How to Calculate the ROI of Customer Service Knowledge Engagement

Madeline Jacobson
Madeline Jacobson
4 mins
happy customer service team using knowledge base and demonstrating ROI of customer service knowledge engagement

Persuading your organization’s senior leadership team to invest in a knowledge engagement platform is only half the battle. Once you’ve integrated your new tech and begun developing processes to maximize success, the next step is convincing top decision-makers it’s valuable enough to keep.

And as a customer service leader, it’s often your responsibility to document your platform’s return on investment (ROI) and make the case to the C-suite — a task that’s often easier said than done.

To complicate matters, measuring customer experience ROI is rarely black and white. To justify the cost of any software, it’s essential you first align your metrics with broader organizational goals. By proving your knowledge engagement software is helping the company meet critical objectives, it will be much easier to secure the budget to pay for it year after year.

Here’s how to calculate the ROI of knowledge engagement for customer service in a way that resonates with senior leadership:

Measure the Reduction in Time Spent Searching for Information

Nearly 60% of consumers won’t wait on hold for more than a minute, and more than 32% of them aren’t willing to wait on hold at all, according to data from Velaro.

While these numbers may seem high, it’s not all that shocking when you consider your own experiences. Like you, your customers are busy with dozens of distractions vying for their attention every moment. Sitting on hold, especially for more than a minute, could significantly impact their perception of your organization and your team’s competency. If a provider’s customer service reps can’t give you the answers you need, and quickly, are you sure you can trust them with your data and your needs?

That’s the same question your customers ask themselves every time they sit on hold while your team struggles to find information.

But a knowledge engagement platform that makes all content searchable will allow service reps to quickly locate answers to customers’ questions and concerns — often without the need for hold time at all. This fosters better customer experiences, which, over time, can lead to better retention and greater value per customer.

The best way to measure a reduction in search time for customer service reps is to calculate your department’s average hold time and average time to resolution before implementing a knowledge engagement platform. Once your reps have gotten ramped up on the platform, you can measure your department’s average hold time and average time to resolution again. If you can show a reduction in the average time it takes your reps to assist customers, that will help you make a strong case to your C-suite that your knowledge engagement software is yielding a return on investment.

Monitor Decreases in Onboarding Time for New Hires

Your organization’s onboarding process is critical to employee success, and the success of your organization overall. Yet effective onboarding is rare. Only 12% of employees “strongly agree” that their employer does a great job onboarding new hires, according to data from Gallup.

Furthermore, new employees are twice as likely to seek new opportunities after a poor onboarding experience, according to data shared by HR Drive. And just as retaining customers is less expensive than chasing new business, keeping employees long-term is more cost-effective than continually training new talent.

This is another crucial area of your business where a knowledge engagement platform can shine.

Instead of a one-week crash course in your company (during which new hires will only retain about a fraction of what you share), you can give customer service employees the ability to learn as they go. Not only will they have basic information that sets them up for success (like the answers to commonly asked customer questions), but they’ll also have access to tacit knowledge and tribal expertise.

The result? Better employee morale, better company reputation, and, yes, better employee retention. And showing results in these areas will undoubtedly improve leaders’ confidence in your platform.

Calculate Productivity Savings

Happier, more empowered employees don’t just stay with their employers longer — they’re also more productive and profitable, too. Highly engaged teams drive a 21% increase in profitability, according to data from Gallup.

On the flip side, disengaged employees cost companies as much as $550 billion per year, according to a report by The Engagement Institute.

A knowledge engagement platform will help support productivity by giving your customer service team the tools they need to provide a more efficient, streamlined customer experience. When employees feel prepared, they’ll be able to solve problems and answer questions faster — which means shorter call times and more calls per day.

Understanding the Difference Between Hard and Soft ROI

To provide a holistic view of your platform’s value, it’s important you track both hard and soft ROI.

Hard ROI refers to quantifiable benefits that have a specific financial value. For example, you may discover that having a knowledge engagement platform cuts down on call time and increases the number of daily calls per employee by 15%, and saves the company an additional $500,000 per year.

Soft ROI refers to benefits that aren’t as easily quantified, but still offer value. For example, you may find that your knowledge sharing platform boosts employee morale, which results in better customer experiences.

While most senior leaders want to see hard ROI data, it’s useful to include a few soft ROI points to illustrate the platform’s more holistic value to your organization.

Making a case for investing in a knowledge engagement platform can seem like a difficult task. But once you’ve learned how to calculate the ROI of knowledge engagement for customer service by monitoring the right metrics and aligning your results with organizational goals, the value will be crystal clear.

March 10, 2020

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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