Kana Burnishes Omnichannel Customer Engagement Tools

Kana on Monday announced the first major upgrade of its flagship enterprise product following its acquisition earlier this year by Verint.

The product, Kana Enterprise Customer Engagement Optimization platform, has been available since Oct. 31.

At its core, the platform is the same, said Kelly Koelliker, Kana’s director of product marketing. It provides contact center tools to facilitate customer service engagement across multiple channels, including live chat for desktop and mobile, as well as social media.

“What we have done with this release is further differentiate ourselves in our ability to handle high-volume, highly complex contact center operations, where agents need effective tools to be productive and to give the right answers right away,” she told CRM Buyer.

Toward that end, Kana focused on adding and building on capabilities in three areas: smarter engagement, employee collaboration and employee productivity. These tools are tied together in a single platform, allowing agents to home in on those right answers.

“Because they are using an integrated comprehensive platform, they are able to give consistent answers,” Koelliker said.

A Smart Way to Engage

In this version, Kana incorporated a routing and queuing engine that intelligently matches up an incoming question with an appropriate agent, Koelliker noted.

“Many routing engines just send an inquiry to the first available agent, but sometimes the question might not be a good fit for one agent and more appropriate for another,” she said.

The routing engine takes into account a wide variety of factors relevant to customers, such as their native language, previous interactions with the company, and other contextual issues. The system matches each customer with an appropriate agent.

Also new in this release is a real-time dashboard for supervisors, which gives them a view of all the traffic coming in across the channels.

“The supervisor is able to adjust workflows in real time depending on the traffic,” Koelliker said.

Employees Collaborating

Other new features better support internal collaboration among employees.

“Employees in the workforce expect to be able to collaborate with one another based on the tools they have available to them in their personal lives,” such as Facebook, Koelliker said. “They want to be able to chart and post things, and bounce ideas off of one another.”

One of the internal tools added to Kana is an activity stream — similar to the Facebook feed — for customer service agents.

“They can subscribe to topics of interest and read, for example, case types or a knowledge article. They will see all the related updates and post comments in the feed,” observed Koelliker.

The feed also allows employees to collaborate across different shifts, as well as across different locations — even globally.

Boosting Productivity

As is Kana’s norm, it added new features to its array of productivity tools, Koelliker said. Among those enhancements are visual cues that make it easier for agents to navigate the increasing stores of company and customer data.

Those visual cues may highlight where an agent is in a particular interaction, as well as any recommended additional steps.

Kana also designed its upgraded offering to support an agent’s use of multiple screens.

“Having three or four giant desktop screens has become the norm for many operations — we can support that with each screen aware of what is happening on the other screen,” said Koelliker.”Every window is tracked as part of the session, and they are linked to one another contextually.”

Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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