The introduction of Knowledge Management Systems changed the game for many businesses in the modern era. The ability to quickly access data across an entire business has enabled companies to grow at speeds that corporate executives have only ever dreamed about 50 years ago.
However, frontline contact center workers gradually noticed that having large amounts of data at their fingertips did not equate to having the right answers for customers. Instead of getting progressively faster when responding to customer inquiries, the speed at which contact centers responded to customers plateaued.
With so much data available, contact center agents had to sift through reports, translate data into answers for customers, and hope that their interpretation of the data sets was not only correct, but also the latest version. Most agents were significantly slowed down by having to consult with colleagues and managers for help to avoid giving out wrong information.
The key to improving the efficiency of operations had to be Knowledge Management with Artificial intelligence (AI) based search functionality. A Knowledge Management system like livepro with AI search provides four key benefits for the modern call center, lets explore them in this article.
Single Source of Truth
Two customers were discussing their different experiences with a company that sold a product that they both loved. The product was sold on a subscription basis, and the two customers had the same plan. A large batch of their favorite product was apparently damaged during transport. This is where their similar experiences took on different journeys.
The first customer called the company support line to ask for a refund. She received instructions about how to return the damaged product and collect her refund. She followed the instructions and promptly received her refund.
The second customer called the company support line to ask for his refund and was told that the company does not offer refunds. The agent told him that the company never gave refunds; it only gave credits towards future purchases. She had been working for the company for 10 years and thought she was aware of the company’s policies.
The customer insisted that she did not have the correct information because his neighbor had received her refund last week. The agent put him on hold for 10 minutes while she asked her colleagues in the cubicles next to her about the issue. She returned to the call to deliver the good news to the customer. The company’s policy had changed, and it does now offer refunds.
This company has obviously outgrown its contact center software. By using a Knowledge Management platform that acts as a Single Source of Truth (SSoT), service agents access the latest knowledge and then give consistent and appropriate answers to customers. State-of-the-art SSoT platforms are powered by AI that supports automatic updates of company policies, protocols, and procedures.
With this style of Knowledge Management in place, loyal customers do not have to wait 10 minutes on hold to find out about any policy updates. The AI search function will enable all agents to quickly access and review any policies they are asked about.
Speed and consistency are not the only things that SSoT platforms can bring to the table. Look for one that has detailed categorization, and permission systems in place. Having the platform collect data based on group categories and keyword matching prevents agents from getting too much data when querying the system.
When permissions are set, agents only see knowledge groups that they are authorized to see. These features improve the accuracy of the information that agents give to customers.
As technology becomes more sophisticated, so do the expectations of users. Those everyday tech users are your customers and prospects. They search for information through multiple channels such as search engines, chatbots, and phone calls to service agents. When done right, multi-channel Knowledge Management systems allow customers to get quick answers on their schedule through the channel they prefer. However, few platforms get the expected results.
With traditional Knowledge Management systems, customers expect long wait times to speak to an actual agent who they believe can give them an appropriate answer. After hours, they look forward to interacting with chatbots that respond to inquiries with long lists of documents for them to peruse. Some customers take an alternative route and send emails to the customer service department. They still must wait for a reply, which they hope does not end up in their spam folder.
Innovative Knowledge Management systems do a better job of collecting appropriate data sets and curating responses that are relevant to specific customer inquiries. Some of them such as livepro offer cloud infrastructure that elevates computing security and mobility for remote call center workers. These Knowledge Management systems nurture customers who are more informed and less frustrated.
One of livepro’s featured customer self-service products is called Web Answers. Easily connected to the organization’s website with a simple API, all the knowledge they choose syncs directly to the website, giving customers, partners or contractors quick access to accurate answers anywhere and at any time. They can either choose from categorized drop down lists or utilize the search bar to find the answers they need straight from the knowledge base, ensuring it is accurate and up to date.
Increased Staff Engagement & Reduced Staff Costs
For some customers, a friendly, knowledgeable service agent can take the place of a chat bot. However, these valuable human resources are relatively expensive to develop. With the right Knowledge Management solution in place, organizations can ramp up their service centers with quality agents faster by utilizing the KM system to significantly cut induction periods, training times and with the ability to instantly rotate agents around departments as required during peak periods, and leave.
To help boost agent engagement the latest Knowledge Management systems have gamification elements that support higher levels of staff interaction in reaching targets and providing valuable feedback within that platform that is seen and heard. These features help improve outcomes for both new and long-time employees and give management the feedback they need to keep the system working more efficiently as trends, organization and industry change.
Improved CX Scores and Integrations
Organizational silos and various platforms serving segregated touchpoints are major challenges to delivering a consistent and smooth customer experience. A 2019 global study of senior customer service and tech professionals by Ecosystm called out the increasing demand by consumers to self-serve, and the growing number of touchpoints through which they expect to do it.
In the study, 86% of respondents interacted with customers across at least three channels or touchpoints. You can imagine or maybe you have experienced the difficulty in managing at least three different knowledge systems and a customer who has received at least three different answers. Having a multi-channel KM system like livepro gives you the benefit of having the one system serving all channels and integrated into your most important customer serving platforms, avoiding the need to constantly switch between platforms and login to multiple sites.
Choose your knowledge management carefully and take into consideration all the above factors above before making your decision. Choose the system that not only services your entire organization, but also its software architecture and the brands ability to support your organization to get the best out of the software.