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Six Best Practices for Enhancing Customer and Employee Experience with Knowledge Management

Today, nearly every organization professes its commitment to delivering outstanding customer experiences. But achieving that goal can be very difficult, especially since customers use so many different channels and devices.

As the hub for customer interactions, contact centers often feel the brunt of this challenge and are expected to continually improve the quality and efficiency of service interactions. That translates into delivering consistent, contextual and cost-effective service across channels—a balance that increasingly depends on knowledge management systems. The following are six best practices for deploying and maximizing knowledge management in your contact center.

1. Determining Objectives and Metrics
At the beginning of any project, it is a good idea to clarify the why before getting to the what. That means first identifying critical areas in your company’s service operations, and then determining the metrics they will be measured against. Metrics that provide a comprehensive view of the business are a good place to start. Consider daily operational metrics—such as talk time, first-contact resolution and tier-2 escalations—and be sure to factor in performance metrics, such as customer satisfaction, agent morale, agent turnover and time to competency for new hires. The goals and metrics you focus on will drive your knowledge management deployment.

2. Planning Your Implementation Strategy
Forming an implementation team to champion the project helps ensure high-quality knowledge base content is developed. A well-rounded team includes executive sponsors, the knowledge management business owner, the knowledge base owner, content owners (authors, reviewers and editors) and IT. This cross-functional team should create a rollout plan with key milestones to avoid doing too much at one time.

3. Designing a Robust Knowledge Base
Having a knowledge base that is easy to use and houses relevant, quickly searchable content is critical to delivering good customer experiences. When designing your knowledge base, there are a few things to keep in mind. The content in the database should follow guidelines and standards for content development to aid the inquiry resolution process that is in place. Be sure to categorize the taxonomy in a way that logically organizes content and enables knowledge users to find it quickly and efficiently. It should include content lifecycle management to help ensure your content can be created quickly and made available, while maintaining accuracy and validity.

4. Developing Useful Content
The goal of optimizing knowledge is to make sure that service-related content is targeted, so that it can speed up the inquiry-resolution process and increase the consistency of resolution. So how do you determine the number of solutions/services a knowledge base should cover? There really is no magic number, but a good rule of thumb is to ensure that the right balance exists between the quantity and quality of the information in it. The key to optimizing knowledge is to consider what is most valuable to include, and how it can be created to be used in the most effective way.

5. Optimizing the User Experience
The user experience focuses on how agents find appropriate solutions most efficiently. Going beyond just a standard search, agents benefit most from a knowledge architecture that structures access to content through interactive guidance methodologies attuned to their skill level, domain expertise or corporate requirements.

Ideally, the knowledge tool will offer the best methodology based on the issue that has been identified. For example, a basic question will result in a simple answer, while a symptom with many possible causes will lead the agent naturally into a guided resolution experience, resulting in the best answer.

There are a variety of guidance methods to choose from, some of which include simple and advanced search, browsing topic trees, following structured scripts, and using clarifying questions, FAQs and service alerts.

6. Improving Knowledge Continuously
Optimizing content is not a one-time activity. Once implemented, the health of the knowledge base must be constantly monitored with updates, the addition of new content, adjustments to erroneous content and the removal of obsolete content on a regular and timely basis.

It is most important that content in the knowledge base reflects solutions that have been proven in the real world of front-line customer support. This can be achieved by enabling agent and customer contribution to the knowledge base, and analyzing service data to determine content usage trends.

Building a knowledge base can yield many benefits for your organization, enabling your knowledge users to provide customers with faster, more effective and more accurate service. It also contributes to the overall customer experience and can drive higher rates of satisfaction and loyalty, agent productivity and operational efficiency. By implementing the best practices outlined here, you can deploy knowledge management successfully in your contact center and lay the foundation for a better, more consistent customer experience.

About Verint Verint® is a global leader in Actionable Intelligence® solutions with a focus on customer engagement optimization, security intelligence, and fraud, risk and compliance. Today, more than 10,000 organizations in 180 countries—including over 80 percent of the Fortune 100—count on Verint solutions to make more informed, effective and timely decisions. © 2017 Verint Systems Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

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