Your support agents may not be sharing knowledge—here’s why

Your agents’ knowledge is invaluable to your team’s performance and yet, they may feel reluctant to share that information with the rest of the team. What do we mean by sharing knowledge?

One of your agents is a product expert in billing. He writes an FAQ or a how-to guide with helpful tips for solving a payment issue and publishes it in a central place, the knowledge base, where every agent has viewing privileges. By making his experience accessible for any support team member at any time or place, the agent is knowledge sharing.

Knowledge sharing has several advantages (faster access to articles that help customers, up-to-date information, etc.), but still, your team isn’t necessarily on board. We’ve listed out a few reasons why your agents may not be sharing knowledge:

Agents don’t have time

Agents may feel it’s too time-consuming to write an article about a recent customer issue they faced and how they solved it– especially if support tickets are piling up and they still need to accomplish certain tasks during the week.

When another agent comes along with the same issue and doesn’t know how to solve it, they’ll have to figure out a solution from scratch; wasting time, money, and energy on something that already has a workable solution.

The fix: Gather the team and create a set of ambitious objectives and key results (OKRs), a goal-setting technique that will help the team commit, focus, and track what matters most (in this case it’s knowledge sharing). With OKRs the team can stay aligned towards your objective and hold themselves accountable to reach set goals. After choosing a few OKRs, take the next step: carve out a certain amount of time each week or month where agents focus on creating content for the knowledge base. Support leaders can go into analytics dashboards and pick out times when support volume is low. Make it a team-wide knowledge sharing marathon for an hour or so.

When managers provide the team dedicated time to prioritize knowledge sharing, agents can better manage their daily workloads to accomplish their content goals.

They don’t know how to share or access knowledge

If agents were hired during busier quarters they might not have been trained in sharing and accessing knowledge. In these scenarios, agents may want to share knowledge and benefit from others’ expertise, but don’t know how to contribute or access this information.

The fix: Organize regular training sessions or webinars on the best ways for employees to pass on their expertise. Get technical and show them how to best use your knowledge-sharing platform and which types of content adds the most value to the team. Make these pieces of training available through your organization’s internal knowledge base so anyone can watch whenever’s convenient.

Once agents learn how to effectively share information, the information that was once siloed will become available to all agents. This will enable the team to do more to help customers and the company succeed by sharing the right resources.

There’s no official knowledge-sharing platform

How can agents share information if they don’t have one accessible, updated source for knowledge?

The fix: Start by enlisting an owner for a knowledge-sharing strategy. You may want to choose a support team member who believes in the benefits and can convince top management of the need for a knowledge-sharing platform. Have the owner and support team gather and organize all the content they have in one place so it’s available to everyone - this is the first step towards building a knowledge-sharing strategy.

You can and should go back to your customer journey map to understand customers’ knowledge gaps, see whether you have content to address their gaps, and if not, come up with content ideas. When reexamining the customer journey map, find out customers’ most common questions and which pages are most popular based on site traffic. Here's a quick reminder on how to create an effective customer journey map.

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