Article

WebTrends introduces data conduit for Siebel

Christine M. Campbell, Assistant News Editor

In order to ease the integration of clickstream data with existing customer information, WebTrends Corporation has introduced its WebTrends Data Conduit for Siebel. The Data Conduit works by integrating Web visitor information gathered by WebTrends' CommerceTrends VRM Platform with existing records in Siebel Call Center.

The Data Conduit makes Web visitor behavioral data available directly within the Call Center application with the addition of several buttons to the toolbar. It includes Web visits, Web events, page views, visit summaries and qualifying events, which allows for up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.

Data from the customer's Web visits can also signal an interest in a product that a sales professional may not know from just the existing data, according to Len Elias, product line manager for WebTrends.

In a demonstration, Elias opened up an existing customer record with the enhanced WebTrends data. This particular customer had only purchased a firewall product, but had been visiting the Web site for information on another product. This customer had even gone so far as to download the demo version, he said. With this information, a sales representative could phone the customer and casually mention a promotion that the company is having on the software, thereby increasing the chances of a sale, he said.

"It's important... for WebTrends in moving beyond clickstream data," said Dan Vesset, senior analyst at IDC. By bringing in the Siebel

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data, from the bricks and mortar world, WebTrends can offer a 360-degree view of the customer, he said.

"The Data Conduit gives companies the ability to track potential and future sales," Elias said. It also can signal when a customer is having difficulties and is trying to find an answer online to the problem, he added.

"If [sales and service representatives] can be proactive, it goes a long way in terms of customer service and support," Elias said.

"Without the Web data, it's completely a cold call," said Bill Schneider, public relations manager at WebTrends.

"Siebel is an operational CRM system and WebTrends is analytic. It's important to link the two and create a closed loop," Vesset said. "By creating a closed loop, there is more effective personalization, better processes for customer service and a way to analyze historical patterns," he added. That data can be used to create new marketing campaigns or address customer service issues, according to Vesset.

The Data Conduit also allows companies to gather more complete information on their customers. In the demonstration, a customer had filled out a Web form, which contained updated contact information, including her new title, which was previously not in the database.

All the information given by customers through the data conduit is voluntary, Elias said. The Web data comes through customer identification codes to log in to a site or cookies stored on the computer, he said.

In the next version of the Data Conduit, alerts will be presented when an existing customer expresses interest in products that they have not purchased or is trying to troubleshoot their problem by viewing Web pages, Elias said.

"Feature-wise, it's competitive with other products," Vesset said. "I wouldn't say it's revolutionary."

According to Vesset, the integration is fairly seamless as just another menu item. Overall, "it's an important trend toward combining Web data with non-Web data to complete the view of the customer," Vesset said.

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