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3 Ways to Employ Knowledge Management for Customer Service

Dana Youngren Written by Dana Youngren

There’s a need for speed in the world of customer service. According to one survey, 69 percent of consumers attributed their good customer service experience to quick resolution of their problem. Fortunately, technology is making it easier for customer service reps to quickly find the information they need.

One tool customer service teams can use to speed up their response time is a knowledge management platform, which gives them a centralized place to store information about common customer problems. Good knowledge management for customer service:

  • Breaks down silos to enable greater collaboration between employees (no more rushing around the office to find the one person who can answer a specific question).
  • Ensures that important resources and answers to common questions are easily accessible at any time, on any device.
  • Cuts down on both call times and the number of calls customer service representatives take by making answers easier for everyone to find.
  • Reduces time to resolution, enabling a better customer service experience and saving resources.

SpareFoot, the world’s largest online marketplace for self-storage, found that implementing a knowledge management tool with powerful search capabilities has saved each of their customer service team members at least one to two hours a month. Being able to find the answers they need quickly via search, rather than seeking out the best person in the department to ask, makes their job easier and enables them to better help customers.

The long wait time that upsets busy customers and makes it seem like the company doesn’t value their time can be eliminated. With an intuitive and powerful knowledge management for customer service, reps can more easily find the right answer at the right time, every time.

Why Knowledge Management Is Great For Customers Too

While knowledge management systems are often used by customer service teams internally, some companies have also found that it’s also valuable to have a customer-facing knowledge hub. The whole point of customer service is to please customers, and the right resources can help customers feel good about the level of information they’re receiving from a business. An overwhelming 91 percent of consumers said they would use an online knowledge base if it were available and tailored to their needs. Here are some ways customers benefit from a company that is managing their knowledge intelligently:

The Rise of Self-Service Options

In a 2014 survey, Forrester found that 76 percent of consumers report using self-service channels like FAQ pages to find answers to their problems. An American Express survey backs that up, finding that over half of U.S. consumers say they prefer to use a self-service channel like a company’s website or smartphone app for simple inquiries.

When you’re in the middle of an overwhelmingly busy day and you encounter a problem with a product, do you:

A) Pick up the phone to call the company?

B) Head to Google or the company’s website to try to find a solution without having to make a call?

Some people still go for the phone, but according to Forrester Research, more and more people are hanging up and looking online to self-serve.

Companies that use knowledge management tools to get the answers out there — on their websites, in forums, and in apps — are helping customers save time. A pleasant interaction with a customer service rep might be nice, but time saved is worth more to most customers.

The Rise of Customer Communities

A powerful knowledge management tool can be used to enable forums or communities where customers help each other out. Many companies are finding great success with this approach.

Customer service representatives are trained to know the right answer to common customer problems, but it’s not always the best possible answer. When you call a help or support desk, the motivation for the representative on the other end is usually to clear the support ticket.

On the other hand, when you address that same question to a group of fellow business people, suddenly you have the potential to hear insights from new sources that go beyond the obvious answer. By providing customers with an easy way to collaborate on issues and ideas, customer service representatives can spend more time solving bigger problems and delivering a better customer experience.

Customer Service Reps Are More Empowered

And of course, better knowledge management for customer service creates more empowered representatives who provide a superior experience. When a customer finds they do have to pick up the phone, they get someone on the other line that’s able to get them to the right answer faster. And they’re less likely to be stuck waiting on hold if other customers are successfully finding their answers online or in customer communities.

To learn more, check out our white paper, “Knowledge Management For Customer Service.” It explores why knowledge management is becoming increasingly essential to a successful customer service experience.

Harness The Power Of Knowledge Sharing With Digital Transformation

Companies that grasp what the digital workplace is really all about are willing to change the ways people and applications connect across their organizations. By fostering a digitally driven culture of collaboration, they break down silos, share knowledge more effectively, and compete more successfully.

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