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Data points: on-line support.

Another surprise payoff from the Information Superhighway: On-line knowledgebases may turn out to be a significant alternative to high-cost tech support. That's the conclusion at Novell, where automated electronic support--largely delivered over the Internet-- now accounts for more than 90% of all tech support transactions. With "almost no marketing," according to director of electronic support Michael Bishop, Novell has seen the number of accesses to its on-line knowledgebases grow 430% in the past year. At the same time, says Bishop, the number of calls to live technicians droppped 11%, despite a 17% rise in sales for the April quarter.

Bishop points out that on-line knowledgebases will probably never completely eliminate the need for live technicians. And he admits that customers often don't get the right answers from their queries; on average, it takes two accesses to extract a correct answer from the knowledgebase. But on-line customers now get to see "the exact same information that's available to live technicians," so technically savvy users often prefer to cut out the middleman and solve their own problems.

Michael Bishop, director of electronic support, Novell, 1555 N. Technology Way,. Orem, Utah 84057; 801/429-7000.
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Title Annotation:Novell Inc sees growth in on-line support
Date:Jun 19, 1995
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