Interaction and personalisation creates new communication channels, but also potential pitfalls, believes Transversal

Cambridge, UK, 9 July 2007: The advent of Web 2.0 technologies provides organisations with the ability to radically change how they interact with their customers, dramatically improving service levels and consequently increasing sales. This is the view of web self-service leader Transversal (www.transversal.com), which has created a top 10 guide to help companies embrace areas such as two way interaction, personalisation, RSS feeds and blogs to get closer to customers.

Web 2.0 is the umbrella term for new technologies and techniques that enable users to drive greater personalisation and interaction with web sites. Examples include social networking sites such as YouTube and MySpace, blogging and wikis. The challenge for organisations is selecting and implementing the right Web 2.0 techniques to positively enhance their brand and sales.

“The advent of Web 2.0 opens up communication between organisations and their customers, enabling unprecedented personalisation as users drive how they interact with brands of all sizes,” commented Dee Roche, head of strategy and marketing, Transversal. “This is the perfect opportunity to increase customer satisfaction and interaction. Customer service departments should be at the forefront of adopting Web 2.0 techniques and use them to build stronger relationships based on listening to customers and responding to their needs.”

Transversal’s technology can use the information the customer provides, such as where they are on the website and what they search for, to alter what is displayed to them – and use that information to direct customers to the correct customer channel. An intelligent web self-service interface is also a platform for including other interaction technologies and response mechanisms such as chat, virtual sales agents, RSS feeds, opt-ins for product news and offers, importantly based on how customers interact and qualify their requirements on the website.

Transversal believes that the benefits – and potential pitfalls – of Web 2.0 vary across different business sectors. For example, financial services organisations have to meet stringent compliance and security regulations, so providing unmonitored user groups and blogs would be inappropriate, as consumers could make a poor financial decision based on a user group post and then hold the organisation liable. Instead, providing access to independent financial product reviews and articles, based on customer interaction through RSS feeds delivers improved service levels without fear of litigation.

For product-based companies providing technical support through blogs and user groups is a perfect way of interacting with customers. Sony Computer Entertainment UK (SCEUK) is using Transversal's intelligent web self-service software to support the PlayStation 3, by providing customers with fast and accurate answers to their questions online at www.playstation.co.uk. SCEUK has launched a technical forum where users help each other get the most out of the technology and functionality, and solve issues, such as internet connectivity, together. Transversal’s software is used by customers to intelligently search all consumer-generated content and find the relevant information. Consumers can also contact SCEUK through email and instant messenger chat facilities on its web site.

The top ten Web 2.0 technologies Transversal believe can positively impact customer service are:

1 Interaction. Use channels to provide human interaction and take on board customer feedback. These could include real time chat, instant messenger or linguabots
2 Personalisation. Deliver a personalised experience by providing tailored content in response to queries, such as special offers or added information.
3 RSS. Keep customers and partners updated with changes to areas of interest automatically through RSS feeds
4 User communities. Build communities that enable users to exchange information and help self-support
5 Blogging. Engage in dialogue with customers through relevant and tailored blogs
6 Social networking. Build links with relevant social networks through interaction and posting tailored information
7 Search Engine Optimisation. Tailor your website to ensure that queries are pushed quickly to the correct page from internet search engines such as Google
8 Tagging. Allow users to rate usefulness of answers and information provided to gather valuable feedback on customer service effectiveness
9 Wikis. Use wikis to share information quickly, particularly for a technical audience
10 Podcasts. Make information and updates available through other channels than your website through channels as podcasts and video updates

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Enquiries:

Dee Roche
Transversal
+44 (0)1223 723 388
dee.roche@transversal.com

Chris Measures/Sam Grace
Rainier PR
+44 (0)20 7494 6570
transversal@rainierpr.co.uk
www.rainierpr.co.uk

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 9th July 2007