Kana Smooths the Wrinkles Out of Back-End Administration

Kana Software recently released an upgrade to its enterprise application, equipping it with new multinational knowledge management and other enhancements that make back-end administration easier.

Earlier this year the company released a version with enhancements aimed at the end user, but “our focus this time around was on a different set of users,” Scott Hays, Kana’s senior director of product marketing, told CRM Buyer.

“Ultimately, we are all about delivering the best customer experience, and back-end roles are important to making this work,” Hays added. “This release focuses on some of those supporting roles.”

Reporting Capabilities

Included in this new upgrade are reporting features that make it easier for business users — from call center managers to CMOs — to create reports about key metrics, Hays said. Among these features are several new out-of-the-box reports as well as several metrics to rate performance.

Examples of the latter include knowledge-based usage, first-contact resolution and average handle time, Hays added. These metrics were also available in earlier versions, he explained, “but we made them far easier for users to access.”

Tools for the Admin

Kana also added new design tools aimed at administrators, Hays said.

“These design tools make it easier for the admin to configure processes so they are reusable and efficient,” he explained. “They address who does what and where, what gets entered, what is mandatory and what is optional — any step that is driven by corporate process is in there.”

This, in fact, is one of the crown jewels of the application, as far as Hays is concerned.

“I realize it isn’t sexy when we talk about designing a process flow or pop-up forms,” he said. “But, that little drawing that admin did that eventually translated in a process in the system that then translated into a customer being served faster because of the new process — now that is sexy.”

Multilingual Tools

Another highlight of this latest version is the new language support that makes it easier to replicate knowledge across different markets. Most of Kana’s users have customers with multilingual requirements, Hays noted.

“Search, in particular, can be tricky in different languages given the nuances of language,” he said. “So we have invested heavily in optimizing the search for each individual language.”

Connecting It Back

This release dovetails with an earlier one by Kana this year in which it introduced its first omni-channel solution following its acquisition in 2012 of Ciboodle.

When the company acquired Ciboodle, the goal was to integrate Ciboodle’s process-based customer contact-management platform, agent desktop tools and case-management expertise with Kana’s email response management, knowledge management, Web self-service and live chat.

From there, it went on to release the omni-channel customer service suite in April. That application featured dynamic case management, more advanced Web self-service, proactive and mobile chat, co-browsing, social listening, proactive analytics and community engagement, email, campaign and white mail management and advanced knowledge management.

“It delivered broad capabilities for the agent across the Web, mobile and social channels, putting all the customer content into context,” Hays said.

Put simply, the omni-channel app focused on solving some key pain points in customer service, such as “customers having to repeat themselves to every new service rep, customers having to wait any length of time, customers feeling anonymous,” Hays said.

Such incidents are history, he concluded, now that the back end is in fighting shape as well.

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

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