For contact centres, an internal knowledge base is considered an essential, facilitating customer support with optimal efficiency whilst bringing operational costs down considerably. But how can you ensure a smooth and successful roll-out? This article provides the fundamental steps, tips and advice to achieve this.
An internal knowledge base is essentially a company’s central library of knowledge, packaged in an agent-friendly interface. It contains all the fundamental information that employees and other stakeholders require to work effectively. This includes anything from returns policies to product specifications and troubleshooting videos to decision trees.
Access to this sort of information is vital for agents whose roles are to facilitate customer support. With customers expecting fast answers to questions and quick fixes to their issues it is important that agents can find the correct knowledge articles efficiently in order to satisfy customers.
The internal knowledge base interface that agents utilise everyday works by with your company’s wider knowledge base to retrieve relevant and accurate knowledge articles that help to solve customer issues. Powered by AI and by harnessing Natural Language Processing (NLP), agents benefit from quick access to results regardless of how a query may have been phrased.
Once an agent types the customer query into the system, NLP unpicks the sentence using sophisticated algorithms, analysing components such as keywords, grammar, intent and popularity to understand context and produce relevant results.
Because this is handled using AI, the problem-solving process takes place automatically and within the same window. The results of which is a large accumulation of time saved that would otherwise be spent searching for answers or transferring customers to supervisors. By reducing Average Handling Times (AHT), contact centre costs are significantly reduced and agents can deal with more queries, impacting positively on CSAT.
According to a report by Gartner, support costs can be reduced by 25% when a knowledge management discipline is in place.
When an internal knowledge base is effectively deployed companies benefit from:
Once knowledge has been harvested from sources such as employee insights and reports, it can be contextualised and transformed into bitesize knowledge articles that make up the knowledge base’s content.
For more detail on knowledge contextualisation and the knowledge management process, read this.
The next step of the roll-out includes user adoption. Ensuring that the internal knowledge base is well received and accepted by its users and stakeholder that are involved is critical to the roll-out’s success. The aim is having employees fully on board with an understanding as to how the initiative will benefit them and the overall business. This can be achieved through a number of methods.
Introduce employees to the idea of knowledge sharing and the internal knowledge base well in advanced to prepare them for the roll-out. This might involve weekly company meetings or even tasks that help them become familiar with the initiative. When practised over time, this will become engrained in your company culture.
Before the roll-out takes place, assign several advocates whose responsibility will be to coach others on the upcoming internal knowledge base deployment. Have them act as other employees’ first port of call if they have any questions regarding the roll-out.
By having people of influence within your company advocate the internal knowledge base, it encourages the wider team to get excited about change. If employees are prepared and championing new technology it is likely that other stakeholders will also buy-in.
Involve everyone in the initiative as much as possible, as early as possible. This not only helps employees get used to the idea of any changes, but it’s also an opportunity for any employee input.
Organise company-wide surveys and smaller in-depth meetings for those directly involved, for example, agents. This will help with the internal knowledge base’s effectiveness by enriching the content from those with first-hand experience but also helps with user adoption. By familiarising agents with how it will work and having them contribute to the roll-out, the more likely they are to support the new initiative once it is deployed.
Once the content is finalised and your employees are prepared, the roll-out itself shouldn’t be a complicated or long process. Once contracts are agreed, the deployment of your internal knowledge base, depending on your requirements is completed in days or weeks, providing your software vendor uses low-code deployment methods.
When it comes to maintaining your internal knowledge base, how can you ensure that it continues to be utilised, optimised and proves effective?
To keep agents motivated and engaged, gamified visuals are available to champion user wins and encourage healthy competition in the contact centre. User scoreboard metrics such as most queries solved and top searches are visible to all and displayed in graphics to incentivise and create transparency.
To make sure that your internal knowledge base is proving effective in its intended areas, it is good practice to have its core goals and objectives always in mind. This way you can easily measure the system’s metrics against objectives to assess whether you remain on track or not. From this, appropriate changes can be made if necessary.
Measure metrics that reside in the tool’s analytics suite, such as search result metrics which reveal how many queries were successfully dealt with using the internal knowledge base and how many are optimisable.
Keep your knowledge articles up to date and your internal knowledge base accurate by assessing top query analytics that identifies any gaps in your existing content. This is also an opportunity to discover trends as they emerge.
To optimise your content, you can also carry out regular employee surveys and agent interviews to capture new insights and information, continuing to develop your internal library of knowledge.