How Knowledge Software Features Like Bulk Editing Boost Agent Productivity

This is part 2 of a 4-part series on the ROI of knowledge management software

In the first part of this series, we explored the concept of “soft” return on investment (ROI), which consists of improvements in qualitative domains like agent productivity and collaboration, as opposed to more quantitative “hard” ROI, such as direct cost reductions thanks to automation. Both are essential in effective KM systems.

ROI, knowledge-centered service and creating a playbook for your support agents

To that end, the best knowledge management tools provide both types of ROI in spades. However, its most lasting effects are usually on agents, who become empowered to create, update and access critical resources (e.g., knowledge base articles) for delivering superior support. These gains might not be as easily quantified as other forms of ROI, but they profoundly shape the fortunes of today’s organizations.

How does KM software create the ideal conditions for more engaged and productive agents? In short, it enables knowledge-centered service (KCS), a concept emphasizing knowledge that’s easy to find, practical to use and simple for anyone on the team to create and edit.

KCS combines a set of repeatable practices with the technical tools to enact them. If KCS itself is like a playbook in sports, knowledge management systems are like the equipment and other gear ensuring the “players” (i.e., agents) can carry out the plays. This is where particular features in software for knowledge management make a major difference in what agents can ultimately achieve.

Realizing KM ROI through bulk editing, federated search and better self-service

With knowledge management software  like Upland RightAnswers, ROI is achievable through powerful solution-specific capabilities such as:

  • Bulk editing: Agents can be notified of outdated articles and then have the option to efficiently edit them en masse, leading to more accurate knowledge base content and quicker ticket resolutions. Just-in-time information is possible through these features, so that agents are never left hanging during important interactions.
  • Content authoring: Creating new resources is similarly streamlined–predefined templates can be auto-populated to create how-to solutions. Agents can also produce user manuals and other in-depth documents.
  • Customized access controls: Once edited or produced, articles can be adjusted so that they’re part of specific collections, e.g., one designed for self-service. Additionally, access settings can be applied so that certain details are only viewable to specific users.
  • Federated search: A knowledge base where the right article is impossible to find is about as useful as a kitchen where all the ingredients are missing. Federated search ensures agents can pull up everything they need without having to jump through so many hoops.
  • App integrations: Connecting your KM software to other tools like CRM programs is crucial for making sure agents have the full picture of each interaction at their fingertips.

We’ve only sampled a few of the difference-making features within the best knowledge management software. While it’s pretty straightforward to see how they function, what kinds of soft and hard ROI do they produce for help desks and contact centers? It all starts with self-service.

Analyzing the soft and hard ROI of KM tools

More specifically, KM tools free up more bandwidth for agents, employees and customers. It’s not unusual for new implementers of knowledge management tools to see 400 percent jumps in self-service, allowing for virtually all demand to be self-served. That’s a win for support teams, who don’t have to invest as much time in fielding calls on known issues, and for the clients they serve, who can locate helpful info right away.

Agents also become more engaged during interactions as well as content management, creating a positive feedback loop. High engagement leads to increased productivity and organizational outcomes, which boosts overall morale and makes the company a popular place to work, not to mention an attractive brand to the public.

What numbers back up these improvements? A Gallup survey found that there’s significant headroom for employees of all kinds to become more engaged (only 13 percent of them worldwide reported feeling engaged) and that companies that have the right infrastructure for high engagement see bottom line benefits. Organizations in the top engagement quartile are 21 percent more profitable than their peers, have 10 percent better customer ratings and 70 percent fewer safety incidents.

Stay tuned for the next part of this series, in which we’ll dive further into the effects of KM on employee and customer happiness. Until then, be sure to check out our other resources or or schedule a free ROI Estimate with one of our knowledge experts.

In case you missed any of the previous posts in this series…

  • Blog Post I: The Costs of Foregoing a Real Knowledge Management Solution
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