Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Web-based Support Option Pleases Customers, Staff

October 18, 2011

If you ask any 10 business what their top 10 goals are, you’ll likely find the answer “to provide a great customer experience” to be one of those top 10 goals in the majority of cases.

To provide an outstanding customer experience, most business are willing to spend whatever it takes to ensure that their customer service reps have the technology and training they need to meet service level-goals. This is admirable and in theory should suffice to achieve customer satisfaction.

Unfortunately, theory often doesn’t match reality and customer demands can spiral out of control, especially when a company provides only telephone-based customer support.

Companies that have diversified the options provided for customer support, especially offering a web-based support option, have found tremendous success cost wise, and in happier customers and customer support staff.

One web-based solution in particular has gotten the attention of some well-known businesses that found they could benefit from a web-based customer support solution to augment their human customer support efforts. The solution comes from a two-year old company called nanoRep that, according to an article in BusinessNewsDaily this past summer, “provides instant answers to customer questions across all support channels, including email, live chat, Facebook pages and Twitter.”

In addition, nanoRep wrote in a recent blog post that, “nanoRep learns to answer real life users’ questions” and that it “reduces 93 percent of support escalation.”

According to BusinessNewsDaily, “The system utilizes linguistic search engines to analyze and understand user questions before retrieving a real-time answer from the knowledge base.” The knowledge base is reportedly built by the user company initially inputting frequently asked questions then nanoRep adds all new questions posed by customers and the responses provided by the customer service agents. The company says it takes three months for the knowledge base to grow to the point where 92 or 93 percent of questions are answered without the need to escalate to a live rep. That can save a company considerable money, as nanoRep told BusinessNewsDaily that a “phone call with a support representative can cost as much as $33 a session.”

Companies that are using nanoRep include WIX, Plimus and IKEA, according to BusinessNewsDaily.

A case study of IKEA Israel’s use of nanoRep appeared this month in 1to 1 Magazine. The article reported that the retailer of Scandinavian modern style furniture and accessories found itself with a deluge of incoming customer phone calls and “email queries were averaging 10,000 every month.”

The company reportedly decided to use nanoRep when it realized customers were already going to its website looking for answers to solve their issues on their own. It took four months for nanoRep to be able to answer 80 percent of IKEA Israel’s customer inquires, according to the article which also reported that the solution now answers approximately “10,000 questions monthly” for the retailer.

While the solution has clearly helped improve the IKEA customer experience, the article noted that it has also bolstered agent morale as they no longer have to bear the tedium of answering repetitive questions.   

Linda Dobel is a ContactCenterSolutions Contributor. She has been an editor in the contact center space for more than 25 years, and has the distinction of being the founding editor of Customer Inter@ction Solutions (CIS) magazine. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves