Top 10 Best Practices for Intelligent Search
Many search solutions are available today, and it may seem that they are all the same. But often, organizations aren’t using them to their full capacity to optimize search, especially when it comes to internal search tools for employees and contact center agents. Let’s explore 10 ways to take advantage of intelligent search and get the most out of your solution.
1. Author and publish easy-to-find content. The most important thing you can do to improve search results is to write your content to maximize findability. Articles should be clearly titled and limited to a particular topic, making it easy to see that the piece of content is pertinent to an inquiry. Title your articles with problem descriptions, rather than solutions.
2. Take advantage of context. Most organizations have vast amounts of content. By using the context of who the employee is and the specific needs of the customer (such as product or issue), the search engine can automatically filter results to those most likely to be relevant to the issue at hand.
3. Weigh different types of content. Certain types of content are more likely to be helpful than others. For example, a top help article or troubleshooting script might be more valuable than dated documentation. Content types should allow for weightings so business rules can promote certain pieces of content over others in search results. Individual pieces of content should be tagged as Alerts or Featured Content to display prominently to your users as well.
4. Listen and act on feedback. To determine how well your search engine is working, ask your end users. They are the best resources to know if content is incorrect or out of date, or if a search is returning inaccurate results. Ask for their feedback on the quality of search results and knowledge articles, and then use this feedback for constant improvement.
5. Apply multiple search methods. Intelligent search engines should understand keyword, natural language, Boolean and parametric searches. They should also show suggested searches, featured content, alerts, bookmarks and other common ways for users to find what they need.
6. Use multiple sort methods. Intelligent search engines should support multiple options for sorting search results. Depending on the circumstances, a user may want to see results sorted by relevancy, published date, user feedback rating or other criteria.
7. Present intuitive navigation. Intelligent filters are a useful way for people to quickly find what they need, especially in the case of keyword searches. Navigation hierarchies should be available both before and after searching to allow users to drill into the topic of their choice to see results.
8. Present relevant excerpts. Presenting descriptive titles and contextually relevant excerpts under each search result helps users decipher whether or not the article will resolve their problems before clicking. This helps reduce the impact on average handle time and cost of service.
9. Develop dynamic content algorithms. As products and procedures change and new content is added, the quality of search results can degrade over time. An intelligent search tool provides straightforward ways, such as synonym lists and content weighting, to tune results as content changes. Avoid search tools that rely on proprietary self-learning algorithms, as their underlying search algorithms are not exposed to administrators, making it difficult to diagnose and fix search issues.
10. Publish updates instantly. Content changes quickly, which can have a major impact on your employees and customers. When consumers contact customer service, they expect the most up-to-date information available. An intelligent search engine should publish updates instantly, so any new or changed content is immediately picked up by the search engine and presented to the user.
Effective search capabilities can have a tremendous impact on employee efficiency. Seek to move beyond the simple lists of results and offer truly intelligent search capabilities. With best practices, such as properly written content, intuitive navigation and contextual filters, your users can find the right results faster, while contributing to an overall improved customer and employee experience.
Verint Systems is a global leader in Actionable Intelligence solutions for customer engagement and cyber intelligence. Today, over 10,000 organizations in more than 180 countries—including over 80 percent of the Fortune 100—use Verint solutions to optimize customer engagement and make the world a safer place.
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