The experience and expertise of the people in your organization are your biggest asset. They are the foundation for ensuring satisfied customers and having services that work well. Learn how to make sure you are taking care of your knowledge.
Providing first-class service and support to your customers is part of what you offer, as well as something that can differentiate your company from others. So naturally, you need to make sure that the support and service you provide your customers is at least as good as the services you provide. What´s more, you need to ensure that your organization learns something from its interactions with its customers, so you can improve your services even further.
In this case, “interactions” are support interactions, which are most commonly tracked via CRM, Case/Incident management systems, but any other tool can be used to track interactions with your customers – project management tools, chat, chatbots, virtual support agents etc.
So, what makes excellent support possible in the first place? I would say the expertise and experience you have within your organization, which is what we call knowledge.
Knowledge is facts, information, and skills
acquired through experience or education,
and something you can act upon.
As a support and service organization you should ask yourself the following questions:
- is our organization looking after our knowledge in the best possible way?
- are we reusing it efficiently?
Building a relvant knowledge base based on interactions
Our experience is that many organizations under-estimate the power of their knowledge and how it can empower the support and service organization and improve customer satisfaction.
When someone is about to leave the company it’s quite common to hear “you have to write down everything you know before you leave”. Wouldn’t it be better if everyone did that every day, so others could benefit from it every day? This makes knowledge sharing and collaboration part of day-to-day work.
The key to making this possible is to have a strategy for knowledge management. Building a relevant knowledge base that reflects the collective knowledge of your organization should be part of that strategy.
Before we move on, I just want to stop and look at the term – ”knowledge management”. Knowledge management can be described as “the process of creating, sharing, using and improving knowledge and information in an organization”. I would like to emphasize the word – ”improving”. That’s where many organizations fail. A knowledge base should be dynamic, active, and relevant. It should be improved and updated every day, based on interactions with your customers. Knowledge gained through interactions will provide you with valuable data that will help you improve both your support and your services.
A tool and a process to support you
A knowledge management tool is another important part of a knowledge strategy. Some organizations don’t have one, but many organizations have some kind of tool, either as part of a case management system, stand alone, or integrated. If you do have a knowledge base, are you using that knowlege base tool in the majority of all interactions within support?
To be super clear: are your support teams referring to relevant knowledge base articles when they receive questions or issues from your customers?
In organizations that have not made a strategic decision to work effectively with knowledge management the answer is “no”.
We have a tendency to think that as long as we have tools in place, we can achieve all kinds of miracles. But unfortunately, tools don’t solve our problems on their own. The tools should enable us to achieve what we want to achieve. The same applies to knowledge management tools.
There are many great tools on the market today, and technology is improving fast. But not even the best KM tool in the world will get you where you want without a process for knowledge. In order to create, share, use and improve your knowledge you need a process – a workflow. The tool and the process should meet the demands of your organization and work together.
You can either come up with your own process, or you can adopt an existing methodology like KCS® (Knowledge-Centered Service) for instance. The main benefit of adopting KCS, is that it has been developed over the past 25 years and is based on best practice.
Your knowledge is your biggest and most valuable asset, – both as an individual, as well as an organization. Are you taking care of it?
Author: Heléne Källgården, KCS Trainer and Knowledge Management Consultant at ComAround
Phone: +46 766 43 11 22
This blog article is based on the webinar “Support your service delivery with the power of knowledge” by Heléne Källgården, at ComAround and Pierre de Gentile, at Cherwell.
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