Customers contributing to your knowledge base

Artist: Tony Stamolis
Artist: Tony Stamolis

Let’s face it.  Yours customers are calling; your agents are busy.Your supervisors are fighting the recent fires. And you as a manager are trying to prevent possible threats. And all your energy is focused on your contact center operations.

Again let’s face it. Many customers nowadays prefer to hunt down the best solution for themselves. Some don’t actually want to speak to a customer service agent on the phone. Nor do they want to wait days on end for an e-mail response.

The logic here is simple. Your customers are thinking that in the time it takes them to locate your phone number, place a call, navigate through your interactive voice response system and wait on hold to finally reach an agent for customer service, they could have just as quickly Googled the right answer of have found a friend in web2.0 applications who can provide them with an answer.

In fact (and of course), your customers  are right. And – it is a brutal fact – more and more customers will find the answers outside your contact center environment.

What’s the challenge for any contact center manager or even better said operational manager?

How do we, as  managers, make sure that the right company information is available for customers. Information or even knowledge that  provides valuable solutions that will meet the needs of our customers or leads on their terms?

Let’s explore tools that will enable your customers (and position your company) to do just that.

  • Have a Public Knowledge Base

Whether you call it a knowledge base, solutions database or simply your list of frequently asked questions, you need to offer answers to common questions related to your company, product or service. And a possibility to give customer feedback back to your company or to fellow customers or leads.

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Give customers immediate, 24/7 access to critical information.

Artist: Tony Stamolis
Artist: Tony Stamolis

Through a self-service portal view, customers can find and maintain answers by browsing by topic or searching FAQs.

Customer service and support staff can access the feedback of customers and leads, allowing them to improve the public knowledge bases, reducing customer search time and improve customer first contact resolution rates. And also find ways to improve processes for customers!

Also, encourage any employees to contribute content to the public knowledge base. Distribute the information using centralized knowledge-sharing services, continually improving the quality of the content.  Use an  file formats and many documents. Consider web 2.0 applications for distribution to followers (customers, leads and maybe even your competitors).

What To Look for in a Knowledge Base

  • Powerful search and retrieval methodologies, ensuring customers receive rapid, accurate and consistent responses.
  • Easy authoring, robust review work flow and flexible article access to further enhance the centralized knowledge repository.
  • Simple rating system that gives your customers the option to click a “helpful” or “not helpful” button after reading a solution.
  • Insightful reporting tool indicating which articles users seek and what information is unavailable, driving continuous operational improvements.

Let the customers maintain  Your Knowledge Base

Once you’ve installed your knowledge base, test it for accuracy. And this essential, create possibilities for customer feedback. Feedback to your company but also feedback to other customers and lead. To what extent? As far as your customers want, I would say. And nowadays that is pretty far.

Key Performance Indicators

Learn about customer needs and preferences, and understand how to improve content and processes through in-depth reporting capabilities. Here are some recommended key performance indicators that will help you measure your success:

  • Public Knowledge Base Activity
    A report to answer the question: How useful is our public knowledge base?
  • Most Accessed Solutions
    A report to answer the question: How many “viewed” responses have we received?
  • Most valued Solutions
    A report to answer the question: How are “viewed” responses valued by your customers
  • Most valued proposals
    A report to manage the proposals of customers and leads
  • FAQ Positive Responses
    A report to answer the question: How many “helpful” responses (in the eyes of the customer or lead) have we received?
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In a context of web 2.0 be aware that customer can contribute to your knowledge base!

Artist: Tony Stamolis
Artist: Tony Stamolis