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Don’t Settle For a Free Knowledgebase For Your Customer Support Agents

Consider two different hypothetical cars:

  • Car One is classic luxury car, with a few notable limitations. For example, it still has manual window controls and a cassette tape deck.
  • Car Two is newer, with only 20,000 miles and many more advanced capabilities. Plus, it has no documented history of mechanical issues.

Car One is also currently on sale, making it slightly cheaper than Car Two, at least up front. Which would you purchase?

If you prioritized convenience and reliability, Car Two is the obvious choice. Selecting Car One would place you in the technical straitjacket of working with legacy technology, just to temporarily save a few bucks.

Selecting something more up-to-date, like Car Two, gives you a wider range of sophisticated features that will save you precious time. The same logic applies to your knowledge management tools: Why sell yourself, and your support agents, short by continuing to work with severely constrained free tools that might leave someone in a pinch in a critical situation? Why not get the best enterprise knowledge management software instead?

How a limited free KM solution holds your agents back
Your contact centers and service desks are the main liaisons of your organization, yet they’re often forced to scrape by with inadequate tools. For example, a TechValidate survey once estimated that 43 percent of IT help desks relied on email to track requests and 16 percent relied on spreadsheets.

These outdated, highly manual workflows create delays, while increasing the risks of mixing up customer information and even delivering wrong answers that ultimately damage your brand and bottom line. Comparable constraints often apply even when working with much more sophisticated ITSM and CRM platforms already in place at your organization.

To get a sense of the issue, let’s return to Car One versus Car Two. Imagine driving Car One and being presented with a constantly flickering dashboard, with no stable indicators for how much gas is left, whether it needs an oil change or if its tire pressure is too low. A similar situation exists with agents limited to a free, basic KM subscription within an ITSM or CRM: They don’t have everything they need at their fingertips.

Just as you wouldn’t want to drive without reliable vehicle instruments, it doesn’t make sense to deprive agents of essential KM capabilities such as:

  • A centralized, searchable knowledge base.
  • Straightforward yet powerful content creation and management.
  • Out-of-the-box and custom integrations.
  • Reporting and analytics, to see how often a team could avoid opening a new ticket and assigning it to an agent.
  • Overall capacity to enable higher rates of self-service, an increasingly preferred route by both customers and internal users.

These features form the backbone of a knowledge management tool that continually adapts to evolving user inquiries, as well as to changing product and service lines. While seemingly every company professes enthusiasm for providing a “great experience” to both its customers and employees, actually delivering it requires the specific infrastructure included in such an advanced KM platform.

Empowered agents can further empower each other
With a KM solution such as RightAnswers, you ensure agents have the power to create, update and maintain a relevant knowledge base that serves as a reliable resource for everyone. Rather than force them to dig through outdated articles and obscure guidance to find helpful answers, a modern knowledge management tool instead facilitates easy creation of manuals, articles and guides, along with simple updates to such work via a commenting/flagging system.

The results often speak for themselves in organizations that go beyond basic KM functionality, in the form of improved customer satisfaction, increased self-service and reduced support expenses. The adage about how you have to spend money to make money definitely applies to KM tools: While a free solution might seem like it will save you money, it will likely cost you in the long run, since its underlying technology is less capable than superior alternatives that help agents get their answers right the first time. Learn more about your options by exploring our other resources or request a demo on the benefits of RightAnswers for KM.

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