- The quality of the information you provide is better. You can give consistent information across different personnel or locations. Once a piece of knowledge is perfect, you will never miss a step or give wrong advice. You give the right answer the first time every time.
- You can provide these answers faster. You eliminate the need to research the same problem over and over again. You can walk the customer through the solution in real time with relative ease and confidence that it will work.
- Or even better, they can look it up for themselves. If you open up your knowledge base either partially or entirely, you enable self-help. That eliminates the need for one-to-one (expensive) support by enabling online self-help.
- You can break down silos in the organization, which is beneficial for everyone. You don’t end up with “The SQL Guy.” That’s the employee who is the only one that can answer questions about SQL, and therefore they always do. When they’re on vacation, you grind to a halt and wait for The SQL Guy to return. It’s not good for the team and it is also not very fun being The SQL Guy either. It’s better if you can share the load.
- You don’t lose knowledge when you lose people. As bad as it is when The SQL Guy is on vacation, it’s even worse when they retire. Suddenly you realize nobody is able to take that over that subject matter. If they document everything they knows before leaving, you can continue to leverage that expertise after they’re gone.
- You also retain the ability to service very old or outdated products. You’re not necessarily going to have a new hire ramp up on obsolete products. That’s not fair to them or very useful for you. However, if you’ve documented obsolete products completely, you can rely on that for lingering service needs.
- You can upskill new hires much faster. They can often be immediately viable. All they need to do is search for known answers and regurgitate them to the customer. That makes them an immediate asset instead of spending many months shadowing or training before they can help.
- If you do this really well, in a Knowledge Centered Support methodology, paired with a CRM, you can use the linkage reports to discover the most pressing problems and actually use it to drive product development. Documenting a problem makes support quick and painless. Fixing the problem eliminates the need entirely.
- All of this leads to higher customer satisfaction if they know they can always call and get a complete and consistent answer regardless of who they are connected to. Or better yet, they can just search and solve themselves. Depending on your industry that can be a real differentiator.
- And last, and probably my favorite having come from that world, it increases employee satisfaction. Nobody likes being caught on the phone without an answer or back up. It’s isolating and stressful. However, if you know that 80% of the time, you can rely on and contribute to a shared resource, you have a greater sense of purpose and a less stressful job. The result is you can actually get some longevity out of your teams.
Knowledge Centered Support (KCS) is a customer service methodology that focuses on knowledge as a key asset of the organization. It is a way of interacting with knowledge which enables teams to answer questions quickly, deliver answers where people are looking for them, and train new employees faster.
KCS derives from the idea that knowledge is created when people solve problems. When a customer support team member solves a problem, they capture that knowledge in a knowledge base so that it can be reused by others. This knowledge base constantly evolves as new problems are solved and new solutions are discovered.
KCS has a number of benefits, including:
- Reduced costs: KCS can help organizations reduce costs by reducing the time it takes to resolve customer issues. This is because support team members can quickly and easily find the information they need to solve problems in the knowledge base.
- Improved customer satisfaction: KCS can help organizations improve customer satisfaction by providing customers with access to self-service knowledge resources. This allows customers to solve their own problems without having to wait for a support team member to help them.
- Improved support team satisfaction: KCS can help improve support team satisfaction by giving support team members a sense of ownership over their knowledge. Support team members are encouraged to contribute to the knowledge base and share their knowledge with others.
- Faster training for new employees: KCS can help organizations train new employees faster by providing them with access to a comprehensive knowledge base. This allows new employees to learn from the experience of others and get up to speed quickly.
- KCS is a powerful methodology that can help organizations improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their customer support operations. It is a good fit for organizations of all sizes, in all industries.
Here are some examples of how KCS can be used in different industries:
- IT support: IT support teams can use KCS to capture and share knowledge about how to solve common technical problems. This can help them resolve customer issues more quickly and efficiently.
- Healthcare: Healthcare organizations can use KCS to capture and share knowledge about medical conditions, treatments, and wellness advice. This can help them provide their patients with better care.
- Education: Educational institutions can use KCS to capture and share knowledge about teaching methods, curriculum, and student assessment. This can help them improve the quality of their educational programs.
If you are interested in learning more about KCS, there are a number of resources available online and through the Consortium for Service Innovation.