Breaking down the walls – a new approach to customer service

This week, KANA announced its new ‘Service Experience Management’ platform, and so far the early reviews have been really positive (see here and here and here). What’s exciting about KANA 10 is that it lets customer service managers take control of the service experience by putting tools in their hands for them to be able to craft and deploy the service experience that they want their agents (or customers) to follow. Magic huh? Not really! KANA gives the service managers WYSIWYG tools to assemble a customer service process flow. The building blocks include, for example, standard customer service actions like “send email”, “search knowledgebase”, “open a case”, as well as customer specific steps such as “look up order history” or “track a package.”

The magic of this tool is that as the service manager is building the process flow, the desktop for every process step is being created automatically with no IT involvement. Each process step presents to the agent the exact contextual information that they need at that particular point in servicing the customer. It’s not a mashup of say 30 different customer service applications – it’s targeted information pushed to the agent to give him the exact tools that he needs to help the customer out.

The underlying technology is a co-mingling of KANA’s customer service product history in the ERMS, case management and knowledge space with IBM’s service oriented architecture and BPM know-how and even some cool Web development tools from WaveMaker.

What this product does, is break down the walls between interaction-centric customer service and BPM that is typically found in the back office – it’s for the first time bringing process and governance to the front office. Judging by how customers are looking to use KANA 10, it’s also going to break down many of the traditional barriers between service and sales and even marketing as well. We think the advantages to this approach are numerous. For example, it cuts down on agent training time as agents are guided through the right process, instead of being left to ALT-Tab through all the applications they have open on their desktop. It helps with compliance to company policy (think about the cost of not following SOX or HIPAA regulations). It helps streamline the service experience, cutting costs and improving satisfaction. And it certainly will help boost up-sell and drive loyaly as customers get answers faster, and are treated consistently regardless of which channel or department they initially contact.

And there’s much more to the product, like predictive analytics that help monitor SLAs in real time and built-in middleware to easily link in existing customer data stores and applications. Email me to organize a demo, or learn more about it. Or click here for a flash introduction to KANA 10 for more details.

Happy 4th of July!