Every customer service rep behind that screen is determined to acquire knowledge and pass that on to the customers through every conversation. The knowledge that lived in the minds of the customer service reps has benefitted the customers while resolving an issue. Back in 1992, this knowledge was acknowledged when the leaders and experts urged building a knowledge-base and documenting all the customer service knowledge to help ease the resolution process. Today, knowledge-centered service has become common and highly appreciated, and successful companies have been testing, developing, and improving it for years.
What is Knowledge-centered Service?
Knowledge-centered service (KCS) is a process in which customer support reps not only provide support to the customers in real time but also create and document the same process in a knowledge base.
How does it help?
In service request management, whenever agents encounter an issue, they refer to the knowledge base first to see if a similar problem has been documented along with its solution. If yes, then they follow the same steps as provided in the article. However, if not, they use the usual process to troubleshoot and resolve the issue while also documenting it in the knowledge base.
Simply put, KCS is all about leveraging the in-depth knowledge of the IT teams and bringing it to the page, creating detailed documentation for employees, system users, and customers. The knowledge base has to be treated as a business asset so that no one has to entirely depend on memory and their superiors to get details now and then.
Benefits of Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS)
Adding knowledge management to your business process is necessary, and that too for good reasons. According to studies, ITSM expert John Custy shared some powerful numbers to support the case of adopting KCS. The team adopting KCS would most likely see the following:
- 30-50% increase in first-contact resolution
- 20-35% improvement in employee retention
- 20-40% improvement in employee satisfaction
- 10% fewer customer tickets
Some other reasons for adopting KCS include the following:
1. It helps you provide quicker resolution: There always comes a time when the customers surprise the agents with a challenging issue they have never encountered. In such cases, agents would probably brainstorm, run to their superiors for help and take longer than usual to provide resolution. There’s no denying it can frustrate the customer and result in churn.
Now, how about this? As soon as the issue comes, the agent will refer to the knowledgebase and come across a similar documented problem along with its solution. He will follow the same steps as outlined in the article and provide the resolution to the customer in no time. That’s how KCS helps you free up time.
2. It helps you establish a more consistent customer experience: Consistency is everything! Naturally, customers love fast fixes, positive experiences, and confident and knowledgeable agents. To ensure this, agents must use the same playbook and same process as outlined in the knowledge base to provide consistent customer experience no matter which customer service channel they use. Consistent positive experiences make customers happy, which automatically improves the bottom line of business.
3. KCS enables true self-service: Many customers prefer to solve their problems on their own, and the knowledge base helps them do just that. Self-service not just allows customers to get quicker problem resolution but also reduces service desk costs significantly. This kind of money-saving self-service is only possible with an approach like KCS that builds informative and up-to-date documentation into your service practice.
How does KCS work?
Step 1: Capturing knowledgeWhenever a request comes in, agents resolve the issue and create an article based on the same process. The aim is to make information inherently relevant and easily searchable. The knowledge base articles are created as a by-product of problem-solving.
Step 2: Structuring the knowledgeAlways follow a well-structured format or template whenever you create an article for the knowledge base. This helps simplify the process and create consistency in the customer experience with the business’s knowledge base.
Step 3: Reuse knowledgeWhenever a request comes in, the agent must refer to the knowledge base first to see if there is any related article. Following the steps outlined in the article will help save up time.
Step 4: Improving knowledgeAs the knowledge base keeps getting with all the necessary articles over time, agents become responsible for less content creation from scratch and more updates to the existing articles to ensure the knowledge base is up-to-date.
KCS has helped many companies simplify their processes over the years, and it will continue to do so because of pretty good reasons. A knowledge-centered approach in business processes helps teams respond to and resolve issues quickly, provide consistent answers, and enable self-service. For companies who haven’t yet adopted the KCS approach, it’s high time they should!