The actual effects of introducing a knowledge management system are best considered with the example of specific cases from different industries.
In retail, Marks & Spencer, an international brand based in the UK, has become a classic example. In their eagerness to improve communication with customers, they face the fact that their contact centers – at first there were 3, then 4 – are located in different countries, and part of the communications is generally outsourced.
To bring the level of communication to the target indicators without the introduction of a knowledge management system, they would have to increase the staff by 2 times more. As an alternative, a solution was chosen that combined 2 systems: knowledge management and artificial intelligence.
On the one hand, it has become faster and easier to search for the information necessary for the processing of requests, on the other hand, it has been possible to automate the processes of processing those requests.
The AI system provides automatic call routing between four contact centers and simultaneously filters irrelevant calls. For example, if an incoming request is not related to a product, it is not sent to the support service, but directly to the corresponding department.
Whereas Marks & Spencer’s contact centers used to receive more than 540,000 calls per month, half of which were spam, now only 269,000 of these requests are considered truly relevant.
Thus, the efficiency of the interaction has been doubled and another 81,000 processes have been fully automated. In addition to contact centers, knowledge management helps develop the work of field force units.
Other companies have already integrated the knowledge management system with the product catalog and automated the initial data migration. The main users of the new solution are not contact center operators, but employees of communication rooms involved in direct sales.
Beyond corporate automation
Where to start? One of the main tasks that arise during the implementation of a knowledge management system is the unification of the available information. As a general rule, customers are faced with the fact that it is stored in different knowledge bases created at different times and for different purposes.
It is also very important to understand and take into account the requirements of all internal customers, that is, the departments that will use the new system. There may be several of these clients, and each may have its own performance criteria and features.
If future users of the system are located on different subnets and segments, they should be combined and provided end-to-end access, taking into account roles and different levels of access to information.
After all infrastructure issues are resolved, you can continue working on content: packaging information into templates and articles. The most difficult part of implementing a knowledge management system is determining the requirements and choosing a solution (industrial or self-written) and an integrator.
This is exactly the case when you have to take advantage for a long time, but then you can go very fast. These solutions have two main advantages: first, all the most requested features are included by default, and second, implementation takes very little time.
There are cases when the solution was installed in a week, and the content was transferred gradually, starting with the most basic. The same applies to communication channels: they can be connected in turn, starting with the highest priority. In this case, the first results can be obtained in 2 to 2.5 months.
On the other hand, when choosing this solution, a lot depends on the integrator, so it is important to immediately understand how experienced and knowledgeable the team is and if they have experience in implementing such solutions.
The second difficulty can arise when it comes to training employees, and here it is not about the complexity of the interface (which, in fact, is a search bar, like in Google), but about internal conservatism.
People who are used to working “old fashioned” tend to be hostile to any innovation. So it is extremely important to motivate employees, clearly explain to them the benefits of implementing a new solution, and perhaps come up with a creative presentation.