Why the continued focus on knowledge management? It’s because customers increasingly leverage web self-service as a first point of contact with a company. In 2014, web self-service was the most commonly used communication channel for customer service, exceeding phone use. And good web self-service relies on a solid foundation on knowledge management. Companies are also investing in knowledge management solutions to add order and easy access to content for customer service agents.
Knowledge delivered to the customer or the customer-facing employee at the right time in the customer engagement process is critical to a successful interaction. When done correctly, knowledge delivers real, quantifiable results like:
Reducing customer service costs: For example, Dignity Health, a California medical group relies on a knowledge base to help them maintain a 73% call resolution rate and has resulted in a $580,000 annual savings.
Increasing customer satisfaction: For example, Zuora, a US-based subscription billing provider, uses web self-service to deliver knowledge relevant to the stage in the customer journey — including sales and onboarding — to drive product adoption and decrease churn. Zuora structures knowledge to encourage customers to learn how to use the product, instead of simply providing a fix. Increased customer engagement moved Zuora’s NPS by 20 points, increased site traffic by nearly 100% year-over-year, with 55% of traffic driven by their self-service site.
Increasing compliance to regulatory and/or company policies: For example, Virgin Mobile, a UK telecom carrier, found it difficult to contain costs because of the increasing sophistication of mobile handsets and increased number of services which made it difficult to comply to policy. The company now uses agent-facing knowledge to improve the accuracy of diagnosing customer issues. After 6 months, they realized a 38% reduction in handset exchanges because of better issue resolution, a 23% improvement in call quality, and a 19% increase in first call resolution.
Increasing revenue: For example, CabinetParts.com, a US hardware supplier, found that their highly qualified reps who are ex- handymen and builders, spent too much time fielding repetitive questions instead of focusing on giving professional advice or helping shoppers build their carts. The company now uses web self-service and agent to provide contextual answers. They use real-time text analytics to address most frequent unanswered questions. Prospects using web self-service are three times more likely to convert; and also realized a 30% decrease of agent time spent on repetitive issues.
There are hundreds on case studies about the benefits of knowledge management, several of which I highlight in my recent report. It is easy to build financial models to quantify the gains that these solutions deliver. Don’d delay. Invest in knowledge management to solidify the foundations of your customer service operations. I lay out the steps on how to get going in my blog post on the Smart Customer Service site.