March 28, 2011
Parature Spring '11 Positions Itself in the 'Wild West' of Social Software Providers
By Linda Dobel
Touted as “a social CRM industry game-changer” Parature (News - Alert) Spring '11, the brainchild of cloud-based customer engagement solutions provider Parature, was released last week and is expected to kick up strong competition in the market. Parature Spring ’11 is designed to aid customer support teams in their perpetual efforts to provide a better support experience for their customers and engage with key audiences across the industry's leading social and service channels, including Twitter, Lithium Communities, Facebook (News - Alert), chat, phone, email and the Web among others. Companies can use the new version to monitor, manage and resolve high volumes of service inquiries and issues across all of these channels.
Duke Chung (News - Alert), founder and chief strategy officer at Parature, described the individualized experience of Parature Spring ’11 to one magazine as “an essential component to a successful service.”
The new Parature version boasts expanded and new features that build on the company’s tradition of Web-based customer service that aims to reduce the cost of one-to-one interactions and provide more efficient workflows for social media and customer service teams. Six of Parature Spring ‘11’s most notable new features enable users to serve the needs of today's customers, wherever they are as follows:
--Expansion to Twitter and Lithium allows users to maximize their reach to each customer's preferred communication channel with consistent answers through a knowledgebase, direct tickets and configurable automated response;
--Enables customers to automatically receive auto-suggested answers from the knowledgebase while submitting tickets, which can reduce the costs of one-to-one service interactions and help resolve customer issues quickly, which, of course, increases customer satisfaction;
--Provides support for organizations to view, analyze and report on the ongoing service experience, capture search terms, determine the most popular searches by category, measure the effectiveness of self-service rates and report on incident feedback by channel;
--Allows users to view, report and automatically remove profane content from their Facebook page to ensure corporate security and brand protection;
--Provides support for 33 languages across all social channels, including double-byte languages like Chinese, Japanese and Korean;
--Enables rich media support and unified management of multiple Facebook pages from one dashboard. This eases management and provides a complete view of social customer interactions and embeds images and video that convey a brand's unique "look and feel" through a dedicated, configurable "Support" landing page.
In light of these new capabilities, Parature expects a good deal of competition to follow. Yahoo reported, "The social-software marketplace is still undefined to a large part – it's like the Wild West out there," Chung said. "There are hundreds of companies that position themselves as social-software providers. Companies looking to make a purchase have to educate themselves so thoroughly and then make the decision that best fits their strategies and organization."
Parature, however, is confident it will “stand out from the social-applications crowd.” According to an article in SFGate, Parature’s CEO Tim Davenport said, "Today's companies struggle with making support and service more collaborative, social and personalized while keeping costs low and automation high."
He continued, "Today's release is another proof point that Parature is committed to being at the crux of customer engagement, constantly improving our product to meet the demands of our customers as technology evolves quickly."
At least one company can already back-up Parature’s confidence. Survey-software and enterprise-feedback-solutions company, Vovici (News - Alert), is reaping the benefits of Parature to meet the increasing demand it sees for direct communication with its clients through social channels.
"Vovici is all about customers; it's not only our business but our internal philosophy as well," said Nancy Porte, Vovici's vice president of customer experience. "Delivering service with Parature's customer-support software enables our customers to quickly and independently resolve issues or directly engage with our support team via chat or a social network, which helps us differentiate ourselves, retain existing customers and attract new ones." Linda Dobel is a TMCnet Contributor. She has been an editor in the contact center space for more than 25 years, and has the distinction of being the founding editor of Customer Inter@ction Solutions (CIS) magazine. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Janice McDuffee