Knowledge – the holy grail of customer service

Knowledge – the holy grail of customer service

Published on: December 14, 2011
Author: Epticablog

Delivering consistent, accurate and fast information to customers, across multiple channels, is at the heart of excellent customer service. The results are double - not only are customers happier as their query is dealt with more quickly, without needing to call back, but operational efficiency is increased, as queries are dealt with first time, faster and with a consistent approach.

The quest to better manage knowledge within customer service was discussed in a recent Eptica webcast, exploring how companies of all sizes can successfully implement knowledge management. Essentially delivering this involves a platform with three key components – a centralised knowledgebase that includes consistent, relevant responses to customer queries, along with historical data on customer histories; a dynamic, self-learning core to the knowledgebase that makes it simple and fast to update; and intelligent, meaning-based search that understands the context of customer queries in order to deliver the best possible answer.

In Eptica’s experience implementing this is a five stage process:

1. Listen to your customers

Use reporting and analytics tools to see what information customers are looking for and where they are looking for it in order to find the gaps in your customer knowledge.

2. Identify knowledge within your organisation

Find the sources of knowledge in your company – is it written down? Inside agents’ heads? On paper or local hard drives? Identify who is in charge of it and work together to centralise knowledge in a single location that can be accessed through multiple channels.

3. Encourage agents to use it

Ensuring customer service agents adopt the knowledgebase is crucial, so work hard to get their buy-in from the start. Involve them in the design of the system, encourage them to share their knowledge and use surveys, feedback and incentives to reward them. Branding the system also helps them feel it is theirs, designed to meet their jobs easier.

4. Keep the knowledge up to date

Knowledge doesn’t stand still, and it needs to be continually refined and updated. Encourage agents to provide feedback, identify gaps and make sure you work quickly to add new information to meet customer needs. Again, analytics can help find areas for improvement, as can customer and agent surveys. Make the most popular questions available dynamically to agents so that they can see what answers their colleagues use most.

5. Take your knowledgebase online

Don’t just keep the knowledgebase within the contact centre, but share the same information through web self-service and social media. This ensures a consistent approach to customer service as the same knowledge is available, whatever channel the customer wants to use Making knowledge available online also allows customers to find information directly and consequently reduced the number of inbound enquiries to your contact centre.

The benefits of centralising knowledge within customer service are enormous, including improved quality and consistency of answers, higher First Contact Resolution rates (often over 95%), reduced call duration and shorter agent training time. In essence you can deliver a higher quality service to customers at a lower cost – definitely a holy grail that is worth seeking out.

To listen again to the knowledge management webinar simply click here.

Tags: contact centre, Customer Service, Eptica, First Contact Resolution, Knowledge, Knowledge base, knowledge management, knowledgebase
Categories: Contact Center, Agent Knowledge Base, Multichannel Customer Service, Self-service

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