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Standardised Processes Prevent Unhappy Customers

Chemnitz-based IT service provider c.a.p.e. IT develops a service management system as open-source software

There are processes that can drive a customer crazy. Being kept waiting on the line in a queue, for example. Or being passed from one person to another and having to explain everything that has already been said to each new person. And worse still when they end up with no answer. Service – the customer starts to think – should look different to this. And the next time they make a purchase, they choose a different supplier who can promise better customer service.

The reason for customer dissatisfaction is rarely because customer service operators are unwilling; it is more likely to be down to unsuitable processes. In Germany, so-called service management is still in its infancy in many places. “In the meantime, many businesses have started using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to communicate with passive customers to get them interested in further sales. The active customer with his current problems, on the other hand, is neglected”, explains Rico Barth, Managing Director of the IT firm c.a.p.e. IT, which is based in the Technologie Centrum Chemnitz TCC.

To change this situation, the company has developed the “OTRS::CiCS” software. Based on open-source code, a tool has been created, which is designed to optimise service processes for businesses – the “Customer Information and Communication System”, in short, CiCS.

The aim is to standardise customer service processes by using the software. “It is a deciding factor in good customer service as to who is responsible for a customer query, how quickly the employee has the query on his desk and how accurately they can answer the query”, Barth goes on. “IT support for customer services speeds up processes and makes them more manageable.” This means that in the OTRS::CiCS, processes such as data query for a customer complaint or how this data is managed are established in advance; the “right” help for a complaint is stored in the system and can be reused immediately for subsequent queries of the same type – this is living knowledge management.
However, the advantages of service management software lie not only in the faster, improved reaction to individual customer queries. “The standardised recording of all criticism received is also used by the OTRS::CiCS as an early warning system for issues with a specific product”, Barth explains. This means employees can respond in a timely fashion and are made aware of future issues in good time. And as all queries are saved, it is also possible to establish, for example, whether service agreements are set up correctly, or whether a customer takes up more time than they are “due” according to their contract. By using the corresponding statistical tools, the Chemnitz company’s software can thus also help to both save and make money.

Its development using open source code is critical to OTRS::CiCS, as this means the program can be adapted with flexibility to meet the demands of c.a.p.e. IT customers. “OTRS::CiCS is like a building block. Thanks to its individual elements, the software is very easily scaled to varying customer requirements. We link it to existing available software such as ERP systems or documents such as tenders and invoices”, Barth explains. To make this possible, prior to integration, c.a.p.e. IT relies on extensive advice and analysis of existing company-specific processes.
OTRS::CiCS is available without a license fee – another benefit of the open-source mentality. The latest version can simply be downloaded from “For companies who use the system, this is automatic protection of their investment. Any employee or even freelancer can make further developments to the program code if necessary. So this means nobody is dependent on us or our service”, Barth clarifies. “Service is what distinguishes one company and their products from another – some of the services to our customers include individual advice, affordable solutions and investment protection.” Almost 50 institutions and businesses have already been impressed by this offer.

Company information:
c.a.p.e. IT ® GmbH, based at the Technologie Centrum Chemnitz (TCC), was set up in 2006 as a spin-off of an international IT system provider. The business brings together the benefits of enterprise IT with the requirements of an SME and is highly active in the field of service management and workflow systems. The company currently has six members of staff.


c.a.p.e. IT ® GmbH
Dipl.-Math. Rico Barth
Annaberger Straße 240
09125 Chemnitz
Tel.: +49 371 5347 620
Fax: +49 371 5347 625

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