KMWorld Magazine is celebrating its annual Conference on November 14-17th, with this year's topic being Hacking KM: People, Processes, & Technology. Hacking and hackathons are perhaps better known in the...
In this article, written by Sameer Bhatia, founder & CEO of ProProfs, he defines the importance of Knowledge Management in order to help companies make customer support more effective.
Here’s an extract of his article.
What are Documented Procedures?
In the world of business, this term stands for every document that is in your company, available for everyone to access and is related to any procedures that can occur in the workplace. Also, these documents contain manual-like explanations for employees. It is quite common for these documents to contain steps that need to be followed when completing certain repeatable tasks.
Documented procedures are something every business plan must contain for any business model out there. They provide crucial insights on the business process and can prove very valuable in taking control of business process improvement, or be the key witness in situations when you want to identify what is causing your business to stagnate or fail. Support teams are known to use these types of documents very often when trying to follow the procedures while talking with help-seeking clients.
Creating Documented Procedures
This is not a simple task and it has to be approached very seriously, because of its significance to your business success. Support department can be over flooded with tasks if they have to follow documents that contain too many restrictions and rules. This is why creating job-specific checklists and procedures lists is of great importance.
The best practice is to take advantage of the many benefits that knowledge base management software offers. Having a collective knowledge that has been accumulating over the years, based on firsthand support team experience, will help the support department effectively overcome any issue that may arise. Also, data entries in this kind of knowledge base utilization are not definitive. You can always update your documents in order to create improved versions.
There are certain directions you need to follow to create usable and easily understandable data. Consistency is very important, you want to build a basic structure of your procedures and use it across all departments. The most important one is to have a platform that enables you to modify your documents on the fly.
How Documented Procedures Help Support Teams
Having a knowledge base of your business documents can empower the customer support team to handle customers’ inquiries on a case-by-case basis. On the other hand, having access to a knowledge base will help your team feel more trust and will make it easier for them to deal with customers on a more personal, human level.
The studies show that customers feel happy and satisfied when they are greeted by a customer support agent that operates on a more personable and is on-point with them. And this is exactly what a knowledgebase of documented procedures provides your team with, a structure from which they can modify their routine.
This type of knowledge base can also cut down expenses and time needed to train a new employee. Especially in the support department where employees have to operate with specific skills and knowledge. If they are able to access the data and read the specifics about their job, your new employees will quickly gain the experience required for the job.
Knowledge Base Provides Quick Access to Your Data
The filing system is something every company strives to improve. A good filing organization can mean the difference between success or failure. Now every business can keep all documents and organizational knowledge in one place using a knowledge base. This saves a lot of time and can keep the work of the support team flowing, enabling workers to overcome any obstacles that present themselves along the way.
The best way to improve accessibility of your business’s knowledge base data is to make it easily accessible online. Deciding to go for online help documentation will make all the relevant information available for both customers and support team members. This practice can do wonders for your team’s efficiency.
Your customers will have a knowledge base that they can consult before calling your support team for help. Regardless of whether it is a FAQ-type of knowledge base or a product description and information documentation, you will experience serious ticket deflection. Keep in mind that online help documentation does not have any weekends off or vacation time. It will be there for your customers 24/7.
With more time on their hands and less pressure, your support team will be able to provide better service for your customers.
As you can see, a knowledge management system and a knowledge base are practices that can both save your company’s money by cutting down customer support department expenses and increase revenue by retaining customers and improving customer relations. It will also improve knowledge-sharing between departments, which is very important if you want to have meticulous customer service.
A knowledge base of documented procedures provides your team with access to the right resources and tools that they need in order to succeed. It will develop trust and enable them to be consistent in their work. At the same time, your customers will experience a human-to-human conversation instead of a boring and generic questionnaire-like talk that leaves them frustrated and unsatisfied.