Building online user community through web self service

Cambridge, UK, 21 March 2007: Sony Computer Entertainment UK (SCEUK) is using Transversal’s ( intelligent web self-service software to support the major launch of its PlayStation 3 (PS3) on 23 March, by providing customers with fast and accurate answers to their questions online. Transversal’s Metafaq software is also helping Sony build self-sufficient customer community forums, where users can easily share their knowledge and aid each other.

SCEUK’s website ( is already using Transversal’s technology to answer 96 per cent of online customer enquiries automatically, including thousands of PS3 related questions prior to the launch. SCEUK report that 47 per cent of customer contact is being handled online through Transversal web self-service. Consumers can also contact SCEUK through email and instant messenger chat facilities on its web site

The PlayStation 3 is Sony’s most advanced console and will incorporate several new features including wireless motion sensor controllers, a Blu-ray player and internet capability. To aid gamers and provide an intuitive experience, the console uses the same cross media bar as the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP). SCEUK is also launching a technical forum to help support the more complex technologies where users will be able to help each other get the most out of the technology and functionality, and solve issues, such as internet connectivity, together. Transversal’s software will be used by customers to intelligently search all posts and find the relevant information.

To deliver world class customer service it is essential that all users have easy access to information and support online, and that they do not need to second guess pre-defined search criteria. Metafaq’s unique ability to interpret questions means that PS3 customers can search for information in their own words. Transversal’s neural network technology learns from what it reads, enabling it to be 'trained' to understand the context of any words including slang and abbreviations such as text speak.

“The advanced technologies of the PlayStation 3 are designed to be exceptionally intuitive and easy to use. However as the console is a networked device allowing both wired and wireless connectivity, users may require assistance on router configuration and have general network queries,” commented Andy Barker, Director of Customer Services for Sony Computer Entertainment UK. “As it is impossible for our contact centre staff to be technical experts on every third party router available, we are encouraging our customers to share their knowledge and expertise through online communities and Transversal is helping enable us to do this. This will enhance the overall customer experience and enable them to get the most of out of the breakthrough functionality within the PS3.”

Quality of service is key to the PlayStation brand proposition. In addition to placing substantial information online, PS3 customers can get technical support over the phone or via the in-built visual step-by-step set-up tutorials contained within every console. By enabling online user-communities, Transversal's system has permitted SCEUK to provide customers with greater choice in the way they receive service.

“Good customer service is always important, but within the context of a major product launch it is vital. Transversal has been part of Sony Computer Entertainment UK’s service proposition for four years and we are very excited to be helping Sony support such an innovative and advanced product,” commented Davin Yap, CEO, Transversal. “The scope and size of queries answered by Sony Computer Entertainment UK’s website is a great example of how Transversal can aid and improve an organisation’s customer service by providing fast, accurate answers to queries.”

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About Transversal
Transversal is a Cambridge-based developer of multi-channel eService solutions for customer-facing websites and contact centres that achieve high-impact wins on improved service, reduced costs and increased sales. Transversal's flagship Web Self-service Sales EngineTM solution uses the online customer service interaction to deliver targeted offers and advertising based on what customers ask about - a customer service strategy proven to produce high response rates and sales, while simultaneously improving customer service quality and efficiency. MetafaqTM reduces the volume of call and email queries to contact centres by automatically answering customers' questions online. Transversal customers will typically see immediate and dramatic email reductions, by around 60%, and improvements in email response times, from days to minutes. Intrafaq, Transversal's knowledge management solution for contact centres, delivers information to agents in a unique way from a dynamic natural language knowledgebase. Simply by typing a question, in their own words, agents can access answers to customer questions; providing fast, accurate and consistent responses. Organisations benefit from increased first call resolution and efficiency by improving the knowledge and quality of service provided by customer service and help-desk agents. Transversal's Memory Engine™ is the result of research and development by top researchers in Information Theory and Machine Learning from Caltech and Cambridge universities. Transversal co-founder, Prof. David MacKay, is a world renowned expert in Artificial Intelligence. He pioneered Bayesian Neural Networks in the late 1980s and remains at the forefront of the field. Current customers include Sony PlayStation, Direct Line, Mint, Tesco Personal Finance, Privilege, Thomsons, The AA, Barclays, Holiday Extras, Nissan, Fujifilm, Standard Life, Scottish Power, Freemans, Grattans and Kaleidoscope.

Published on: 12:00AM on 21st March 2007