How Effective is Your Website Search Service?

Written by on October 19, 2012 in Search Service Benefits - Comments Off
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In today’s Internet-driven era, people do not have the patience for deficient search services. Web users know what they’re looking for, and they want to find it immediately.

Studies show that 90 per cent of companies report that search is the number one means of navigation on their website.

Users Today Require Instant Answers to Make Decisions

 
Thirty-three per cent of visitors will abandon a website for every unnecessary click when looking for information, and one of every three customers who end up in the call center visited the website first. User retention in search is only seconds long, and enterprises that do not deliver within this time constraint lose customers. It’s as simple – and as challenging – as that.
 
 

Cloud Search Portal – How it all began
ACIS has been providing customers search technology services for over a decade now. Over the years, we realized that that almost all of our customers faced similar business challenges regarding enterprise search – how to efficiently connect users with information they need.
A typical example is a large enterprise customer based here in Ontario. This customer wanted to implement a centralized search portal service that would consolidate the multitudes of search implementations they had in over 200 website properties. This meant servicing multiple departments via one efficient and standardized search gateway. Multiple redundant search implementations were streamlined and the search technology platform upgraded to a more modern one. And yet, even after the customer’s search integration problem was solved, ACIS quickly realized the project was still far from over.
 
Over a period of time, as enterprise content continued to grow and change, user needs continued to evolve as well. Websites were upgraded and new products and promotions were added. However, many of these content upgrades were sometimes being performed without making corresponding adjustments to the search service; meaning the relevancy of the delivered search results started to degrade. The search service manager was unable to look into search optimization because he/she had moved on to other projects and was always too busy with the next wave of upgrades. Meanwhile, the customers started complaining about the poor search experience.
 
“We found it rather frustrating to see our customer struggling when we could easily address their search service optimization issues,” said Efrem Habteselassie, founder of ACIS Consulting. “But we also understood it would be expensive for the customer to have highly specialized search technology professionals monitoring one installation on a full-time basis.” And so a business plan was born.
 
We decided to launch a cloud-based search portal service that was designed to support mission critical search application, supported by highly specialized technology professionals who can perform continual monitoring and search engine optimization on behalf of the customer. We wanted to apply and practice all of the search best practices procedures we perfected over the years. We also determined that we could offer such highly specialized service at much lower costs because the technology infrastructure and technology specialists were going to be shared among multiple customers who would only pay for services they consume.
 
This new approach to delivering service can be likened to the evolution of health care we saw during the past century. In the past, when patients were ill they would alert the local doctor for a house call. But what if the doctor is a generalist and you had an illness the doctor was unfamiliar with? Your chance for survival immediately declined. Today, we have specialist clinics where patients can go visit a professional trained in a particular area of expertise. It would be inefficient and cost prohibitive to have a specialist doctor make house calls. Cloud search technology works the same way; it’s a specialized service. We specialize in helping customers with massive volumes of data to efficiently deliver search and knowledge discovery services to their end clients. We handle the technology so that you can focus on running your core business.
 
Making the Vision a Reality
CloudSearchPortal is designed to take care of the burden of search technology management and continuous search optimization by creating a solid technology platform.

Improve Customer Satisfaction While Reducing Costs

Our team of experts implement search best practice procedures, sharing professional resources between multiple installations. And we are able to offer continuous search usage monitoring; alerting customers when adjustments are required, and educating customers when new technologies and capabilities become available.

“Search is something that you need to maintain on regular basis, not something you can just build and forget,” said Habteselassie. “It’s dynamic all the time; when content changes and user needs change, you need to tweak and optimize accordingly.”
 
Rather than simply implementing the technology and then disengaging from the customer, our CloudSearchPortal team of experts stay in ongoing contact with the enterprise. We continue maintenance operations as needed, monitoring the status of the technology and ensuring it is optimized to best serve the customer.
 
Large corporations can simply register for the search portal and have it up and running in a few days, and they can trust that the search service will be supported and optimized on an ongoing basis.
“When embarking on content management upgrade projects, many enterprises don’t think too much about search,” Habteselassie said. “We view search as a strategic application that is key to businesses with large search transaction volumes. In order to deliver best in the world search experience to your customers, you have to continually optimize.” ACIS is in the business of understanding customer needs for information access and then developing a solution to meet that requirement. Search technology management doesn’t have to be a burden; CloudSearchPortal makes sure of that.

 

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