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Dixons Retail invests to boost multichannel customer service

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Dixons Retail aims to boost its customer service this Christmas with new technology to help users of its KNOWHOW website and supporting call centre agents find the answers they need.

The company is using Eptica‘s intelligent knowledgebase software to give customers and staff alike fast access to information and answers about electrical and computing products. The technology aims to show customers the most relevant article or answer to their questions. Its meaning-based search technology allows customers or agents to type a question in plain English for a fast non-technical answer. They can also browse the 1,200 articles in the knowledgebase for easy to follow explanations of technical issues from setting up a wireless network to defrosting a fridge.

Dixons Retail expects the service to be heavily used over Christmas. It predicts the 1,300 agents who staff its KNOWHOW call centre in support of its PC World, Currys and brands, will answer 3m calls over the period, including almost 1,000 technical support calls on Christmas Day. The KNOWHOW website also receives some 300,000 visits a month.

KNOWHOW is part of Dixons Retail’s renewal and transformation plan, aimed at making it the most comprehensive source of help, support and service for electrical and computing products in the UK. By putting the emphasis on service, it aims to set itself apart from competitors. In the future it will also offer multimedia answers to questions, as well as being updated with more articles.

The company’s figures suggest that the approach is working to turn around its previously maligned customer service. Some 71% of customers now say they would recommend the company, a rise of 28 percentage points from 43% a year ago.

Keith Andrews, programme manager home services, KNOWHOW, said: “As electrical products become more complex and technologies converge, our customers told us they wanted joined-up services delivered in a non-technical way. Knowledge needs to be at the heart of KNOWHOW and Eptica’s technology provides the infrastructure to collect, share and update the vital information our customers want across all of our channels.”

Paul Barnes, managing director of Eptica UK, said: “When it comes to ever more complex electrical products, providing customers with the highest levels of service is a key differentiator. The overwhelming customer adoption of KNOWHOW demonstrates how delivering fast, accurate answers is a central part of today’s successful retail experience.”

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