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Customer service can be the key to long-term retail success during the holidays — and more important even than sales, according to Kana Software, a provider of customer experience management solutions.

Kana is out this week with a new release of its Enterprise solution. The new version offers multilingual knowledge management, including translations and multi-language searching, and enhanced reporting that could provide more information to agents, quicker.

Omnichannel Dissatisfaction

James Norwood, Kana’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement that the new enhancements build on the April release of the company's “first unified platform supporting both agent-based and self-service capabilities for seamless customer service across the phone, email, web, mobile, chat and social channels.”

He added that there has been "significant demand" for the customer engagement capabilities that are being enhanced in this release, such as the ability to more easily repurpose content for multiple uses and thus maintain consistency.

There is also a revised administration interface for faster use, and the inclusion of simple design tools to modify business objects and advance workflow.

While the focus among many customer service vendors in the last year has been dealing with the diverse and growing number of channels in a unified way — which some are describing as the need for an omnichannel, consistent experience — recent studies show many customers are dissatisfied with customer service.

Kana/Forrester Report

Some of the studies, like Aspect Software's recent survey, claim users are frustrated by inconsistencies across channels. Others, such as the most recent edition of the periodic Customer Rage reports, describe customer service as too scripted. Little human touches, like apologies or free or discounted products, could go a long way.

In August, a Kana-sponsored Forrester Research report echoed the Aspect viewpoint that customers want to have seamless conversations across channels. But that report also emphasized the importance of customer service agents, as did the Customer Rage survey.

Kana claims the new tools for knowledge management in its new release could make it easier for companies to provide more consistency across channels. The unanswered question: Will these new, multichannel tools and others like them help front-line agents provide the kind of human, but omniscient service that customers now expect?