The Value of KM Across an Enterprise
The world of knowledge management (KM) is changing. Successful organizations no longer use intranets or shared folders to communicate between departments and with clients. The new age of knowledge management integrates silos of information and provides employees with the tools necessary to provide customers with relevant, timely information, thereby improving customer satisfaction and increasing the productivity of each employee.
The challenge many organizations face today involves the exploration and implementation of an integrated knowledge management application. They often struggle to develop user stories, understand the technologies available, and how to determine the ROI of the investment.
This article explores a real-world example of how one of the largest retail and healthcare companies built a KM application to support more than 18,000 call center agents.
1. Improve customer satisfaction
2. Increase employee productivity
It was agreed that in order to improve customer satisfaction, they must reduce call times and provide customers with relevant, accurate information. In doing so, they also would need to empower employees with a KM application that is easy to use and provides advanced search capabilities across multiple content repositories.
A primary use case involves call center agents receiving inquiries from customers regarding drug interactions or alternatives. For example, a customer may ask if “ibuprofen” can be recommended instead of “aspirin” given that the consumer is also taking a prescription for acid reflux. The call center agent must be able to quickly search the KM application for “ibuprofen” and “aspirin” to compare the two items and identify any potential interactions given the prescription drug provided.
The company identified that the bottleneck in call center response time related directly to the legacy KM solution which provided a poor user experience and limited search capabilities, causing longer call times and dissatisfied customers.
And so began the technology and vendor evaluation process, where the company considered “out-of-the-box” options for KM as well as a more strategic approach to KM, which was to build an application that could be configured to match the unique business requirements and evolve as the business needs change.
The desired solution had to provide advanced search capabilities, connect multiple systems, deliver real-time analytics, and adapt based on the inquiries requested by the agents. For example, if an agent searches for “ibuprofen” or “painkiller,” the search results should be similar in that “painkiller” is synonymous with “ibuprofen” and agents may use different search queries for similar requests.
The ability to rate the quality of search results was needed; as well as to save commonly referenced information in a “favorites” area to quickly find it again based on an agent’s particular specialty or commonly asked questions.
Ultimately, the company determined that a standard KM application would not suffice for their needs, nor would a fully homegrown solution. The agreed-upon approach was to begin with a hyperscale digital asset platform designed to handle complex data and workflows, and configure the application to match their exact business model.
The Nuxeo Platform was selected for this enterprise application due to the flexibility and scalability of the software architecture. With a fluid content data model, and support for thousands of fields per object, the company could continuously change and update their application without breaking any functionality or integrations.
Elasticsearch, the default query engine, provides enterprise-class search capabilities such as:
- Full-text search, aggregates, facets, synonyms, fuzzy query and proximity search
- Dynamic filtering on multiple facets or metadata, automatically clustered and displayed with the number of found results
- Fully configurable navigation facets which can be defined independently for a given asset type
- Full query capabilities available through the API using NXQL, CMISQL or the Elasticsearch DSL
- Security-filtered search so users only see the digital assets they have access to
These capabilities allow users to quickly find relevant information across many repositories while also teaching the system which search terms provide the best results so they can then be used to improve application performance.
Collaborative workspaces provide a secure environment for an identified group of users and support important knowledge management features such as:
- Versioning, locking and visually comparing different versions
- Collections/lightweight shared containers
- Support for comments and email notifications
- Dynamic workflow processes
- Mobile collaboration
- Bulk edit of documents in spreadsheet mode
When evaluating the ROI of the investment, the company originally anticipated an increase only in customer satisfaction and user productivity, but found there were additional benefits and opportunities for other departments as well.
User activities and data gathered within the application, such as common search queries, content relevancy, and other information, can be leveraged to provide significant value across the company.
For example, the company found that the number of inquiries regarding seasonal allergy medications spiked earlier in the year than anticipated. This triggered immediate action by the marketing department, as their seasonal allergy campaigns had been planned for 4 weeks later.
By identifying the increased demand for seasonal allergy medications earlier than expected, the company was able to quickly adjust their marketing campaign schedule to better align with customer needs and provide more relevant information to customers.
KM has evolved into an enterprise-wide initiative where information sharing and dissemination goes beyond one department or a set of documents. The true business value lives within the contextual data around the content, and how that information can be leveraged across the organization.
Nuxeo empowers organizations to leverage the full value of enterprise digital content, by developing strategic applications using a hyperscale digital asset platform. 888-882-0969, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.nuxeo.com.
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