Changing agent behavior is hard. They’re only human, and humans enjoy consistency. But if you’re going to future-proof your company, change is a necessity.

This means updating tools and processes—not just change for change itself, but to achieve long-term improvement. After all, agents (just like the rest of us humans) are drowning in information—in 2020 alone, 1.7 megabytes of information was minted every second, while only 0.5% of all data is ever analyzed or used. Making their jobs (and lives) easier can mean implementing an effective plan for knowledge management, which is shown to both retain talent and drive business.

And the backbone of successful knowledge management? A well-rounded relevance platform.

Unfortunately, one of the most common causes of under-performance with newly implemented tools is poor employee adoption. People, and more specifically your agents, are creatures of habit. They tend to not immediately like what they don’t know and are often hesitant to change the way they work because it doesn’t feel right.

However, this doesn’t mean your employees are the problem. Where you have likely fallen short is in articulating what we like to call the ‘what’s in it for me?’—the tangible benefits your employees will reap.

What’s in it For Your Agents?

Garnering agent adoption of any new tool or process requires a well-thought out strategy; the first step of which is getting user buy-in. 

Your agents, just like your customers, want to feel like they matter. Putting in the extra effort to explain why this change benefits them will go a long way. If you expect them to get excited just because you’ve implemented a new technology, you may be sadly mistaken.

Instead, you need to explain why or how an information system isn’t just another box they’ll have to tick during their day-to-day work. Instead, clarify how it will help them: when it comes to knowledge management, the intention is to drive alignment between groups, teams, and departments; to establish or enhance processes that are in place to help them succeed; and that new tech tools—in this case, the relevance platform—underpins this effort.

By introducing the platform as an essential ingredient to your contact center agents’ success—and combining this with time and training— adoption can reach 100%.

Getting frontline staff buy-in is crucial to the long-term success of any new project. Skipping this step can effectively kill an otherwise great project, and often results in a loss of time and money.

A customer service representative sits at a desktop in an open plan office

5 Steps to Knowledge Management Success

In helping numerous companies upgrade their customer service systems, we’ve come across five golden rules that our most successful clients stuck to. Don’t let your hard work fizzle out! 

Establish a process to capture & re-use knowledge

It’s time to take stock of what you already have in place; or, if you aren’t using a Knowledge Centered Service (KCS) strategy already, what it would look like for your organization. KCS allows your agents to find and evolve knowledge in their flow of case resolution.

KCS has even been proven to lower agent turnover because agents are empowered to see the case from creation to resolution—creating a sense of ownership and empowerment that tiered support couldn’t deliver. 

And using a relevance platform that is KCS enabled puts you one step ahead, putting information directly into your agents’ flow of work.

What to look for in a relevance platform10 Must-Have Features for a Relevance Platform in 2021

Elevate the search experience

Your agents have enough on their plate when it comes to resolve customer issues—don’t make them have to be Houdini, too. They can’t use what they can’t find.

As you’re likely experiencing, content in multiple repositories is too cumbersome for agents and as a result, the incredible content your team spends so much time creating often goes unused.

A relevant search experience ensures that content is findable. Users who benefit from query suggestions, machine learning, dynamic faceting, and intelligent personalized search are realizing the true benefits of elevated search technology.

Provide unified access to knowledge

The next step to enabling your agents to find the information they need when they need it, is to unify your company’s collective knowledge. This access should appear within your agents’ flow of work, so they don’t have to click over to a new UI or browser tab. You can even pull in conversational content like Slack threads to capture new information as it evolves.

Beyond making your company knowledge findable, a unified search experience offers an effortless and intuitive experience that allows your agents to find the best, most relevant answer, wherever it resides, and all from a single search box.

Facing relevance challenges?5 Challenges to Creating True Search Relevance (and How to Overcome Them)

Embrace the power of AI

AI-powered search is revolutionizing agent proficiency by putting content in context. The ‘intelligence’ is powered by rich analytics and machine learning.

With it, you can automate agent activities and process flows. This will help your agents to analyze case history, liaise with internal experts and recommend relevant solutions to your customers with ease.

Learn from your crowd to continually improve

Probably the most critical piece of the puzzle is routinely analyzing the user analytics. This will give you visibility into what content is being searched, attached, clicked, viewed, and re-used. 

Understanding your data will also help ensure that your KPIs are being met. By regularly studying user dashboards and taking action where necessary, you will be able to continually improve the process for your agents.

Over time, you’ll begin to learn from power users and address what the data tells you. Issues such as content gaps, low participation rates, low attachment rates, and low click-through rates can all be addressed so that subsequent users benefit from what you’ve learned along the way.

A woman at a laptop checks numbers against an analytics dashboard

Start Small Before Taking Big Steps

To ensure that you have optimal results with agent adoption on a large scale, it is recommended that you ease into it with a phased rollout. 

By starting with a pilot team that you can rely on, you can capture valuable feedback about the process and develop a group of evangelists that can help onboard the next wave of agents. It’s imperative that throughout your implementation, you have designated leaders who will own the agent experience, and make sure that they feel heard and valued every step of the way. These leaders will be responsible for providing training, acting on feedback, acknowledging top performers, and offering rewards and incentives.

Dig Deeper

Want all the nitty-gritty details on our most successful clients’ who raised their CSAT scores? Check out our 5 Relevance Secrets: How to Make Customer Service KPIs Soar

Get your ebookHow to Make Customer Service KPIs Soar

You can also see how well we walk the walk as good as we talk the talk: take a peek at our Customer Support and Success programs here.

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About Ashley Garst

Ashley Garst is the Senior Content Editor at Coveo. She has more than a decade of weaving words together and is a ninja editor, slicing extraneous prose like fat from a steak. A California native, when she’s not at work, she’s running in the hills of San Francisco, practicing her creative writing, or playing with her cats.

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