The power of knowledge within business is undeniable, which is why knowledge management is such as sought-after capability in recent years. But with an average of 55% of enterprise data going unused, how can companies achieve optimal knowledge utilisation? This article explores how to execute an effective knowledge management strategy so that valuable knowledge doesn’t go to waste.
Knowledge management is a key business discipline that is utilised by a multitude of businesses to optimise knowledge, transforming the way it is perceived and dealt with. When executed effectively, knowledge management alters company culture so that it is centred around knowledge. Businesses that achieve this share the understanding that knowledge is a powerful asset which is everywhere and should be harnessed should they wish for growth, efficiency and improvement.
Operationally, knowledge management involves the harvesting, analysis, conversion, organisation and sharing of knowledge with the relevant audiences. This could be:
By embedding knowledge sharing into the company culture, the capture and collection of knowledge becomes an everyday practice for employees. This helps to remove knowledge silos within your business, promoting transparency and collaboration.
Companies that execute a successful knowledge management strategy also benefit from:
Once your team has a shared understanding of the purpose and outcomes regarding the knowledge management strategy, it is good practice to conduct a knowledge audit. This involves the evaluation of the current knowledge within your company to highlight any strengths, gaps, existing attitudes, opportunities and roadblocks.
Conduct the audit by considering the following:
Once the knowledge audit has been carried out, you will have a clear understanding of where your strengths and areas for improvement are. This helps to influence the way in which you execute knowledge management.
Whether its a Knowledge Manager or dedicated executive from a division such as Customer Service, Customer Experience or Marketing, it’s fundamental that you have someone that takes ownership and accountability over knowledge management.
Ensure that your knowledge executive has the skill and experience to deal with knowledge. This includes knowing how to collect, curate, and harvest knowledge, but also involves the translation of tacit data into consumable knowledge.
Without a Knowledge Manager or equivalent in place, your knowledge will become ineffective, inconsistent and redundant. Without a dedicated individual updating, editing and adding to your bank of knowledge then not only does knowledge management not work as a function but inaccurate and therefore potentially damaging information can circulate.
Process is imperative when it comes executing your knowledge management strategy. Whilst there is no cookie-cutter approach to this and steps will differ from business to business, it’s important to follow the knowledge management process at the least in its’s simplest form:
This approach can be used time and time again for the effective flow of knowledge to a range of outlets. Ensure each step is given careful attention and that none are skipped or disregarded.
Read more about the Knowledge Management Process stages, here.
At the heart of your knowledge management strategy is knowledge management software. It is what essentially facilitates the discipline – which would fail without such systems in place.
Most commonly businesses utilise knowledge bases that are powered by AI to act as their centralised repository of companywide knowledge. It stores all knowledge articles surrounding your company, products and services and allows knowledge executives to add, edit and update in real-time to avoid any information inconsistencies.
With a knowledge base, knowledge sharing is simplified. Whether it's your employees, agents or customers accessing knowledge, the utilisation Natural Language Processing (NLP) ensures that the right information is always delivered.
For instance, agents who are accessing the internal-facing knowledge base begin by typing a customer query into the search bar. NLP gets to work unpicking the query, analysing the keywords, intent, grammar used and popularity, so that no matter how a query is phrased, the best results are produced.
From a customer’s perspective, a filtered version of your knowledge base can be accessed via a number of online self-service tools. When a customer requires support or needs to solve an issue, they can either navigate to a knowledge article by choosing a category or NLP will produce relevant answers based on what is entered.
For effective knowledge management software, consider:
The implementation of knowledge management software – that is from the SRS agreement to being fully up and running – does not need to be complicated or time-consuming. By choosing knowledge management software that utilises low code, depending on your business requirements, your employees and customers could be benefiting from knowledge within days or weeks. All it requires is a simple line of code that is installed on your website.
Your knowledge base seamlessly integrates with your fundamental customer service tools for the two-way sharing of knowledge. Whether it’s self-service widgets, chatbots or live chat , all users can access consistent information fed from the same source.
Through its open RESTful API capabilities, an intelligent knowledge base can also connect to any key 3rd party applications that your company relies on, for example, your CRM.
Your knowledge base’s analytical suite is how you will determine how effective your knowledge management strategy has proved in terms of achieving your overall objectives. Whether your objectives surrounded CSAT or agent efficiency, it is critical to the success of knowledge management that metrics are constantly analysed and reviewed.
Investing significant time and capital into the execution of your knowledge management strategy, only to fail at the final hurdle would be detrimental – and is why measurement is so important.
Just some knowledge analytics that are available to companies for analysis include: