Arming customer service staff with the right information
There is no question that customer support is becoming an increasingly complex business.
Customers are becoming are more educated in finding information online via self-service, in forums, and so forth. When it comes to contacting your business for live support chances are the questions they are asking are becoming increasingly complex.
Ensuring your staff have access to the right information, therefore, has also become an increasingly important component in supporting your team, who in turn are supporting your customers.
When it comes to managing documents, data, policies and knowledge to support your team, you need to decide between choosing between a file manager (applications like SharePoint or a purpose-built Knowledge Management System for your organisation.
It is important to weigh up what features you require and how these will benefit not only your customer support staff but also how your customers’ satisfaction will be impacted.
To help with comparing Sharepoint to Knowledge Management Software we’ve listed some useful information below.
So what is a file manager?
To break it down, a file manager is a secure place to store, organise, share, and access documents from any device. All you need is a web browser.
There is often no single sign-on issues, and you can use it to sync work or school documents (from a shared site or OneDrive) to your computer for offline use.
If your organisation has a limited amount of information and the interaction between your employees and clients is quite limited, then a file manager may be all you need.
Although it is easy to get set up on a system like SharePoint – upload your digital files and you’re done – this complicates things on the back end for the user.
Imagine needing to answer a question like, how do I get a refund?
With a file management system, you would search for the location of the Refund Policy document, then open it, check its index, find the section or sections related to refunds, read them, and, eventually, you would find your answer.
Now, imagine being the client to have asked that question, and waiting on the phone for your contact centre rep to go through those steps to find the answer.
The easy up-front set-up will end up costing you and your team on the back-end in call handling times, customer satisfaction, efficiency, and – in the worst case – being unable to respond or to respond accurately to a question.
What is a Knowledge Management Solution?
If you have a lot of documents, policies, processes, or knowledge that is accessed regularly, then it may be time to start looking at a knowledge management system.
When you need to keep your business moving forward, you don’t want file names you want answers; that’s what a knowledge management solution (KMS) delivers.
Knowledge Management requires work on the front end to structure information as it goes into the system, thereby making it easy to use and easy to manage throughout its lifetime.
When a customer asks how to get a refund, you use the intelligent search aspect of KMS and you go straight to the answer. You are empowering your organisation to serve up the right information to employees and to customers who prefer to self-serve.
The benefits are auditable.
A good KMS system will let you track the usage of documents, the activity of users, and enlists a feedback loop so that your content is always up-to-date and relevant.
Benefits of Knowledge Management Solutions
When comparing Sharepoint to Knowledge Management Software, the benefits of a KMS are extremely valuable not only internally with training and onboarding your staff efficiently, but you can also distribute announcements about new products, policy changes, promotions, or critical information.
Clients get benefits like quick and consistent answers, reduced risk of receiving wrong or outdated information, and improved customer satisfaction due to quick and accurate service – often without having to transfer or put the client on hold.
Some of the common reasons why Knowledge Management Solutions are worth the investment include:
- Intelligent Search functions: Rather than making staff scan through huge amounts of text and data (which costs time and money) a KMS takes every user to the right answer quickly and efficiently.
- Functionality specifically for customer service: With unique features designed to benefit Customer Service operators such as bookmarking favourite or frequently used pages, the ability to instantly provide feedback on the content, and notifications or new and important information.
- A customisable platform: The KMS can be customised to suit your needs and is constantly evolving to reflect changing customer requirements.
How information is delivered:
Each Knowledge Management Solution providers in the market place will deliver “knowledge” in different formats depending on the user’s needs. These may include:
- Announcements broadcast urgent temporary information (e.g. an upcoming event, an outage, or a promotion). Announcements notify each user directly so they cannot miss it. Administrators can target a subset of users and can then view a report showing which users have read the announcement; this is useful for compliance purposes.
- Document Notes provide short, concise, easy-to-read answers.
- Work Instructions are simple step-by-step process guides on how to complete a task or procedure, meaning that precision and consistency replace ambiguity and guesswork every time. The Work Instructions can be viewed as a flowchart or a series of instructions and questions and are useful for processes that may have more than one path to completion.
Your Best Practice Knowledge Management for CX Checklist:
Some of the features to look out for include:
- How easy it is for users to provide instant feedback for continuous improvement.
- Data governance capabilities. Leading platforms will enable you to ensure all knowledge is approved and correct before being published, dated for review, version-controlled and properly archived to deliver a full history.
- Permissions features so administrators can regulate who sees what.
- Comprehensive analytics and dashboards to empower you with customer and knowledge insights.
- Ready to use templates to get up and running quickly.
- API’s that allow you to easily integrate with other customer-facing channels so you can manage all your customer knowledge from one portal.
Key stats on the benefits of implementing a KMS platform:
When comparing Sharepoint to Knowledge Management Software the primary benefit, of course, is an improved customer experience.
And research tells us that when customers are increasingly satisfied, they spend more and stay with your company longer.
But numbers talk right?
The great news is there are some real benefits that can be easily measured that present an incredibly high Return on Investment.
The numbers below are comparing purpose-built (controlled) Knowledge Management Software solutions compared to other Knowledge Management solutions*:
- Getting answers to customer questions. Over 80% of companies using controlled knowledge systems report that they can get answers to questions, versus just 44% for the rest.
- A single source of truth for knowledge. 72% of businesses using a controlled knowledge system see this as their single source of truth, versus 34% of those using generic KM solutions.
- Ability to rate and give feedback on knowledge articles. 75% of businesses using controlled knowledge solutions have the capability to give feedback on knowledge articles versus only 44% of those using generic KM solutions.
- Easy to manage. 75% of businesses using controlled knowledge solutions say that it is easy for the customer service team to update the system – versus 44% of those using generic KM solutions.
- Onboarding and Training: Average of 30% – but up to 90%! – faster onboarding time.
- Improved Compliance: 49% of KMS for CX users report improved compliance.
*Source: Ecosystem Global CX Study 2019
Where can I learn more?
If you’d like to learn more about Knowledge Management Systems read our free Guide to Knowledge Management Systems (no download required).
To find suppliers that sell Knowledge Management software search the free CX Directory >>>