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IT to a tee

This article appears in the issue January 2002 [Volume 11, Issue 1]

User stories from the knowledge front

Golfers are a finicky lot when it comes to equipment. A good day on the links depends as much on the right equipment as it does on the right technique.

TaylorMade-adidas Golf, a well-known golf equipment manufacturer, wanted to ensure that its customer service was equal to the task of responding to highly technical equipment questions from both consumers and retailers.

To strengthen its ability to respond, TaylorMade-adidas Golf in July implemented Web-based contact center solutions consisting of KANA Response and KANA Connect. The software already is said to have helped the manufacturer gain a better understanding of consumer issues, improve response times, reduce staffing and create a conduit for dialogue with its consumers, according to a recent press release from KANA.

Before implementing the new system, the golf equipment manufacturer had encountered some consumer service challenges— stemming primarily from turnover in its consumer service positions. Training new reps was always a major issue because of the technical questions they were asked by clientele, i.e. avid golfers.

The new Response software, according to the release, reduces training time and ensures the consistent quality of consumer service responses. An automated solution suggestion system provides reps with a database of answers to common consumer inquiries, and those responses are instantly accessible via hot keys. The new system also enables the reps to funnel highly technical questions to product engineering and marketing experts, ensuring their timely response and allowing managers to monitor each rep’s work.

Rob McClellan, TaylorMade-adidas Golf’s global e-marketing manager, says that the solution was chosen, among other reasons, because its Web architecture enables continual improvement and expansion of consumer service initiatives.

“As a result of the implementation,” McClellan says, “TaylorMade-adidas Golf now provides faster and higher-quality consumer service with one-third fewer resources. We also have a more productive connection with our consumers, providing us with a better view of what’s happening in the marketplace and empowering us with information that we can pass on to our internal teams for immediate action.”

The Connect software enables the manufacturer to offer proactive consumer service by delivering information to consumers, retailers and employees based on what is more relevant to them--by geographic location, golf skill level, previous product registrations or specified interest.

“We provide targeted information to consumers and give them compelling reasons to visit our retailers for product trials, a proper fitting and purchase,” says McClellan


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