An old proverb “knowledge is power,” was initially derived from a closely related Latin aphorism first used in a work by Sir Frances Bacon then later published verbatim as scientia potentia est, by his secretary Thomas Hobbes in his original work Leviathan. Despite the fact this term developed during Shakespeare’s time and was later recycled for an educational program, the value of the underlying concept held up throughout the years. Quite simply: knowledge is undoubtedly empowering. From a business standpoint, this philosophy is critical for maintaining productivity & engaging potential and existing customers.
Delighting Customers from the Beginning
If you look at a case by case scenario, it’s clear that different, specific experiences have the ability to either please or disappoint a customer. Addressing these issues truly roots with analysis of the big picture. Building lasting relationships with a customer bases requires attentiveness to a multitude of details.
Though everything in the realm of customer service is important, one component stands above the rest. Communication, starting at the point when a potential customer first discovers your business, is key to converting and later engaging customers. By furnishing information, business begins to build rapport with individuals prior to them becoming customers.
This initial trust eventually transitions to a series of exchanges, evolving into experiences that becomes the groundwork for a lasting relationship. Maintaining this trust with customers requires concise, constant communication as this is the basis for any relationship. Should communication falter, just the same as an interpersonal relationship, experiences turn negative and the risk of dissolution becomes a harsh reality.
Empowering Customers and Employees
Not only is communication important for your customer base, access to information is useful for employees as well. In the following section, we will cover seven key reasons it is crucial to maintain a highly functional data base for knowledge management to improve overall business functionality in an organization.
Enlightenment and Improvement through Education
Thanks to modern web based tools and everything falling into the IoT (Internet of Things) category, information is everywhere. This modern age of technology provides a landscape where people have the capability to be proactive and learn new skills as well as develop additional knowledge on their own.
An ever growing and properly maintained knowledge management system provides both employees and customers a centralized mechanism for this very phenomenon. Provisioning useful information for customers allows them to grow in a way that makes your product or service more useful, hence “wowing” these people.
For a customer, there is nothing worse than feeling the frustration stemming from the inability to easily locate information. Sure, printed literature is helpful to start but it lacks the elasticity to expand when new issues arise or when a new feature is deployed. An accessible database ensures that information is always accessible, harmonizing with today’s business culture that requires instant gratification in order to satisfy the modern consumer. The easier a customer can access information, the better the experience.
Ease the Burden on Customer Service and Helpdesk Employees
Regardless of industry, customer service representatives and helpdesk associates are the frontline for a business. As such, these employees are the initial point of contact in the vast majority of exchanges with customers where the satisfaction level of these interactions directly affects the customer’s overall experience. This means ensuring high morale for these associates is important.
If your frontline team is regularly deluged with a high volume of requests, it exhausts these individuals. Eventually, the weariness will yield less than savory results, such as irritability and ultimately, lowers productivity. The happier these employees, the more productive your business operations.
Reduce Labor Expenditures from Support Tickets
In the same sense as the point made above, diminishing the barrage of requests for information has other benefits as well. Sure, you can open a call center in a region of the world where the costs are minimal but it still needs staff which requires continual expenditure. Rather than putting resources into the development of an additional department, it is far easier and less expensive to furnish an accessible directory where customers and employees have the ability to easily find answers to their questions.
On the other end of the equation, it is incredibly common to hear stories about surmounting frustrations coinciding with calling customer service. Even with a top notch customer service team the fact remains the same: customers don’t want to call customer service. By providing a tool where a customer can find immediate satisfaction, your business is saves money and the individual or organization saves precious time. This is a win-win situation.
Accommodate for Change
Unless your company is part of a highly specialized field where your products will always meet the exact same specifications, facilitating regular change is a necessity. In most cases, change is what keeps the company growing and churning profit.
As businesses scale, new components are introduced for additional services or products. For example, think about the education industry: new curriculum based on ever evolving studies requires constant documentation. Staff and students would be at a disservice without access to new material.
Analyze and Adapt
For the most part, change is initiated with a solid plan in place where the direction and outcome have a clear definition in place. In almost every scenario, no matter how well you plan for the “unknown, unknowns” (i.e. outcomes you didn’t except), unseen issues will eventually surface. Identifying and correcting these issues requires attentiveness and a degree of proactivity to effectively rectify.
One of the ways this can be accomplished is with modern analytics. Though some problems will be expected, tracking issues you did not expect is key for resolution to the unexpected. Addressing new and obscure problems allows those who encounter the inevitable issues to quickly return to a pleased state of mind.
The Magic of Simplicity
The most pervasive theme in the changing business landscape is the concept of simplicity. Think of how the drive-through streamlined the fast food industry, the way online tax services have made an otherwise difficult process accessible to almost everyone or most recently, the way smartphone applications have made everything from ordering a meal to finding a ride virtually instantaneous. Consumers want answers and they want them immediately. The easier someone can navigate information, the better their experience.
By taking these points to heart and implementing a modern knowledge management system, employees will be able to work with greater fluidity. Remember that modern culture demands immediate gratification and accessibility. Equipping business with a knowledge management system is a perfect way to not only commission a better workforce, it’s also a powerful tool to create a customer experience that is nothing short of miraculous.