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Benjamin de Moncan | April 01, 2019

3 Steps on How to Transform Knowledge Management to Support your Call Center Agents

Quality Service Delivery Requires Empowered and Knowledgeable Agents

One of the top expectations when customers interact with the call center is that the person on the other end of the line has the knowledge and experience to help them resolve the issue quickly and confidently.

To meet this expectation, it is important that your knowledge base is not only useful to your agents but that it’s also easy to navigate. Unfortunately, the problem isn’t just that knowledge articles aren’t easy to find. But also, when users do find them, it’s usually a static, long-form article that forces them to put customers on hold while they dig in to find the right answer or the next step.

Below are three innovative steps to turn your knowledge base into a strategic business asset that will help you transform your call center to allow agents to get to answers quickly and increase customer satisfaction.

#1 Think of Call Center Agents First

The Problem: In many instances, call center agents have to handle the customer’s request, while at the same time having to search for information in a knowledge base, browsing through the knowledge article categories or searching for keywords and reading different articles that can potentially lead to a resolution. This back to my main point, it takes too long to mine through articles, which can be overwhelming for your agent!

Solutions:

  • Start by making your knowledge article easier to digest. Break up those long-form articles and create bite-sized ones so it’s easier for the agent to search through.
  • Make sure you’re taking advantage of intelligent search. Natural language processing search and capabilities add a common-language interface for agents when looking for knowledge.
  • Consider the channels where knowledge is being served. How you get to the knowledge is critical and it should be where the agent works. Make sure when your agents search for knowledge, it also searches through similar resolved ticketsthat’s knowledge too!

#2 Focus on the User Experience of Your Knowledge Base

The Problem: Agents are used to searching Google, buying on Amazon, communicating with chatbots, so they expect the tools they use in the workplace to be at the same level of user experience—how can you do that with knowledge?

Solutions:

  • Take advantage of third-party tools and applications for relevant knowledge. The call center aggregates a lot of data, especially if you have a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. So preferably, when the agent begins searching for a solution, the knowledge base should serve up information based on the profile of the customer who is calling in. For example, if the customer is calling in because the garage door isn’t working, then the knowledge should only show the information about the garage opener that was purchased. This reduces  the time spent on searching through knowledge articles that might not be relevant.
  • Consider the logical way a call center agent works to get to a resolution. A traditional, static knowledge base article usually lists out steps that the agent will need to convert into a question to the customer. Then, the agents would most likely have to figure out what to do next based on the response. Instead, knowledge should be interactive and guide the agent. This can only be achieved by using knowledge flows. For example, knowledge flows could present one question and possible responses. Then based on the customer’s response, it will guide them to the next relevant step. Time will be saved; agent effort will be reduced, and satisfaction will be higher.

#3 Leverage Feedback

The problem: Keeping knowledge relevant constantly can be time consuming. Even when users are able to find the right knowledge articles, if the knowledge itself is outdated, then it won't be useful for anyone.

Solutions:

  • Make knowledge a central point of emphasis in your organization’s culture. Allow the users to make comments and give feedback within the knowledge base article that can improve existing knowledge.
  • Identify subject matter experts (SME). Empower SMEs that focus on different areas of your business to create new content that can be used by agents and across the organization. Ownership of the knowledge articles and participation are directly connected to usage and taking pride in the quality or accessibility of the content.
  • Allow employees to make comments and suggest changes.Don’t lock down knowledge because it will quickly become stale and nobody wants to use outdated knowledge. You can achieve this by creating valuable dialogue between the SMEs and field agents with comments on knowledge articles.

Takeaways

  1. Don’t boil the ocean. Identify your top call center requests and prioritize the types of knowledge articles you need to tackle first. Make these top articles readily available to the agents no matter where they are in your knowledge base.
  1. Yes, maintaining a knowledge base can be time consuming, but with the right tools—like a self-help application—your knowledge managers, or SMEs, should be able to easily capture, structure and distribute updates. Your agents will benefit from accessing updated information directly from the source. 
  1. Finally, remember that no matter how much effort you put into creating the right knowledge base for your users, you still need to study its usage and results. Reviewing and analyzing interactions will help you understand the success and impact that your knowledge base has on your call center. If executed properly, you will see first call resolution go up, call durations decrease and end user sentiment survey scores go through the roof!

Watch this quick 2-minute video to learn more about Self Help technologies.

 
 

 

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Benjamin de Moncan

Benjamin has more than 15 years of experience in the customer experience industry. Currently acting as Senior Director of Product Marketing at Easyvista, Benjamin also played a role as a senior manager at Deloitte Consulting and COO of Knowesia, which was recently acquired by EasyVista. He has spent the last several years optimizing customer care for large financial and services companies, developing expertise in building digital organizations, and developing a passion for design thinking methodology and customer journeys' optimization. Outside of work, Benjamin spends all of his time with his family, playing guitar and piano.