5 Tips for Superior Service with Customer Support Knowledge Management
⏱ Reading Time: 8 minutes
Irrespective of the industry and the market segment, the customer service world could use some speed these days. Findings of a survey done by PWC revealed that nearly 80% of American consumers say that speed, convenience, knowledgeable help and friendly service are the most important elements of a positive customer experience.
Unfortunately, many businesses, while being swift, overlook the requirements of precise and error-free resolutions. Be advised that good customer support is not just about quick responses. Precise resolutions are also important. Fortunately, certain developments in the field of customer relationship management and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have equipped us with the things we need to offer both experiences at the same time.
One such development is the Knowledge Management System (KMS). KMS is a framework that lays down focused ways to collect, organize, and share information in an organizational structure. Knowledge Management (KM) with these tools is helping businesses improve their customer service quality. How? By offering quick and correct information on-demand.
However, there is a catch. The mere adoption of a popular KMS solution is not an ideal way to acquire benefits. Knowledge management simplifies a customer support system from multiple outlooks. But its implementation itself is an extremely complex task. That’s why I would want to mention one special pre-requisite of the Knowledge Management System before I can give out my tips.
Centralize Your Knowledge Management and Support System
Have you ever contacted customer support and they asked you to provide the same information repeatedly while transferring your call from one representative to another?
- What’s your name?
- What is the product number?
- Do you have an order ID?
- What’s your issue?
The list of repeatedly asked questions can just go on indefinitely. It’s frustrating for a customer. Just because the company is not managing a centralized knowledge base, a customer is forced into this frustration repeatedly. Moreover, while committing this mistake, companies do two things:
- upset their customers
- waste their own time that they could have put into use to serve many other customers in the same period.
Bear in mind that effective use of knowledge management in customer support is possible only when you can centralize both entities as one. Use one single database so that your entire workforce can access as per proper access control. This will enable you to save some time and prevent unnecessary transfer of calls. Thus you can eliminate unnecessary customer frustration.
Five Tips to Enhance Your Customer Support with Knowledge Management
Once you are ready with the above-mentioned prerequisites, there are a few more things you can do. Here are 5 tips on what you can do to provide a superior customer support service to your patrons with knowledge management:
1. Create a Dedicated Internal Knowledge Base
Use a dedicated internal knowledge base for your support team. You can enable them to collaborate and share information within the team and outside. Doing so will increase the productivity of the individual executives. Moreover it will reduce the overall cost of your support organization. You can use the same central repository of information to set up, share standard customer support protocols, and educate the team.
As already mentioned, a good customer support system is not only quick. It is also precise with relevant information and correct resolution to the customers’ problems. A central knowledge base can ensure that. How? By keeping your workforce up-to-date with legacy and new resolutions provided to the customers for similar problems in the past.
In addition, whenever a team solves some new and unique issues, they can create a new knowledge base and wiki articles in the repository. And the team and other departments can refer to these to solve similar issues instantly in the future.
I can support this tip with a study by McKinsey in 2012. The study found that collaboration and seamless communication across teams using a central knowledge base can increase the support workforce productivity by 25-35%. This will also reduce the amount of time and research required to provide resolutions to common problems.
Picture 1. Paldesk knowledge base example
Check out the Paldesk knowledge base!
2. Train Your Support Staff on Knowledge Management Standards
The above tip will work only under one condition. You need to train your entire workforce to use the support system in accordance with standard protocols and central knowledge management. They must be educated on the ways to use the knowledge base. And also, to take notes of every detail and every customer interaction.
The particular training will enable your support staff to identify old customers easily. Plus, to understand their history without explaining it repeatedly. Not to overlook that you can devise highly personalized customer service experiences if you know your customers by every detail and history of old interactions.
3. Make Your Knowledge Base Accessible for Internal Collaboration
The answer lies in the concept of information sharing across the tools you use in your support system. You can share information across your existing support tools like Ticket Management System, Project Management System, Enterprise Content Management Systems. Moreover. You can also use tools like customer chat management and internal chat systems. They can all enable your workforce to collaborate and learn from one another as a team.
Your newly hired employees can benefit a lot from this collaboration. You will be able to deploy your new employees on live projects more quickly. The access to actual case studies from the knowledge repository will allow them to refer, learn, and fix common customer problems more quickly.
Believe it or not, a study has already proven that 70% of the US customers don’t feel good about a brand when their calls are transferred to executives who can’t provide a resolution or give wrong advice. You can avoid triggering these customers easily. Make your knowledge base accessible for internal collaboration across all the concerned departments.
Picture 2. Knowledge repository
There is a high chance that an executive can find an instant resolution to most of the customer issues in the knowledge base. In this way they are providing resolutions without putting a customer on hold or transferring the call. We call this as First Contact Resolution. And that is a crucial determiner of a brand’s ability to provide a satisfactory customer support experience.
4. Keep Your Customers in the Loop With Feedback Collection and Knowledge-Sharing
It’s possible that even the above tips might not be enough to satisfy your customers. And you might just not be aware of this fact. You are applying all the best practices of knowledge management to keep your customers happy with the support system. But all your efforts go in vain if you don’t keep your customers in the loop.
Just ask one simple question yourself. Are you helping your customers with your existing support system?
There is no better way to know the answer to this question than asking the customers themselves via a customer feedback system. You need feedback from your customers to know if they are happy with your support. Or if they are finding your existing support system any helpful.
A feedback collection system could be a simple asking for a thumbs up or thumbs down. Based on the experience or answer to a small survey questionnaire. In either of the ways, you will loop your customers with your knowledge base by allowing them to add their feedback.
Another option is to use a self-help portal with answers to all the common questions. You can create a FAQ page with all the legacy issues and their resolutions explained in detail. Moreover, you should also attach a feedback system in each question/issue. Following is a screenshot from an Amazon.com FAQ page for your reference:
Picture 3. Amazon example
You can see how Amazon allows the customers to fix most of their issues without calling the support. This allows its workforce to focus on more complex issues. Moreover, the feedback collection system, with a simple Yes or No option also lets them know whether this was helpful to the customers.
5. Integrate Knowledge Management Across All Your Customer Support Channels
Customers don’t just call to get support. They use a variety of channels and platforms to get in touch with your business. They send emails, interact via live chat, comment on social media, ask on a forum. Or they just raise a formal ticket via the ticket management system. Regardless of the channels, all that they care about is a quick and correct resolution of their subjects.
That’s why you must implement the knowledge management strategies across all the channels. Irrespective of the channel of communication, a support executive and a customer must have access to the knowledge base whenever and wherever required.
Integrating your knowledge base across all channels will enable your representatives to provide quick resolutions. And most of your customers will use the self-help portals themselves. You can integrate the self-help resources from your information base on all the touchpoints where the customers can raise a support ticket or call for help.
Applying this tip means that you can provide instant help to almost 60% of your customers who prefer self-help portals to call the live support agents. Moreover, the same will help you deflect at least 50% of the support tickets to the self-help portals. This would just give needless strain to your live support system.
A knowledge management system is an answer to almost every challenge in your customer support environment. With the strategic implementation of the above-mentioned tips, you will have enough data to understand your customers better and help them accordingly. Know that a proactive approach is a non-negotiable element in customer support management. Moreover, you cannot achieve it without proper knowledge management. So stop thinking and adopt a standard knowledge management system today to organize your support architecture for the betterment of your business.
Jessica Bruce is a professional blogger, guest writer, Influencer & an eCommerce expert. Currently associated with ShopyGen as a content marketing strategist. She also reports on the latest happenings and trends associated with the eCommerce industry.
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