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  • November 6, 2019
  • By Marydee Ojala Marydee Ojala, Editor in Chief, KMWorld, Conference Program Director, Information Today, Inc
  • Article

Take a Bow for the Next Generation KM

Next Gen Knowledge

In considering how next gen knowledge can transform customer service, Anand Subramanian, Senior Vice President, WW Marketing, eGain, shares eight attributes that he thinks you should look for in your KM systems. He notes that the inclination toward self-service is growing, driven by the millennial generation. However, training budgets are declining. He warns that data management, document

management, and content management systems are not synonymous with KM systems. As new generations of technology appear, legacy KM systems become increasingly out of date, necessitating an update and a move away from channel-specific knowledge silos.

Here’s one comment of his that really resonated with me: “Sometimes, ‘power users’ know more about products than even the companies that make them.” I’ve been in that situation. When power users contact customer service, they already know that Solution A in the User Manual doesn’t work because they’ve tried it. It adds to customer frustration when a proposed solution clearly is inappropriate based on extensive product use. Subramanian notes that online reviews increasingly inform both KM systems and customer opinions.

To transform customer service with next gen knowledge, the first requirement is that it find correct answers quickly. That doesn’t sound revolutionary, but I’m always surprised that it doesn’t happen more frequently. Subramanian would probably chalk that up to a legacy system that fails to optimize all of his other key attributes.

A next gen KM system should give customers personalized answers related to their preferences and history. Your bank, for example, should know you have a checking account, a savings account, and a mortgage loan. Artificial intelligence helps with this, as it can guide customers to relevant information by foregoing rule-based systems. In a holistic customer service environment, KM is embedded in other systems. Customers expect consistent and knowledgeable service regardless of how they are accessing it and whatever device is their choice.

There may be several generations that a KM system appeals to in different ways, but there are no generational differences when it comes to expecting high quality customer service and knowledgeable agents. For every customer with the newest generation of smartphone, there’s another one perfectly happy with a flip phone. That should not affect the ability of a next gen KM system to pay off for the organization.

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