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Date : 10/06/2010

Panasonic Turns to Eptica to Enhance Customer Service Experience

Multimedia Web Self-service helps electronics giant reduce handling time for complex enquiries

Cambridge – September 2010: Panasonic is rolling out online customer service technology from Eptica, the leading provider of multichannel customer interaction software, to facilitate provision of immediate online answers to both routine and complex support questions and optimise the response to customer enquiries from its Customer Communication Centre.

Following a successful trial of Eptica Self-service on six product areas that have seen the company respond to customer enquiries more efficiently, Panasonic is extending the use of Eptica’s technology across its range of consumer products. In a normal month, Panasonic UK’s Customer Communication Centre receives in excess of 40,000 contacts from customers by telephone and e-mail. While many of these enquiries change depending on recent product launches, sales initiatives and the time of the year, a high volume of frequently asked questions are being reduced by answering them online.

Eptica Self-service uses an advanced ‘meaning based’ search engine to provide visitors with immediate online answers to their questions. Since deploying the software, website traffic has increased and, as the company further develops the facility, it anticipates further reductions in customer contacts. The solution has also provided an effective platform for helping to cut the length of time required to resolve complicated product enquiries, by enabling video answers including product demonstrations to be embedded within the customers’ self-service answer.

Complex technical enquiries that can take several communications with the customer and significant time to resolve can now be more efficiently addressed through the customer viewing a short video online. This also dramatically improves the service experience for customers who in contrast to making a lengthy phone call can access and replay video answers any time of day or night at their convenience. Eptica’s technology also uses a dynamic self-learning knowledgebase to ensure that the information Panasonic’s customers most want to know is always presented at the top of the ‘Ask a Question’ section of their website. This means customers can find it faster and therefore only need to call or email if they require more in-depth assistance.

“Since deploying Eptica, first contact resolution for complex enquiries is increasing. Rather than telephoning or e-mailing an enquiry, customers are encouraged to get the support and information they need within a matter of minutes from our website,” commented Patricia Hamed, Manager of Customer Communications Centre, Panasonic UK. “Consistency and breadth of responses is quite a challenge when you are offering support on a wide range of high tech products. The Eptica software has enabled us to collate a vast amount of existing knowledge and information into a system that is easy for both our customers and advisors to navigate thereby enhancing our interactions with customers both on and offline. We are committed to enhancing a customer’s interaction with Panasonic wherever possible and we are exploring the possibility of extending the use of Eptica software beyond the UK.”

In partnership with Eptica, Panasonic has improved insight into the pulse of its customers and is able to react immediately to patterns and increases in particular questions. By adding the answers to Eptica Self-service before questions escalate in volume, Panasonic is able to quickly limit the number of inbound calls and emails it receives and optimise online customer experience. Paul Barnes, UK Managing Director at Eptica, added: “Panasonic has taken a very forward looking approach to online customer service. By using image navigation to aid the customer journey through self-service and harnessing video answers to enrich customer experience the company really reinforced its customer-centric style. With an incredibly diverse product range, the scope for customer enquiries is significant. By ramping up self-service and making it easy for customers to find the information they need, Panasonic is achieving the big business goals of improving customer experience and reducing costs and contact centre agents can be freed up to focus on higher-value interactions.”

About Eptica Eptica is the leading European multilingual solution for Customer Interaction Management including Web Self-service, Email Management, Chat, Fax-Letter- SMS and Knowledge management for Customer Service. Available on premise or SaaS, Eptica software enables website and customer service channels to work together to improve quality of service, resolve enquiries faster, reduce costs and maximize every sales opportunity.

Today more than 280 customers, including some of the world’s largest, in 14 countries, use Eptica solutions to deliver excellent customer service at much lower cost. Eptica’s customers include: Haven Holidays, Republic, Go Compare.com, Fortis Insurance, Hotels.com, La Redoute, Brent Council, DatingDirect.com, Capita, Société Générale, South East Water, ING and Barclays. Eptica is based in the UK, France, Spain and Singapore and operates worldwide through its network of partners. Eptica was awarded the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA in 2009 for the third consecutive year and is recognised by Gartner on its Web Customer Service Magic Quadrant 2010.