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KCS: Engaging Your Second Line Teams For ‘Shift-Left’

When you’re rolling out Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS™) to your organization, in our experience it’s far easier to get buy-in from your customer-facing / first line teams than it is to stir up excitement in second line teams.  The benefits of bringing second line resolutions closer to the customer, either to a first line team or even self-service, are significant: Lower cost of support, faster resolution times, higher customer satisfaction…the list goes on. But getting buy-in sometimes isn’t as easy as you might hope.

First line teams tend to get most of the focus in a KCS roll out. After all, the largest volume of knowledge interaction happens here, they are the ones getting most contact with customers and arguably the team who gets the most benefit from knowledge-centered support. So, what about second line teams?

Tempting as it might seem, forcing the teams into it is a mistake. If people don’t engage willingly, they won’t engage long-term.

One of the foundations recommended for any KCS roll out is a ‘Strategic Framework.’ You’ll be pleased to know this is much simpler than the name might suggest. At its core, a Strategic Framework is a simple document which directly calls out KCS’s contribution to business, customer, and team aims/goals.

This document should clearly call out the ‘what’s in it for me’  from all key stakeholder angles, including second line teams. While these are different for each organization, here’s the ones we see most often that you can build upon:

  • Less of the boring repetitive work
  • Learning new skills: knowledge management software and knowledge transfer
  • Freed-up time to be used on proactive agendas

Next up, once we have our message for the second-line team clear, it’s about communicating. Note: Communicate, don’t broadcast. There will be challenges, feedback, perhaps cynicism and you’ll need to hear this out and act on it. The good thing about knowing you’ll get objections, is that you can prepare for them!

While you don’t want to script your answers, working as a team to pre-empt the objections and prepare your answers is a great addition to your strategic framework. You’ll feel more comfortable handling the conversations and everyone on the team will be equipped to get the message out there.

Finally, there will always be some who take to a change better than others. Identify the ones who are most receptive and have them be your early adopters. KCS works. Let people see it for themselves!

If you’re interested in KCS training or finding out whether KCS might be right for your organization, feel free to request a demo for a closer look at the knowledge software by Upland -RightAnswers in action.

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

  • Blog Post I: KCS: Does It Have to Be All or Nothing?

About the Authors: Laura Yeomans (left) and Michelle Stumpf (right) are qualified KCS Trainers and have many years’ experience in running their own knowledge practices, as well as training and coaching others in Knowledge Management and KCS. 

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