Without a robust knowledge management practice in place, customer/seller/merchant/client, or just about any other kind of quality support is impossible to augment. Customer experience and quality of support get spoken about a lot, but rarely would you come across ‘knowledge management’ getting the same attention, as a topic. Modern-day organisations are immensely complex, inherently multidimensional, and almost always non-linear, given that it is humanly impossible for 99% of the staff to commit details of products, outlines of policies and intricacies of the processes, to memory and therefore a knowledge repository is both essential and vital to support, the queries/requests and complaints that customers might bring to the notice of the brand for redressal.
The knowledge management practice of an organisation is much more than a stockpile of information though. It needs to be, as they say, ‘smart’, ‘contextual’, ‘wholesome’ and ‘relevant’ because more than customers being in a hurry the organisations of our times are hard-pressed to be painfully efficient. They wish to squeeze every second spent on customer support, more than a few times. So if you do not have a consummate assistant in form of a robust knowledge management practice in commission, you would invariably and uncontrollably commit one of these errors more often than you’d like or your customers would permit.
- Taking too long to respond – causing dissatisfied customers.
- Dishing out wrong information – Helps neither the customer nor the brand.
- Spilling incomplete or no information at all – no prizes for guessing what it does to cause of experience.
What are the building blocks of a good knowledge management practice, then? In my view, it should essentially have these three elements.
- A digital platform, the market is rife with knowledge management products. All of them claim to be unique and better than the rest, the fact is that all of them piggyback on one another. A feature gets copied/stolen (pick the term you like) quicker than you would read this post. All platforms are the same, to the extent of 70% to 80%. Don’t worry too much, you won’t be wrong in picking any off the shelf running product, look for a good organisation backing it. If you have an industrious team you can develop an awesome and fully functional repository all by yourself too, on platforms like Notion, Google site, even WordPress.
- Dynamic, Intelligent and near real-time, linking of the knowledge repository to ‘top call drivers’ and ‘skill level index’ of the front line agent – makes the platform intelligent. The idea is to spend as little time as needed in finding the information that is to be given out and that the information should be presented in as legible as short and as simple a form as the frontline staff would like.
- Content management strategy must be in place. Without correct content input, the smartest platform won’t be of any use. You need to make sure that the information on the portal is updated, correct and complete; at all times. Put in place a robust audit mechanism.
If you can get these three blocks right, not only will you have improved the quality of conversation between the corporation and the customer but also created data sets that can be used to better training efforts, finding out what kind of articles are being referred to the most etc. You can then also build features like quizzes to gauge understanding of the staff, co-creation of content and support logging; the sky is the limit really. You can get as creative with the use of the date as your thought would allow.
Remember in ways more than one, the quality of knowledge management practice determines the richness of support.
Go review your systems and make changes, if needed.