What is knowledge management and why all businesses need it
Imagine if your business could collect, write, and distribute knowledge internally and externally to meet key objectives. By using a system to manage this knowledge—that’s presented as FAQs, videos, updates, etc—customers can find answers more easily and agents can resolve issues faster and more accurately.
Knowledge management involves identifying, collecting, creating, organizing, sharing, and measuring knowledge. Thankfully, teams don’t need to sacrifice their day-to-day tasks to complete the above. Modern knowledge management software can help with these important steps.
In this post, we'll cover what knowledge management is, the difference between a knowledge base and knowledge management, and its benefits for agents, customers, and the company.
What is knowledge management (KM)?
Knowledge management is the process of creating, gathering, sharing, optimizing, and managing information.
Through knowledge management, companies can gain insights into content performance to strengthen decision-making, align all employees towards the organization’s goals and mission, and deflect tickets by providing customers with relevant information.
You’ve likely heard the term knowledge base (KB)—Is this the same as knowledge management?
Though knowledge base and knowledge management are often used interchangeably, they’re actually distinct from one another.
A knowledge base is the published how-to-guides, FAQs, company policies, and product/feature content library. It’s where companies keep and organize content. Without a knowledge base, you don’t have knowledge management.
Knowledge management is the strategy brands use to create a knowledge base, which functions as a self-service center for your customers, an internal tool for agents, and a content hub for any department within the company. Customers can find answers on their own and the internal tool provides all employees with a single source of truth.
What are the benefits of knowledge management?
Knowledge management benefits support teams, customers, and employees company-wide. Here’s what each gain from the strategy and why it’s important for the business:
1. Agents save time: With easy access to accurate knowledge, agents don’t need to sift through various web pages to resolve customers’ issues.
Fast, accurate replies reduce customer frustration and allow support teams to meet important customer success metrics, such as customer satisfaction (CSAT).
2. It’s easier to provide accurate replies: By using knowledge management software and accessing the help articles, agents’ ticket replies are more accurate and consistent with the company’s messaging.
Consistent customer support goes a long way towards creating a positive customer experience and helping the support team meet company benchmarks.
3. KB prevents knowledge gaps: When agents need help troubleshooting or tracking issues, they can access information that helps them thoroughly understand the product.
Through one centralized location, employees company-wide can easily find feature updates, access documents relating to company culture, legal protocols, and other important information.
4. Onboarding becomes faster and more efficient: When agents can educate themselves with information from one location, they have simpler and shorter onboarding.
Instead of looking through dozens of google docs, excel sheets, and emails, agents can go into the knowledge base and learn best practices, commonly asked customer questions, how to navigate the product, and more. With the help of a knowledge base, agents can quickly onboard and start helping customers.
1. Customers can save time and solve problems themselves: In a customer service trends study by Forrester, the market research company found that consumers would rather resolve issues themselves— preferring to use a knowledge base to answer their questions.
Put yourself in the customers’ shoes: No one likes to send an email and wait days for a reply or wait on hold while an agent gets to the call. Customers who can access a knowledge base can troubleshoot their issue and go back to their day without needing to wait for agents to respond. The ability to answer their own questions leads to higher CSAT and loyalty rates.
2. Knowledge bases build customer confidence: With a reliable, go-to resource for problem-solving, customers will feel more comfortable using the knowledge base for any future issues.
An in-depth knowledge base helps build trust with customers and gives them more confidence in your products, customer service, and brand.
3. Access to a safe and secure method of learning: For those customers who don’t want to share personal information over the phone or via email, knowledge management software provides the information they need to solve issues without handing out sensitive details.
1. Easily accessible information: As part of a knowledge management strategy, the entire company can access and share important information from product guides to internal company policies. This shared knowledge approach keeps the entire company informed and in line with business goals and objectives.
2. Save on resources: With an SEO-friendly knowledge base and well-written content, companies can deflect more tickets, freeing up agents for complex issues.
Instead of hiring more support agents to handle tickets, businesses can utilize a self-service strategy. With relevant knowledge a few clicks away, support organizations can save on overhead and allocate resources where they are needed most.
3. Employees can create helpful content: Each department can utilize the knowledge base and create their own terms and topics library where other teams can understand essential aspects of the business.
Empower the company and customers with knowledge management
In 2021 (and beyond) many companies will use knowledge management to help agents provide better support, allow customers to find answers to problems themselves, and keep all employees aligned on business objectives and internal updates.
Thankfully, high-quality support doesn’t mean businesses need to spend more. In fact, with the right knowledge base tool, they can save on overhead and still reach their goals. For companies of all sizes, knowledge is power—but only if they have the tools to analyze, optimize, and share it.
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