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Press release from PR Newswire

Alliance Data Customer Care Centers Achieve Seven-Time 'Center of Excellence' Certification by Purdue University Affiliate

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Alliance Data Customer Care Centers Achieve Seven-Time 'Center of Excellence' Certification by Purdue University Affiliate07:30 EDT Thursday, March 22, 2012Latest BenchmarkPortal Designation for Alliance Data's Customer Care Centers is Most Earned by Any Other Company in Financial Services/Credit Card IndustryDALLAS, March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Alliance Data Systems Corporation, a leading provider of loyalty and marketing solutions derived from transaction-rich data, announced today that BenchmarkPortal, in conjunction with the Center for Customer-Driven Quality? at Purdue Research Park, has again recognized Alliance Data Retail Services with a "Center of Excellence" certification -- the most prestigious ranking attainable from BenchmarkPortal -- for the level of service achieved across the company's customer care centers. This recertification marks the seventh year Alliance Data has been certified as a Center of Excellence for the quality of its operations -- the most number of times of any company or organization in the financial services/credit industry to receive this designation. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20051024/ADSLOGO )Call centers ranked in the top 10 percent of those surveyed by BenchmarkPortal are awarded the Center of Excellence distinction, based on best-practice metrics for efficiency, effectiveness, quality, cost, and superior performance. These metrics are drawn from the world's largest database of objective and quantitative data, which is audited and validated by researchers from BenchmarkPortal in conjunction with the Center for Customer-Driven Quality, founded at Purdue University."The achievement of the Center of Excellence certification of Alliance Data's customer care centers is a direct result of its leadership's commitment to balancing best-in-class service performance with cost-effective service solutions," said Bruce Belfiore, chief executive officer of BenchmarkPortal. "It is the culmination of important initiatives that were undertaken to achieve this level of sustainable service excellence."Alliance Data was also recognized in late 2011 with an award from Ventana Research for advancements to its customer care centers through the enhanced use of quality management and speech analytic processes and tools from NICE Solutions. This technology enables Alliance Data to apply analytics to up to 100 percent of the calls to their contact center, significantly increasing the company's quality monitoring and feedback capabilities and improving the accuracy of call categorization, among other benefits. BenchmarkPortal manages the world's largest database of call center key performance metrics and best practices, collected from thousands of call centers. In developing its call center measurement parameters, BenchmarkPortal found that 22 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) strongly correlate to quality and quantity of calls handled in call center operations. For the benchmarking survey, BenchmarkPortal monitored and measured Alliance Data's call center performance against these KPIs to determine each center's level of efficiency and effectiveness. Some of the results include: High caller satisfaction. Customers calling into Alliance Data customer care centers gave 'top box' caller satisfaction ratings 20 percent higher than the industry average. 'Top box' satisfaction refers to the highest possible survey score customers can use to rate the service they experienced. Best-in-class service. Alliance Data customer care center associates answer customer service phone calls within an average of 8.75 seconds, compared with the industry average of 17.43 seconds."We are honored to have all of our customer care centers certified by BenchmarkPortal for the seventh time," said Sallie Komitor, vice president of customer care operations for Alliance Data. "Our re-certification as a Center of Excellence is a direct result of our commitment to service excellence. Alliance Data's continued investments in both technology and customer care associate training programs are key to ensuring we deliver on the highest levels of call quality and customer satisfaction. We're incredibly proud of our customer care associates and thrilled to have achieved the most certifications from BenchmarkPortal of any company in our industry." Alliance Data provides integrated credit and marketing solutions, including private label, co-brand and commercial credit card programs designed to build long-term customer relationships and grow clients' businesses. The company partners with some of North America's most recognizable retailers by leveraging consumer insights and marketing strategies to create targeted, branded communications that further engage customers to drive brand loyalty. In addition, the company provides customer care for credit cards issued by its two subsidiary banks, World Financial Network Bank (WFNB) and World Financial Capital Bank (WFCB).About BenchmarkPortal BenchmarkPortal is the custodian of the Center for Customer-Driven Quality's database of contact center metrics, the largest in the world, founded in 1995 by Dr. Jon Anton at Purdue University. BenchmarkPortal is an industry leader in call center benchmarking, call center training, and call center certification worldwide. BenchmarkPortal's Web site can be found at: www.BenchmarkPortal.com. Please visit one of BenchmarkPortal's communities: Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter.About Alliance DataAlliance Data® (NYSE:ADS) and its combined businesses is North America's largest and most comprehensive provider of transaction-based, data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions serving large, consumer-based industries. The Company creates and deploys customized solutions, enhancing the critical customer marketing experience; the result is measurably changing consumer behavior while driving business growth and profitability for some of today's most recognizable brands. Alliance Data helps its clients create and increase customer loyalty through solutions that engage millions of customers each day across multiple touch points using traditional, digital, mobile and other emerging technologies. Headquartered in Dallas, Alliance Data employs approximately 8,500 associates at more than 50 locations worldwide. Alliance Data is a leading provider of marketing-driven credit solutions, and is the parent company of Epsilon®, a leading provider of multi-channel, data-driven technologies and marketing services, and LoyaltyOne®, which owns and operates the AIR MILES® Reward Program, Canada's premier coalition loyalty program. For more information about the company, visit our web site, www.AllianceData.com, or you can follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/AllianceData.Alliance Data's Safe Harbor Statement/Forward Looking Statements This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements may use words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "predict," "project" and similar expressions as they relate to us or our management. When we make forward-looking statements, we are basing them on our management's beliefs and assumptions, using information currently available to us. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, these forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If one or more of these or other risks or uncertainties materialize, or if our underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual results may vary materially from what we projected. Any forward-looking statements contained in this presentation reflect our current views with respect to future events and are subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to our operations, results of operations, growth strategy and liquidity. We have no intention, and disclaim any obligation, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future results or otherwise. "Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this presentation regarding Alliance Data Systems Corporation's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year. Risk factors may be updated in Item 1A in each of the Company's Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for each quarterly period subsequent to the Company's most recent Form 10-K.SOURCE Alliance Data Systems CorporationFor further information: Alliance Data: Shelley Whiddon, +1-214-494-3811, shelley.whiddon@alliancedata.com; or BenchmarkPortal: Sean Vierling, +1-805-618-1572, sean@benchmarkportal.com