Accurate, up-to-date knowledge is at the heart of delivering the highest levels of customer service. Giving your agents easy access to the right information when they are answering customer calls, emails and chat sessions is vital to efficiently providing responses and boosting satisfaction. And if you invest in a single, centralised knowledge base that spans all your channels, you can use this information to power web self-service and chatbot platforms too.
While every organisation recognises the importance of knowledge within the contact centre, many find it difficult to keep up to date with the growing range and complexity of information that customers require. Ensuring answers are consistent between channels can be a problem if these are handled by different teams. Quickly finding the right answer to a customer problem while on the phone can be difficult – particularly as information may change regularly.
Bringing artificial intelligence to knowledge
The answer is to embrace the power of artificial intelligence to deliver a single, centralised knowledge base that spans all channels, makes it easy for agents and customers to find the answers they need and can be constantly and automatically updated. Using Natural Language Processing (NLP) users can enter queries in normal language, with the knowledge base AI automatically understanding what they are referring to, and providing relevant answers. AI further removes management time as it learns which responses best answer specific questions and therefore prioritises them if the same query is asked again.
While the benefits of AI to knowledge management are increasingly well-recognised, many organisations are not sure where to start. Based on our experience working with leading brands, we recommend beginning with these three areas to drive fast results in terms of both ROI and improved customer service.
1. Centralise and break down silos
Without a centralised knowledge management strategy, different teams and parts of the business will create and rely on their own, individual sources of information when answering customer questions. Some may be paper-based, others stored on local PCs or servers – or even just in your agents’ heads. Consequently, they are likely to be inconsistent – leading to customers potentially getting different answers depending on the channel or department they speak to.
Start by collating all of these sources into one place – encourage teams to share the answers they use and the information they currently have. From this, create an intelligent knowledge base, that provides a single centralised source of truth that underpins all channels and customer interactions. One way to increase engagement and buy-in from agents is to involve them in creating the knowledge base – even down to holding a competition to let them come up with a name for it! A single, centralised knowledge base will drive down costs and increase consistency when it comes to answers, all improving customer service levels.
2. Deliver omnichannel knowledge to all
Today’s customers expect to be able to contact you through their channel of choice – and in many cases want to be able to find information themselves, without waiting for a response via email or the phone. Use your centralised knowledge base across all of your self-service channels, such as your website, mobile app and chatbots, allowing customers to ask questions and receive fast, accurate and consistent responses.
This not only improves the experience for customers but also deflects many routine queries that otherwise would come into the contact centre. That frees up agent time to handle more complex, involved customer interactions that require deeper, more human skills.
3. Constantly learn and evolve from customer questions
Understanding your customers and their needs is central to success. But with consumer requirements changing rapidly, being sure you are providing the right products and services can be difficult. Analysing which questions consumers are asking, and which information is most used in your knowledge base using AI and text analytics, therefore, provides vital understanding that can be used to improve the service you offer. For example, if you see a large spike in queries around a particular area, such as delivery timescales, there may be an issue that needs fixing.
You can also use this information to make the overall customer journey seamless. So understand when customers ask specific questions and embed relevant content and knowledge into the journey at that point. This means you’ll avoid the need for consumers to ask questions at all – improving the experience and further reducing unnecessary contact.
To be successful every organisation needs to make knowledge central to their customer service strategy – find out more on how a centralised, AI-powered knowledge base can transform your efficiency and satisfaction levels by reading more on our microsite.