In September 2013 at Kana Connect 2013, Founder & CEO, Jim McCann spoke about the importance of customer engagement. In his keynote, McCann spoke to’s journey from a single flower shop to the world’s leading florist and gift shop, emphasizing the importance of creating the same type of personal relationship with today’s 37 million customers as they had with the first flower shop customers more than 35 years ago. 

By P.J. Jakovljevic

It should be every company’s job to make it easy for customers to act on their needs and desires wherever they wish to engage with the company—in a retail store, online, on their mobile device, or within their social networks. The challenge for every customer care organization is to provide reliable and memorable experiences across every service channel—consistency is critical in delivering great customer experience in the omnichannel world. Engaging directly with customers in a manner using the insights that a multichannel analysis provides is key to building customer loyalty.

1-800-FLOWERS.COM CEO Jim McCann, whose company was featured in the TV show “Undercover Boss” in 2010, gave the keynote address at the KANA Connect 2013 user conference in New Orleans last week. He shared customer service insights and best practices with about 600 attendees—representatives from commercial enterprises and government, including many of today’s most revered brands and cities.

1-800-FLOWERS.COM was one of the first retailers to leverage a 24/7 toll-free telephone number and the Web for direct sales to consumers, growing a single flower shop into the world’s largest florist, with revenues exceeding $700 million. Over the years and through a combination of internal development and strategic acquisitions, the family has expanded to include many other well-known gift brands, including Fannie May Fine Chocolates, The Popcorn Factory, and

Never one to shy away from leveraging technology for its business goals, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM in early 2013 selected the KANA Express omnichannel customer service technology in the cloud to improve its customer experience initiatives. The florist is striving to recreate the same experience it had with the 35 key customers in its first retail store for the 35 million customers it has today.

Stemming from the mid-2012 Trinicom acquisition, KANA Express is an accessible and affordable omnichannel cloud solution for the midmarket. The solution offers flexible cloud service and pricing options with a 30-day money-back success guarantee. The August 2013 KANA Express 13R1 release features a slew of enhancements such as new personalized user interface, Section 508 AA support for mobile screen readers (for the visually impaired), support for 30 languages, support for user-defined time zones, and international address validation. Automatic presentation of contextual knowledge, a consolidated view of  customer profiles, advanced reporting and analytics (powered by QlickView), and custom key performance indicator (KPI) dashboard designer were other nifty enhancements.

The win at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, where KANA Express prevailed over eGain and Oracle RightNow, was one of dozens of the product’s recent wins. After a four-week long implementation, the retailer’s customer service agents use a KANA system to capture, access, and share knowledge that improves customer interactions and accelerates customer support resolutions.

KANA Express helps 1-800-FLOWERS.COM manage service across traditional and digital channels, and quickly add more agents during peak gift seasons. Placing customer profiles on agent desktops alongside details about past orders and appropriate related offers helps employees personalize the relationships that are central to its business.