Implement Findability in Your Customer Service Interactions

With the rapid rate of change in the global economy, the need for customer knowledge and predictive insight has never been more urgent. The competition is increasing as well as the demand for cost reduction, so whether you are a company fighting for business or a public entity serving the citizens, there is a great deal to gain by introducing Findability on your website.

Using the power of an enterprise search platform to serve your Internet site enables you to take your online service offering to the next level. Due to the “Google-effect”, users have become used to accessing information via a single search box as opposed to “surfing around” to find what they are looking for. A good search system enables your site users to start their journey through your site from the single search box. Accompanied by extreme relevance and navigational tools, users find the information they are looking for with a minimum number of clicks.
Online presence has become a must for companies with a large customer base. With consumers constantly developing a higher degree of online literacy, they expect a higher degree of online service from their vendors— including easy-to-find information and other services such as stock trading and banking facilities. You can easily offer your customers a unified view on your services and information—even if they originate from different source systems—due to the search system’s ability to act as a universal Findability layer.

An increased online service offering will also drive self-service behavior from the user side. By using Search Analytics on the query/search logs you will get a wealth of information about customer behavior. Take customer support as an example. By publishing the most requested support information on your public site, and enabling the users to easily find the information they are looking for, the need for call center support is lowered. This reduces the pressure on the basic customer service functions, allowing you to refocus resources to other value creating activities.

For many enterprises, self service is seen as the solution that can provide customers with the support they need while significantly reducing service costs.

Self-service is regarded as an opportunity to sharply lower customer support costs by deflecting calls. For example, respondents to a Fortune 1,000 survey expect to offload 23% of their call volume to Internet-based self-service (Mastering Online Customer Service, Bruce D. Temkin, Bob Chatham, Hillary Drohan, Katharine M. Gardiner, Forrester, July 2002). And there are proven cost justifications for implementing self-service: Web-based self-service interactions cost 75% less than a phone interaction.

While more traditional customer service interaction solutions tend to be based on a knowledge data base, that needs to be built and maintained, a Findability based solution is more dynamic in its nature and is based on a dynamical index created by the already existing data that resides in the corporate systems. The index can be partitioned into information buckets meeting different user needs and profiles.
So implement Findability in your customer service interactions!

Evolution of Enterprise Search

Yesterday I have had an exciting and challenging day. Caroline and I visited a new customer, a large global Swedish industrial enterprise, for whom Findwise is doing a prestudy of the customer’s search requirements. The guy, whom we met was very alert and challenged us in the evolution of enterprise search and if the technology is mature enough for “safe” project deployments. I have managed search projects throughout Europe since 2002 and today it became clear to me how the projects and hence the enterprise search technology has changed.

Back in the early days, connecting to different datasources and indexing a vast amount of different sources were the biggest problem. Most projects were managed with a focus on this and the users should be happy with what we delivered. Today connectors to most data sources as well as managing different formats are commodity. The projects have finally and gladly become user driven so my conclusion is, yes, the technique is definitely mature.

Thank you for an important insight and good challenging thoughts!

The Evolution of Search in Video Media

Search is becoming more and more an infrastructure necessity and in some areas, and for some users, considered a commodity. However, the evolution of new areas for use of search is growing rapidly both on the web and within the enterprises. Google’s recent acquisition of YouTube is giving us one example of new areas. To search in video material is not simple and I believe we have just seen the very early stage of this new technique.

I am participating in an EU funded project – RUSHES. The project is within the 6th framework program. The aim of the project is among other things to develop techniques for automatic content cataloguing and semantic based indexing. So what impact will this have for the end users and search in video ?

Well, they won’t have to go to a category and search under for example “News and politics”, instead the users will be able to use keywords such as “president” and “scandals” to get clips about Nixon and the Watergate saga. The content provider, on the other hand, won’t have to see the video clip in order to annotate and meta tag it, they will just run the video through a “RUSHES” module and the program will handle the rest. These new scenarios in combination with the semantic web (Web 2.0), will enable new possibilities and business opportunities which we have not even dreamt of before! Like search in video!