Geoff Turner from Carone gives us the lowdown on all things Knowledgebase

As you know, here at Logicalware HQ, we go a bit mad for all things customer service.  Well, guess what, we are not alone.  We got talking to Geoff Turner from Carone who gave us an insight into the world of the knowledgebase solutions.  Interested read on and find out more.

What exactly is a knowledgebase? What’s sets it apart?

A web posting defines a knowledgebase as: a centralised repository for related information based on a topic or subject. That is a dry definition, but is the essence of what we want to deploy with a knowledgebase. But, it is not a definition of what we want to achieve as an end goal. More simply put a knowledgebase is a way for customers and agents to find the right answer to their query in a few seconds. It is important to emphasise the ability to find the answer in seconds not minutes. Without speed, we could simply have a manual on a certain topic and call it a knowledgebase!

A knowledgebase is a focused subject area with the ability to retrieve a specific answer within that subject area quickly. This can sometimes be referred to as “Intelligent FAQs” (Frequently Asked Questions). We may also find the right answer to a question by having to ask the user several questions to diagnose the appropriate answer.

With the ability to search, diagnose and find the right answer to our query we have the basis of a knowledgebase. To support our knowledge, we will need content to put into our database of questions and answers. As a basic rule, we will have spilt our content up into a ‘one question and one answer’ pair. Not taking this approach inhibits our ability to get a specific answer to a specific question in a few seconds. Next, we need to support the content authors in analysing the effectiveness of the knowledgebase in order to supply the right content. This creates a virtual circle of usage and effectiveness.

What is the difference between knowledge and web site or intranet content?

The difference is in how quickly can you find and retrieve an answer to a specific question – it should be less than ten seconds. Beyond this time limit, agents are wasting their time and money, and customers will drop out of the search unless they are highly committed to resolving their issue online.

When is the right time to invest in a knowledgebase for our business?

“Always pass on what you have learned” (the wisdom of Yoda – Star Wars.)

In a contact centre, it is typical for new agents to receive a two or three-week induction course. However, after this training there is little to support their knowledge in a time pressured environment. A supporting tool of knowledge is an obvious answer to this issue.

For your end customers initiating their contact with your company through your web site, it is a reality that they will spend minutes scrolling through your website content or static FAQ section to find an answer to a specific question. Some answers they may find easily but many they will not. In this case, they abandon their search and either abandon the site or now must contact customer services.  A knowledgebase of timely, accurate and relevant answers is an easy and fast way to save money, reduce unnecessary inbound contacts and improve the customer experience.

Getting the most out of your personalised knowledgebase

Where do knowledge deployments have the most impact? A flexible knowledge application can be used in a wide variety of situations. Examples can include: supporting a quote to buy process or browse to basket shopping, diagnosing support issues, updating teams on campaign goals, ensuring regulatory compliance on a customer sale, on-boarding agents to reduce training time from weeks to days. There is a long list! The most common deployments and a great starting point includes these examples:

Contact Centre Agent Support. Provide your agent teams with the right answer in a few seconds. Why have agents guessing an answer, accidently misleading customers, having to ask experienced colleagues (again), saving information to their desktop, or even using sticky notes on their screen!

Web Self Service Customer Support. Not all customers wish to contact your service team to get an answer, many would prefer to find the answer themselves and do this quickly and easily. Certain queries may require action by the customer service team, but helping your customers to provide the right information first time, avoids an agent response with a request for further information. A correctly designed self-service help page will achieve improved service at a lower cost, than agent support for a category of queries and improve First Contact Resolution.

Internal Employee Human Resources Support. For organisations with several hundred employees and above, an easy to use HR portal is an efficient way of managing scarce HR resources. The HR team should not need to be answering questions to what will be the company handbook.

Sales Support. For an online transaction, there is a common acceptance to have a live chat agent available to support the customer for any query to assist basket completion. However, it is more cost effective to show the top five answers specific to that web page, which can dynamically change through customer usage. This leaves the live chat agent resource available for more complex questions. Supporting customers sales queries online is simple and effective.

Summary

A knowledgebase is an effective way to get the heavy lifting done for agent and customer support, sales, education and compliance. It can start at a small scale, perhaps with only twenty answers to begin with, but will grow with your organisation. Knowledge becomes an asset with a tangible value, and part of the company DNA.

Feel free to contact us on how to start easily and simply, and allow the knowledgebase to self-seed its own answers.