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 become used 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 want the information that will be most relevant to them.

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 knowledge base and 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. Each contains valuable information that would enable your customer, partners, and employees to self-serve. But if they live in silos, that information will never be found. With AI-powered search, develop a 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 you already have. Then look at what’s being searched for to drive the creation and curation of additional knowledge. Finally, 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?

KCS is a methodology that integrates the creation and maintenance of knowledge into every touchpoint of your digital experience. It was developed by the Consortium for Service Innovation (CSI) – a group of support organizations looking for a better way to improve and increase capacity and knowledge sharing. Essentially, it puts your company knowledge at the core of your organization – letting customers, partners, and employees make better, more informed autonomous decisions.

KCS was built on the idea that you should solve a problem once and share the solution as often as there is a demand for it. By accomplishing this, you can realize huge gains in operational efficiency, employee morale, and customer satisfaction.

So who solves the problem? KCS puts the knowledge creation activities into the hands of the worker who knows the answer. This way workers can capture the context and intent of the requestor. This improves the success of it being the solution for any constituents. Without that process, not only does information get lost, conflicting content may be created and efficient self-service becomes nearly impossible.

Does My Organization Need KCS?

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 customers, 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 KCS is worth exploring for your organization. With it, your organization will be able to focus on creating content as a by-product of solving problems.

You don’t want to create content for content’s sake. Gain a better understanding of what your customers, partners, and employees are searching for through usage analytics. Then prioritize content creation or evolution to help them self-serve.

With the power of machine learning, you will begin to see trends identifying content that is the most helpful. Then you can proactively recommend the content individuals will need next. All this helps to develop an up-to-date unified knowledge base of your collective experiences to deliver the relevant experience your visitors expect.

Why now?

Members of the CSI have refined KCS best practices over the last 25 years to continually meet the demands of customers and organizations alike. Companies that follow CSI guidelines benefit from significant improvements, including:

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

How to Plan for KCS

Implementing KCS is a commitment to a journey, not a destination. Like any quality improvement program, it needs to be invested in and iterated on. Learn how you can make the most of your company knowledge in TSIA’s latest report:

white paperTSIA Knowledge Management Maturity Model

If you want to assess your current knowledge sharing practices, Coveo provides business advisory service. This analysis helps you build a business case and ROI model to implement knowledge-centered service. Coveo also provides KCS v6 practices training by certified KCS v6 Trainers. If 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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