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I can answer that...Why a comprehensive knowledgebase is the key to customer confidence

3rd Jun 2014
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Guest post by Marc Whitwam, Content Manager at HGS UK

Helpful agents with information at their fingertips are the key to winning customer confidence. They have an answer for every question, a suggestion for every query and a resolution for every issue. And they never have to put you on hold to find it. That may not sound like rocket science, but in complex businesses it can certainly feel like it. Marc Whitwam, Content Manager at HGS UK, explains how fast, accessible and information rich knowledgebases deliver customer satisfaction in spades.

When customers call they want information fast. They don’t want to be put on hold or to feel they’ve been fobbed off. But giving the right answer fast can be more difficult than it sounds. I was recently told by one fmcg company (I won’t name names), that information about their brands resided across three disparate databases that could only be accessed by specialist personnel trained to handle SAP interfaces. Costly and far from ideal.

By contrast, the knowledgebase we operate for Unilever holds all relevant information in a single place, accessible directly from the agent desktop. There’s everything in there from a list of allergens covering over 200 products to details of current and historical promotions for over 40 brands. Close to 10,000 articles in total, rigorously ordered, constantly updated and intuitively accessible.

Get the knowledge…

So, how do you build a definitive knowledgebase? Here's some advice based on our experience:

  • Consolidate: Like our fmcg friend mentioned above, you probably have information everywhere. Consolidate it into a single repository where it can be stored and managed. We work with partners like Synthetix to create the technological framework, link to client databases to source the data and then undertake a de-duplication process.
  • Make it easy: Use intuitive interfaces that make it easy for agents to navigate quickly, and structure data on the premise that even the most untrained eye should be able to find it easily. We then use data analytics to increase usability over time. By tracking how agents use the knowledgebase we can plot the fastest routes to the most regularly needed information.
  • Keep it up: Information has to be current. We use a methodology that imposes a disciplined approach to content review, refinement and continuous improvement.
  • Prioritise: Speed up responses by storing a bank of generic responses to frequently asked questions.
  • Think multi-channel: To deliver a consistent customer experience across all channels, make sure each has recourse to the same knowledgebase. Our Unilever knowledgebase is also used by brand managers and PR agencies to respond to questions on social media.
  • Reap the benefit

    It goes without saying that fast, accurate answers keep customers happy, and they drive down call duration too. So, get the knowledgebase right and watch the costs go down as customer satisfaction goes up!

    Article first published in Engage - republished with permission of HGS UK.


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