Note: The following is a guest post from ThinkJar Founder and Principal, Esteban Kolsky, and the first in a series from him around knowledge management for customer service.
The story for the demise of Knowledge Management has been told many ways.
Too complex. Too expensive to maintain. Not enough results. Users don’t, well, use it. Over the years, and since knowledge management was conceived in the mid-1960s, we have been looking for ways to either use it right, or kill it.
Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Parature, from Microsoft among others I was able to focus my research one more time on knowledge during 2014. I was able to generate some key insights about the state of knowledge as we enter 2015 and wanted to share those with you in a series of blog posts.
This first entry will be a summary and then we’ll look deeper into the three trends for Knowledge Management (KM) in the next few years in subsequent posts.
Starting now, and for the next two or three years at least, KM will be influenced by three issues:
- 1. Customer Service is No Longer Sustainable. We have squeezed as much efficiency out of customer service via any channel as we could, but we still need to increase the effectiveness. Truth be told, investments are not yielding the same ROI as before, and we are spending more on maintenance than anything else. Automation is touted as the way to further increase effectiveness, but automation demands good knowledge.
- 2. Technology is Not the Answer. We invested in virtually every new channel and technology that has come across our desks in the past few years. We tried multi-channel, the aberration called omni-channel, and even social and mobile as channels for customer service.We tried new interfaces, new processes, new NLP tools – and none gave us the results we were seeking; they gave us the knowledge (no pun intended) that technology is not the answer. We need to invest further, and smarter, to increase that effectiveness.
- 3. It’s All About Placement. I have been using this mantra about customer service improvements for the past few years. Since the advent of social, the rise of online communities, and the improved ability to process more interactions faster in customer service, we have shifted our focus to customer-centricity. And the only way to do customer-centricity right in customer service is to have the right information, in the right place, at the right time. Placing the appropriate piece of knowledge in the right interaction and delivering it via the right channel on time is all that matters. It’s all about placement.
As we dig deeper into these areas in upcoming posts, I will give you more data, case studies, use cases, and overall, a sense of what’s coming for Knowledge Management in Customer Service in the next few years.
Does this match you overall approach to KM today? Your plans for the future? Drop me a few comments below, let me know what you are seeing – would love to discuss if and how KM matters still.
Disclaimer: Parature has generously contributed sponsorship to the topic of Knowledge Management together with Transversal, and Intelliresponse. The findings from all those hours of research (primary and secondary) are not influenced by any of them. I appreciate them allowing me to continue my research on KM, but these opinions and models are mine only and none of my sponsors have any bearing or influence in the outcomes and insights. I am very grateful that their contributions allow me to expand my research into Knowledge Management.
In a pre-recorded webinar, ThinkJar Founder and Principal Esteban Kolsky details the importance and benefits of knowledge management for customer service.
Notes Kolsky in a new white paper, “not having access to the right information is the most critical time-waste of preparing any answer for a customer. If the information is not available quickly, it is nearly impossible to deliver against expectations.”
Senior Director Bill Patterson of Parature explores the critical role of knowledge in self-service and consistent engagement across channels including email, chat, the web, mobile and social, and how to empower both employees and customers.
Ask.com Global Customer Care Manager Eric McKirdy joins the conversation to share the brand’s incredible knowledge management for customer service success, along with proven best practices that have helped make McKirdy a customer service thought leader.
Don’t miss out on finding out if your brand’s a leader or a laggard in KM for customer service and what you can do to quickly improve your success. Click below to view the webinar at your convenience.