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How you can leverage knowledge to achieve world class results

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Self-service technology, whether in store or online – is a value add today’s connected customer has come to expect. With competition plentiful and differentiation difficult, one bad customer experience can be the difference between a loyal customer – that keeps spending with your brand – and a dissatisfied customer that takes their business elsewhere and never comes back.

With an article from Forbes last month suggesting self-service technology will have an even bigger impact on business success and growth in 2015, you need to be asking yourself how your business can use self-service technology to increase efficiency, and more importantly – reduce costs. In a world where consumers can approach your business for information from multiple channels, how can you ensure they are receiving consistent information, all the time, regardless of how they approach your customer service team?

The Changing needs of the customer

It’s crucial to realise that nowadays, customers expect brand support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and when done right - self-service technology is the enabler here. Improving self-service is a win, not just for the customer who is able to find what they need more efficiently, but also for a business that is able to keep the customer on their website.

Studies conducted by The Customer Respect Group, a Boston-based research and consulting firm, have shown that online users leave websites after an average of three failed attempts to search for an item. The key when attempting to improve self-service is finding a balance between choice and quality of information.

While customers are demanding more information than ever before, you don’t want to be presenting them with unnecessary or incorrect information that clogs up the self-service process. It is important you remember to keep your content simple, as when it comes to customer service, eliminating half the unnecessary content you serve up can increase online satisfaction by up to 20%!

Using data to take customer experience to the next level

Once up and running, data analytics, such as top questions, most frequent searches and seasonal dynamics can be used to predict, pre-empt and continually improve your knowledgebase – keeping you one step ahead of the needs of your customers.

Have a think about your existing customer service portal – how often do you analyse your customer data? Has the data led to any tangible improvements for your customers or employees? Are you sharing data insights across departments to improve efficiencies? Think about how often you’re doing so.

Unfortunately, in most cases the answer is ‘no’: all too often customer service departments work in siloes, using multiple content management systems to deal with answering inbound customer queries. Do not fall into this trap. By using a single knowledgebase and linking this with data analytics from all departments, you will benefit from a centralised system that shows what customers are doing, why they are doing it and how their experiences could be improved – ultimately helping you to gain more loyal customers and convert more sales.

Business benefits of introducing a centralised knowledgebase

While the upfront costs and associated time commitment of introducing a centralised knowledgebase may deter some, it’s important to weigh up the long term business benefits of encouraging self-service:

1)  Improving workforce efficiencies: Customer service representatives on average spend more than half of their time understanding questions and searching for the correct information to respond to their customer’s enquiries. Introducing a centralised solution can eliminate wasteful research or training time, freeing up time for agents to deal with the more complex issues that require 1:1 support

 2) Ensuring consistency: By housinginformation from all areas of the business in a single knowledgebase you can ensure your customers receive the same response to their question, whether contacting you in store, online or through the contact centre Managing customer demands in real-time: Encouraging customers to self-serve can make your job a whole lot easier. Not only will you be able to track fluctuations in question asking across all channels, you will be able to react – in real time – to the needs of your customers

Today’s connected consumers are less patient and more demanding than ever before. They expect a consistent response to their questions, 24 hours a day, no matter what method they use to contact customer service teams. To make sure your business is keeping one step ahead, why not invest in a centralised knowledge solution that does the hard work for you?

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