Customer expectations are changing. Today’s consumers demand effortless, 24/7 customer service on the digital touchpoints of their choice. As they increasingly start their journeys via web, search and mobile self-service, they resort to an agent interaction only when self-service fails. Even with more ways to reach companies than ever before, too often, today’s customers get stuck in siloed experiences. Self-service isn’t robust enough for customers to find the answers to their own questions, and they encounter friction when they don’t receive the instant gratification they expect. This old-world approach to CX frustrates customers and makes it harder for companies to compete.
Effective knowledge management can help. The right information at the right time empowers customers and agents alike with curated answers to common questions to make customer service easier and more effective — ultimately driving customer satisfaction and customer retention. In a recent NICE webinar, Kate Leggett, vice president and principal analyst for Forrester, discussed how to empower customer and agent experiences with knowledge management.
“To deliver great CX, your agents need to be able to do their work effectively, connect and collaborate to deliver the right answers to the right customers,” Leggett says. Optimizing knowledge management involves providing the most relevant content resources to customers, as well as agents at their moments of need. In fact, agents should have complete visibility into all the solutions customers have already consulted to understand their complete journeys. Customers expect companies to know who they are, their past purchases, needs and interests. Your agents need this information at their fingertips.
The Four Dimensions of Knowledge Management
Knowledge management isn’t solely a tech project. There’s plenty of work to be done around knowledge management before you even choose a tech platform. Creating a robust content program involves planning around the following dimensions:
Workflows and processes should inform the structure of the program, define roles and build out templates and taxonomies. Multiple organizational stakeholders can be empowered to create content, refine it, and update it when information depreciates. “Anyone in contact with content should be responsible for knowledge health,” Leggett says. “And of course, knowledge should be brought together using technology that makes information findable.”
Knowledge Is a Strategic Asset
The value of product and process knowledge cannot be overstated. Real-time content access can significantly improve the customer experience — as long as that knowledge is searchable and shareable. Easily finding and sharing the right content is more important now than ever before, since working remotely means your agents can’t tap on their co-worker's shoulders for answers, and most consumers live online.
Transforming institutional knowledge into actionable content requires adopting a dedicated documentation process that also includes procedures for augmenting and updating the knowledge base, as needed. And your organization needs a scalable, flexible platform that facilitates seamless content maintenance and sharing. “Knowledge is foundational to empowering great experiences and democratizing information,” Leggett says.
Customer expectations have changed from what they were even a few years ago. These days, consumer brands have set a high bar for the engagement. Customers prefer finding the answers they need on their own, and for agents, knowledge at their fingertips enhances their job satisfaction, as well as the customer experience. Ultimately, providing the right knowledge at the right time to the right customer or agent drives revenue. When done right, knowledge management can increase employee and customer satisfaction, decrease training costs, reduce handling times and boost sales.
“Knowledge management isn’t a one-time tech investment,” Leggett says, “but a continuous process that relies on executive sponsorship and having a culture around knowledge sharing. At the end of the day, great employee experiences define great customer experiences.” By setting a strategy, clearly defining processes, involving the right people and supporting them with the right technical tools, companies can harness the power of knowledge management to improve self-service resolution and drive more revenue.
Watch the full webinar A Primer on Knowledge Management on demand at nice.com.