You may have the greatest product or service the world has ever seen, but that won’t mean anything if you don’t have a system in place to describe it accurately to customers. Knowledge management within a business is crucial. It’s a bit of a no-brainer, but customers come to businesses expecting to talk to employees who know the ins and outs of the business/product well.
Why You Need Solid Knowledge Management Ideas
The last thing a customer wants—and one of the most embarrassing things a company can experience—is an interaction that doesn’t answer questions and leaves the customer thinking that no one in an office has any idea what they’re talking about.
An interaction such as that reflects poorly on the company, and will likely lead to unsatisfied customers that won’t be coming back for more. It’s important for everyone to understand the knowledge base of their work, but it’s especially important for call center agents.
Call center knowledge management can be complex. But we’re here to provide clarity and shed some light on the questions surrounding call center knowledge management best practices. Keep reading to find out more.
Implementing Call Center Knowledge Management Best Practices
We recommend the following tips when figuring out how to implement call center knowledge management ideas:
- Have a purpose for creating your knowledge base.
- Teach your contact center agents good investigative skills and good people skills.
- Constantly assess how often the knowledge base is being used and revamp it as needed.
- Test your contact center agents on their knowledge to make sure they know their stuff.
- Train your agents on the knowledge base consistently.
We go into other more in-depth pieces of advice below. But if you take nothing else from this article, the above tips are a great starting point for your call center knowledge management.
Main Areas of Knowledge and Information Dissemination
Contact center agents are usually a company’s first line of contact for customers. They can be asked to answer all sorts of questions, from account inquiries to support issues to customer complaints.
Equipping these contact center agents with the knowledge they need to answer a wide range of questions is important to improving call center knowledge management. But it’s not the first step.
Step number one is figuring out the areas of knowledge your call center agents are going to need to be familiar with and condensing the information into easy-to-digest and easy-to-describe knowledge. Give them brief overviews of the most relevant information pertaining to the questions they’ll be asked.
You can break things down into frequently asked questions or separate knowledge into main areas to keep the structure and organization of the company clear. Whatever way you choose to do it, breaking down the need-to-know information for your call agents will make it easier for them to answer customer questions more easily and efficiently.
Speaking of ease and efficiency, dumping a huge book filled with all the little details about the many facets of the company isn’t going to help your call center agents answer questions. You wouldn’t tell your customers to consult the textbook to find answers to their questions, so you shouldn’t expect your contact center agents to do the same.
Clear and Concise Information, across the Board
The importance of clarity and an easy-to-understand, easy-to-explain layout of information can’t be overstated. If you want your customers to have their questions answered, you need to answer your call center agents’ questions first.
Improve your knowledge management system by providing digestible information for your call center agents, who will in turn provide that same easy-to-understand knowledge to customers.
It’s also important to note that any self-service setups you may have for customers to chat with a bot or browse a webpage looking for answers should provide them with the same answers they would get from a call center agent. Any information you have out there about your company needs to be the same information, across the board.
If your agents aren’t using the same knowledge base customers are finding on your webpages, things will become inconsistent and confusing.
Training vs. Real-world Situations on Agent Calls
Training is vital, but experience is often the best way to learn. That being the case, it can be tricky to align training with real-world situations on calls.
It really all comes down to the training:
- Implement continuous training: Have weekly or bi-monthly or monthly trainings (whatever works best for your company and situation) that keep your call agents in the loop with updates to the knowledge base or changes in how certain questions need to be answered. Asking for feedback from your employees will help you spot the parts of training that aren’t benefiting them when they’re out doing actual calls.
- Train on the best ways to answer confusing questions: This can look like rephrasing the question and asking the customer for clarification in understanding what they’re looking for. Sometimes they themselves don’t know. That’s what your call center agents are there to help with.
- Communicating with difficult customers: Matching and mirroring the customer is a great way to defuse frustration and communicate clearly. If a customer is upset or angry when they call, sympathizing and expressing contrition for whatever difficulty they’re experiencing can often calm them down. If agents also match the language of callers, not overly technical or jargony, it can make the callers feel more comfortable and even happier after getting the help they need.
- Setting clear expectations at the start of the call: After listening to a customer’s complaint, an agent can start off the conversation by indicating they’ll do their best to solve the problem. If a particular question is especially difficult or the agent knows it’s going to take more time, they need to communicate that clearly to the customer. Don’t just put them on hold and spend twenty minutes looking into the situation. Agents need to communicate clearly both in answering questions and in explaining how they’re going to go about solving the problems.
Keep our knowledge management ideas and advice in mind when setting up your call center knowledge base, for training, for implementation, and for greater customer satisfaction.