Why Knowledge Management is Crucial for Excellent Customer Support

The bane of any customer support experience is the absence of knowledge. Whether the inquiring customer doesn’t quite know how to phrase their question or the customer support agent doesn’t immediately know the answer (or isn’t aware the customer inquiry has already been answered) not knowing costs an organization time and money. Forrester has found that, in support scenarios, customers most value companies that respect their time, and companies that can’t effectively support customers stand to lose business.

To solve this problem, it’s vital that businesses implement an effective Knowledge Management (KM) strategy within support organizations. Most companies struggle to resolve customer problems in a timely manner because the correct answers reside in disparate places, instead of being readily available to agents when they need them. Even with a nuanced understanding of your product, it’s often necessary for agents to provide documentation, case studies, or other demonstrable help to get customers the best answers. If it takes an agent five or ten minutes to locate what they need, that can be long enough to turn a customer’s positive experience into a negative. Agents need company knowledge at their immediate disposal.

The Attivio platform is helping companies employ intelligent search and insights to unify all their data and make it searchable and actionable, allowing support teams to more effectively access organizational knowledge and more efficiently answer customer questions. An example of this has been in the telecommunications industry, where support organizations are continually trying to improve metrics like call deflection, MTTR, NPS, and CSAT.

Recently, one major telecom provider noticed a significant discrepancy between support agent sessions tagged as “optimal” versus those tagged as “non-optimal” search behavior. The non-optimal searches lasted an average of 24 seconds and cost the company $0.54 per session. The company’s content repository where agents went to find answers to customer inquiries contained more than 30,000 items, 75% of which were rarely used by agents. To optimize this existing content and cut down on the waste associated with non-optimal searches, the company opted to replace their existing Google Search Appliance with Attivio’s platform. The repository is now more searchable and employs machine learning relevance models to ensure the system delivers better solutions faster over time.

Sometimes for support organizations the best scenario is one where the customer never has to contact a live agent. “Shifting left” is a popular trend in the industry, which is primarily aided by offering better self-service options. By empowering customers to answer their own questions, you can successfully improve all key support metrics without an agent needing to pick up a phone or open a live chat. As an example, a multi-billion dollar US-based communications solutions provider’s website, which receives more than 500,000 searches each month, was recently upgraded to Attivio’s platform from Google’s Search Appliance, with the goal of empowering visitors to discover their own answers and insights. Powered by the new Attivio experience, users may enter natural-language questions and receive the most relevant answer back, regardless of where that answer resides. By using Attivio, their improved self-service has reduced task time on the website by 50%.

Companies, especially large ones, know a lot. They’ve gathered enormous amounts of data and fielded thousands upon thousands of customer inquiries. The organization itself is a learning, evolving system which is why it is more important than ever to employ Knowledge Management best practices. Through intelligent search solutions, the Attivio platform is allowing companies to answer customer inquiries more effectively than ever, thereby optimizing their support agents’ time and eliminating waste.

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