Knowledge Management

What are the advantages of knowledge management?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 over that subject matter. If they document everything they know before leaving, you can continue to leverage that expertise after they’re gone.
  6. You also retain the ability to service very old or outdated products.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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.