“Knowledge is power” is a famous aphorism, but it really needs the qualifier “…if you have easy access to it.” Have you ever streamed something on Netflix, then struggled to remember its plot and characters even a few months later – a situation made worse by the show having been pulled from the platform in the meantime? Or maybe you’ve vaguely remembered reading an insightful article online, yet later ran into trouble finding it in your inbox or with Google amid numerous competing results and ads.
As these examples suggest, it’s not just forgetfulness that causes us to lose our grips on things we thought we knew: It’s also the systems we use to categorize and retrieve information, as well as the overall overwhelming amount of data we must process from sources such as mobile devices and social networks. Accordingly, it’s easy to see how your support agents can run into trouble without dependable knowledge management (KM) tools at their fingertips.
KM platforms provide the infrastructure for delivering superior IT support and customer service. Think of them as crosses between the legendary CliffsNotes study guides (which condensed even complex subjects into easily scannable highlights) and high-precision search engines for finding the right result every time. More specifically, they empower agents to do their jobs better, through key knowledge management benefits such as:
- Easy content creation for knowledge retention and sharing
Detailed note-taking has long been linked to superior knowledge retention, with one study finding that it could help individuals hold on to 100 percent of new information instead of experiencing the typical 40 percent drop-off after 24 hours. Content creation tools within KM systems can have similar effects, by giving agents the abilities to produce anything from an in-depth user manual to an FAQ based on a custom template.
By doing so, creators greatly improve their knowledge of the topics in question, while other agents gain access to reusable resources that will be helpful when responding to simple and complex inquiries alike. As your operations evolve, it’s also easy to update these items within advanced yet intuitive knowledge management tools such as RightAnswers, so that they don’t mislead anyone with outdated info.
- Just-in-time information for more efficient ticket resolution
You might have heard the phrase “just-in-time” in the context of automobile manufacturers, many of which avoid excess inventory by having parts delivered only right when they’re needed. With knowledge managements tools, a similar principle applies: Instead of relying on articles that might slow them down or be confusing to interpret due to major informational gaps, agents can get just-in-time information, via software that automatically flags out-of-date and incomplete materials.
They can then either immediately request revisions from the original author or fix the issue themselves. With RightAnswers, such features enable shorter resolution times and a higher share of tickets resolved on the first call. First-call resolution has sometimes been called the “home run” of help desk and contact center metrics, and it’s not hard to see why: Even a relatively small increase in FCR, enabled by an effective knowledge management system, can lead to a dramatic reduction in repeat calls, relieving a significant burden on support agents.
- Multichannel flexibility for multiple audiences and messages
Interacting with someone via email is often a very different experience than reaching the same person on a chat app. Nevertheless, he/she will expect a consistently good experience in resolving the issues at hand, regardless of the particular communications channel.
Flexibility across channels is essential, and the best knowledge management software delivers it. Consider that 90 percent of multi-device owners switch between them to complete tasks, according to Think With Google. Effectively responding to tasks everywhere requires a KM platform with support for formats such as videos and texts, functions like decision trees and in some cases, multiple languages.
Superior knowledge management tools also seamlessly integrate with industry-leading tools so that your team can coordinate its multichannel responses. Applications including ServiceNow, Salesforce and many others can be used in tandem with RightAnswers to ensure agents have everything they need right at their fingertips.
- Centralized and personalized search for easier knowledge base navigation
What good is a knowledge base if agents can’t find what they’re looking for in it in a pinch? Consumers are already accustomed to advanced search capabilities in every application from Amazon Alexa to their Gmail accounts, so why not give helpdesk workers and customer service representatives similarly suitable knowledge management tools for their jobs?
Personalized search of a central knowledge base helps surface the right answers on-demand. Agents can tap into natural language processing, advanced filters, federated search, API results from SharePoint, web pages and decision trees to get answers fast without having to look for needles in the digital haystack.
- Self-service capabilities for fewer opened tickets overall
Even the most experienced agents can become overwhelmed by the number of tickets in front of them and start feeling the pressure to “get to zero.” Sometimes, a disproportionate share of tickets will be related to a minor and solvable problem that end users cannot find an obvious fix for.
Enter self-service via a KM solution. Rather than forcing agents to respond to every inquiry, you can reduce their workloads by helping users find answers on their own. For example, they can open a ticket by filling out information that enters it into ServiceNow. Agents can view reports and analytics to quantify how many response events self-service has helped them eliminate.
These are just a handful of all the possible benefits you can gain from a knowledge management tool like RightAnswers. Take a look at our other blog entries or request a demo to get started on the road to better support and service.