Interview: Can You Really Have it All – The Sunday Telegraph Business Reporter

Using online communities to shift calls from a company’s call centre can help cut costs and offer better service at the same time

As a company’s products get more complicated and product ranges grow, the need for customer support increases.

But employing customer support specialists is expensive, and a call can cost anything between £2.00 and £50 to handle. Of course, Offshoring is less costly but is also less popular with customers.

According to one young British company, the answer lies in harnessing customer knowledge.

“You can cut your customer support costs and provide better customer service at the same time by using the right online community technology,” says Dr Orhan Ertughrul, co-founder of Oxfordshire-based support systems provider Enjenta.

“Customer support can cost millions of pounds so shifting even a small proportion of queries to an online user community can mean big savings,” says Ertughrul.

Forum technology that enables online user communities to interact already exists, but Enjenta’s Jemini Social Support Engine offers several powerful enhancements.

“Crucially, Jemini has the ability to demonstrate its return on investment by building in the ability to see solutions, so savings are made clear,” says Ertughrul.

Users who pose questions can mark them as “solved” and rate answers for quality, so the company can monitor the advice. Users whose questions go unanswered can be identified by the system and offered help by the call centre.

By gathering basic technical information up-front, questions can be answered more quickly. Commonly -asked questions can be answered by auto-response, saving time and providing a better experience for new community users.

Jemini links to hundreds of social media systems so questions can be crowd-sourced to the wider user community providing more help with problem solving.

The software is also capable of rich media integration, so community members can make online videos to demonstrate how tasks can be carried out and earn reward points.

“Used as part of a multichannel customer support strategy, we think Jemini can reduce costs while delivering faster and better customer service,” says Ertughrul.

Published in The Sunday Telegraph Business Reporter, July 2012

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