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Red Cross Increases Donor Relationships with CRM System that Includes Predictive Dialer

TMCnews Featured Article

July 13, 2011

Red Cross Increases Donor Relationships with CRM System that Includes Predictive Dialer

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

The Biomedical Services division of the American Red Cross has almost completed a multimillion-dollar initiative in which new CRM systems will be used, internal business processes have been altered, and upgrades have been made to the call center technology, which includes the addition of predictive dialer technology. In addition, 26 call centers throughout the U.S. have been consolidated into three huge centers.

Implementing these new CRM systems into daily operations of the division was no easy task, reports The project has been ongoing for five years now and covers various departments. Ultimately, the systems will forever change the way the Red Cross contacts potential blood donors.

A primary focus remained in the forefront of the Red Cross’ priorities throughout the duration of this project -- how to contact volunteers who continuously donate blood, without pestering them.

“We call them more than we would like to,” said Natasha Roberts, executive director of the customer relationship management unit in a statement. “One of the primary drivers is to minimize how many times we reach out and to make it more meaningful.”

Roberts stated that the Red Cross donor marketing program has been run in the past simito a telemarketing operation, with some donors being called too often. “We are trying to encourage them to get stuck with a needle and then we may call them too many times after that,” Roberts said. “That’s what we are trying to improve.”

According to the article, completely rearranging the way the organization attracts potential donors called for surveys from customers about the blood donation process but also thorough analysis of marketing experience data that occurred prior to the donation. With all of this research compiled, the Red Cross was then easily able to pinpoint exactly what the donors like and do not like about the process.

As the Red Cross contemplated new ways to get in touch with donors, multiple call center-related technology issues continued to appear, Roberts stated. 

First, there were over two dozen call centers located across the country that were not integrated on one platform. After looking at multiple options, the company decided to choose Oracle's (News - Alert) Siebel CRM marketing software as a solution to this problem.

“Siebel was the best fit, particularly with what we wanted to do from an integrated call center perspective,” Roberts said.

Second, the call centers needed a huge technology facelift in addition. The article stated that the organization ultimately consolidated 26 centers into three larger centers that all operate on one technology platform. The Red Cross chose Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) to implement a new telephony platform and predictive dialer and hired Systems Integration to help with the deployment process.

In conclusion, Roberts added “Donors will see more subtle changes over time,” stating she hopes volunteers will say, “Hey, I don’t have to call to complain that they are calling me too much. You know what? This is just a really good experience.’ ”

The group has plans to launch several of the Siebel applications this summer, with an estimated completion date of mid-2012.

Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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