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8x8 Lays the Groundwork for Best-in-Class Self-Service Using MindTouch Knowledge Management Platform

At a Glance

The technical support engineers at 8x8 had been using a content management system that required extensive customization, which led to rising costs and complexity. The 8x8 team sought to replace this system with a knowledge management (KM) platform that offered ready-built integrations and extensibility, along with support for a customer self-service initiative.

8x8 selected MindTouch from a short list of vendor products that included ComAround Knowledge, Salesforce Knowledge, and Upland RightAnswers. The decision was based on the ability to get up and running fast while offering ease of use and extensibility into other systems. Additionally, Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS) v6 verification helped speed the creation and optimization of knowledge to create superior customer self-service experiences.

With the help of MindTouch Professional Services, 8x8 was able to deploy the solution quickly and within deadline. The team has reported fast adoption due to the platform’s ease of use, as well as improved customer experience, better self-service and increased support efficiencies.

Company: 8x8
Headquarters: San Jose, CA
Year founded: 1987
Number of employees: 1,400+
Number of customers: 50,000+
Industry: Cloud-based Business Communications Services

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Challenges

With a fierce commitment to customer support since its inception, 8x8 had long recognized the importance of arming its technical support engineers with accurate, up-to-date content to provide the best service possible. At the time, however, the company was using an open-source content management system built on Drupal that was becoming increasingly difficult to manage.

“The magic of open source was that we could do just about anything through customization,” said Joel Sandi, 8x8’s Senior Manager, Customer Support Operations. “The downside was that we were not a team of developers so we had to hire contractors to extend the system. And the more we customized it, the more unmanageable it became.”

8x8 also wanted out-of-the-box integrations—especially critical since their support engineers managed caseloads from within Salesforce. They also wanted to incorporate KCS, an industry-standard methodology for capturing, reusing, and improving knowledge to help increase employee productivity and improve customer self-service.

“We were spending too much time trying to curate knowledge and had no understanding of the types of issues coming in or how they were being resolved,” Sandi said. “Our existing setup was hurting our engineers’ efficiency and our ability to provide superior service.”

Difficult to manage content
Open-source content management system was difficult to manage, integrate and extend, causing undue cost and complexity

Lack of knowledge management best practices
hobbled article creation and optimization

Lack of visibility
into article creation, use and performance hurt support effectiveness and self-service

Solutions

With costs and complexity mounting, the 8x8 team set out to find a new knowledge management solution. On its shortlist were ComAround Knowledge, MindTouch Knowledge Management, Salesforce Knowledge, and Upland RightAnswers. According to Sandi, MindTouch stood out because it offered the whole package. “It was critical to get up and running fast and the MindTouch platform was the most turnkey solution,” he said. “It easily integrated with Service Cloud, it looked slick, and it offered the analytics we needed. The MindTouch team also offered expert consulting and implementation services. MindTouch just checked all the boxes.”

KCS verification was another main driver behind the purchase decision. “The MindTouch platform was KCS v6 verified, which meant we wouldn’t have to program anything to incorporate the methodology,” said Greg Walker, Senior Director of Customer and Technical Support for 8x8. Providing a consistent customer experience was another driver behind the decision to go with MindTouch, according to Mohan Achar, the company’s Vice President of Global Support. “MindTouch was the only vendor that could provide a unified experience to our customers by extending knowledge wherever needed, whether that was Google, our in-house FAQ database or our CRM system,” he said. “This contrasted with other solutions that only talked to one application or could only stand behind or in front of a CRM system. MindTouch really flexed its arm to be anywhere we needed.”

The MindTouch deployment was completed within an aggressive 60-day deadline set by 8x8. Today, more than 200 tech support engineers worldwide use the MindTouch platform to author and optimize knowledge. The deployment includes a MindTouch Capture Manager connector that extends KCS capabilities into the Service Cloud interface.

MindTouch knowledge management
for agent assistance and customer self-service

Knowledge-Centered Service methodology 
(MindTouch KCS v6 Verified)

MindTouch Capture Manager
for Salesforce Service Cloud integration

Results

“Being KCS verified means MindTouch has enabled us to follow an industry-standard best practices methodology, which has enhanced our customer self-service strategy,” Sandi said. “As an example, we are now able to fill our knowledge base with Q&As that are styled after the way people actually ask and answer them. This helps our support engineers more quickly find the right knowledge for assisted service, and makes the customer self-service experience more intuitive and accurate.”

An important benefit of KCS is that it’s built on a many-to-many model compared to traditional KM approaches, which rely on a few subject matter experts creating knowledge for a much larger group. According to Achar, this has helped 8x8 proliferate the sharing of knowledge.

“People used to hold on to knowledge because it was power,” he said. “But since deploying our MindTouch solution configured using the KCS methodology, our entire team of support engineers—and anyone with permission—can now create and optimize knowledge to showcase what they know. It’s great because a few experts no longer have to be the go-to person who answers the same questions over and over. This frees up our engineers to learn new things and grow, which incentivizes them to continue to share knowledge. The result is faster knowledge creation for greater ROI.”

MindTouch has enabled 8x8 to extend knowledge inside its Service Cloud interface, which gives support engineers capabilities like pre-populated search and case-to-article linking. “The MindTouch solution is not only easy to administer, it’s easy to use,” Sandi said. “Our support engineers can now create, edit, flag, link and do so much more with knowledge all from within their Service Cloud interface where they live and breathe. This makes their jobs easier and they’re more efficient because of it.”

8x8 is also seeing increasing benefits from extensibility outside its internal systems. “Let’s face it, most of us want to avoid calling a company for help,” Achar said. “And one of the first places we look for help is on Google. Because MindTouch is optimized for Google, we can rest assured that our knowledge is searchable and it’ll show up first in results. When customers are served up reliable information the first time, we know they’ll be encouraged to use this method again.” Added Walker: “We believe that the best customer support experience is the case you never have to open. MindTouch is helping us achieve that by extending knowledge when, where and how customers need it. The net result is increased case deflection and an improved customer experience.”

KCS® is a service mark of the Consortium for Service Innovation™.

Fast deployment and ease of use
thanks to out-of-the-box functionality and ready-built integrations

Speedier knowledge creation
stemming from KCS verification

Increased support engineer efficiency
enabled by Salesforce integration

Increased self-service adoption
resulting from Google optimization

More consistent customer experience
thanks to flexible extensibility

Download a PDF version of the 8x8 case study

8x8, Inc. (NYSE:EGHT) provides cloud solutions to help businesses transform their customer and employee experience. With one system of engagement for voice, video, chat and contact center and one system of intelligence on one technology platform, businesses can now communicate faster and smarter to exceed the speed of customer expectations.

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