Delivering knowledge everywhere
Published on: October 10, 2014
Smart organisations realise that the customer experience is the responsibility of everyone within the company that comes into contact with consumers. From frontline staff within branches or stores, through product experts and marketing teams adding content to websites, to senior management, all have a role to play in winning and retaining customers through superior service.
But how do you ensure that all staff have the tools to do the job? The first step is obviously to create processes that span the customer journey and train everyone involved, whatever their department, to work together to make the experience trouble-free. Customer experience/service targets should be set that are relevant to the consumer (rather than simply being business metrics), and monitoring should be put in place to make sure that standards are met.
However, these steps are akin to building a car. Without petrol it simply won’t go, no matter how polished and shiny it is. When it comes to customer experience, knowledge is what powers successful organisations, meaning that it needs to be relevant, current and consistent, and then shared as widely as possible across departments and staff. Centralising knowledge will help ensure this consistency and also drive efficiency. Companies need to create a single, intelligent knowledgebase and then make it easy for it to be accessed and updated, whatever the channel and irrespective of whether it is going to be used by staff or customers.
So how can you take knowledge outside the contact centre? From our work with customers here are 5 different areas where knowledge everywhere delivers business results.
1. Mobile workforce More and more companies rely on a mobile workforce of engineers and installers making house calls. In many cases this is the only time a customer actually meets a company representative, meaning they are very much an ambassador for your brand. Knowledge, both of the individual customer situation and the technical information they need to rectify any issues, is therefore critical. Arm your mobile workforce with access to your centralised knowledgebase and customer information to ensure that any faults are fixed quickly and customer satisfaction maximised
2. At the Point of Sale
Customers expect the same, consistent information when they are in a retail store, browsing its associated website or simply on the telephone to the retailer’s contact centre. Consequently, it is important to extend access to your knowledgebase to retail staff
, either through mobile devices such as tablets or by using the existing technology infrastructure of point of sales devices such as tills.
3. Within the wider enterprise
we’ve heard tales of staff moving from customer service departments to other parts of the business, who have pleaded to retain access to the customer service knowledgebase. This demonstrates the power that consistent information can have to help people do their jobs across the business, so make it available to all who need it and extend the range of answers within it to cover all their functional areas by continuously monitoring the types of questions and requests for information. Customers don’t see departmental silos within your business – so make sure knowledge enables you to give fast answers to their queries, whoever they ask.
4. Across the web
The Eptica Multichannel Customer Experience Study
found that 53% of companies now have web self-service systems
that make it easy for customers to find fast answers online. This is a positive move, and the next step is to ensure that web self-service is available everywhere on your site. For example, use clearly marked question boxes that can be accessed without having to leave a particular page or provide a simple way of asking a question during the customer journey. You can even tailor your knowledgebase to give context sensitive help – suggesting questions and answers dependent on where consumers are on the site.
5. With partners
Few companies manage their complete supply chain. Many outsource part of the customer service function, while others use third party logistics companies to make deliveries or handle returns
. Just because these organisations are outside the building is no reason that they can’t have access to either the whole or selected parts of your knowledgebase. This makes the entire process seamless and consistent – after all, in the customer’s eyes you are who they are buying from, so they expect you to deliver, whether it is directly or via partners.
Knowledge is a central part of delivering the customer experience that today’s consumers demand – companies therefore need to make sure it is available everywhere if they want to thrive.
Categories: Contact Center, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Agent Knowledge Base, Linguistics
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