How Knowledge Management Can Improve Your Contact Center

We all know that information is a key to success. However, information alone is not enough when working in the contact center industry. You need to pair it with speed to achieve the perfect formula for improving customer experiences and increasing satisfaction.

The best and easiest way to do that is to implement knowledge management in your contact center. While this is a widely known practice that is used in all areas of business, it is particularly helpful in this environment.

At its core, knowledge management is a process that efficiently captures, distributes, and uses data. It all started in the 1980s with the development of intranet networks and is now widely used as an effective management technique in companies that value information and knowledge transfer.

In the almost 40 years since this concept was first devised, knowledge management has undergone some modifications. Nowadays it's more synonymous with information access, open communication, and situational awareness. An updated definition would sound something like this: Knowledge management proposes a new, integrated approach to how companies handle information assets. Databases, documents, procedures, policies, and, most important, individual experience are all shared within the company.

In other words, knowledge management is the best way to make sure that all of your employees have access to vital information, therefore making their jobs easier and increasing their productivity.

Using knowledge management in your business is the secret to enhancing your customer experience and increasing productivity at a company level.

In this new reality, where customers are accustomed to speed and efficiency, providing faster resolutions to clients is crucial for contact centers. And you can't improve your processes if your agents have limited access to information and the expertise of your star employees is not shared with the entire team. A single employee can only do so much.

According to industry standards, agents spend up to 20 percent of their time trying to understand the problem users are reporting and searching for appropriate solutions. With knowledge management this time can be reduced by half, offering agents more time to talk to more customers, therefore also reducing waiting times and increasing the number of interactions they can process in a day.

Depending on existing procedures for information distribution within the company and the knowledge management process you adopt, you can increase employee efficiency and customer satisfaction by 20 percent to 80 percent.

While there is a plethora of tools that are used for knowledge management on a wider scale, there is an actual tool available to contact centers, specifically the omnichannel software approach, which is now essentially replacing the outdated multichannel approach of the 2000s. Contact centers that use multipurpose software with a simple interface that allows agents and supervisors access to a detailed call history, detailed account reporting, and an infrastructure that facilitates seamless transfers to experts/supervisors with use of all media channels are positioned to succeed. This is the simplest method to implement knowledge management in an environment as complex as a contact center.

The basis of an inbound call center is to offer information to customers in a timely fashion. While common problems can be easily addressed due to their repetitive nature, more complicated or more personal issues are directly related to the time it takes an agent to access the right information.

By facilitating agents' access to a complete database of both client information and in-house procedures, you not only increase efficiency but greatly improve customer experience and customer satisfaction. Integrating all information in a single, easy-to-use platform is the winning move you've needed.

In an era where both speed and information are crucial when working in customer service, fast access to knowledge databases seems like a no-brainer. Unfortunately, the complex nature of call centers can, more often than not, lead to one too many procedures that ultimately cause a bottleneck of information (which indirectly affects the most sought-after prize in the industry—CX).

By integrating knowledge management in your company, you can not only improve the speed with which agents access vital client information but also generate more customer satisfaction, increasing the number of processed calls and building a better brand image.

Steven Bederman is president of NobelBiz.