I got an update from Kana this week. Kana, for those of you that don’t know, is a product/solution company focused on helping enterprises with their customer service experience – what they call Service Experience Management. Kana has over 600 B2C customers across banking, telecommunications, retail as well as high-tech, travel, manufacturing etc. They are now privately held through Accel-KKR, who liked the Kana installed base and saw Kana as the basis for growth (organic and inorganic) around Service Experience Management.
Service Experience Management is an outgrowth of Kana’s experience and investment in helping companies manage customer service. They target a customer service manager who is juggling both customer issues like satisfaction and the use of social media as well as business issues such as compliance, cost and increasingly a focus on revenue targets. Many of Kana’s customers are focused on how to improve the overall customer experience, a broader mandate than customer service, but lots of decisions are still taken by those focused just on customer service.
This focus on customer service takes place in the face of widespread and steadily declining customer satisfaction scores and increasing cost per interaction industry-wide (though not, they say, among their customers). Solutions implemented so far don’t seem to have made that much difference. One of the causes is the disconnected technology that the customer service organization uses across communication channels, back office business processes and systems, and lines of business. In addition, every agent is also an island – inconsistency between agents is epidemic despite investments in training and process. Even when the customer service organization tries to define the business process across these systems they are over-complex, manually managed and hard to translate into something executable. For instance, like some of my clients, they have defined Visio documents and written agent scripts but that’s about it. Finally there is not one set of business metrics to aim at but lots of competing objectives creating confusion and a lack of focus.
Service Experience Management is Kana’s solution. They deliver:
- An adaptive desktop for a unified service experience in a rich internet environment for agents that adapts for different cases, uses guided scripts and manages escalation and routing.
- Integrated Process Management tools to tie everything together including legacy system integration tools and support for case management
- Knowledge management tools for agents and customers
- Analytics for KPI and SLA monitoring
- eService support for chat, email, web etc.
This stack has a strong focus on context – customer context – that is available to be passed to components as well as back end systems and, for instance, decision services.
I am looking forward to learning more about how some of these pieces work together. Obviously I would like to see some use of data mining/predictive analytics to drive service outcomes and of business rules to manage the decisions in these processes (though they can integrate with external decision services today). Interestingly enough I just wrote a post about the importance of customer interaction decisions.