Quality support is about answers and solutions — your CSAT is only as strong as your teams’ accuracy and agility in providing them. Your knowledge base (KB) is foundational to that success, but too many teams fail to optimize its volume, accessibility, and utility.
“Understanding what customers value is the real challenge”. A recent PwC study found that 44 percent of employees do a poor job of transferring knowledge, and 63 percent of operations leaders — including those in customer support — claim that. Most leaders expect customer changes will be a disruptive factor for their industry in the next five years. As customer behavior evolves, the evolution of your knowledge base may not keep up.
Easy, consistent access to quality content turns support teams into proactive, experience-driven organizations. Well written and positioned content can help mitigate customer inquiries and drive both efficiency and experience for agents and customers. That’s why no matter the channel, accessible and evolving knowledge resources increase customer satisfaction and lifetime value.
Knowledge Silos and a Growing Support Gap
Even the most capable agents have limited time, which takes away from how well they retrieve and update support content. In fact, only 21 percent of customers who reach out for support end up satisfied, and one of the greatest causes of their dissatisfaction is the time it takes for reps to access the answers to resolve a problem.
A company with an exceptional knowledge base may fail when the right support rep can’t access the right content. And, if they aren’t improving that knowledge base over time, that “exceptional” status will fade over time as content becomes stale.
Poor methods for organizing valuable content are part of the problem. Most customer support agents use their own “knowledge base” in the form of a Word or Notepad file, for example. And as customers of all ages increasingly choose self-service options first, improving content alongside accessibility is a critical — albeit highly complicated — aspect of the support role.
Driving New Service Experiences With KB Automation
Automated solutions help agents leverage knowledge bases in an agile way and build and improve upon content. Agents can close the time-to-resolution gap, or average handle time (AHT), using an AI solution that connects them to the relevant content they need immediately. It would take hours for an agent to study past ticket responses and content to find a precise solution — machine learning builds a recommended solution in seconds.
This facilitates new solutions for nuanced problems that you can add to your knowledge base. It also creates learning experiences for agents who can resolve similarly nuanced problems in the future.
As you’re developing new content, you can empower customers that need only existing information — not a conversation — while agents focus on top-priority tickets. Front-end deflection tools connect customers to your knowledge base directly. The right solution will understand the context of incoming tickets, connecting customers to top-quality content for faster service and greater satisfaction.
Streamlining Optimization of Your Knowledge Base
Your customers need agile solutions when accessing knowledge, and your knowledge needs to evolve to meet changing customer demands. But as support teams try to keep pace with customers, updating content manually can take hundreds of hours with very few methods to establish or measure its success.
The right analytics solution will reveal knowledge gaps, enabling your team to focus on creating exceptional content while mitigating common questions. Analytics automatically finds redundancies, ensuring your customers or your team always access the most relevant material. The solution should even identify content maturity, ensuring your team always taps into the most up-to-date solutions.
You can provide your best quality support, instance by instance, when customer requests are mitigated up front. When the appropriate customers can easily access quality content, it creates bandwidth for your team to focus on nuanced solutions for others. When support teams can recognize knowledge gaps, they can focus on areas in which they can add the greatest value — continuously improving customer support and driving business value.
If you’d like to learn more about how to leverage your knowledge base to make a real difference in the way you support your customers, just reach out. I’d love to continue the dialog.
Note to editor: all of the images in this article were either created by AIQ or pulled from free image databases on the web.