SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

September 10, 2008 11:00 ET

Adoption of Operational Performance Management Capabilities Has Improved Customer Satisfaction Rates of Best-in-Class Companies by More Than 4.5x That of Industry Average Companies

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - September 10, 2008) - Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), revealed today that Best-in-Class (BIC) companies -- those performing in the top 20% of all research survey respondents -- have taken multiple approaches to improving their operational performance through the establishment and management of operational key performance indicators (KPIs). In the new research report titled, "Operational KPIs and Performance Management" Aberdeen research reveals the areas for operational performance upon which Best-in-Class companies are more likely to focus their efforts:

--  Customer performance - Including metrics for customer satisfaction,
    customer issue resolution speed, customer issue resolution accuracy, and
    customer retention rate
    
--  Service performance - Including metrics for first call resolution
    rate, service renewal rate, rate of compliance to SLAs, delivery
    performance to customer, and product return rate
    
--  Sales operations - Including metrics for new pipeline accounts
    identified, meetings secured, conversion of inquiries to leads, average
    call closure time, and dials completed per hour, shift, and day
    
--  Financial operations - Including metrics for price to purchase order
    accuracy, purchase order fulfillment ratio, quantity earned (revenue can be
    recognized), forecast to plan ratio, and total closed contracts
    

To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5461.

The research revealed that Best-in-Class companies have improved customer issue resolution speed by more than 10 times the level of improvement experienced by Average companies. As a result, Best-in-Class companies have reported contract service renewal rate increases that are 2.5x that of other respondents combined.

"Businesses thrive or fail based on their ability to identify, define, track, and act upon Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)," said David Hatch, Research Director of Aberdeen's Business Intelligence Practice. "Executives and line-of-business management are increasingly feeling the pressure to enable timelier and more accurate decisions in order to improve operational efficiencies. The faster and more accurately KPIs can be accessed, reviewed, analyzed, and acted upon, the better an organization can manage day-to-day operations and customer interactions. Companies are focusing on obtaining solutions that address specific business pressures driving operational performance today."

Aberdeen research found that the top pressure driving companies to evaluate and invest in operational performance management was the need to improve executive management visibility to operational business drivers. This pertains to the ability to tie operational activity and performance to the successful attainment of corporate goals. This single strategy is more than twice as likely than any other to be at the topmost of executives minds as they address their operational performance initiatives. Aberdeen's report also cautions end-users to carefully consider the definition of operational KPIs, and to avoid the traditional practice of focusing solely on financial measures.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Cognos-IBM, Corda, and Dimensional Insight. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5461.

To access all of Aberdeen's complimentary research please visit http://research.aberdeen.com.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

© 2008 AberdeenGroup, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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