Manufacturing

Case Study

Accurate Q&A self-service portal reduces workload of sales executives

Industry Vertical and Application Type:

Manufacturing, self-service Q&A portal

Workflow Steps Accelerated:

Customers find answers about products, services, and operations through a self-service portal, reducing workload of sales executives

Problem: Although responding to customer inquiries is time-consuming, it’s a vital part of sales and support operations for this manufacturer of building materials. The manufacturer needed a self-service portal where their partners, suppliers, and distributors could get answers about its products, services, and operations. The portal needed full access to its vast knowledge base, split between Salesforce and the firm’s knowledgebase of documents.

To be user friendly and encourage requesters to use the portal instead of calling their account representative, the best answers needed to be shown at the top of a single list, not as separately ranked results for each data source. Lastly, the manufacturer wanted to build its own portal, rather than use Salesforce’s portal product.

Solution: KonaSearch was introduced to the manufacturer through its local systems integrator, who built the portal and created the search pages that called out to the KonaSearch API to execute the search for answers. For high search relevancy, KonaSearch leverages the full context of the data implicit in the database tables and relationships inside Salesforce (e.g., what items are in which product lines and what locations have inventory for what products). Furthermore, KonaSearch treats company documents as Salesforce objects, and leverages any relationships between Salesforce and company documents (which might be attachments to Salesforce records).

KonaSearch displays search results ordered from most relevant to least in a single list, even when the results link back to different data sources. Relevancy is determined by several factors, such as how often the term appears in an object’s field data or in the content of a document. Machine learning continually improves the scoring model.

Impact: KonaSearch’s high search relevancy translated to better answers to questions for the manufacturer’s business partners, and a high adoption of the self-service portal, thus reducing the number of questions directed to account executives.