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Erika Troconis-Rodell | September 29, 2020

Fine Tune on the Fly with Knowledge Management Automation

2020 has undoubtedly been the year of the pivot. Chances are, at some point between February and April your company quickly transitioned to a remote workforce in a “fly by the seat of your pants” fashion. But, no matter how quickly you transitioned or where your team of agents is located, providing excellent customer service has likely remained at the core of your goals – which is why many organizations are leveraging knowledge management.

Gartner Report: Rapidly Deploy a Knowledge Management Program to Support  Work-From-Home Customer Service

Knowledge management has several benefits, which we will discuss a little bit later in the post. But, to encourage agent participation and get a better ROI on any knowledge system, it is important to fine tune knowledge articles and the way they are accessed in a way that will not negatively impact the end-user or take the articles offline. The ability to continually pivot and refine knowledge articles will provide substantial value in using the knowledge management system.

So how do you fine-tune business processes, data, and the customer experience on the fly? With knowledge management automation. 

Knowledge Management and KCS Thinking

What is knowledge management Blog Featured Image

Before approaching any knowledge management project, it is important to keep in mind Knowledge Centered Service (KCS) thinking. This methodology, or way of thinking, provides a set of best practices focused on establishing a culture of user participation and ownership and focuses on knowledge as a key asset of the organization.

According to KCS Academy, KCS seeks to:

  • Create content as a by-product of solving problems
  • Evolve content based on demand and usage 
  • Develop a knowledge base of an organization's collective experience to-date
  • Reward learning, collaboration, sharing and improving

When using the KCS methodology, the knowledge management system will become an integral part of how problems are solved, rather than just a positive byproduct of a knowledge database. When combining KCS with automation, agents can access the knowledge articles they need effortlessly. This might take the form of a self-service portal or chatbot for agents and customers and serves as a solution to propel digital transformation.

3 Ways to Tweak the Knowledge Management Database Quickly

To help provide the best experience for agents and customers, the ability to leverage knowledge articles has been paramount to continued success. For some, a knowledge management plan and database is as simple as a shared drive with articles in an accessible location – however, by stepping it up and creating a knowledge database accessed via self-service automation can create a more seamless user experience, and by extension, a better customer experience.

These systems may have been implemented as short-term solutions, but they can have long-term implications. When used correctly, a knowledge management system can help lower operational costs while improving efficiency, provide a superior employee experience, and reduced duplication effort.

If you have chosen to utilize a knowledge management system, whether new or previously implemented, making necessary tweaks can prevent knowledge from becoming outdated or incorrect.

Taking KCS into account, we have three methods to help you fine tune as you go with the help of knowledge management automation. 

Rapidly Deploy a Knowledge Management Program to Support Work-From-Home Customer Service EasyVista

#1: Leverage Agent Participation Through Self-Service

Knowledge management automation gives agents the ability to access knowledge articles easily through a CRM or CSM solution. But, beyond just giving agents the ability to access information, automation also gives agents the ability to submit their own revisions, additions, and suggestions directly for review.

Agents play a key role in fine tuning the knowledge management strategy, but rather than getting their insights through lengthy participation meetings you can gain their input directly when they are solving a case. For example, after handling a specific ticket or incident, the agent can directly provide feedback to a chatbot. Then, a knowledge workflow can help review, accept, or reject the suggestion.

These revisions and suggestions can also be sent to key decision makers and managers and will not only give insight into what information should be expanded, but what information or processes are impractical or not worth continuing.

#2: Utilize Self Help and Automation to Gauge Missing Knowledge Areas

In many instances, call center agents have to handle the customer’s request, while at the same time searching 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 (because they can no longer simply turn around and ask a coworker). It takes too long to mine through articles, which can be overwhelming for your agent. And, if it is overwhelming for your agent to find answers, it is even more frustrating for your customer who wants answers quickly.

With a strategy to gauge missing or confusing knowledge areas, you can solve this problem while simultaneously staying focused on the end goal of providing optimal customer service.

You can use self-service and search result insight to understand which areas need fine tuning and which are being under-utilized. AI technology can help with this process by identifying trending topics that are not yet covered within the knowledge base. Additionally, Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology can help further refine results and analyze the case description for areas where information may be mis-labeled. Then, the technology can push the relevant knowledge article to the agent without spending time digging through a search engine.

Anonymous surveys and forms via a chatbot can also allow for fast feedback to refine the knowledge management system. Even more precise, a knowledge database connected to an ITSM and self-service solution may provide data on which articles are not utilized and which are accessed time and time again.  

Assessing the amount of time spent on long articles, or which areas were viewed in a longer knowledge article will help break down which need to be shortened. Additionally, analytics and help you detect knowledge silos to quickly change.

#3: Make Rapid Refinements without Losing Speed or Agility

Once you have leveraged agent talent to refine knowledge and identified the areas of missing or lengthy knowledge using automation, it is important to make the changes quickly. Employees will not participate or give their feedback if they feel it will fall on deaf ears.

Implement agent feedback within 48 hours to encourage them to participate, and make sure that it is communicated to agents when their suggestions are implemented. If a suggestion is rejected, it is worth communicating the reason why with the agent.

To prevent unnecessary downtime, changes can be rapidly made through automation, including updating automated workflows. Any changes should take place during hours outside of peak use time and should be communicated clearly.

Final Thoughts

There are a few other key considerations when it comes to knowledge management automation. 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 tickets—that’s knowledge too!

When used together, knowledge management and automation can help you fine tune processes quickly, no matter where your agents are.

To learn how EasyVista can help with a self-service solution, get a free demo!

Rapidly Deploy a Knowledge Management Program to Support Work-From-Home Customer Service EasyVista

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Erika Troconis-Rodell

Erika Troconis-Rodell is the Sr. Digital Marketing Manager at EasyVista. She leads the content and blog strategy for the company, and manages global digital marketing initiatives. She loves all things technology and enjoys reading about ITSM, IoT, and SaaS. Fun fact, she also speaks Spanish, French, and Mandarin.