previous interactions to more skilled users who can deal with the issue better.
There’s more to Ciboodle than I can cover here and they have some interesting developments under the covers which are going to be announced soon so watch this space for more information.
I liked watching Ciboodle in action, it was pretty seamless and easy to use via the interface and the process execution was well catered for.
And since the company can boast that it’s roots are from Scotland then how can I not like it 😉