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Industry Heavyweights Get Help from ASP

What do AT&T Wireless , Canon U.S.A. Inc. and Sharp Systems of America have in common? Besides making some of the industry's highest-profile products, each turned to KnowledgeBase Solutions Inc. for self-help customer support system.

Los Angeles-based KnowledgeBase Solutions, a provider of Web-based knowledge management applications, yesterday announced that AT&T Wireless, Canon U.S.A. and Sharp Systems of America have each deployed KnowledgeBase.net v2.6 in efforts to improve customer-support efficiencies.

KnowledgeBase.net is designed to provide immediate answers to a company's technical support representatives, help desk agents and end-users. By accessing KnowledgeBase.net, the company says, users can find the answers via a self-serve help tool, reducing the costs associated with in-bound phone calls, e-mails and chat sessions. The KnowledgeBase system is essentially a content management system combined with proprietary search technology.

"We're here to help companies pool their knowledge for the benefit of those who need it most — be they support representatives, customer end-users or both," said Alex Kazerani, CEO of KnowledgeBase Solutions Inc. "It's clear that more companies are recognizing the immediate value of a knowledge base and once they make this decision they turn to us for quick turnaround and measurable ROI."

AT&T — The Inside Story
AT&T Wireless will use KnowledgeBase.net hosted edition as an internal tool to support the Virtual Channel Sales Team of 250 support representatives in three call centers, which reportedly fields about 170,000 phone calls per month. By creating an online knowledge base the entire Virtual Channel Sales Team can access current product information, which should increase customer satisfaction while reducing operational costs.

"KnowledgeBase.net provides my support representatives with the information they need to respond to in-bound customer queries," says Patrick Moody, Virtual Channel Operations Manager, AT&T Wireless. "We've already reduced call backs by 25 percent."

Canon — Centralizing Product Info
Canon U.S.A., which opted for KnowledgeBase's on-site version, deploys a password-protected KnowledgeBase.net with technical service and operating details of its home and office electronic products. Canon's customer service representatives and licensed dealers can access the knowledge base.

Canon will also use KnowledgeBase.net to provide a download center where service representatives and dealers will be able to find and download software drivers for its entire line of hardware devices.

"With so many products under one umbrella, it's crucial that our service reps and dealers have access to all of the information they need to help service their customers," says Brian Wrage, assistant director, systems technical support, Systems & Technical Support Division, Canon U.S.A. Inc.

Sharp — The Self Service Approach
KnowledgeBase.net provides Sharp customers with a one-stop knowledge center for it LCD monitors and notebooks. Using either keyword or natural language searches, Sharp customers can look for information ranging from general usage to driver and software updates.

"Customers are happy to find their own answers, in many cases, which has alleviated the number of calls our support team has to handle," says Craig Rittenhouse, Sharp's vice president of marketing and operations. "With a rapid turn around time, we had the solution up in no time and noticed a decrease in call volume within the first month."

Pricing for KnowledgeBase ranges from $200 per month (for 200 articles) to $2,500 per month (for 10,000 articles) for the hosted version (the company also offers an on-site version). Clients are allowed 10,000 portal visits; after which an additional $750 is charged for the second 10,000 visitors.

A company spokeswoman told ASPnews that currently about 90 percent of KnowledgeBase customers opt for the hosted version, which can be deployed in only about two hours. The lengthier process is adding articles to the document management system. She added the software is based on Microsoft .NET architecture, which eases the document conversion process.

After the KnowledgeBase has been created, clients can configure the portal to provide various levels of access. For example, end-user customers could have one view of the information and customer service representatives could have a different level of access.


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