About 15 seconds after logging onto an ordinary e-commerce website, a popup dialog box asks me if I required assistance. Not even two minutes later, a customer representative was speaking with me 'live', answering my questions, and giving me personalized attention -- online.
By Samuel Quek
Singapore, 15 March 2000 - In a live demonstration by AKuP International, the computer-telephony integration (CTI) company showed how easy it was for a customer to hook up to a service representative to attend to his personal needs - online.
Using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology, AKuP's new CT-Web allows enterprises to meet the customer's immediate needs quickly and easily.
"The idea is to catch the customer at the moment when he is interested," said Alex Hu, president and CEO of AKup International. "When a potential customer visits your website and sees something of interest and wishes to know more, they may not be able to obtain a response immediately."
Now, Hu said, the customer can activate a request and contact customer service online in real-time. Chart presentations and discussions can also be conducted online, as well as confirmation of orders.
To prove his point, the 'live' demo "service center" initiated a Netmeeting call to the "customer", giving the potential customer the option to "see" the representative, as well as let the representative show hands-on (by way of Netmeeting's collaboration tool), how to navigate the site.
Hu admitted that there might be problems establishing VOIP contact with some customers who operated behind firewalls, or the few that did not have Netmeeting installed, but CT-Web also gives customers the option for service centers to call them at a contact number and speak over traditional fixed/mobile lines.
"We believe that we should treat the customers as an individual," said Hu.
"Each customer is a single segment," he said, in contrast to the traditional marketing methodology of classifying customers into segment-groups.
CT-Web also allows integration of customer data, such as personal preferences, into existing databases. The data can then be processed, and analyzed and subjected to mathematical modeling based on individual behavior, said Mr James Hon, product manager for ACA-Pacific Technology.
"We can then design strategy to target specific customer behaviour," he said.
ACA-Pacific is the sole distributer of CT-Web in Singapore and Hong Kong.
CT-Web will retail for US$20,000 for a basic package.
About AKuP International
AKuP was founded in Taiwan by a group of ex-IBM staff. Within two years, the group developed themselves as a CTI company, and moved their headquarters to San Jose, US.
Investors include Intel Corp., China Trust Group, and Pacific Venture, among others.
ACA-Pacific Technology is an Asia Pacific-wide IT marketing and distribution company of software and hardware since 1986. Its regional headquarters are in Singapore.