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KCS Best Practice Blog Series: Showing the Value of KCS!

Michelle Stumpf, KCS (KM) Practice Director 

Showing the Value of KCS!

When we shift into becoming a KCS organization, it is a huge change in mindset and culture for many organizations.  With that said, in order to drive effective change across our organization in aligning to the KCS Practices, we need to be able to show the value that KCS is providing.

For most organizations, they make the decision to implement KCS because of one of these four benefits:

  • Dramatic operational efficiencies
  • Self-Service success
  • Identifying high-value improvements
  • Enabling the future of support and the organization

In addition to the benefits the organization can realize, your customers will be able to see the value in KCS also and here are just a few examples:

  • Self-Service success
  • Improved resolution times
  • Smarter agents providing consistent, complete and correct answers the first time

And the value doesn’t stop here, your agents begin to realize the value of KCS as well.  The list of benefits for your agents is probably the longest of them all, however, here are a few of the top benefits KCS Knowledge Workers have confirmed:

  • The elimination or reduction of answering the same question or problem over and over again
  • Opportunities to either work on more complex issues or complete project work once the repetition was eliminated
  • Enabled to know what everyone else knows so they can expand on what they know instead of relearning the same old thing time and time again
  • Ability to share what they know or learn so everyone has the opportunity to show their expertise

When we implement KCS, we discuss all of the benefits above and it’s an area of focus as we seek to gain buy-in from our leadership, managers, and of course, our knowledge workers.  But one thing we need to keep in mind is once we’re doing KCS, how are we going to go about showing that KCS has created this value we spoke so much about.

Communication & Celebration

For one, communication is key.  With any organizational or cultural change, it’s important to keep continuous communication going.  The list above gives you a great checklist of things to talk about – or I should say celebrate as these are the reasons you’ve gotten into this in the first place, so don’t let these milestones slide by.

The most successful KCS organizations continuously communicate their KCS successes and they look for different methods available to them in sharing this great news.  Emails are easy and we can use them to send out messages, but you should also have a brainstorming session in your organization to determine what methods of communication are available to you.  Some options may include newsletters, company meetings, lunch & learns, or even flyers and announcements.  Some have put together some really creative videos that grabbed everyone’s attention and something like this also gathers quite a bit of excitement.

Secondly, celebrating successes, especially the big ones is something that you’ll want to plan in advance, so you are ready to put your plans in action as you are getting closer to meeting those bigger goals.  Any plans should be entered into your communications plan and your project plan so they are not forgotten.  Celebrations can be simple, inexpensive, and fun; the importance is in positive communication!  So, get creative and think about all of the different ways you can communicate and celebrate your KCS Success!

Include your Agents!

Don’t forget including your agents when communicating KCS success!  They are at the heart of enabling all the benefits of KCS after all.  As an agent, understanding how you personally contributed to your team, to your customers, and to the organization is so important to maintain a continuous focus on the knowledgebase processes.

KCS is not a “launch and leave it” methodology.  If we want our agents to continue to take all of the opportunities presented to them to create and maintain the knowledgebase, then we need to continuously provide them with the impacts of their contributions.

We also need to remember the benefits we promised they’d realize from doing KCS and make sure we report on the progress of each one of those promises. This is a really great example of where we can incorporate positive agent success stories into the mix as well.  For example, “Anne’s dream was always to move into x product area and because of KCS, Anne has been able to learn so much about x product, that she’s now considered an SME in this area!”  We can end a communication like this by asking the question, “What other areas have you been able to cross into because of KCS?” and collect and share those stories too! Being a part of the success invigorates and energizes us!

Strategic Framework & Communication Plan

The Strategic Framework & Communication Plan are two of your foundational KCS Design deliverables.  Many organizations skip putting these together during their initial phases of adoption and this is a mistake for multiple reasons.  In regard to the topic I’m blogging about today, it’s a mistake because the Strategic Framework outlines all of our goals and how KCS helped us meet these goals and this plugs into the Communication Plan where we maintain our plans to communicate and celebrate meeting all of these goals!

The most successful KCS organizations have spent time laying out the Strategic Framework for their organization listing many of the benefits I’ve listed above essentially making these the goals they wish to achieve and outlining how KCS contributes towards meeting these goals.  Organizations that do not plan their KCS communications struggle with buy-in and overall adoption of the KCS processes which is why it is one of the deliverables when designing KCS.

I hope you’ve found these best practices and tips helpful!  In addition to this ongoing blog series highlighting some of our best practices and lessons, we’d like to extend the invitation to join our KCS Community:

  1. Join our upcoming KCS Roundtable where we’ll be discussing these topics and more in a casual environment wherein true KCS fashion… everyone participates!
  2. Watch our On-Demand Webinar: I’m KCS Certified – Now What? 5 Tips to Prepare you for Knowledge Management Success
  3. Enhance your KCS knowledge by attending one of our upcoming KCS training sessions.
  4. Talk to me! If you’re unsure if KM or KCS is right for your organization or if you need some help with your plans to implement KCS, let’s have a talk about it. Contact me directly mstumpf@uplandsoftware.com

Also, my team and I are available to assist you with your KCS Implementations and have a range of services available from running something as simple as your KCS for Agents training to helping you implement KCS every step of the way!  Contact me directly for more information: mstumpf@uplandsoftware.com

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


About the Author:

Michelle Stumpf is the KCS Practice Director for Upland RightAnswers where she shares her expertise and experience in Knowledge Management and KCS.  She is a certified KCS v6 Trainer who has certified hundreds of KCS Practitioners and other KCS trainers.  She has experience in establishing knowledge processes across contact/support centers and across the enterprise and coaches many organizations in Knowledge Management and KCS practices.

 

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