what is knowledge management

What is knowledge management and why is it so important to customer service?

At its root, knowledge management is the way in which a company organizes and supplies information to employees and other individuals. In its modern definition, knowledge management is the ability to effectively share information, insight and answers across a digital space.; Knowledge management is no longer solely an intangible concept. Very much like all things in this age, it’s evolved into a crowd-sourced web-based tool leveraged by businesses across diverse industries to share information.

The Increasing Importance of Knowledge Management in the Digital World

In this new era of digital communication, technological advances have pushed the need for knowledge management to the forefront. Businesses now operate on a global scale, across multiple sites, languages, and cultures. With the introduction of mobile smart devices, employees are now expected to be on call 24/7. The role of the customer has evolved, as well. Clients are becoming much more involved in the customer service process, and expect to quickly access the information they need, from wherever they happen to be located.

Data vs. Knowledge

The amount of information organizations regularly handle has been growing exponentially for decades. This much data can quickly become unruly, difficult to interpret and nearly impossible to navigate. In a knowledge-based system, however, information is organized and classified in such a way that the system can recognize relationships between data points and draw logical conclusions. This provides the user—whether that is a client or an agent of the organization—with relevant information. By classifying information into a common framework, data can be interpreted and accessed easily.

Considering that companies’ websites are accessed by thousands, or even millions, of users each month--each with their own specific needs--the amount of data to be managed is astronomical. Employees need access to company records. Customers want solutions from the help desk, and they want them now. As such, software that assists in knowledge management has become more than useful, but vital. For that, it requires the cloud.

Salesforce Service Cloud

Every individual customer has unique needs, and often those needs require unique solutions. In essence, customers need knowledge, and they need to be able to access it whenever and wherever they may be. Advances in cloud technology have made this a possibility. Cloud-based customer service helps clients connect directly with knowledgeable agents, online databases, and even other customers to find customized solutions for issues that matter to them. Not only that, it allows them to do so without the hassle of needing to download and install complex—and potentially incompatible—software.

The Salesforce Service Cloud is a tool that makes it possible for businesses of all shapes and sizes to easily personalize their customer service. This is done through multi-channel support (including telephone, email, social media, and more) and predictive support (which helps customer service agents to anticipate, identify, and solve problems before they happen). The end result is that customers can get their issues resolved quickly, easily and to their satisfaction.

Knowledge is Power

Providing the best customer care is really a matter of giving customers the knowledge they need, exactly when they need it. This means making your entire knowledge base available and accessible to those who require it, whether that refers to the clients themselves or the agents who are empowered to assist them. Here are three aspects of Service Cloud that make this possible:

  • Simple Accessibility
    Salesforce Service Cloud makes finding even the most obscure information as simple as clicking a button. This means that rather than having to learn a complex system just to be able to navigate it, clients and agents will be able to focus their efforts on the problems at hand. Coupled with the ability to access the Service Cloud via any internet connection (wireless or otherwise), this improved accessibility allows for faster solutions to even the most difficult obstacles.
  • Cumulative Knowledge Base
    Rather than forcing clients to simply try their luck with whatever service agent they happen to be connected with, Service Cloud acts as a constantly-updated index of the the knowledge and solutions of every agent and client in the system, so that as long as someone knows the correct answer to any specific issue, everyone will have access to it.
  • Unparalleled Accuracy
    Salesforce Service Cloud provides a platform from which to apply industry best practices to your database, using the first KCS version 5 verified knowledge management and incident management solution. KCS ensures accuracy of articles, and helps to safeguard the quality of your entire knowledge base.

However, as valuable as knowledge management software can be, without properly-trained employees capable of effectively utilizing all that it has to offer, it won’t benefit your organization. As such, training your workforce should be a top priority.

Underperforming service teams are playing catch-up, with an intended 287% jump in use of technologies like predictive analytics over the next 12–18 months

Training for Knowledge Management

Underperforming service teams are playing catch-up, with an intended 287% jump in use of technologies like predictive analytics over the next 12–18 months. Technology can only take your business so far. Certain courses may be necessary in bringing your workforce up to speed on how to best utilize your knowledge management software. Training should include best practices on a practical level, proven methods and a collection of peers from different backgrounds contributing their viewpoints and ideas. Proper training will help ensure a bright, knowledge-management centered future for your company.
High-performing service teams are nearly 2x as likely to say that customer service is 100% the responsibility of the entire company

The Future of Your Business

The future of business continues to change minute-by-minute. Make sure you stay ahead of the curve, by taking charge of your future with knowledge management software. High-performing service teams are nearly twice as likely to say that customer service is 100% the responsibility of the entire company, so make sure that the entire company is willing to do their part to ensure that your knowledge management solution is a success.

Salesforce Service Cloud has the ability to take your business’s knowledge management to the next level, but only if those who use it are willing to go to the next level as well.