A recent survey from Salesforce shows us how important good service is for customers. 78 % of respondents said they would forgive a company for its mistake after receiving excellent service. 71% of consumers said they had made purchase decisions based on the quality of customer service. And last but not least, the vast majority of respondents (91%) said that a positive customer service experience makes them more likely to make another purchase.
The same survey also found that most respondents want to have their queries answered as quickly as possible. For example, 72 % of business buyers and 70% of consumers said they’d choose not to buy from a company with long customer service wait times. Also, 82% of business buyers and 83% of consumers expect to solve complex problems by speaking to one person. There are various ways to meet their needs and a user-friendly knowledge base is one of them. Let’s try to find out how your call center can benefit from using it.
What Is a Knowledge Base?
To put it simply, it is your corporate Google. No, it doesn’t track your IP address and doesn’t store your search results to make your search more personalized. It is a standardized database, hosted on a cloud-based platform and created by your customer service team that contains all the information agents may need during a call or conversation in a live chat. Using the search bar, your employees can easily find the necessary information. A knowledge base can also be used on your company’s website as a self-service tool for customers.
Why Your Call Center May Need It? Main Benefits
1. It improves your agents’ efficiency
As information becomes easy to search, your employees spend more time on customer support and less time on searching. It also makes periods of silence in conversations, so-called dead-air time, shorter. If your employees have all the information at hand, callers won’t have to wait on hold for ages. And it’s needless to say that your customer satisfaction will increase.
2. It supports training and onboarding
You can store training materials and other guides so your employees will access them anytime. It will make their training and onboarding more efficient and reduce overall training costs. For example, newbies can get acquainted with the customer support process, questions that customers ask frequently and how to respond to them, system guides, etc. It is especially helpful in a remote call center where they can’t learn from more experienced colleagues and need more detailed training.
3. It increases FCR and limits transfers
First call resolution or FCR shows how many customer queries call (contact) center managed to answer at the first time of asking. If your agents can find the necessary information quickly, they are more likely to solve customer problems the first time. It also means that the number of call transfers can be reduced. There’s no need to transfer a call if you can answer it at once.
4. It develops an open corporate culture
A knowledge base isn’t created for a handful of agents. This is an information bank where your employees can find what they need as well as share their knowledge and experience. This database can be used not only by support agents but also by any authorized person when the need arises. It develops an open corporate culture and knowledge-sharing environment.
5. It can be used for updating existing knowledge
A knowledge base can be helpful not only for the support team but for the company as a whole. For example, support agents may take notes of the most frequently asked questions and pass them to marketing team members. They, in turn, can use this information to update existing content or create a new one.
What Are the Basic Features of Knowledge Base
A Search Function
With the search function, your agents can find what they are looking for by typing a few keywords into the search bar and pressing “Enter”. To improve the search, knowledge base software may have filters that allow users to find more precise information - for example, by type of content (help articles, guides, scripts). Sure, you can simply store information in the folders but a search function may save your employees valuable time.
These tools allow you to know who has written a particular article or other pieces of content. Also, you can set expiration dates for knowledge articles and send a reminder for the knowledge manager or a knowledge owner to check if this content is still relevant.
This feature is similar to “like” in social media. Agents can rate how useful the content is in their job. Such feedback is used to identify gaps and trends in topics and find areas for improvement.
How to Create a Knowledge Base in Your Call Center
1. Define purpose
Why do you need a knowledge base? Will it be a self-service tool for customers on your website or just an internal information bank for your employees? Your answers to these questions define how you should build and structure your knowledge base. Also, you should list high-level goals you want to achieve. For example:
- Provide answers to basic and frequent questions
- Create step-by-step instructions on troubleshooting or self-service
- Inform customers on pricing and discounts
- Explain product features and benefits, etc.
2. Analyze data
Take a closer look at the common customer queries your agents have to deal with. Define the products and services your customers are calling about more frequently. This is the information you should start with when building your knowledge base. After outlining more common questions you can proceed to more unique ones.
3. Put information into categories
Your next step is to put all this information into groups that can be expanded over time. If you have a tagging tool (for example, in your help desk solution) it will make your work easier. By tagging each group and each new piece of information, you can create a system that will identify the type of problem you're solving and store that help article with other resources that document similar problems.
4. Write and edit
Good writing and editing are the keys to make your knowledge base efficient and helpful. Whether it is an external or internal resource, you need to have clear, concise, and easy-to-read content there. Otherwise, your knowledge base will be useless.
5. Gather feedback and update regularly
It’s not enough just to create and launch your knowledge base. You need to gather feedback from its users and improve it regularly. You also need to check if the base has all the up-to-date information.
What Are the Common Knowledge Management Mistakes
1. Technology is the answer
Many companies purchase knowledge management software without fully understanding the need. They think that it is the answer to their problems. However, it’s rarely true. Your knowledge management solution should reflect the real needs of your company. Some businesses really need a knowledge management system with many features, while others are completely satisfied with call center scripting software that has a built-in knowledge base as a part of a call script.
2. Knowledge manager is the answer
Yes, a knowledge manager (or even a chief knowledge officer) is a key to getting things done. However, knowledge can’t be of concern to a single person. You should create a knowledge culture in your organization - when people care about knowledge, understand the value, and are actively contributing to it. Only then will you succeed!
3. It’s all about FAQs
FAQs are important but it’s not the only kind of information you should include in your knowledge base. Tons of other content that can be useful both for your agents and customers: setup guides, troubleshooting guides, process information, help articles, etc. Think about different types of content your target audience may need. Then, start choosing a system that meets your needs.
4. Let’s think about users later
Often, knowledge management processes and systems don’t meet real-world requirements. It makes them useless for a call center. You should take into account all the processes, systems, SLAs as well as pressures that call center agents have in real life. Not only will this make target metrics more achievable, but it will also make user adoption easier. Otherwise, your agents only will feel frustrated when trying to conform to the onerous requirements.
5. Data aren’t so important
To implement your knowledge base successfully, you have to use as much data as possible. And your call center is the first place you should consider taking data from. Use call disposition metrics to set up a structure to your knowledge plan. Other sources may be customer input, staff ideas, company forums, general web search. All this information will help you to choose the most suitable knowledge base solution and make its implementation easier.
6. Let’s think about classification later
The “one size fits all” approach is one of the common mistakes companies make while implementing knowledge management systems. They start with uploading everything they can find without pre-planning. That leads to a big pile of information that is impossible to handle and navigate. Moreover, it may have no sense and meaning so it is only littering the system. To avoid that, create the structure before uploading the information, not after.
How Voiptime Cloud Can Help You in Knowledge Management
There are two ways our all-in-one call center solution can help you. We have a built-in knowledge base as one of the call script blocks. It may contain as many paragraphs, items, and subitems as you wish. Aside from writing and editing text, you can also add there various files and pictures if necessary. A simple search function will allow your agents to find what they need by entering keywords in a search bar.
Another way is to integrate our solution with your existing knowledge base via HTML Iframe. Its URL will also be displayed as a part of a call script. This approach will save your agents’ time as they won’t need to switch between different applications.
Choose what is a good fit for you and contact us! Our experts will be more than happy to help you.