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KANA has designed its knowledge management solution, KANA IQ, as a unified knowledgebase for use by self-service customers and call center agents with seamless integration to the call center's case management application. This design allows customers to get consistent answers regardless of the channel used to ask a question.

In the self-service implementation, KANA Customer IQ guides customers through the process of asking a question and finding the right answer by offering expert reasoning and retrieval methodologies that advise customers throughout the inquiry process.

Customer IQ is packaged with best- practice, self-service templates that can fit within the framework of an existing website. These templates showcase the various methods of knowledge retrieval—keyword and NLQ searching, browsing a topic tree, using clarifying questions and navigating decision trees that provide scripted guidance. Frequently asked problems and service alerts can also be displayed.

Customer acceptance of a self-service channel is increased when questions can be escalated to agents. KANA Customer IQ can be combined with KANA solutions for email management, chat and Web page co-browsing providing a true multichannel customer experience. This comprehensive self-service strategy provides one-click escalation via secure Web channels. Agents can immediately help customers complete their online transactions for lower abandonment rates and higher customer confidence in self-service.

Agent IQ in the call center uses the knowledge retrieval methods that are available to Customer IQ users to help agents provide consistent, accurate answers without time-consuming searches or extensive training. Agent IQ uses the same know-ledgebase as Customer IQ, with the ability to label content as visible only to agents. By using the same base of solutions, customers and agents can be sure of the consistency of answers provided via self-service or agent-assisted service.

Visual WYSIWYG authoring tools let knowledge authors rapidly build the KANA IQ knowledgebase. Web authoring allows agents to contribute new content, or suggest changes to existing content, so that the knowledgebase can evolve with customers' changing needs.

Visual authoring combines with a robust workflow engine so that knowledge administrators can define an authoring workflow that mirrors their business process. The workflow can include email notifications and reminders to streamline the review and publication of solutions in the knowledgebase. The KANA IQ workflow engine can be extended to manage the translation of content in more than 26 languages, ensuring that knowledgebases in different languages stay in synch with one another.

KANA IQ is integrated with a reporting solution that allows administrators to understand what questions are asked most frequently and what answers are the most popular, as well as identify where know-ledge gaps exist within current content. The integrated reporting also helps pinpoint a skewed interest in a particular question, such as a question regarding a feature in a newly launched product. The answer to this question can be proactively pushed to all customers who have purchased the product.

Out of the box, configurable self-service and agent-assist templates permit KANA IQ to be rapidly deployed as an on-demand solution with migration capabilities to an on-premise solution. KANA IQ has also been scalability tested, and its robust architecture makes it the perfect solution for enterprise deployments.

Leveraging Knowledge at Xerox

Xerox is the leading provider of color and black-and-white digital printers, digital presses, digital copiers, as well as a broad range of services, solutions and software.

For its multinational, multilingual customer base located in more than 100 countries, Xerox initially implemented online support with seven support sites divided by product line and geography. The content for each support site was available in one language only, and each site created its own content in order to reflect the local terminology and phrases. Customers, first- and second-tier agents used different knowledgebases, which resulted in a fragmented customer service experience. In addition, the redundant infrastructure needed to support the multiple service centers was costly and inefficient.

In 2000, Xerox spearheaded a global knowledge management initiative to help unify its online customer-service presence. The vision was to create a centralized knowledge repository of relevant content that would be used for both self-service and agent-assisted service. Xerox wanted a common knowledgebase and user interface to ensure a consistent customer-service experience for each Xerox product and eliminate the seven external customer-facing support sites. The single interface would also retire 13 legacy support systems. Content would be initially created in English, and then translated into other languages. Xerox also needed a closed-loop feedback process for both customers and agents to manage the quality of the solutions.

After analyzing multiple knowledge management products, Xerox chose KANA IQ. In order to port only relevant content into KANA IQ, Regina Estes, manager of e-services and knowledge programs, explained that, "we examined all the content that was being utilized on a particular product and found that only 14% of the existing content was required to support 80% of the call volume, and 19% of the content supported 90% of call volume." Using the 90% mark as a delimiter, only a small number of the thousands of solutions were ported to KANA IQ. "Focusing on relevant content also enabled affordable translation," said Estes. This methodology was used to transition content on all active Xerox products to KANA IQ.

Today, any time a new product is launched, it takes weeks instead of months to build the knowledge content for the new product. The launched content is lean, containing only "how-to" articles and answers to common problems. Content is rapidly added as a result of agents recommending new topics based on questions that customers have about the new products.

KANA IQ has also streamlined the translation process. Content for new knowledgebases is carefully authored so that it follows strict terminology guidelines that maximize the reuse of common phrases. In addition, the authoring and translation teams agreed to use a generic version of English, French and Portuguese, instead of picking up language differences in American English and British English, for example. These methodologies help keep translation costs down and still afford the ability to offer eight languages—English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Simplified Chinese.

Customer and agent content resides in a single knowledgebase with advanced content being tagged as "agent-only" viewable. Content is dynamically displayed based on the country and product. For example, instructions on how to change a printer cartridge are displayed on the US site, and not on the UK site to allow for different geographic service strategies.

"This knowledge management strategy is a great success," says Estes. Using KANA IQ, Xerox supports virtually every market worldwide in the most common global languages. "Our translation costs are reduced by more than 85%. By focusing on relevant content in the knowledgebases, we have reduced second-tier escalations, reduced our cost-per-solution, and most importantly, made Xerox customers happier." 

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