This post was originally published by Olivia Adkison on lessonly.com.
We like learning. Scratch that—we’re wild about it. We’re fascinated with what we don’t know yet. As a result, we welcome challenges with open arms. We study what’s working with our customers and what’s not. We track our mistakes and how we’ll do things differently in the future. We share and store knowledge and information like it’s our job.
Knowledge management system software helps teams thrive, largely because knowledge is freely shared and everyone is updated in real-time. With the right knowledge management solutions, information falls into the hands of the people who need it, which kicks open the door for radical success as a team—especially for customer service teams. Here are five ways we’re seeing knowledge management systems revolutionize how CS teams do better work together:
1. The whole team has access to the most up-to-date information.
Accessibility is one of our favorite components of knowledge management software. Take this example: An Amazon customer service team manager wants to test a new way of assisting customers who call to change the shipping address of their order. She can go into the knowledge management system, replace the old process with the new one, and send her team a quick note about this week’s updated method.
She’s not typing a lengthy email her team might not read or hosting a meeting that pulls her team away from customers. Instead she’s simply changing a process in the knowledge management system, communicating the change with her team, and spending more time strategizing how to delight more customers. Fewer internal meetings. More customers wow-ed. New ideas tried. Innovation accelerated.
2. Problems are resolved faster because there are processes in place.
No frazzled problem-solving. No more putting customers on hold because a rep needs to find someone else who knows the answer. The needed information is at everyone’s fingertips because of the knowledge management process they built together.
In the book Do Better Work, author Max Yoder talks about three essential ingredients for a strong team: clarity, camaraderie, and progress. With knowledge management tools, these words come alive. Clarity with customers is particularly important in CS. Customer service, at its best, values the voice and time of the customer above all else. Imagine what it could look like for customers to look forward to talking with a customer service rep because they know they’ll be heard and valued. The more skilled CS teams are at listening and resolving customer issues with clarity, the better the customer experience. A knowledge management system benefits teams and customers.
3. Learning never stops.
Customer service can’t improve without ways to spotlight new ideas. Reps informally share tips and tricks about what’s working with each other all the time. But having a place to write down, house, and revisit those best practices? That’s what lasting, continuous improvement looks like. Knowledge is power, but only if people aren’t limited to the processes and procedures that already exist in the knowledge management system. Examples of tangible success for CS teams include improved communication, continuous training, scalable growth, and increased rep bandwidth to assist more customers. When knowledge of what’s working is accessible to everyone, teams win more.
4. Onboarding new customer service reps is a breeze.
As CS teams grow, the need for efficient and thorough training grows, too. A knowledge management system digitally houses information and problem-solving solutions that are searchable with a simple keyword. CS reps aren’t born with answers to customer questions; they learn them over time. By using internal knowledge-based software, new reps can learn and practice their jobs before they ever interact with a customer. And if they do have questions or need refreshers along the way, the knowledge management system will always be there for support. This provides managers with the flexibility to grow their teams quickly with far less headache.
These are just four of the many characteristics of knowledge management that we’ve seen in our customers’ CS teams when they use a knowledge management system. There are plenty of different types of knowledge management systems, but the best are built with people at the forefront. After all, customer service is all about people. Our job is to help teams answer the question, “How can I connect with my customer, understand the issue, and resolve it with them?” That question is significantly less daunting with an intuitive and accessible knowledge management system that learns and grows as your team does, too.