KCS (Knowledge Centered Service) is a Knowledge Management Methodology and a set of practices which focuses on knowledge as being a key asset of the organization.
Why KCS Matters
KCS enables organizations to be successful with their knowledge management initiatives while ensuring the knowledge from their organization is captured effectively and efficiently as it leads towards tremendous benefits including customers being successful with using self-service and eliminating redundancies while enabling continuous organization learning.
How KCS Works
KCS consists of a double loop process containing the Solve and the Evolve loops. The Solve Loop is reactive and represents the process the knowledge workers follow to use, create and maintain knowledge in the workflow of solving issues. The Evolve Loop represents the continuous analysis improvement of the KCS processes and health of the knowledgebase.
The Benefits of KCS
Organizations are able to realize many different benefits from implementing KCS, but the main four include:
- Dramatic Operational Efficiencies
- Improving customer success with self-service
- Identification of high value functional, product, process, policy, service and documentation improvements
- Enables the future of support and the organization through strategy and methods which capitalize on the network created through KCS.
Important steps you should take to sustain KCS for the long-term
- Make sure agents can see the impact of their contribution to the knowledge base through reuse reports, self-service success, and improvements to other offerings
- Coaches are key. Managers need to work closely with the KCS coaches and value their work, particularly their feedback and concerns regarding the staff they coach, and they should be given enough time to carry out their coaching tasks.
- Tie KCS metrics into knowledge workers’ annual review
- Use a tool that supports the Solve and Evolve loops
- Integrate case management and knowledge management
- Require KCS accreditation for your knowledge workers
- Periodically review whether the team is creating knowledge for the right types of issues
- Re-engergize the knowledge program with events such as retraining and share analytics around knowledge quality
- Publicize internally the successes of your KCS program
Getting Started with Knowledge Centered Support (KCS®)
So you’ve heard about KCS® and the benefits it brings to your team, your organization and your customers. You like the idea and you want to start using it in your support organization – But where to start?
One of the great things about KCS is that, unlike many new initiatives, you don’t need a big investment to get started!
What you do need, sooner or later, is exec sponsorship: With Knowledge-Centered Support, you’ll likely be changing processes, changing reporting and changing your knowledge management tool, and that needs senior buy-in. However, those changes don’t need to be implemented all at once. I have worked with contact center managers who have successfully started out with KCS with just two (out of more than 100) of their agents using KCS methodology.
To get started, you’ll just need to have two things:
- A basic understanding of knowledge-centered service practices within a small core team
- A process to allow those agents using the KCS practices to Use, Flag, Fix and Add knowledge (UFFA, in KCS parlance).
Starting small and adopting KCS in phases allows you to see the benefits of taking on KCS, while reducing the risk of the unknown and removing the barriers to trial you might encounter should you try to go all out from the very beginning.
Establishing the business advantages in a small, controlled trial allows you to generate momentum and get that all-important executive buy-in, helping you build a case for full-scale adoption. You can even start out with your current knowledge base, though KCS recommends a verified solution, such as RightAnswers, is used as you move out of the initial phases of adoption.
If you’re interested in training a core team in KCS practices, or would like your leadership team to understand more about the benefits of KCS, take a look at the training we have to offer you and your organization. Also download our eBook, Basic Principles of Knowledge Centered Service, for a good introduction to the KCS methodology.
KCS® is a service mark of the Consortium for Service Innovation™
Author: Tom Policano
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