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A-dec Expands Its Internal Intelligence

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Dental equipment manufacturer A-dec, based in Portland, Ore., sells its products not directly to dental practices but to distributors, which in turn provide the equipment to individual and group dental practices. Those distributors also service and repair the equipment.

A-dec gives its distributors the necessary product specs and other information stored in its knowledge base. But the legacy solution, which was layered on a Microsoft Sharepoint repository, was cumbersome to update, had a complex search algorithm, wasn’t device-responsive, and had other issues that pushed A-dec to look for a new solution.

The goal was to find a system that was much more modern, user-friendly, searchable, and accessible via a wider range of devices and offered artificial intelligence-powered guidance for faster, more accurate, and more consistent answers across omnichannel touchpoints. A-dec looked at a handful of solutions before choosing eGain’s AI Knowledge solution for its contact center and digital self-service.

“eGain had the most out-of-the-box functionality,” says Natalie Davis, A-dec’s knowledge management administrator. “It had everything we wanted.”

Another huge selling point for eGain was its “Innovation in Thirty Days” program, a free production pilot.

A-dec had a two-step plan for its new knowledge base. The first step was to make it available to its own contact center agents so they could address distributor service and purchase questions. After about a year, A-dec planned to roll out a self-service version for distributors, which went live in the first quarter of 2021.

The hope was that by having access to the knowledge base, distributors would be able to answer many of their questions on their own, without having to contact A-dec agents, and that A-dec agents would then be able to address issues from their customers more quickly and efficiently, according to Davis.

eGain’s solution also makes it easy to reuse and update content. “One of my most favorite features are the macros. We reuse our content all over the place. I have [a content element] that can be used in 1,000 different articles. It is easy to create reusable content in a single article, give it a name, and then just insert it in whatever other articles you want,” Davis says.

When content appears in multiple articles, Davis can update information in a single place and the eGain solution automatically spreads the update to any other places where the content appears.

“It’s so simple to go in and update. It’s just refreshing to have that functionality with eGain,” she says.

In the first year after moving to eGain, distributors viewed more than 24,000 articles in the knowledge base, and that number has doubled since, Davis estimates, noting that it has grown beyond what A-dec expected.

Since making the eGain knowledge base available to distributors, A-dec’s revenue has grown from $325 million to $500 million. Contact center calls have increased as well, but at a slower rate than the company’s growth.

Additionally, dealer registrations required to access A-dec’s digital assets have tripled.

“Now we know how valuable it is when people are on the spot and need an answer fast. It’s often faster for them to look it up in the knowledge base than to call customer service,” Davis boasts.

A-dec continues to aggressively expand its knowledge base, according to Davis. “Content is key, so we’re going to continue to build on what we have today. I want to work on more of those guided interactions for troubleshooting. We have a few, but we would like to expand that to include the most common interactions,” she says.

A-dec also hopes to expand functionality even further through chat and a web app, according to Davis. 

The Payoff

Since moving its knowledge base to eGain, A-dec has seen the following results:

  • the number of articles accessed has doubled since the first year;
  • dealer registrations have tripled; and
  • though calls have increased as the company has grown, call center staff has grown at a slower rate.

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