Transversal releases Top 10 Rules of successful eService to satisfy customers and increase sales

Cambridge, UK: Despite one in four of the UK population now shopping online, too many organisations are alienating consumers by not providing even basic levels of customer service online. This is the view of eCustomer Service solutions provider, Transversal, who today released a Top 10 best practice guide to help organisations do more to satisfy and impress their customers through the use of effective online service.

Failures in eService are also impacting businesses through increased strain on contact centres who are having to deal with rising email and call volumes. Additionally, many potential customers are simply surfing over to competitors - often without the organisation even being aware of the lost sale.

"Organisations need to use the same standards and common sense principles applied to other channels such as in branches or over the phone. Online customers want fast access to the right information without the need for complicated, time consuming searches that don't provide the right answers," said Davin Yap, CEO, Transversal. "Customers who choose the web as their preferred way of evaluating a company's products and services shouldn't have to endure the frustration of being forced back to contact centres every time they've got a few questions; effective eService solutions should provide the answers on the spot."

Transversal believe that more online retailers should follow the example of organisations such as Fujifilm. It uses eService to help customers make buying decisions, as well as providing post-purchase service for customers who have bought a digital camera and may want help with questions such as how to install software drivers? and which accessories to buy?

Top of Transversal's list is providing customers with straightforward "Ask us a Question" options that intelligently understand the underlying meaning of natural language questions, and are able to provide accurate, on the spot, answers. Additionally, eService solutions should not need 'knowledge engineers' to maintain them - adding new information should be as simple as replying to an email.

Transversal's Top Ten tips are:

1 Provide intelligent search that understands your customers Ensure that you have intelligent search options in place that enable customers to receive answers to questions asked in their own words.

2 Put answers at your customers' finger tips Don't hide search options or FAQs away - make them visible all over the site, particularly within online forms and alongside shopping baskets. Forcing potential customers through complex registration and log in procedures just to ask a question will simply drive them elsewhere.

3 Only an accurate answer will do
Answers must be both accurate and consistent with other channels, such as your contact centre.

4 Use eService to cut down email volumes Put eService in front of all email options to give customers faster access to answers, and cut inbound email volume by around half.

5 Provide easy escalation to customer service agents If customers cannot find answers to queries, make sure that they can quickly escalate to a service agent without the need for rekeying their question.

6 Use eService to help you sell
Maximise conversion rates by using the opportunity to respond to specific questions with targeted offers, links to forms and calls to action to maximise conversion rates.

7 Adding new information should be easy Adding new answer content to your eService knowledgebase should be no harder than sending an email - and certainly not require complex hand-coding or programming.

8 Systems need to be self-learning and self-organising Opt for an eService solution that can automatically understand and organise information rather than needing to manually group similar information and concepts.

9 Feed your eService knowledge back into the business Customer questions give invaluable insight into what is important to them. Capture this information and use it to improve your products, services and web content.

10 Use eService to train staff
Provide contact centre staff with access to your eService knowledgebase - both to update and train agents, quickly and cost-effectively.


Dee Roche, Head of Marketing 01223 723 388

Rainier PR
Chris Measures/Elke Panzner 0207 494 6570 <>

About Transversal
Transversal, founded in 1998 by top researchers from Caltech and Cambridge universities, is a Cambridge-based developer of intelligent eService software that enables organisations to achieve key sales, customer service and efficiency goals. Transversal's flagship service, Metafaq, enables organisations to increase online sales and reduce 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(tm) 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, Direct Line, MFI, Nissan, Fujifilm, TDK Systems, JP Morgan Chase, Nissan, DfES, Proctor & Gamble, Triton and the British Army.

Published on: 12:00AM on 9th March 2005