Microsoft Releases Updated Parature Customer Care Solution

Since acquiring Parature in January 2014, Microsoft has been busy expanding the company's reach on a global scale, adding features and building a partner ecosystem around Parature cloud services. The latest version of Parature's customer care solution also boasts new agent productivity and insight capabilities as well as integrations with added social channels. "We're putting fuel in the tank of Parature to drive innovation and development," Bill Paterson, senior director of customer self-service solutions at Microsoft Parature, says.

According to Paterson, agent productivity has been a key focus for Microsoft and Parature, and the latest release makes it easier for agents to navigate and gain access to the necessary information that resides in Parature's service desk application. Updates also enable users to tie the Parature solution to more social channels including YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram. "We've added these channels because they're starting to become important in the service space. Look at Instagram. It's growing very quickly, so it was important for us to connect that," Paterson says.

Microsoft Parature's solution now also offers "more sophisticated, above-the-service-queue" insights, Paterson says. Typically, customers attempt to deal with product issues on their own through various self-service resources such as browsing the FAQ section of the company Web site, asking a question through the company's social media pages, or submitting a ticket online. Because attempts at self-support take place before any interactions with agents occur, agents have historically not had access to data on what resolution measures customers have already taken. With Parature's new capabilities, there's a "full understanding of where the customer has been before they make a support call," Paterson explains. Once a customer engages in any type of self-service, the solution begins logging the activity so that an agent can pick up where the self-service left off. "This is not foreign technology, but it has been foreign to the service side," he adds.

Other improvements to the Parature solution include a new customization and configuration workbench. According to Paterson, the enhancements have made it easier to deploy and configure the Parature solution because setting it up is now a much more independent process. "Customers used to have to call Parature for help getting it up and running, but now it's all part of the workbench so that they can do it themselves," he says.

The updates are ready for use, and an online subscription to Parature's customer care solution is available as well. The tool is live in 10 languages across 50 markets. "We're not just in North America anymore. This is a global vision," Paterson says.

Paterson also shared that another release is just around the corner. "We've got another big announcement coming in the next quarter around Web-based support and new Web channels...giving our chat platform global translation capabilities and more languages," he says, "and I'm excited to see this rocket ship take flight."

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