Businesses are confronted with many unique challenges in today’s times. These include, but are not limited to, the manner in which important information is disseminated. Knowledge flows between the business and the consumer and between the business and its employees. The overlap can result in dissonance in the absence of an efficiently managed knowledge base. The customer experience for one relies heavily on an effective knowledge base for expedient resolution to queries and product-related information. A satisfied customer is often a returning customer and it’s this positive experience that businesses are aiming to optimize.

Implementing a Functional Knowledge Base

Access to the right information at precisely the right time is a key component of an efficient customer service solution. Oftentimes customers prefer not to contact customer support representatives for resolution of their issues. It is at this juncture that an effective customer support system becomes an absolute priority. Customers want to be able to have access to the right information at the click of a button. Self-service customer support requires the synergy between 4 elements, including: information accessibility, how to find information, multimedia components, growth and management of the knowledge base. When all of these components are working together to provide an efficient, effective and fully updated knowledge base, the customer service operation will benefit.

The utility value in an effective knowledge base is greatly enhanced when it can be easily accessed. The knowledge base should be included as part of a package allowing customers to easily search for information on site. The self-service nature of the knowledge base is paramount. Customers need to be able to access answers as quickly as they type in their questions. In other words the traditional lag times that are associated with conventional customer service methods need to be replaced by an optimized knowledge base. Live support systems are preferred, as customers are reluctant and unwilling to wait for live help to assist them. In practical terms, this means that if a customer is browsing a specific product page or category page, and has a question then that question needs to be answered in real time. This necessitates the adoption of a support system that is intuitive, and is able to cater to the individual needs of customers.

The effectiveness of a knowledge base is only as good as the efficiency and accuracy of the responses it is able to generate. The search algorithms that are used to generate responses should be sufficiently developed to the point where they function as artificial intelligence entities. Questions that are asked should supplement the existing knowledge base and grow it in real time. This is to say that updates to the existing knowledge base are imperative. This allows the customer support system to be populated with questions and answers that can be used to great effect.

Customer Support Agents and a Functional Knowledge Base

The traditional role of customer support agents has been to take telephone calls, respond to e-mail queries and deal with all manner of routine Q&A. This has a marked effect on the morale, productivity and effectiveness of customer support agents. By maximizing the customer support system abilities with a highly responsive and integrated knowledge base, dramatic changes can be seen. For example, customer support agents will no longer be required to deal with run-of-the-mill queries and questions because the fully interactive knowledgebase will be able to handle such queries. The number of e-mail queries will drop significantly since customers will be dealing with the resolution of their own queries, questions and problems with the customer support software available. This has the effect of increasing ROI, reducing overall costs, providing for greater synergy between the customer support agents and allowing for a specialized and better trained customer support management team that is able to deal with non-routine queries. Seen in perspective, it is clear that the existing customer support systems can be greatly enhanced with a knowledge base that is intuitive, easy to use and autonomous.