Amdocs answers call, rescues Rockwell's rocky customer service

Rockwell Automation, an industrial manufacturer with $3 billion in revenue, turned to CRM software after company officials realized they had a pretty common CRM problem: their customers didn't know whom to call to get service.

Giant industrial manufacturer Rockwell Automation Inc. had a classic CRM problem. Customers couldn't figure out whom to call when they needed service.

With massive operations spread out around the world and a channel of far-flung distributors, customers of Rockwell's control systems group were losing patience when it came to finding the right person to talk to. The control systems unit, based in Milwaukee, Wis., accounts for roughly 80% of the business done by the OEM of industrial automation products, such as motor starters, relays and signaling devices.

"We were gauging high levels of customer dissatisfaction because people were getting ticked off trying to find us," said Dave Handley, manager of business systems at Rockwell. "It was as simple as needing to ease business interaction and raise customer service across the board."

In order to better manage its call centers and present a more consistent face to clients, Rockwell turned to Amdocs Ltd. in Chesterfield, Mo., and its Clarify set of CRM tools. Beginning its CRM project in 1996, the manufacturer first tackled its contact center operations with Amdocs' Clear Support for call management. Since then, the firm has tackled other CRM goals using the software vendor's Clear Quality for change management package, as well as its Clear Logistics system, which Rockwell uses for repair center support in Europe. Over the last year, Rockwell has implemented version 10 of Amdocs' CRM package, and the company is currently considering the version 11 release.

Handley admitted the company might like to implement a more centralized sales force automation product as well, but Rockwell's international nature has kept it from doing so thus far.

Handley credits Amdocs' workflow engine with immediately impacting Rockwell's call centers. The company had previously followed a consistent curve of adding call center employees as it gained new customers. After implementing Clear Support, Rockwell measured a 30% to 80% increase in its ability to answer customer questions effectively the first time thanks to the software more intelligently routing service queries. As a result, the company believes its call centers now handle 20% to 30% more volume; the company did not increase its headcount.

Rockwell has since used Amdocs' software to build "smart" systems that let support representatives give consistent answers to similar questions, no matter where in the world they might work. This system has saved the company more than $250 million, Handley estimated. However, he said the biggest return on investment has been in Rockwell's customer satisfaction levels, which he said have improved significantly.

Rockwell could not share exactly how much it spent on Amdocs' CRM software. Handley did say, however, that the original implementation paid for itself within nine months to a year.

While Amdocs would not detail specific pricing for its CRM products, the company did say that server entry prices start at $25,000 and extend upward depending on the size of the installation, number of modules, and number or type of users.

Future CRM efforts on the drawing board at Rockwell include sales force tools, extended Web support for customers and partner relationship programs to support third-party customer service, Handley said.

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