Admittedly, it’s been a very long time since I was responsible for a call centre. We called it a “call centre” back then because the telephone was the only way to reach us. Since there was no limit as to what topics callers could bring up, our agents armed themselves with binders, product specifications, price sheets, internal memos, promotional literature, call notes and whatever else they could beg, borrow or steal.
Not surprisingly, this resulted in long handle times and frequent callbacks as agents searched their binders or tried to reach SME’s. There was no monitoring of the validity of the information so different agents could give different answers to the same questions. Quite embarrassingly, sometimes the caller had more accurate information than the agent. Oops! The marketing department sent out a new promotion without first bothering to inform the call centre.
Today, thick binders are becoming a thing of the past as information is digitised. But the same problems remain. Lacking any kind of control, there is still a good likelihood that inaccurate and out-of-date information will be conveyed to the caller.
Every customer-facing organisation has multiple databases but all too few have modern automated knowledge bases. The knowledge and decision-making that results from data is what drives a positive customer experience. There are some fancy descriptions of the modern knowledge base but simply stated, a knowledge base is a “searchable directory of content that speeds and improves the process of answering questions, solving problems, and executing transactions with customers and other constituents.”
There are public and private knowledge bases. In this blog we will discuss private knowledge bases. A private knowledge base requires authentication.
Knowledge base software automates and systemises the collection, monitoring, organisation, review, verification, currency, and dissemination of pertinent information. This is typically managed by a dedicated individual or small group.
With its 2014 KANA Software and 2019 Transversal acquisitions, Verint Systems has become a leader in delivering advanced knowledge management solutions. Most competitors are single-point vendors. Verint provides a complete suite of customer engagement solutions, anchored by the Verint Customer Engagement Cloud Platform.
An important advantage of integrated knowledge management solutions is that data sources can be asynchronous or synchronous. Contact centres and service centres collect valuable information daily through interaction recordings, voice of the customer surveys, and social media contacts.
Verint Knowledge Management incorporates data sources and goes further by extracting information from online communities. Verint Knowledge Management leverages analytics and artificial intelligence to surface customer intent and guide personalised decision-making.
The advantages of a modern knowledge management system, compared with individually compiled (and jealously guarded) databases are numerous. A short list includes…
- Faster response times
- Accurate, timely, and consistent answers
- More successful self-service
- “Single source of truth” throughout the organisation
- Helps ensure compliance
- Increased first contact resolution rate
- Ideal for WFH employees who do not have easy access to colleagues and SMEs
The ease of accessing information using the familiar search bar speeds agent training, shortens handle time, and makes their contact centre work more enjoyable. Customer-facing personnel can feel confident they are providing accurate and timely information.
Happy agents = happy customers.
Founder and Chief Analyst