Independent Contact Center Consultants: Bridging Strategy, Technology and Operations Since 2004

Technology Optimization: Knowledge Management

knowledge managementKnowledge 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. These “solutions” present an array of challenges:

  • Home-grown cheat sheets and Post-It notes do not give the center control over content accuracy or relevance.
  • Email updates may not be accessible in a timely fashion when agents need access to that information. Some agents may delete these messages once read (and perhaps forgotten!)
  • Manuals and binders are time-consuming to search and may contain dated information. Shared copies may go missing. Individual copies clutter limited desktop space.
  • Intranet file sharing sites may be difficult to search and house a lot of information that is not relevant to contact handling. Information may not be up-to-date.
  • “Ask a Neighbor” may result in inaccurate or inconsistent responses. “Tribal knowledge” leaves the center when employees pursue other opportunities.

Fortunately, there are some excellent tools to help you rise to the challenge and make a real difference for your company, your agents, and your customers. Here are a few things to consider when choosing your platform.

FIRST: Meet with your CRM provider to understand their approach to KM and its integration with their core offering. A KM tab on the agent desktop could bring up the search capabilities while carrying over details about the customer and current transaction. It could pop relevant information on side panels – e.g., agent scrips, product and service recommendations. And agent training may be simplified as a function of sharing a common user interface.

SECOND: Find out which tools you already own support wiki functionality. The latest release of SharePoint is a good place to start. Some learning content management systems (LCMS) also provide KM functionality. Either option could get you up and running quickly. However, make sure that the features it offers are what you really need. You don’t want to jeopardize user acceptance or set yourself up for a painful transition downstream.

THIRD: Check with your IT department to see what level of support they’re prepared to offer. If they are thin on resources, a hosted solution might make sense.

FINALLY: Remember that it takes the right business processes and people to make the investment in technology pay off. Absent supervision, the technology might not be used appropriately, or worse, the contents could become dated, inaccurate, or irrelevant.