“What is best in life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.”
-Conan, the Barbarian
As software engineers, we find ourselves fighting a war against an enemy of our own creation. An enemy armed with complexity, obscurity, and redundancy. From a fortified position in legacy code it charges forth using our past compromises as a battle cry. Like the Hydra, software development can work against us: each problem we fix with a cutting change can sometimes spawn more bugs. What is an engineer to do in the face of such odds?
Creating bug-free software can happen in one of two ways. Write no bugs, which given the complexity and breadth of Advantage is impossible, or find the bugs that are created and fix them. To this end, bug …
Some time ago, a project was begun here at ACS to consolidate various customer service views. The result is called the Advantage Contact Center.
Contact Center introduces a new feature called Customer Service Workflows, which are guided customer service transactions. Each Advantage customer service workflow guides a customer service rep through a set of phases. The Advantage user interface can be customized based on workflow scripts, which determine the phases of the workflow, the fields available for data entry and the defaulting of transaction values. At the conclusion of the workflow, a customer note is created to log the call outcome.
Here’s an example of one such workflow:
A customer calls to inquire about a premium which hasn’t arrived yet.
The first phase in the workflow …
Wow, it has been a while since we provided an update on Cider. If you need a refresher, you can read my previous posts here and here. In short, Cider is our fully integrated eCommerce platform. So, what have we been up to? A lot! First and foremost, Cider is live! It was made available earlier this year with the 2015 annual release of Advantage. We continue to be hard at work with client implementations, modifications, and R&D.
There are currently three clients live on Cider.
Jerry Baker - Jerry Baker's store offers high-quality home and health products while allowing customers to mix-and-match bundled offerings.
Palm Coast Data - The primary focus here was targeted self-service landing pages for subscribers served through email notifications.
Ogden Publications - Ogden employs a …
Check out these new Advantage features.
These Advantage features are either available now or will be soon. Contact your Advantage account manager for more information.
Customer Service Workflows: A new feature at the main SVCCTM customer maintenance view allows you to perform extended customer service without needing to route to other Advantage views. This is useful in on-the-phone situations. You can, for example, perform subscription or agreement maintenance, review the customer’s A/R, and more. A special “retention” phase allows you to save cancellations by offering the customer special discounting, premiums, or credits. This feature uses the standard Advantage scripting functionality, allowing you to tailor the flow to the specific customer service situation.
Scriptable AMB …
Have you ever had the need to perform an action like one of the following based on a threshold Advantage event?
Send an e-mail as soon as an order has been entered in the Advantage UI
Send notification to an outside system as soon as a customer or address change is logged
Automatically cancel---or restart, or skip---an Advantage process when a predefined condition is encountered
If you need to perform tasks like this in a near-real-time environment, then the Advantage workflow events feature could be just what you’re looking for.
The workflow events feature creates a record of certain business-relevant events that occur in the Advantage software or database. A background service continuously monitors events (you configure how often), evaluating each event against a …
In order to see how well a billing promotion did, you need to have your customer service reps enter the billing promotion code when entering the payment. You can enforce entry of a billing promotion code during payment entry at the view and in the Sequential Payment Upload process (ARP192) using the ARP option BLPRMREQ. But perhaps the CSR doesn’t always have the billing promotion code readily available when they are entering the payment. How can you successfully record the billing promotion code on the payment?
ARP Option BLPRMASN
The Billing Promotion Assignment option is used to set a keyword for your CSR’s to enter during payment entry. During payment entry at the view and in the Sequential Payment Upload process (ARP192), use of this keyword in the Promotion Code field causes the …
Advantage’s OrderStream Framework Breaks the Log Jam of Order Upload
While Advantage is a customer-centric system, order transactions are a central component of the customer profile. Getting orders processed quickly and efficiently is paramount, and the flexibility to accept order transactions from a variety of sources is a critical component of the system. Our clients take orders from sources such as eCommerce sites, trade shows, phone calls, postcards, mobile applications, agents, lockboxes, SMS, and other third-parties. To accommodate these sources, Advantage offers three basic types of input---through the application’s user interface, through the use of the Software Development Kit (SDK), and through file uploads. Over its history, Advantage has consistently been the market leader …
These are just some of the new Advantage features that will be available in the fall of 2015. Contact your Advantage account manager for more information.
Autocomplete Feature: An optional autocomplete feature is available (triggered at the user level), whereby Advantage will suggest values for validated fields based on what the user has typed in to that point. Under this feature, the more the user types, the narrower the list of possible matches (the user can arrow up and down to see the possible matches). At any time, the user can stop and select one of the suggested values.
Separate “Promote by Phone” Flags: You can now expose and use separate “promote by” flags on each of the three telephone numbers on the customer address record. (The fourth telephone number field is dedicated …
There are some exciting new features coming your way this summer in Advantage. Here are just a few--contact your Advantage account manager for more information.
Streamlined Customer Information Maintenance: Customer and address maintenance via the SVCCTM view and Customer Lookup dialog has been significantly enhanced. Replacing the static, tabbed entry dialog is an approach using Advantage scripts. You can reduce the entry fields to just those required for your business---as well as take advantage of other script entry features such as open/close/require, user-definable field captions, and customizable presentation.
ARPCAR Reorganization: The ARPCAR view has been changed from a list frame of credits and debits that satisfy your search criteria to top-pane list frame and bottom-pane …
Want to see an aging report that just shows customer totals? You can use ARP626 with the following Selection Criteria. Simple!