There’s a lot of buzz about personalized end-to-end digital experiences. I can assure you, this is not a passing trend. Thanks to companies like Amazon and Google, we’ve all grown accustomed to finding exactly what we’re searching for in as little as one click. So, you can be sure that your customers, partners and employees have those same expectations when engaging with your brand. They’re turning to your digital properties for answers and they want to find what they’re looking for the moment they need it.

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What’s more, they don’t just want any helpful information, they want the information that will be most relevant to them given their context. As you can imagine, these expectations will not go away and will only continue to rise. So how do you enable your customers, partners and employees to self-serve and delight them with an efficient end-to-end experience that scales? The answer lies in your knowledgebase, the methodology you apply to leverage it, namely Knowledge-Centered Service® (KCS).

There’s a good chance that you have YouTube videos, FAQ’s, troubleshooting guides, legacy KM articles and more that contain valuable information that would enable your customer, partners and employees to self-serve but they’ll never be found at the bottom of the silos they’re living in. With AI-powered search, you can unify your company knowledge into a single knowledge base that becomes your organization’s one-stop-shop for information about products, services, departments, customers, or specific topics and issues. However, a knowledge base alone won’t power a Google-like self-serve experience. Your organization needs to assess the content that already exists, look at what’s being searched for to drive the creation and curation of additional knowledge and think about ways to manage your knowledge company-wide. In short, your organization needs a knowledge management program. This is where knowledge-centered service can help.

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What is Knowledge-Centered Service?

Founded by the Consortium for Service Innovation by a group of support organizations looking for a better way to improve and increase capacity and knowledge sharing, KCS is a methodology which integrates the creation and maintenance of knowledge into every touch point of your digital experience. Essentially, it puts your company knowledge at the core of your organization and empowers your customers, partners and employees to make better, more informed autonomous decisions.

KCS was built on a simple premise that you should only solve a problem once and that solution should then be used as often as there is demand for it. By accomplishing this, there are big gains in operational efficiency, employee morale and customer satisfaction to be had. KCS puts the knowledge creation activities into the hands of the worker who is solving the problem. Given that those workers are closest to the request at hand, capturing the context and intent of the requestor is the key to future success at finding the solution for all constituents. Without that process, not only does information get lost, conflicting content may be created and efficient self-service becomes nearly impossible.

Is KCS what my organization needs?

If you’re wondering if knowledge-centered service is right for your organization, here are some initial questions to ask:

  1. Does your business rely on delivering high quality information or knowledge?
  2. Do customer, partners or employees request information from people in the organization and expect an accurate, timely response?
  3. Are these requests repeated by multiple requestors?
  4. Are the responders trying to help solve a problem?
  5. Do you have a separate team that is in charge of creating and publishing knowledge internally in the organization or externally to customers?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, there is a high probability that Knowledge-Centered Service is a methodology worth exploring and possibly implementing within your organization. With it, your organization will be able to focus on creating content as a by-product of solving problems. There’s no sense in creating content for content sake. Through usage analytics, you can gain a better understanding of what your customers, partners and employees are searching for and prioritize content creation or evolution to help them self-serve. With the power of machine learning, you will begin to see trends identifying which content is proving to be the most helpful and proactively recommend what, given their content, they will need next. All this helps to develop an up-to-date unified knowledge base of your collective experience to deliver the relevant experience your visitors expect.

Why now?

Members of the Consortium for Service Innovation have refined KCS best practices over the last 25 years to continually meet the demands of customers and organizations alike. Companies that follow knowledge-centered service guidelines benefit from significant improvements to their customer self-service, operational efficiency and organizational learning, such as:

Ability to solve cases faster
50 – 60% improved time to resolution
50% increase in first call resolution

Optimization of resources
70% improved time to proficiency
20 – 35% improved employee retention
20 – 40% improvement in employee satisfaction

Enable efficient self-service
Improve customer success with self-help on the web
Customer self-service success of 25% – 66%

Increased organizational learning
Actionable information to development about customer issues
Incident reduction due to root cause removal
Increase in collaboration and sharing
Improved content

Implementing KCS is a commitment to a transformational change in the organization. It is a journey, not a destination. It should be thought of like any other quality improvement program and be invested in as such. Learn how you can make the most of your company knowledge to make your customers more successful in TSIA’s latest report:

white paperTSIA Knowledge Management Maturity Model

Coveo provides business advisory services to help you assess your current knowledge sharing practices and can help you build a business case and ROI model to implement knowledge-centered service. We also provide KCS v6 practices training by certified KCS v6 Trainers and once you decide to move forward with KCS, we can help you implement it as well. Our KCS® consultants have 25+ combined years of experience working with organizations to improve designs in customers’ experience and increase self-service effectiveness through knowledge sharing. Contact us today!

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About Laurel Poertner

Laurel Poertner has over 15 years of experience managing technical support and education teams within the software industry. She has supported, used and managed CRM, ERP and Knowledge Management software packages throughout her career including implementing enterprise system migration projects. She is a certified trainer of Knowledge Centered Service v6 Practices and has implemented KCS globally within the technical support teams she managed.

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