Providing the best customer service comes down to giving customers the knowledge they need, exactly when they need it. This means it’s crucial to capture all the tribal knowledge of your team and make it easily available to your customer service agents so they can get customers the information they want and need.
Why knowledge management matters
A single source of truth for customer service agents positively affects productivity, work quality, and employee engagement. It also drives CSAT and NPS scores. Customers want to receive accurate and helpful information quickly, and when agents have on-demand access to important information and answers, they can serve customers efficiently. This is key to driving both job satisfaction and team performance.
Despite the numerous advantages of better knowledge management, many customer service leaders say their current system is as helpful as it could be. In fact, more than 40% of leaders say that their knowledge base is hard to navigate or complicated to use. While traditional knowledge bases fall short, giving employees access to a dynamic, well-organized hub of bite-sized information is key to customer service success. Maximize the impact of team learning with these five steps.
Map out key knowledge areas
Start by considering the key skills and job abilities of your best customer service agent. By reviewing the types of tickets and interactions they work with, you’ll be able to group common knowledge that they need on a daily basis. Most likely these will fall under broad areas that include company background, product or services, processes, and soft skills.
Whatever the key functions of your customer service agents, use these initial knowledge areas to determine detailed courses, lessons, and resources for your team. Once the plan has enough specific topics mapped out and organized, it’s time to build your learning program around these topics and competencies.
Tip: Consider using the customer journey or the voice of your customer to inform what information agents really need. Great knowledge mapping involves a deep understanding of the customer and will help you build a thorough learning strategy. Don’t just focus on the obvious issues. Instead, think about underlying problems that the customer may need help with and create content around those topics.
Collaborate with other team members
Successful projects have engaged owners—and building out a training or learning platform is no exception. Since the best work happens when it’s a team effort, choose a quarterback or team of coaches to lead the charge on creating your system. The benefits of working with other team members to build content are two-fold. First, it’s easier and more efficient to build a robust training or enablement program. Additionally, this process fosters employee engagement as they play a larger role in the process.
It’s likely that your other frontline agents know what their team needs the most—that’s why democratized learning is key. Rather than expecting distant trainers or human resources teams to create all content, ask your seasoned subject-matter experts to contribute. In effort to make contributing easy, ask each team member to create bite-sized content that can be reviewed in about 15 minutes so they don’t feel overwhelmed by the project.
Tip: Identify and involve key team members before the building process. They may be able to provide key insights and feedback into how your learning program could be more effective.
Optimize for speed, not fidelity
Many of us have read, watched, or even created content that was effective at one point, but now is just out-of-date. Optimizing your team learning and training for speed over fidelity helps ensure that this doesn’t happen.
But, what does this mean? Fidelity refers to highly-produced content such as broadcast-quality videos or interactive walkthroughs. This content is expensive to make and difficult to maintain. Optimizing for speed allows for rapid updates—with easily editable text, pictures, screenshots, and more. Since most customer service teams work with constantly changing information, they need to move quickly to be effective. In cases like this, prioritize for speed to save time and see remarkable dividends.
Tip: Both speed and fidelity are important. If you’re creating content that stays pretty static, such as compliance information, fidelity may make more sense. Information regarding your products and services should be designed for speed so you can reflect changes in real-time.
Update high-priority content often
A great learning platform requires intentional care and needs to keep pace with the speed of your business. Nothing is more detrimental to healthy knowledge management than out-of-date and useless information. As your team develops content, create a cadence for reviewing and updating it on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. The ability to launch content—and change it instantly at scale maximizes impact.
Tip: Assign owners who are responsible for specific information within the learning platform. This level of shared ownership alongside recurring review sets your knowledge management efforts up for maximum implementation, engagement, and impact.
Provide system training
An internal training or knowledge management platform can only take your customer service efforts so far. Before setting customer service agents free to access during customer interactions, provide thoughtful training that shows everyone how to contribute to and leverage the resource. Training should include best practices for using the base, how to navigate through the system, and where information is located. It’s also important to provide team members and content owners with additional training about how to create and update information. Proper enablement on the front end will ensure that every member of your team is confident with the system—and therefore more likely to use on a daily basis.
Tip: Online training software makes it easy to provide system training to large teams. Instead of pulling agents away from their desks, create and disperse helpful training to everyone in a matter of minutes.
Together, these strategies cultivate high-performing agents that have the right information at their fingertips so they can provide superior service time and time again. Through intentional planning, teamwork, and training you’ll turn your learning program into a valuable internal resource that will greatly impact your customer service team and business.