The Importance of Knowledge Management Systems in Customer Support
⏱ Reading Time: 8 minutes
If you want to improve your customer support, implementing a strong knowledge management system can be a game-changer. As your company grows, the need to manage data and knowledge grows too.
Knowledge management system (KMS) is a great way to keep your customers informed. In addition, it will ease the workload for your customer service representative.
This article focuses on the importance of KMS in customer support. After reading, you’ll have all the knowledge and tools necessary to implement your KMS for customer self-service.
What Is a Knowledge Management System?
A knowledge management system refers to any IT system that stores and retrieves knowledge. Consequently, it helps you use this information to achieve tasks better. Moreover, it is designed to support your customer service team. In addition, it assists your customers in finding the information they need.
Besides addressing your customers’ knowledge gaps, a well-implemented KMS will help you to:
- Centralize data
- Reduce standard inquiries
- Analyze and optimize performance
- Deliver consistent customer support
There are many different types of knowledge management systems. For example, knowledge directories, databases, article directories, etc. Moreover, Google Analytics can also be considered a knowledge management system.
Here is a great example of a KMS created by Apple. It addresses customer questions, issues, and shares useful information. Different sections offer information about each of Apple’s devices. Also, if you have a problem with your own device, you can type in your questions. It will redirect you automatically to the solution page. If no solution is described by Apple, you can still see other users’ suggestions.
Picture 1. Apple Support
Tableau’s Knowledge Base is another great example of a well-implemented KMS. This database allows you to search for answers to your questions. it also offers various additional resources for customers.
Picture 3. Tableau’s Knowledge Base
Prioritizing Knowledge Management
Oftent companies realize that they have problems with knowledge management. Still, they don’t rush to do anything about it. Not prioritizing knowledge management is pretty common. So, making knowledge management your top priority is the first step towards building a successful KMS.
By building a KMS, you can achieve fascinating results. Knowledge management systems can enable you to:
- Improve key performance indicators (KPIs). E.g. net promoter score (NPS), first call resolution, average handling time, and others
- Eliminate inconsistent support among customer support agents. And consequently, to deliver better customer service across all channels
- Gain a competitive advantage
- Reduce the information overload
- Reduce agent turnover
- Increase customer and employee satisfaction
The most important benefit enabled by KMS is its ability to improve customer journeys. In this way, it helps you make your clients happier about your product. As a result, you can increase your revenue and become a step closer to being a more customer-centered brand.
How to Implement a Knowledge Management System?
Now, let’s figure out how you can launch your own KMS.
Step 1. Conducting a Knowledge Audit
A knowledge audit is the very first step towards implementing a KMS in your customer support department.
What exactly is a knowledge audit?
In the first place, it requires you to evaluate the knowledge available to you. In addition, it reveals storage opportunities and information accessibility.
Here’s what you should do:
- Identify where the information is stored in both digital and analog.
- Identify the current knowledge distribution channels.
- Evaluate how the knowledge is distributed within your organization. Do all of your employees have access to corporate knowledge?
- Evaluate your customer support agents’ ability to deliver accurate information to customers.
- Assess your ability to deliver consistent and accurate information across different communication channels.
Step 2. Source the Information and Data
The next thing you should do is source information and data for your KMS.
Typically customers contacting customer support have particular questions, inquiries, and problems. Information and data sourcing is the process of collecting and documenting the answers to customer questions.
By documenting answers, you’ll be able to improve customer experiences and speed up customer service.
Here are some tips to help you facilitate data and information sourcing.
– Identify the most popular questions. After that, create content to address them in the first place.
– Implement social listening. In other words, discover what customers are saying about your company online. In effect, you’ll identify the most common questions and concerns. And you’ll ensure you have content to back them up.
– Ask your customer support team to share the most frequent issues. Prioritize these issues. In this way you’ll make them less frustrating for both your customers and the customer support team.
– Use Google Analytics to identify the most common searches on your website. Go to Behavior → Site Search → Search terms to find the most searched keywords. Also, to see trending results, you can compare time periods. And also sort them by the “absolute change” parameter.
Step 3. Battle Information Hoarding
Stopping information hoarding is the next step towards implementing a successful knowledge management system. Information hoarding refers to the continuous storage of useless information.
After years of work, most companies have an information hoarding problem. Data’s digitalization is what makes it even more challenging. You can easily assess the problem and manage physically stored data. But digital storage makes it harder to maintain and organize data.
Decluttering and eliminating useless information is key to a more effective data organization.
Furthermore, battling information hoarding will help you optimize databases and make the information more accessible and retrievable.
Picture 4. Information hoarding
Step 4. Organize Your Knowledge Management System
Next step includes designing and organizing your knowledge management system.
This phase consists of a couple of phases:
- Create a fast search capability. In this way your customers will be able to find answers to their questions in no time.
- Organize blogs and articles into categories by topics. Also, keep the number of categories below 10 for easier accessibility.
- Identify the most viewed content on your website. Additionally, ensure easy navigation to these content pieces.
- Include links to relevant content. This refers to articles, blog posts, podcasts, and other educational content.
- Implement internal linking. This will boost your SEO.
- Create a feedback mechanism. In this way you’ll find out the most frequently asked questions.
- Implement an intelligence search that learns from user requests.
- Don’t overcomplicate your KMS. Design a simple user interface that is easy to navigate.
Step 5. Analyze and Optimize Your Knowledge Management System
Now, as you’ve launched your KMS, how do you know that it’s performing well? KMS management and optimization can’t be intuitive. It takes an analytical approach and measuring specific metrics. Also, you should track relevant KPIs to assess the performance of your KMS.
Incorporate monthly benchmarks to monitor activities within KMS. Monthly benchmarks provide specific goals for your team. In this way, you can easily assess your productivity.
You can also consider upgrading your KMS with additional functionalities such as:
- Dynamic flow charts and FAQs
- Surveys to help you evaluate customer satisfaction
- Multi-channel capability for knowledge management. It includes multiple channels, social media, customer support chats, website, email, etc.
The Importance of Feedback
Did you know that 96% of dissatisfied customers won’t complain directly to the company? Instead, they will tell 15 friends about their bad experiences. That’s why ensuring your customers’ voices are heard is essential.
Here are a few ideas you can easily implement:
- Binary feedback. Asking users whether the content was helpful or not.
- Surveys. Including a quick survey at the end of the content page. Ask relevant and specific questions that are clear and easy to answer. Don’t ask too many questions, though.
Step 6. Keep Your KMS Updated
All of this still doesn’t mean that you’re finished. To get the most out of your KMS, you must always keep it relevant and up to date.
- Keep in touch with your customer support team. Identify the most frequently asked questions.
- Continuously create content to address popular questions and concerns.
- Monitor what customers are searching for on your website.
- Create a feedback form. In this way customers can ask questions they can’t find on your website.
The Bottom Line
Collaboration is especially important in this process. Your customer support, content and sales teams must work side by side. They all should form a strong knowledge management framework. Otherwise, all of the data collected before will be wasted.
The quality of the content you produce is another success factor. All educational pieces must be written well, without grammar mistakes. To ensure the high quality of your content you can either use the help of Ivory Research assignments writing professionals or use editing tools, like Grammarly. Additionally, cover only relevant topics. Also, have your team continuously update all materials.
A well-implemented knowledge management system will be a valuable asset to your company. So, if you don’t have it yet, it’s time to build your own KMS!
Alyse Falk is a freelance writer with experience in digital marketing, technologies, content marketing, marketing trends and branding strategies. Alice also writes for several reputable sites where she shares her hints for creating content.
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