Searching for relevance
The search solution lived up to Gigya’s expectations, particularly the analytics. “Our biggest gain was the analytics,” Hametz says. “We now have much better insight about what our users are searching for, and we are able to use that data to surface relevant content that was otherwise hard to find.” Gigya also finds that Swiftype brings additional value by helping to identify new needs. “We are now creating content to address questions that we might not have thought of on our own,” he adds.
Hametz speaks of the positive relationship his company has with Swiftype, which was an important factor in the decision. “They showed creative thinking when we needed some custom tweaks to get our implementation where we needed it to be,” he explains.
Swiftype was designed with business users in mind. “Often, the business users who are most impacted by the success or failure of search applications provided for their customers are left out of the process when a search application is developed,” says Matt Riley, co-founder and CEO of Swiftype. “We wanted to offer something that had layers for business users so they could see how well search is performing. With Swiftype, stakeholders such as marketers, customer service specialists and others can see how well the search application is performing for their group of customers.”
Companies invest a lot of time and money in creating content and knowledgebases, according to Riley, but customers still have trouble finding what they need. “About 94 percent of searches are three or fewer keywords,” he says. “That does not give a lot of guidance to the search engine to find some very specific information.” In addition, it can be hard to discover what is not happening. “Many companies are not sure what topics they are not covering effectively,” Riley adds. “Our analytics reveal null results and items that users are not clicking on. Those insights can help guide the development of new content or revised navigation.”
Business user access
Sonus Networks, a provider of secure and intelligent cloud communications, was expanding into a broader range of customers and partners as a result of technological advances in its products. The company’s analysts work primarily in the Salesforce Service Cloud environment, while customers and partners access information through Sonus’ Global Support Portal. All the groups needed intelligent access to Sonus’ information resources, which were distributed across many systems. To connect across those sources and improve search relevance for its users, Sonus picked Coveo for Salesforce—Service and Community Cloud Editions as its search solution.
Within just a few weeks, Sonus was able to offer its users a cloud solution that provided single sign-on access to the information that was scattered throughout the enterprise. One of the characteristics of Coveo’s solution is accessibility for business users, who can gain insights to searchers’ behavior through analytics and can optimize relevance without the intervention of IT. That ability was vital to the success of its self-service initiatives, because the number of calls and support tickets was growing by 30 percent each month. Sonus reported that it was headed for a 20 percent improvement in self-service resolution rates within the first six months that Coveo was deployed.
“As we moved our software to the cloud, we spoke to support managers using Salesforce Service Cloud to understand their need for analytics,” says Richard Tessier, VP of products at Coveo. “There is a lot to learn about user behavior from the clicks and the path they take on their searches. The valuable resources can be promoted by ratings indicating a particular resource helped the user solve their issue. This feedback can be used to instruct the relevance ratings going forward.”
Coveo can detect when users do not get any results. It can also reveal when a user has to click deeply into a website to find the target information or when many users are seeking information about the same product. “An ongoing process of improving relevancy is needed to keep the search at a high level,” Tessier says. “We use the information gathered in analytics to try to make the process as automated as possible. We have seen major improvements in user metrics once a client has enabled the automated relevance function.”
The future of search will involve a great deal of proactive support from intelligent applications. “A user will be able to load up a case, and the search tool will pick out bits and pieces of the case and then examples of resources that have been used to solve previous similar cases,” Tessier predicts. “The agent will not need to provide keywords—the searches will be triggered around the information available and will provide whatever information is valuable at that time.”