23 Feb What is a knowledge center and why your business needs one
How can a knowledge center help? In a contact center, there are many things and multiple processes that are going on in a daily basis. Customer service agents are expected to be experts at their job, seeing as how they field all customer inquiries and are expected to provide the answers. For the most part, agents are provided thorough training before they are released to do their jobs. However, keeping track of all product information can be a laborious task!
This is where having a knowledge center comes in handy.
Knowledge Center and its uses
The strictest definition of a knowledge center/base is that it is a library of pertinent information regarding a product. It can include everything from basic FAQs (frequently asked questions), company memos, and product guides or manuals. Ideally, there is a team dedicated to maintaining this data base, keeping everything there updated. This is to streamline knowledge from everyone at the top to those who are handling the phones.
The other stark benefit of having a knowledge center is that it also offers self-service solutions. In a recent study conducted by Harvard Business Review, they found that 81% of customers try to find a solution themselves before reaching out to a live customer service agent. In a technological age like the one we live in today, this is a huge development.
Benefits of a Knowledge Center
The customer service industry is undergoing a major shift in the ways and the manners we assist, and the rise of the self-service option offers a lot of benefits for both the customers and the business.
These benefits enable and empower agents to be better at their jobs, but also keeps them aligned to the goals of the brand. Let’s look at them in more detail below:
It promotes self-reliance and resourcefulness
In my time working as a customer service representative, there was an obvious learning curve that I had to go through. From the time I graduated product training to when I was in production, there was a lot of self-doubt in my abilities to perform well. There was of course, a support team on hand; a group of so-called “mentors” who provided assistance to new-hires. I remember having 2 mentors for every group of 15 agents, all of whom were handling calls from customers simultaneously. It was a riot!
This was in 2011, and I vividly remember that we had no knowledge center yet. That would have helped us newbies tremendously. Our poor mentors were stretched thin, our callers were put on hold for long periods, and we were helplessly waiting our turn for answers. A knowledge center would have helped solve this dilemma while promoting self-reliance. Moreover, learning first hand and finding your own solution helps one better retain information compared to when it is spoonfed.
It promotes productivity
Having a knowledge center does wonders in promoting productivity, saving time, and freeing up agents to do other tasks. When information is centralized in a contact center, agents (and customers) can easily look up solutions without having to consult other agents or their supervisors. It enables them to finish their tickets/calls faster, and frees them to handle more. When agents end their day helping a lot of customers, it gives them a sense of satisfaction and gives them the feeling that they are doing impactful work.
It enhances engagement with the brand
A recent study conducted by the Josh Bersin Company found that companies with higher rates of employee engagement lowered their employee turnover by over 31%. In the age of “Quiet Quitting” and the more recent “Great Resignation,” this finding is huge! The implications of improving employee engagement is raised even higher.
What better way to keep agent engaged than by promoting product knowledge? The old adage “familiarity breeds comfort” perfectly applies here. The more agents know the ins-and-outs of the company, the product, and everything else that is going on in the business, the more likely they are to stay.
Streamlined messaging and product knowledge
Running a contact center is a difficult task of keeping everybody informed and on the same page. When companies roll out changes, they often make sure that everyone is made aware and are clear on what is happening. However, there are instances where things might be unclear, and this can lead to confusion for all parties. Having a centralized area for these rollouts is a great way to avoid that.
For example, when an agent is ever unsure of something they can easily consult their knowledge center for confirmation. They can refer to it to confirm their answers to customers. It serves as a good reference for any disputes with both customers and other agents.
Faster decision making
Like the earlier benefit regarding resourcefulness, a knowledge center empowers an agent to find answers by themselves. This also helps them to make decisions on their tickets or calls. It saves them a lot of time when they are faced with a situation where they have to provide prompt answers to customers. More importantly, it empowers them to own the interaction.
The caveat here is that the knowledge center has to constantly be updated. This is so that the team is offering the right and most current answers at all times.
How to setup a knowledge center
Most CRM platforms today come with a knowledge center built in. Companies like Zendesk, for example, have a Support Guide center with their Zendesk Suite. As a ticketing platform, they make it easy to access and update this knowledge base thereby empowering agents and customers to find their own answers.
Of the many developments in the customer service industry today, none are as important as automation and self-service solutions. Luckily, companies like Zendesk offer a wide range of plans that come with these features built in!