“According to the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA), planned spending on knowledge management and self-service technology is currently very high. Companies are relying on technology to create more robust self-service knowledge base systems,” comments Igor Vandromme, Esko VP global services. “TSIA also reports that new technology is enabling self-service sites to be overhauled and help to improve success rates. When more than half of TSIA members plan to spend resources in a single technology area, it is obvious that a major industry shift is occurring.”
Esko is responding to customer preferences that more users prefer to access online resources as their ‘first line’ of immediate support. According to Forrester, 72% of customers prefer using a company’s website to answer their questions. Esko is responding to the challenge of providing different support solutions and delivering more options for people to learn about their software and equipment. In the process, the online help system offers creative, insightful answers to ‘How would I do this’; not just solving technical problems. The efforts have paid off. Visitor traffic has increased 75% from its launch less than half a year ago.
The Knowledge Base library is Wiki-based and searchable. It is populated with articles written by Esko experts: support associates, product specialists, and others who have a good sense of what is – and what is not – helpful, practical information. Each article goes through an extensive auditing process to ensure it is valuable, categorized properly and technically correct.
“Esko’s Knowledge Base is a supplement to our support teams, a means to help customers find answers immediately. We are building an integrated support network and therefore are deploying modern technology to assist our customers,” adds Vandromme. “Our customers are pushing us to offer a self-service model, something that is more efficient and effective for basic questions. We’re just responding to the changing needs of the workforce.”
Esko develops topics that they see are being tapped for information, using Google Analytics as a tool to analyze site use. “Our daily management shows who is adding articles,” says Pieter Reel, Engineer at Esko, “so we can react quickly, review content and post the articles.”
After each Knowledge Base answer, Esko gives the user the opportunity to tell the company if the article was helpful or not, and to make a comment. “Esko is getting a 20% hit rate on user feedback, well above industry standards. The vast majority tells us that our articles have been helpful,” explains Vandromme. “We truly value that feedback. If a comment suggests that the item was not helpful, we will review that feedback to the author and address the issue immediately. In the same way, if an article receives a favorable comment, we will compliment the author. This helpful feedback has helped grow Knowledge Base contributions from Esko experts rapidly. We want to get everybody at Esko involved, and it appears to be working.”
Esko continues efforts to improve the site: navigation, user experience and immediate access to the most important information for the user are key drivers. Among other new features, ‘hot fixes’ will become part of the Knowledge Base. If newly released software needs to be corrected, Esko will offer a button on the Knowledge Base home page to check these solutions.
“Our most important objective is to offer a support system that helps our customers get answers in the way they find most efficient – whether online, from a call center, or from our field support,” concludes Vandromme. “Our ongoing efforts to extend our service offerings have proven to be useful and appreciated. We will continue to develop innovative ways to support our customer base.”