Search Engines or, more relevantly, Information Retrieval Engines, both on the web and within internal systems, have proved that they can deliver data– the challenge now is to move from quantity to quality of information and from data to answers.
Knowing that there are 20,000 potentially relevant web pages or 50 related files is not very helpful; ideally we want the actual relevant information or at worst a choice of just a couple of potentials.
When Henry Ford started selling cars, he kept it simple, “You can have any colour you like – as long as it is black” was his maxim.
Now the customer is king and the dealer has to offer not just a choice of paint colours and finishes but also upholstery materials and colours, audio systems, engine sizes, fuel options, finance deals and so on; all of which vary by model.
At the other end of the cycle, the customer service agent providing spare parts has to tease out a lot more detail than just the component function coupled with the make and model to be sure of getting the right component to the customer.
Pulling every file on the system that mentions a model is not likely to be helpful to either car or parts sales
Information needs to be organised and retrieved so that relevant data is sifted out and available, when it is needed.
Technology can and will provide the ability to increase the responsiveness and efficiency of organisations in interfacing with their customers and others who need to extract answers from their systems.
The IT department, like all other searchers after knowledge, has to learn to ask the right questions and push harder for systems that deliver exactly what they need to deliver to internal and external system users.
Oceanus is a systems integrator and customer management specialist; providing comprehensive document and case management solutions for customer acquisition and customer service environments in Consumer Finance, Telco's and Utility companies.