Natalie L. Petouhoff, Ph.D. By Dr. Natalie Petouhoff

Knowledge Management and Customer Service

This quarter I’ve started some research on knowledge management (KM) for the contact center and customer service. This is KM for both agent-assited and self-service. One of the biggest misnomers about customer service is how important great knowledge management is to good experiences. And no, I don’t mean Sharepoint. That’s a fine product- but for customer service- one needs to find answers and not documents.

Customers often wonder – why, when they do a search on a website or when they ask a customer service agent for help- they wonder why the search results are awful- meaning nothing that got pulled up in the search was even remotely what they needed. And they also wonder why the agents don’t have THE answer.

And when I speak to alot of conatct center managers and they ask me what are the top two things around technology they should be looking at for customer service — I say, “Social media and knowledge management…” They often say, “Oh yeah- we did KM.” But when I dig deeper I find that they really didn’t. In part because they didn’t know what they didn’t know about knowledge management for customer service. Hence why I began the research project on defining what KM is to customer service.

What It Means To You

The annoucement of the integration of Oracle CRM OnDemand with InQuira’s web self-service via a Saas platform – means that there just might be a few more customers out there – that when they search for an answer on a company’s website they will get an answer that is meaningful to their question. And that means fewer escalations to the contact center.

And for those that do call the call center- agents will be able to find answers that are just right for what the customer needs – and do it alot faster. First call / contact resolution will go up. And that’s important if you don’t want to irriate your customers so much they stop being customers.

And what do happier customers mean? The results from many papers show that better customer experiences mean more revenue, more profit, less waste- which means lean, mean and green.

Here’s a link to a couple of my papers on the economic necessity of making the right choices for customer service — and that includes knowledge management!

Customer Service: Keystone of Your Corporate Revenue Strategy and

Why Talking to Your Customers Is Ruining Your Business and

Economic Neccesity of Customer Service!

I’ll be writing more soon about the upcoming research! Hope you had a wonderful Labor Day. And here’s to a little better labor for those who do their best to answer your questions – better agent experiences, better employee experiences, better cutomer experiences – means alot more happy people – and alot more profitable businesses.

Learn. Grow. Share.

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