Magazine Article | September 1, 2002

Share Employee Knowledge Once

Source: Field Technologies Magazine

By implementing a contact center solution, ADC Telecommunications empowered its customers with Web self-service and reduced its call volume by 25%.

Integrated Solutions, September 2002

A customer service representative's (CSR's) daily barrage of redundant phone calls can be as frustrating as trying to convince a 2-year-old to eat his vegetables. ADC Telecommunications (Eden Prairie, MN), a provider of telecommunications equipment and services, found itself in a similar situation: having CSRs working overtime only to answer the same questions over and over again. By implementing an online central repository comprising several knowledge bases, ADC is able to provide customers with consistent answers to their questions and to offer customers the opportunity to seek answers to their questions by visiting its Web site,

Recurring Questions Overwhelm Call Center Staff
Candyce Anderson, knowledge base project manager at ADC, recalls what the call center environment used to be like. "If a customer called with a technical question, CSRs would often have to put down the phone and ask other reps for help. As the business grew, reps became increasingly swamped with calls, many of which were simple and redundant in nature." For example, a customer might call to inquire about a patch cord with a specialized connection on one end and a standard connection on the other end. Any CSR could answer that question a dozen times in the same workday. "By spending too much time fielding redundant calls, our reps were unable to devote as much time to researching and tackling more complicated calls," says Anderson.

Knowledge Base Talks Talk And Walks Walk
As part of its overall CRM (customer relationship management) initiative, ADC looked at solutions that would enable it to consolidate its technical knowledge into a centralized location.

After researching several available products, ADC chose KANA IQ from KANA Software Inc. (Menlo Park, CA). Using KANA IQ, ADC was able to create on online central repository that can be accessed by employees and by customers from their desktops and from the Web, respectively.

The repository comprises 40 separate knowledge bases, divided by technology, each with built-in natural language processing queries. Now, CSRs have access to data that helps them answer customer questions quickly and uniformly. Additionally, customers can access the knowledge base 24/7 and find answers to their questions themselves if they prefer. "The solution was designed with the intent to provide customers with an alternative way of communicating with the company," says Anderson.

After KANA IQ was up and running, ADC noticed a 25% decrease in call center calls. Furthermore, the new solution enables call center reps to focus on more difficult calls and to better tap employee knowledge.