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Aditi debuts e-commerce package

Aditi announces a customer email and Web form management package that helps companies better their online presence by providing a more personalized response to requests.

Aditi will next week begin shipping the first version of its customer email and Web form management package that helps companies better their online presence by providing a more personalized response to customer requests.

Due to ship Monday, the Talisma product provides companies with a way to manage customer emails sent to corporate aliases, such as Aditi said the software allows budding e-commerce shops to build customer relationships by ensuring inquiries about a product or service receive a quick and personalized response.

The product allows companies to build and maintain customer profiles of every Internet customer and all of their interactions with a company, by building a database of the customer's correspondence. The company can use the information to do analysis, direct mailing programs, or give leads to sales departments.

One feature identifies customers with special considerations, like frequent buyers or service contract holders, who may be eligible for special offers or attention. And a customer history rule gives customer support representatives a customer's past contact with the company, as well as the nature of any previous email complaints or requests.

Talisma group product manager Jane Gilson said her company isn't trying to replace Microsoft Outlook or Qualcomm Eudora email products. "We just see a need to monitor customer queries over the Web."

Analysts say the need is there and Aditi isn't the only company trying to meet it.

Mark Levitt, an analyst with International Data Corporation, estimates there is about 10 to 15 other companies providing some type of product in the Web customer service space.

But Talisma's integrated customer database that allows companies to store customer information for tracking and profiling past interactions with the company is unique feature that could push Aditi ahead, said Levitt.

"Usually questions tend to get ignored or humans do ad-hoc response. This product applies technology to this process. This is important if you want to provide customer service," he said.

Keeping track of past customer interactions, like email, Web forms, phone messages, consultations and follow-up, also benefits the sales department as well, Levitt said,

"It provides a valuable pre-sales function. If you can give a response with concern, showing you are addressing the customer's request or issue, it can only help sales to that customer in the future," he said.

The Talisma customer service package is priced at $2,995 per seat, and runs on Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 95, and 98.