When it comes to service and support, customers don’t long for conversation. They want answers, fast.

According to Parature’s 2014 State of Multichannel Customer Service Survey, customers rank the top two aspects of a satisfying customer service experience as:

  • Getting my issue resolved quickly (41%)
  • Getting my issue resolved in a single interaction (26%)

So, what is the key to delivering on the above? At the heart of every efficient and effective customer service resolution is the right knowledge. It is a simple foundation that, if developed and managed correctly, can be used both internally and externally – and distributed from a single source across almost every channel including phone, IVR, email, live chat, mobile, social, support portal and more.

Knowing How to Make Knowledge Work

The challenge for most brands is not the lack or development of knowledge, but rather the single-source management of and access to the right knowledge in real time. Says noted CRM analyst Esteban Kolsky in a new white paper, “not having access to the right information is the most critical time-waste of preparing any answer for a customer. If the information is not available quickly, it is nearly impossible to deliver against expectations.”

An Aberdeen Group Contact Center in a Profit-Centric Service Organization report confirms this, noting:

  • nearly 20% of a contact center agent’s time each day is spent looking for appropriate information.
  • and that 61% of unresolved support calls could have been resolved with access to appropriate information.

The benefits on the other hand are many. In a recent research note from Gartner Research VP and Distinguished Analyst Michael Maoz (Understanding the Knowledge Management Vendor Landscape for CRM Customer Service, August 2014), they include:

  • Reduction in the time required to complete work (5 – 25%)
  • Reduction in errors (reuse reliable results
  • Reduction in unproductive time spent on training of new agents (20% or greater)
  • Call deflection to web/mobile/unassisted channels (10 – 50%)
  • Reuse of content across multiple channels without having to recapture
  • Fast, accurate resolution of problems, reducing time customer spends on website; opportunity to market.

Knowledge’s Rich Return on Investment

For a real-life customer service knowledge management success story, search no further than Ask.com, a brand that over the last few years, has developed a highly-successful knowledge management offering to serve the hundreds of thousands of visitors that come to the site each month. Ask.com Global Customer Care Manager Eric McKirdy recently calculated the ROI from just one of the brand’s customer service knowledgebase articles, selecting the most-viewed article which now has been accessed more than six million times.

Calculating that the average annual starting salary for a CSR in their area at $40,000/year, and that it would take a CSR perhaps two minutes to answer the same question on the phone or by email with each of the 6,001,458 (and growing) customers that have accessed the article… that’s 64 cents per answer, for a more than $3 million return on investment for this single piece of self-service content.

Watch Now: Webinar Builds the Case for an Investment in KM for Customer Service

In this pre-recorded webinar, ThinkJar Founder and Principal Esteban Kolsky details the importance and benefits of knowledge management for customer service.

Notes Kolsky in a new white paper, “not having access to the right information is the most critical time-waste of preparing any answer for a customer. If the information is not available quickly, it is nearly impossible to deliver against expectations.”

Senior Director Bill Patterson of Parature explores the critical role of knowledge in self-service and consistent engagement across channels including email, chat, the web, mobile and social, and how to empower both employees and customers.

Ask.com Global Customer Care Manager Eric McKirdy joins the conversation to share the brand’s incredible knowledge management for customer service success, along with proven best practices that have helped make McKirdy a customer service thought leader.

Don’t miss out on finding out if your brand’s a leader or a laggard in KM for customer service and what you can do to quickly improve your success.

View article here.