Why are so many knowledge bases inefficient to use when contact centers invest so much money in them? How can organizations more effectively direct customers to the knowledge they’re looking for? Gartner’s newest customer service report “Delivering Relevant Content and Knowledge to Customers Is Key to Great Customer Service” focuses on just these dilemmas.
According to Gartner, customer service leaders should focus on these seven knowledge management best practices for improved customer service. See where your contact center makes its mark or could use a little improvement.
1. ‘Outside In’ Design Thinking
Developing a great customer service solution starts at the design stage. An “outside in” approach requires you to think about the user experience as you design, rather than just basic functionality. List your CX goals beforehand. These can be established through the following:
- Observing: Look for patterns in how customers interact with your current solution
- Engaging: Seek customer feedback and stories
- Watching and listening: Gartner suggests having a person run through a task while you watch and ask questions about their experience.
2. Knowledge Base Consolidation
It’s estimated that agents spend 20% of their time working to understand questions and search a knowledge base for the correct information. That’s simply too much time and a large portion of the blame lies with poor knowledge base management. It’s far too easy for knowledge to end up in silos, where it may not be accessible to an agent in a time of need.
An approach focusing on knowledge base consolidation can lower costs and improve the speed of knowledge delivery. In addition to faster information retrieval, consolidation can give agents access to important customer information that will allow them to personalize each experience and provide improved CX.
3. Search Engine Optimization
While improving the agent experience is paramount to customer service success, it’s not the only area to focus on. Gartner estimates that 85% of interaction will start with self service solutions, more than 30% higher than in 2019. Ensuring customers can find your online self service tools is essential.
While many companies just assume customers can find a solution by “Googling it,” the truth is that pages need to follow search engine optimization (SEO) best practices to be easily discovered. Your organization should also think about ways to create an active community environment, as this can give you data for better SEO phrasing.
4. Guided Experience
While removing silos in your knowledge base is a great first step, it simply isn’t enough. Investing in a tool that can automate the collection of knowledge depending on customer needs can improve both the agent and customer experience greatly.
The right solution should be able to adjust based on the maturity of the customer relationship to offer a personalized experience. According to Gartner, this is especially important for industries with complex processes, like media and banking.
5. Intelligent Site and App Search
While many sites and apps are dependent on search capabilities, not all search technologies are created equal. Some key capabilities to look into including are semantic analytics and natural language processing. Semantic analytics can be used to examine documents with a higher level of intelligence than a pure keyword search. Natural language processing, meanwhile, can be used to find knowledge that lacks text, like educational videos.
6. Virtual Customer Assistants
A virtual customer assistant (VCA) can help direct customers to the knowledge they need, rather than forcing them to navigate the site on their own. This tool is an especially good option for web capabilities or a mobile app, as they can be formatted for smaller screens. Other similar tools to consider include chatbots and smart speakers. Whatever your choice, it’s important to take a best-of-breed approach to any conversational AI.
Ultimately, VCA and other AI can offer yet another platform to engage with customers and solve problems.
7. Content Contextualization
A personalized experience is essential for the modern customer. Understanding the context for an interaction can not only ease the customer journey but make life easier for agents. Of course, you’ll need to access multiple insights to make this kind of customer experience possible. Contact centers can make it possible by improving in analyzing historic information from both online and offline sources, like app use, social media sharing and location.