Aptex Software Inc., a subsidiary of HNC Software Inc., announced a major upgrade of its SelectResponse system that automates responses to call-center and Internet-based customer inquiries.

The 3.0 version of SelectResponse serves as a "virtual support team" to improve the quality, personalization, and throughput of responses to real- time customer inquiries via e-mail, call centers, Web pages, and chat rooms, Aptex said.

It said companies typically report that at least 50% of incoming messages can be responded to automatically-without the need for live customer support-upon installation of SelectResponse. Current customers include Pacific Bell Internet Services, Suretrade Inc., Charles Schwab & Co., Netscape Communications Corp., First Data Corp., and Qualcomm Inc.

"The demand for more automated, yet personalized, communication has never been higher," said Allen Bonde, director of advisory services at Extraprise Group, an electronic commerce analysis and systems integration firm. "SelectResponse 3.0 is well positioned to address this need and provides a full-service solution to companies that are committed to establishing long-lasting relationships with their customers."

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