Transforming CX with contact center knowledge management

Startek Editorial
Startek Editorial

May 03, 2023 | 7 min read

In 2020, the size of the global contact center market was close to USD 340 billion and by 2027, the sector was projected to grow to a total value of USD 496 billion. In the current competitive business landscape, contact centers play a crucial role in ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty. However, providing world-class Customer Experience (CX) requires careful planning, especially for organizations that handle a high volume of customer interactions. One of the critical factors that help companies to enhance their CX delivery is the implementation of knowledge management solutions. Knowledge management tools enable contact center agents to become more efficient and effective by giving easy access to accurate and relevant information. By supporting agents to resolve customer inquiries more efficiently, contact center knowledge management solutions drive higher customer satisfaction and retention.

What is knowledge management and why do contact centers need it?

Knowledge management refers to the process of identifying, creating, organizing and sharing knowledge and information within an organization to improve its efficiency, productivity and decision-making capabilities. Knowledge management tools capture the knowledge and expertise of team members, customers and other stakeholders and make this information accessible to those who need it.

In contact centers, knowledge management is important because it equips agents to provide better and faster customer service. Contact centers typically handle a large volume of customer inquiries and knowledge management gives agents access to the right information at the right time. This results in faster resolution times, improved customer satisfaction and increased efficiency. Contact centers can capture and store information about products, services, policies, procedures, customer feedback and frequently asked questions and serve this content to both agents and customers, for example through chatbots or virtual assistants. For agents, knowledge management solutions are an invaluable tool that make it possible to a respond to customers quickly without having to search through multiple sources or consult with other team members. In this way, knowledge management solutions support a consistent experience for customers by ensuring each agent and automated resources provide correct and consistent information. According to a 2022 report from HubSpot, a knowledge base on the company website was ranked as one of the top 3 tools or technologies that businesses used to enable customer service teams.

Customers reaching out expect live agents to be able to support them with a wide range of queries, from store opening hours to special offers. In this environment, agents can face obstacles including:

Information overload - Contact centers often deal with a vast amount of information from different sources, including customer feedback, company policies and industry regulations. Agents may struggle to find the right information at the right time.

Information inaccuracy - Ensuring the accuracy of the information used by contact center agents is essential. However, in a fast-paced environment, without a central information source, agents may not know what information is the most up-to-date and accurate.

Knowledge silos - Knowledge silos can occur when departments or teams within a company use different systems or databases to manage their information. This makes it challenging for contact center agents to access the information they need, especially if they must switch between different systems or databases.

No multichannel support - Contact centers are increasingly required to support customers across multiple channels, including phone, email, chat and social media. Without a central knowledge source, contact center agents may find it difficult to keep track of all the information they need to provide effective support.

Technology limitations - Contact center technology can be a significant obstacle to managing knowledge effectively. Legacy systems may be unable to store or retrieve information efficiently, while newer systems could require customization to integrate with existing knowledge management processes.

Managing knowledge in a contact center is an important task that requires a coordinated effort from stakeholders. Knowledge management solutions make it possible to put the information agents need at their fingertips.

Benefits of knowledge management for CX

Effective knowledge management systems enable organizations to streamline their CX operations, provide faster and more accurate customer service and ultimately improve customer satisfaction. The benefits of knowledge management for customer experience include:

Findability of information - With an effective knowledge management system customer service agents can quickly and easily access the information they need to provide customers with accurate and timely solutions, leading to improved customer satisfaction.

Enhanced first contact resolution - First Contact Resolution (FCR) is a critical customer service metric and measures the percentage of customer inquiries resolved in the first interaction. An AI-powered knowledge management system supports customer service agents to provide faster and more accurate solutions, leading to a higher FCR rate.

Improved average handling time - Average handling time (AHT) is another critical metric in customer service, measuring the average time it takes for a customer inquiry to be resolved. Contact center knowledge management can help to reduce AHT by providing agents with quick access to relevant information, enabling them to provide faster solutions to customer inquiries.

Reduces agent error - Inaccurate information leads to customer frustration and dissatisfaction. With a robust knowledge management system in place, contact center agents can access accurate and up-to-date information, reducing the likelihood of errors.

Ticket deflection - By providing customers with self-service options through an online knowledge base, organizations deflect customer inquiries from their support channels, reducing customer service agents' workload and improving customer satisfaction by enabling customers to help themselves.

Reduces training time - Contact center knowledge management tools mean agents need to memorize less information and increase speed to proficiency. By providing agents with access to relevant and up-to-date information, organizations ensure their teams are well-equipped to handle any customer inquiry.

With the right knowledge management system in place, organizations create a competitive advantage and establish themselves as CX leaders.

What are the top knowledge management tools?

In today's fast-paced business environment, knowledge management tools play a critical role in helping contact centers manage and share information effectively. Knowledge base, visual how-to guides and AI bots are knowledge management tools that deliver measurable results for contact centers.

Knowledge base - A knowledge base is a centralized repository of information that can be accessed by contact center agents to answer customer inquiries. It includes articles, FAQs and other resources that help agents provide quick and accurate answers to customer inquiries. Knowledge bases can be created and maintained using knowledge management tools and provide easy access to information that helps them resolve customer issues more efficiently, with fast and accurate support. Knowledge bases can also provide information for self-service solutions. 

Visual how-to guides - Visual how-to guides direct customers through complex processes with screenshots, images and videos for step-by-step instructions to perform a specific task. Visual how-to guides can be integrated into knowledge bases or provided as stand-alone resources for customers. 

Chatbots – Chatbots are increasingly popular in contact centers to automate customer support. Using natural language processing (NLP) to understand customer inquiries and provide fast and accurate responses in human-like conversations, chatbots can be used to answer frequently asked questions, provide product recommendations and assist customers with complex tasks. 

Best practices for enhancing CX through knowledge management systems  

Best practices for enhancing CX through knowledge management systems blog infographic

Effective knowledge management is a key component in enabling the delivery of world-class CX. Brands should prioritize implementing knowledge management best practices to deliver the biggest CX impact:

Create a knowledge-sharing culture - Encouraging employees to share knowledge and experiences with their colleagues. By fostering a culture of knowledge sharing, companies ensure their knowledge management system is continuously updated, leading to better decision-making and improved CX.

Encourage collaboration and feedback - Collaboration helps to break down silos and promotes cross-functional learning. Additionally, by encouraging feedback from team members and customers, the knowledge management system becomes more valuable over time by highlighting gaps or errors so they can be addressed.

Regularly update and maintain information - Conduct regular audits to identify outdated or incorrect information, remove irrelevant content and add new information. By keeping the knowledge management system up-to-date, brands ensure agents have access to the latest information.

Integrate technology - By combining knowledge management systems with our technology, brands can further enhance the use of the information contained within the system. For example, combining a knowledge base with speech or text analytics can present agents with suggested knowledge base content based on the interaction being had, eliminating the need for the agent to seek out that information.   Additionally, chatbots and automated self-service solutions can present customers with information housed in the knowledge base in response to their queries. Knowledge management systems play a crucial role in enhancing customer experience and improving overall business performance. Effectively implementing a knowledge management tool requires careful planning and governance to ensure that the system is used effectively and efficiently. CX solutions providers have extensive experience building knowledge repositories and are well-placed to support brands in establishing clear guidelines for creating, storing and sharing knowledge.

The benefits of a well-managed KMS for customer experience are undeniable. By providing teams with easy access to the latest information, agents can deliver fast, helpful services to your customers, reducing response times and increasing customer satisfaction.

Enjoy the benefits of a well-managed knowledge management system for your contact center.  Learn more about Startek® Knowledge Management

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