What Is A Collaborative Content Hub For Customer Service?


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Knowledge management for customer service has always been a difficult proposition. Its not that knowledge management fails to work – It does its job well, as proven by the numerous case studies that showcase real ROI as well as the maturity of vendor solutions. The historical difficulty with knowledge management is that many buyers and users don’t understand the difference between knowledge management and content management; and typically view it as a heavyweight and laborious solution.

Perhaps its time to lose the overweighted term of “knowledge management” and focus on what it is that customer service agents need to do their job – i.e. to answer customer questions in a reproducible, complete and accurate way. They need access to up-to date content, that is aligned to customer demand, which is created in a collaborative way. This content must also be available to call center agents, as well as agents dedicated to the email, chat and social communication channels. A subset of this content must also be available to customers via a web self-service site. All these requirements translate into a collaborative content hub.

Here are the main capabilities that make up a collaborative content hub:

  • Easy content capture. You should be able to flag information from any source (email, discussion forum thread, social media interaction) and effortlessly kick it off to be included in your collaborative content hub.
  • Democracy. Everyone within an organization, (and customers as well) should be able to recommend information to be included in the content hub.
  • Flexible authoring. You must be able to create and publish content without arduous workflows. Not all content should be subjected to the same workflows. Some content must be able to be published instantly, for example a service alert. Other content should be able to be routed through review or legal compliance flows
  • Social content: Anyone who comes into contact with content should be able to rate content, and comment on content.
  • Content comes in all flavors. Not all content is curated. Content within the hub should include discussion threads, and content residing in other repositories (ex content management systems, bug databases etc).
  • Collaborative. A certain segment of agents or customer facing personnel should have the authority to change content and republish it without arduous approvals.
  • Content + Process. Content, from the content hub, must be linked to customer service business processes – for example, to case management processes, so contextual and personalized content can be pushed to the agent at the right point of the service interaction.
  • Relevance. Reports are a fundamental capability of a collaborative content hub as you need to understand content usage so you can evolve content in line with customer demand.
  • Agility. You need to stay ahead of the curve. To do this, you need to mine social sites out of your direct control and use text analytics to understand conversations that customers are having about your products and services (ex social conversations about a particular product issue). You then need to use these insights to generate content and push it out to your customer base to proactively deflect contacts from your contact center.

A collaborative content hub is more than traditional knowledge management. It is a synthesis of knowledge management + discussion forums + collaborative authoring + search + gamification + reporting + text analytics that no vendor is tying together right now. Do you think there is a need for such a content hub? Let me know your thoughts.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kate Leggett
Kate serves Business Process Professionals. She is a leading expert on customer service strategies. Her research focuses on helping organizations establish and validate customer service strategies strategies, prioritize and focus customer service projects, facilitate customer service vendor selection, and plan for project success.


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