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Knowledge Management in contact centres – a five-point plan to fast track success

The internet generation, once the preserve of the tech-savvy millennials, now spans all ages. At the click of a key, users can satisfy their thirst for knowledge and this insatiable appetite is growing. Google handles 40,000 search enquiries per second, that’s 45 million every hour and an unimaginable 3.5 billion every day.

However, where do customers go to find out more information, seek help or even complain after they have purchased their goods and services from a company? What does this all mean for today’s contact centre?

The findings of the “2015 ICT Enterprise Insights on Enterprise Applications Software” study published by research firm Ovum reveal that more than 60% of respondents expect to see investment in customer-focused IT in the next year, up almost 20% from 2014. Digging deeper, an article published by the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) , claims that companies who invest in specialist customer knowledge management systems can expect to meet increasing customer demands by ensuring they have all the information they need at their fingertips to reduce Average Handling Time (AHT), increase First Call Resolution (FCR) and increase customer loyalty.

With more and more people now using contact centres as an escalation channel, agents are beginning to handle complex queries that demand wider and greater knowledge, often forcing them to spend as much time searching for answers as actually engaging with customers.

Until now that is. The latest knowledge-based solutions automate the process of getting the right information quickly, leading to faster problem resolution. The aim of today’s contact centre leaders should be to turn every agent into a seasoned expert with a knowledge system that builds up a tried and tested library of answers to common problems. The following five-point plan is a fast track towards effective knowledge management in the contact centre:

1. All the benefits of the cloud wrapped up in one package – organisations should take advantage of the latest cloud contact centre solutions which offers many benefits such as improved deployment times, first-class security and reliable performance. What’s more, from one single application which integrates with other business and CRM systems, knowledge can be sourced quickly without the need to switch between different interfaces or applications. This results in faster contact resolution and highly personalised customer service.

2. Two-way knowledge – knowledge is a two-way street. It should be readily available and exchanged between the organisation and the customer and from one agent to another. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are often used by customers prior to making an enquiry. FAQs also have an important role to play by giving new agents access to the questions they are most likely to be asked and advice on how to answer them. Providing the right information via pop-ups on an agent’s desktop enables them to manage each customer interaction with confidence and to the best of their ability.

3. Right queue, first time – maximise the latest intelligent queuing technology. Managing a caller’s preferred contact method, whether voice, email, social media, SMS, chat, or fax creates a powerful, multichannel contact centre environment that is crucial to meeting the needs of today’s hyper connected customer. Look out too for flexibility to change outgoing messages and menu choices easily during holiday or busy seasonal periods and even give priority treatment to VIP customers.

4. Never underestimate the importance of onboarding – reports indicate that many agents throw in the towel within the first 90 days. It’s important to introduce new recruits to their environment quickly but sensitively rather than simply throw them into the lion’s den:
– Familiarise them with the benefits of a cloud contact centre offering access to multiple knowledge sources from a single screen
– Use silent monitoring for coaching and to build the new agent’s confidence when they do things right
– Making learning fun – the latest gamification techniques reward hard work and performance in an inclusive, light-hearted, constructive environment.

5. Work with a technology partner you can trust – finally, find a trusted technology partner which offers a highly scalable cloud-based contact centre solution that can grow with your organisation, understands the business and has the expertise to build up a meaningful knowledge base for your organisation.

By incorporating effective cloud-based knowledge management into the contact centre organisations can quickly discover the true meaning of a customer’s enquiry and swiftly pinpoint the most relevant answers. The result is exceptional service that eliminates costly research time, increases first contact accuracy, improves agent productivity and exceeds customer expectations.

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