Kana's Case for Happy Customers

Kana's eCRM technology is on the frontlines of consumer behavior, executives say, which makes the company well-positioned to report on trends. Kana released today findings from a Kana-sponsored survey about customer satisfaction in the shifting landscape of customer interactions through telephone, email, Web self-service, and even Web chat. The key finding: Consumers are demanding that their service representatives have a knowledge of their past history and current relationship with an organization. But the problem is that 42 percent of consumer respondents said that past interactions were not leveraged by the customer-service centers they were contacting. Moreover, shoddy customer service such as discourteous representatives, untimely responses and other impersonal interactions can seriously undermined sales; 67 percent of respondents reported that these negative experiences will impact their future relationships with the company. On the other hand, 45 percent of consumers found that having a personalized account set up, either in a call center, on the Web or via email, made their experience more beneficial. Industry watchers agree that tracking customer histories over electronic and telephone mediums and then getting the data into the hands of sales, marketing and customer-service representatives quickly has a rich upside. Web sites that capture customer interactions can help increase revenues up to 52 percent, according to Jupiter Communications. "Kana's study is in lines with what we're seeing, too," says Eric Schmitt, senior analyst at Forrester Research. Of course, capturing and disseminating customer history is not as easy as it sounds. "The reality is that customers prefer to use more than one channel, and a company's organizational call center might live in one place while it's Internet efforts live in another -- but you absolutely need to share the data across these channels," Schmitt says. While Kana's study is mostly consumer based, Schmitt says it maps closely to business-to-business relationships. That's because a customer's behavior "migrates pretty freely from home to the office, like the fax machine," he says. "There's no major differences between how they communicate at home or at work, and what they like and don't like." Tom Kaneshige also writes for Line56.com
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