Siebel Joins LivePerson Ranks

E-business software giant Siebel Systems, Inc.,
is the latest company to take advantage of LivePerson, Inc., a live chat
company offering real-time sales and customer support for Web sites.

Siebel said Weds (Jul 26th) it will embed the ASP’s online service into its midmarket call centre application, part of the recently-launched Siebel eBusiness 2000 suite. Using Internet ‘chat’ technology, the LivePerson service lets online businesses communicate with Internet users in real-time.

“This effectively closes the loop
between Web interactions with customers and other customer sales and
support activities,” said Dean Margolis, LivePerson’s chief operating officer.
“In essence, we are creating a virtual information supply chain whereby
data obtained via LivePerson web-based chats can be fed to Siebel
e-business applications.”

Siebel’s e-business software allows small- to medium-sized businesses to
manage, synchronize and coordinate sales, marketing and customer
support. LivePerson’s integrated presence gives those
businesses an added edge with its customers, who can talk live with the
support staff, as opposed to sending an email and hoping to get an answer
within a day.

That’s a delay most customers won’t tolerate with an Internet
site. According to Forrester
Research
, two thirds of all online shopping carts are abandoned before
checkout, while sites take an average of 28 hours to respond to customer
inquiries.

The beauty of the arrangement, LivePerson officials said, is their business
model as an application services provider.

Brian Gonzalez, LivePerson vice president of business development, said
many large companies are at first hesitant to take advantage of their
product, but not for long.

“Because of the nature of our business model as an ASP, people want to try
out the program before committing themselves to it,” Gonzalez
said. “Later, information technology technicians like the low cost
involved to maintain LivePerson. Its flexible architecture makes it
popular to use.”

Its flexible nature gives company web sites continuous support, even when
the Web site is down. A temporary page can be set up linking it to a Live
Person technician until the site is re-established.

Internet service providers have also been taking advantage of the ASP’s
solution.

Veronica Murdock, Earthlink,
Inc.,
vice president of member services, said
LivePerson has been a very positive new addition to the electronic support
alternatives it offers to customers.

“We are able to service groups of customers who share common issues and
allow for collaborative troubleshooting in an extremely cost-effective
manner,” Murdock said. “We’re looking forward to leveraging emerging
technologies to expand this service in the next year.”

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