• December 20, 2006
  • By Coreen Bailor, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

SupportSoft Heats Up Its Email and Chat Functionality

Service management specialist SupportSoft has made generally available EmailAssist, its new email utility that integrates with its multichannel assisted service solution SupportSoft Intelligent Assistance Suite. At its core EmailAssist and its integration with Intelligent Suite are intended provide CSRs with a centralized approach for employing email and chat. More specifically, the solution unifies chat and email history, providing service employees with a complete view of the customer's or employee's resolution history. The release also routes requests to the most appropriate available agent and provides integrated knowledge base content, according to the company. "As email continues to be an important mechanism for providing support, [several SupportSoft customers] wanted to extend the capability of automated resolution of technical problems to their email channel," says James Morehead, SupportSoft's vice president of product management and marketing. Another element, performance monitoring and reporting, provides a unified view of agents' productivity to better track average handle time and service level standards, according to the company. "If you have one call center rep doing both chat and email you want to be able to have a holistic view of their productivity, and it's very difficult to do that if you have separate applications," Morehead says. "So by integrating email and chat into a single application we're able to provide the supervisor with a holistic view of their employees' productivity." While SupportSoft was not included in the vendor evaluation component of "The Forrester Wave: eService Suites, Q2 2006," the provider was mentioned as a notable vendor. "Starting life in the eSupport world, SupportSoft has been moving more toward eService," states the report, authored by John Ragsdale, vice president of research at the Service & Support Professionals Association (SSPA), formerly vice president and research director at Forrester Research. "With its history of remote diagnostics and self-healing for both consumer technology...and communications...SupportSoft has a proactive approach to identifying and resolving hardware and software problems with some dramatic results. Companies providing technical support for Internet enabled devices should see how SupportSoft could further streamline problem resolution and deflect additional live agent interactions." The phone, however, is still the preferred channel, although adoption of Web support services continues to gain momentum. "Anything that enhances the eServices support experience is important," says Ladd Bodem, principal and cofounder of ServiceXRG. "Effectively integrating eServices delivery channels with traditional delivery channels is significant because it yields streamlined service, seamless escalation as well as other benefits." However, Bodem adds, "although cost reduction is always important, increasing customer satisfaction is now the top driver for eServices. According to our research 90.4 percent of respondents indicated that customer satisfaction is the primary driver for eServices. Cost reduction is also a key business driver for 74 percent of respondents. Creating audience appropriate responses and integrating support channels is key to achieving both." Related articles: The 80 Percent Web Self-Service Solution
Re:Tooling Business Problem: The Call Center Is Overwhelmed with Basic, Repetitive Inquiries. Tech Solution: Web Self-Service ABG Scores Web Self-Service Vendors
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