Every sturdy structure needs a solid foundation. In customer service and support the best foundation is a knowledge base that holds the answer to anything a customer may need assistance with.
But where is all the knowledge held in your company? Is it all in one spot? Is it easy to find the answer to your question? Is there any organization to it at all?
Sadly, the answers in many businesses are:
- Every department has its own store of knowledge, much of it in people’s heads.
- No. (see #1)
When customers call with problems and questions, they don’t want to wait while you dig around for the answers and they don’t want to hear that you don’t know/can’t find out.
Believe it or not, your customer support agents don’t want to have to say they don’t know/can’t find out. They want to help. But they are frustrated in their efforts to help your customers because the information they need is scattered to the four winds.
It seems a Herculean task to find all those bits of knowledge and put them in one spot, organized and searchable. Or maybe you think there isn’t any information to give the customers or service reps. Where to even start?
Start with your known issues and their resolutions. Unless these issues have been or can be fixed in one fell swoop, as with a new software version or hotfix, a majority of the problem calls will likely relate to a known issue. At least, you know about the issue. And that there is a way to fix it.
But does customer service know? And if they know about the issue, do they know there is a resolution? Will they all relay the same information to your customers? Do they all have the most current and accurate answer?
If you add up all the costs of answering the same question multiple times plus the call back costs when the wrong answer is given, you start to see that the possible expense of having someone sit down and get all these issues and resolutions together in the same knowledge base is actually a pittance in comparison.
This will only be part of your knowledge foundation, these issues and resolutions, but it is a place to start. As you go along, start recording the questions that come in, so you can build an FAQ. As new products or upgrades come out, put all the information in your knowledge base, appropriately classified, so when the inevitable calls come in, the answers will be at the CSR’s fingertips. If you have an active customer forum, monitor the discussions and add those to the knowledge base.
But you have to start. No more putting it off. As they say in the Nike commercials:
Just Do It!
More posts about Knowledge Management: