BACKGROUND: Thomas Cook is one of the world's leading providers of travel and financial services, with a global "footprint" of over 100,000 outlets. The company recently launched a new business unit, Thomas Cook Global Services (TCGS), to provide a worldwide network of travel and financial services offering one-to-one service via call centers serving 139 countries. To support this effort, we sought a technology solution capable of personalizing interactions based on the language, personal preferences and business value of each customer.

PLATFORMS: Chordiant Customer Communication Solution (CCS) is available on Java, Windows NT or 95 clients and Windows NT or UNIX Servers. It includes built-in support for all major databases, including CICS, DB2, Oracle, Informix, Sybase. It also supports all major telephony and call center products from companies such as Genesys, Lucent, Nortel, Siemens.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Thomas Cook needed a robust system capable of automatically directing a traveler to a representative who could answer all questions in a single phone call. With a projected 75,000 calls a day in 30 languages, supporting dozens of transactions (such as currency exchange, legal referrals and medical advice), the system had to provide intelligent guidance to the customer service representative including customer profile information. Chordiant CCS allowed Thomas Cook to support diverse business processes through a single center and reduced deployment time by two-thirds. Chordiant CCS delivers the business processes needed to guide a customer service representative through hundreds of diverse transactions, while personalizing the interaction based on the consumer's language needs as well as the company's targeted policies and marketing goals. Originally, Thomas Cook planned on a three-year custom effort to create the systems to launch the business, but was able to implement a system with Chordiant in less than eight months.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Chordiant CCS is a complete solution for integrated customer care. With Chordiant CCS, a company can create an enterprise business center (EBC) where its customers can conduct business with any part of the company through a single point of contact. A key strength of the system is managing customer interaction from end to end--from the initial call through behind-the-scene fulfillment of the request, while applying consistent business processes and service metrics to each interaction. Chordiant CCS includes a comprehensive suite of applications, infrastructure and workflow. It also includes four role-based applications used by customer service representatives, self-serve consumers, business analysts and operations managers.

STRENGTHS: Chordiant's unique process-driven approach enables companies to dynamically personalize customer interactions. Using workflows that guide the user through each business process based on the customer profile and need and the company's business goals, Chordiant CCS automates the company's best business practices. Reusable objects then allow these business processes to be quickly modified or redeployed across the enterprise.

WEAKNESSES: To effectively use its workflow engine and implement a holistic customer care system, the enterprise must have a well-mapped understanding of customer segments and marketing strategies.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Chordiant CCS was chosen for three reasons. First, it is an enterprise system that supports global access to customer care that can be scaled for high-volume 24x7 operations. Second, its flexible approach to business processes makes it easy to change existing services and add new ones. Third, the system deployment met an aggressive schedule of less than eight months, rather than the three years estimated for custom development.

DELIVERABLES: Chordiant and MCI Systemhouse, Chordiant's systems integration partner, worked closely with Thomas Cook Global Services to deliver a finished application and the customized workflows needed to service the various TCGS call center transactions.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Chordiant and MCI Systemhouse provided extensive on-site support and consulting throughout the project and are actively involved in post-implementation support and additional phases of the roll out to two other worldwide call centers.

DOCUMENTATION: Chordiant provided extensive implementation courses and documentation, but on-site guidance and support was much more critical. Extensive participation from Chordiant and the system integrator is required in addition to the materials.

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