Knowledge is power. As cliché as it sounds, this statement is particularly true in the era of the empowered customer. Since buyers demand more timely and personalized service across multiple channels, companies must make sure that their agents are empowered with the tools and relevant information to meet these needs.
This is where knowledge management comes in.
Knowledge management systems provide a platform enabling agents to seamlessly access the content needed to resolve customer issues and improve productivity. In November 2015, Aberdeen Group published a research report detailing the business impact of, and best practices for, incorporating knowledge management in the contact center.
Below you can see the difference in year-over-year performance that knowledge management makes for companies that have it, when compared to those that don’t.
Year-over-year percent change
Companies with Knowledge Management
Companies without it
Numbers of positive social media mentions
Number of quality SLAs met
Improvement in number of customer complaints
Source: Aberdeen Group, May 2016
Companies with knowledge management use this dedicated platform to supply agents with timely and relevant knowledgebase articles. By contrast, non-users lack such a centralized system. Instead, organizational knowledge is stored across disparate systems, and agents must navigate through them to find and access the content needed to do their jobs.
In other words, knowledge management tools help companies improve agent productivity by making it easier for contact center personnel to get the information they need. In this way, they avoid the labor costs associated with the sub-par productivity of agents in organizations without knowledge management.
Indeed, according to our Knowledge Management in the Contact Center study, companies with knowledge management enjoy an annual improvement (3.2 percent) in agent utilization rates, while those without it suffer from the worsening (-0.4 percent) of this metric.
Enabling agents with relevant and timely insights ultimately helps deliver better customer experiences. As shown in the above table, companies with knowledge management systems see far superior results, year-over-year, in improving customer satisfaction and reducing client complaints.
Based on our research and analysis, we recommend giving knowledge management a look, especially if your agents too often end up wasting time trying to find the critical information they need. And, in the end, it is well-established that companies willing to build the right infrastructure and execute on a well-designed knowledge strategy tend to reap substantial benefits and outpace their competitors when it comes to customer service and the overall customer experience.
Omer Minkara is research director at Aberdeen Group.