Parature from Microsoft Caters to Customer Service Pros

A year or so after it acquired Parature, Microsoft last month unveiled the Spring ’15 release of Parature from Microsoft. The new application, the first major release since the acquisition, adds to Parature’s self-service and knowledge management functionality.

“We have been busy with the integration process,” Duke Chung, director of Parature from Microsoft, told CRM Buyer.

“We’ve also been working on more than 30 high-priority features in this release, so we are very excited about it overall.”

The feature set focuses on increasing the productivity of customer service teams as well as giving them additional above-the-queue insights. There are also new multilingual and translation capabilities and Parature’s knowledge integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

These features are about driving performance or offering productivity metrics to help agents do their jobs better,” Chung said.

New Features

Parature made a number of enhancements to its knowledge base platform. Now, users can report on how many views and deflections each knowledge base article has on a daily basis. They can also better manage related articles through the Parature API by using automated processes and third-party tools to create lists of related articles and to add and edit article keywords within the knowledge base.

Also added are new options for service desk configuration, including tools to manage how customers create new accounts, to better control what service channel offerings appear on the Parature support portal home page, and to customize details of the support ticket flow.

A new portal activity widget was incorporated to give agents more information to help identify the customers in the queue and examine their recent support interactions before they pick up a call. It is called “Above the Queue InSight” because it tells agents what a customer has searched for, viewed, and interacted with on the company’s support portal.

“This will save a lot of time for the agent,” Chung said. “They can call up what the customer has tried to do to resolve the issue — and use that information to quickly resolve the problem instead of making the customer walk through everything that was done up to that point.”

Parature 15, Above the Queue Customer Insights

Above the Queue Customer Insights

A social conversation history widget enables an agent to view the complete conversation record related to a support ticket created from a customer’s Facebook post, social comment, or Tweet. The agent can also see what other customers have been saying regarding that social media mention.

Other enhancements tweak the productivity of the agent workflow: For example, ongoing tickets can be assigned to the agents who have been working on the case. As another example, there is a feature that allows the agent to connect a specific email to a particular ticket action.

The Microsoft Effect

Customers will be able to purchase this release through Microsoft Online Services.

The release is easily configurable so that customers can set it up by themselves, Chung said.

“This has been a significant change for us. Before, we were often bottlenecked, having to work with each customer to get them up and running.”

Joining up with Microsoft means Parature will be available on a global scale, something that was not possible before the acquisition. “The product will be available in 50 markets and offered in more than 10 languages,” he said.

Parature from Microsoft will also introduce translation capabilities down the road, Chung added.

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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