Knowledge is power. For contact center representatives, it’s the power to access the right information, the right resources, and/or the right processes to serve customer needs. For customers, it’s the power to get consistent information no matter which channels they use to retrieve it.
There are many different forms of knowledge and job aids across the center and the corporation. They’re spread across systems, documents, handwritten notes, and people. Technology can bring order to this chaos.
Knowledge Management (KM) systems leverage existing resources and newly created content to provide answers to user queries via a natural language interface. Their search engines pull and assemble information directly from the root sources, including databases, data directories with specific files (e.g., .PDF, .DOC, .TXT, etc.), CRM systems, intranets, extranets, or websites. KM is a sophisticated application that takes investment in time and money to implement.
Wikis are special purpose websites that give nontechnical users the wherewithal to create and edit any number of interlinked web pages using a simplified markup language or text editor. Pages can be associated with a table of contents, an index, or other form of categorization. An integrated search engine delivers content by titles, keywords, and phrases. [Think Wikipedia.] Unlike KM systems that often take a year or more before users reap benefits, wikis can reach a critical mass of knowledge within a few months.
Microsoft’s SharePoint provides access to a library of electronic documents that authorized users can view, share, and/or update. The latest release includes wiki functionality.
Which technology fits where?
KM systems tend to be associated with applications for which:
- The search-and-find operation must access multiple, pre-existing repositories of data
- Cross-selling and upselling generate a significant amount of revenue since KM can link inquiries to product and service recommendations
- There is significant unrealized potential for self-service
Wikis are well-suited to environments that do not have formal information repositories and/or where a community of contributors can add value to the knowledge gathering process. Examples:
- Technical support for hardware or software where “front line” practitioners document the quirks and permutations on use of their products
- Contact center agents sharing hints and tips on how to process certain types of transactions, or how to get things done in the organization
Whichever direction you choose to go, here are some key features and functions that you should consider:
- Intelligent search
- Industry standard synonym dictionaries
- Guided answers
- Process wizards
- Content rating
- Authoring, editing and publishing tool
- Archive capabilities
- Workflow tools
- User profile definition tool with security level assignments
- Reporting and analytics tool
- Standard integration APIs to CRM
- Web integration tool
- Email integration
- Easy-to-use application user interfaces
To learn more, read Share the Wealth of Knowledge in Your Center: Leverage technology to take control of your information resources and provide timely access for agents and customers.