Enterprise Search a Critical Application in 2013

Written by on January 15, 2013 in Search Management Strategies - Comments Off

Last year marked a year of change for Enterprise Search. In a previous post, we took a look back  at the progress companies have made in understanding how essential search is for improving their business and boosting customer satisfaction.

Research shows 90 per cent of companies report search is the number one means of navigation on their website; yet, less than 20 per cent of these companies have implemented a strategy for search.

This is all about to change.

Organizations now understand the need to transform Enterprise Search strategies in order to reduce cost and improve efficiencies. In today’s competitive landscape, it’s all about customer experience. If you are successful in this area, you will stand out against competitors. And Enterprise Search plays a critical role in this regard.

Thanks to the rapidly evolving pace of technology, customers have grown accustomed to the ability to find what they are looking for with just a click of a button. They want to answer questions by plugging a few simple keywords into a search bar. And if, after the first few tries, the results are not there, they will abandon your website and move on to something else.

2013 marks the year of customer convenience, and Enterprise Search will take you there.

But the question for many is how to get started. The process begins with assessing business requirements. Enterprise Search is typically driven by three key pain points:

  1. Customers are dissatisfied with the quality of search and these complaints have led to productivity loss.
  2. Prospective buyers who arrive at the website are abandoning it without making a purchase.
  3. Existing customers are looking for product support information and end up using the more expensive call center channel.

A search upgrade project is often launched with an objective to achieve a measurable improvement in one or all of the above problem areas. The metrics used to identify these issues include: customer satisfaction index; productivity improvement; visitor conversion/registration/buy rates or an increase in the amount of time spent on the website per visitor; and reduction in call center volumes. The anticipated cost savings can be added to the total increase in profitability and assigned a dollar value that can be used to justify the search upgrade project, in terms of ROI.

A search upgrade project typically pays for itself within six to nine months.

We’ve provided the tools  required for seeking approval from company decision makers. Following approval and budget allocation, the next step is determining how you can begin to implement search into your company’s strategy for success.

The critical success factors for a search service deployment that successfully meets projected business objectives are to do with proper alignment between business objectives, user needs and availability of content for search. Here are some tips for the implementation process:

  • Engage with a search technology consultant to help develop the technical specifications needed to address the requirements already identified, while also allowing room for future expansion.
  • Involve product owners and internal customers who can explain their search-related pain points and can also provide feedback on any proposed search user interaction (UI) features.
  • Identify a team of “super users” who will act as subject matter experts and testers on behalf of end user customers.
  • Work with internal Information Management (IM) teams to produce an inventory of all content sources and all documents that are to be indexed.
  • Look to search technology consultant to develop content metadata extraction and alignment rules.
  • Install the search engine, configure connectivity with data sources and crawl the content.
  • Develop search UI as specified and test end user interaction.
  • Perform rank tuning to ensure the returned search results meet “super user” approvals.
  • GO LIVE with new search!



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