Tips for creating an unbeatable knowledge centre

Nov 13

Tips for creating an unbeatable knowledge centre

Your customers are getting smarter and they’re getting better at self-service. If they have a problem with your product or service they’ll look for solutions from their friends, social media or a forum long before they even consider calling your contact centre.

This means that when they do finally call your agents it’s about the big issues. Your contact centre is now the escalation point for all those problems your customers couldn’t solve online.

But do your agents have the knowledge to solve your customers’ biggest problems? Or are you shuffling your customers from one contact point to another, hoping the next person they’re transferred to will solve the issue?

 

67% of customer churn is preventable if the customer issue was resolved at the first engagement. (Source)

 

Your agents are no longer required to be pleasant and empathetic product specialists, they are required to be pleasant, empathetic whole business specialists; ready for whatever curly question comes their way.

Having a contact centre is no longer enough, you need to transform it into a knowledge centre.

Just like your customers, transforming your contact centre into a knowledge centre isn’t as scary as it sounds. In fact it offers many advantages. A knowledge centre will:

  • Take customer service to the next level
  • Increase first call resolution
  • Reduce training time and costs for new staff
  • Create opportunities to cross sell and up sell
  • Improve job satisfaction for your agents
  • Increased call efficiency
  • Slash call centre costs

 

To transform your call centre into a knowledge centre there are several steps you need to follow:

  1. Create a culture of knowledge sharing
  2. Build a specialist army
  3. Use the right tools to share knowledge

 

  1. Create a culture of knowledge sharing

Start at the top. Your company’s mission and values say a lot about how you expect them to behave. For instance, Zappos don’t classify themselves as a shoe company. They say they’re in the customer service business – they just happen to sell shoes. Clearly prioritising service above product.

Let your staff know that knowledge sharing is important with company values such as collaboration, relationships, growth and learning. Then translate these values into actionable KPIs such as:

  • How often do they post questions or answers to your Wikis or forums
  • How often do they attend information sessions
  • What is their First Call Resolution rate?

 

  1. Build a specialist army

Your agents no longer need to be product specialists, they need to be whole company specialists. The last thing your customers want to hear when they call you is, “Sorry, that’s not my department,” or “I’ll transfer you to someone who can help.”

Make sure they are trained in every stage of the customer journey. Customers can call with issues during purchase, during onboarding or even three, 6 or twelve months down the track. At each stage their problems will be different and your staff need to understand the different concerns they have.

When hiring, staff who have an empathetic nature and an aptitude for being-customer centric is a good place to start. And then make sure they have a voice to share ideas, ask for help and tell their success stories. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if they are senior or junior – good ideas and solutions can come from anywhere.

And of course, don’t forget to say thank you to staff who are living your knowledge sharing values and providing the customers with excellent support.

 

81 percent of employees said that they’re motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work. (Source)

 

  1. Use the right tools to share knowledge

There are a lot of tools available that help with the collection and flow of information. For a contact centre the obvious place to start is your call centre software.

Look for software that:

  • Integrates with your CRM so agents have a full customer view.
  • Allow for charts between agents and their managers or product specialists – if they don’t know an answer they can message while still on the call with the customer.
  • Allows for script wizards so that agents can ask key support questions and be guided, on-screen, to the right solution.

Other knowledge sharing tools include forums, wikis and group chat tools like Yammer and Slack.

 

Forums

Forums such as Whirlpool are common places to take a peek into your customers brains and see what kinds of challenges they’re facing. They can also provide call centre staff with unique ways to solve customer problems (customers love to post creative solutions online) as well as showing where the knowledge gaps are in the community.

You can add an extra layer of control by creating your own branded forum. This low cost, low maintenance option gives you direct access to your customers brains. But, as with anything online, without mediation and administration forums can become a pit of off-topic abuse and complaints. To be effective they must be monitored and managed – see our best practices on the following page.

 

Wikis

While internal wiki’s have traditionally been the domain of technical teams they are a great source of information for call centre staff. Make sure to get call centre staff feedback on ease of use of the information, ensuring it is up to date in plain English and easily searchable.

Whether the information you’re providing your call centre staff comes from a wiki, forum or CRM it’s important that it is monitored for accuracy. While knowledge sharing is important it is also important to remember that humans are fallible and that a little bit of knowledge can be dangerous. Make sure, whatever the platform, that everyone has personal log in details (so they are accountable) and that an administrator or moderator is appointed to keep everyone on track and the good information flowing freely.

For more detailed information on how to turn your call centre into a knowledge centre, download our eBook Creating problem solvers: how to transform a call centre into a knowledge centre.

 


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