DaimlerChrysler seeks to exceed expectations for internal and external customers. Using an early version of the recently enhanced self-service and knowledge management solution, eGain Knowledge(TM), the global auto manufacturer has increased productivity at its call center. Since the deployment of eGain Knowledge, the call volume has grown from 25,000 to 36,000 calls per month. The average call hold time has decreased by three-fold from six minutes to less than two. As a result of shorter hold time, the rate of call connection has improved tremendously. In addition, call center staff now has instant access to the vast array of DaimlerChrysler knowledge databases, allowing them to immediately assist technicians themselves rather than queuing them to busy specialists. As a result DaimlerChrysler customers receive faster and superior customer service at the dealership, leading to greater brand loyalty.

On the surface, eGain Knowledge can masquerade as a simple reference tool for customer service agents because of its ease of use. However, it actually uses patented search technology coupled with natural language and advanced linguistic processing to search company databases, suggest additional questions and recommend solutions to complex issues. Agents are able to hold conversations with customers while the system quickly searches and guides them to the correct answers.

“The service department at your typical dealership is always very busy and the technicians have deadlines to meet for their customers. Waiting for someone to pick up the phone is nonproductive time — time that is not built into a technician’s schedule so they will just hang up,” said Priscilla Hedin, manager at DaimlerChrysler’s Service Technical Assistance Resources or S.T.A.R. call center. “We had to find a way to get these technicians the answers they needed as quickly as possible. We knew that we couldn’t continue to hire experts in specific areas that may or may not be needed on a given day. We needed a way to enable our staff to become experts on all issues by using a tool that could guide them to the right answers. eGain offered us the ability to do that, allowing us to maximize existing resources while making our dealer technicians content and productive.”

DaimlerChrysler has been in the auto business for more than 110 years. In 1999, worldwide shipments of the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Plymouth brands exceeded 3.2 million vehicles with revenues of $149.5 billion. The company’s S.T.A.R. call center provides technical assistance to more than 36,000 technicians at 4,500 dealerships across the United States.

According to Jupiter Communications, call centers are especially vulnerable in the new economy. Yet, only a small percentage of companies interviewed by the consulting firm said they had tested call center performance.

“Companies have a wealth of information in computer databases, on desks and in people’s minds,” said Ben Shelton, eGain’s vice president of marketing. “The challenge is how to convert that knowledge into a system whereby everyone in the company can tap into these vast resources and offer bona fide accurate answers to customer questions, regardless of which channel those inquiries arrive. That’s the strength of the eGain Knowledge solution, just one part of the eGain Commerce suite. It puts a business’ knowledge base at its employees’ fingertips, making them more productive and better customer service emissaries at the same time.”

The eGain Commerce suite is a completely integrated platform for online customer service. Built using Web-native technology the platform delivers exceptional scalability, rapid deployment, global access and seamless integration with existing e-business and call center systems. eGain Commerce includes applications like eGain Mail(TM) (high volume email management), eGain Live(TM) (live Web collaboration), eGain Voice(TM) (voice over the Internet), eGain Inform(TM) (Web FAQ self-service), eGain Assistant(TM) (lifelike conversational self-service), eGain Campaign(TM) (proactive digital marketing) and eGain Knowledge(TM) (comprehensive self-service and knowledge management). Leveraging shared resources such as a customer base, knowledge base and workflow engine among all applications, eGain Commerce helps companies deliver personalized interactions that foster customer loyalty, increase sales and control service costs.