KMS: Knowledge Management System

A knowledge management system is an effective way for companies to organize and share information about their products and services with both internal resources and with consumers.

two women working in an office planning customer experience initiatives using knowledge management systems

What is a Knowledge Management System?

To answer this, we have to start by asking, “What is knowledge management?” One widely accepted definition of knowledge management (KM) is the process of capturing, developing, sharing, and effectively using organizational knowledge. Providing the right information to the person who needs it (e.g. your customer, your agents, your store employees), exactly when they need it, is effective knowledge management.

A knowledge management system (KMS) refers to any kind of software solution that supports those processes by storing or retrieving knowledge, locating knowledge sources, mining repositories, capturing and using knowledge, or in some other way enhancing the knowledge management process.

Do You Need a Knowledge Management System?

Take a moment to think about where the knowledge surrounding your products and services is stored in your organization. Is it on the product labels, intranet pages, product briefs, and training manuals? How easily accessible is this information when your consumers need it? Can they find what they are looking for on your website, or do they often have to email or call your contact center to get the answers they need? What’s the impact on your contact center? Can your contact center staff locate what they need and do they have the tools to deliver excellent customer engagement?

Benefits of a KMS System

Implementing knowledge management tools can yield multiple benefits for your organization. Having an effective self-service component on your website or app allows them to start with the channel they prefer. This not only increases customer satisfaction, but it also helps deflect calls from the contact center. When you make that same information available to agents and/or store personnel, you can see a significant reduction in training time required and customer issues are resolved more quickly and with better accuracy. In addition, an effective KMS will be able to provide consumer insights including what topics are of interest, which responses were helpful to them, and where your knowledge base may need additional answers.

ROI for Implementing a KMS System

It’s important to evaluate your current knowledge management process to determine what can be improved; for example: high call volumes, lengthy time-to-respond on basic customer inquiries, or complaints about slow service. Having the right KMS in place can result in:

  • A 50%-80% reduction in email volume to the contact center
  • A 20%-50% reduction in call handling time
  • A 97% accuracy rate, increasing efficiency and decreasing risks of inaccurate information sharing
  • A 25% reduction in technical support costs

For a complete analysis of how implementing a KMS can impact your business, contact Astute today.

Why an Intelligent Knowledge Management System Matters to Your Customer Experience Strategy

As you consider your customer experience and mapping the customer journey, including a touchpoint that allows customers to engage with your brand on the website or app at any point in the process is critically important.

In a pre-sales scenario, customers may be researching your product. Keeping them sticky to the site or app and moving them along in the sales cycle is key. Having an effective self-service option at the point of purchase could be the difference between shopping cart abandonment and conversion. At that moment of indecision, being able to answer one additional question for the consumer could make all the difference.

Post-sale, making it easy to interact with your company will grow brand loyalty. The ability to access accurate information at their convenience via knowledge management tools goes a long way.

FAQ vs. Intelligent Knowledge Management

Many KMS solutions produce little more than a static FAQ based on keyword searching alone for finding answers. While it is good to have the knowledge organized, this will not provide many of the benefits that an intelligent KMS can. Providing an experience that is more like a virtual agent that can interact with the consumer is more engaging. The use of natural language processing to ensure the answers given are in response to the intent of the customer rather than a keyword search will result in more relevant, customized responses.

Multiple Users for the KMS System

Having a single knowledge base that can be leveraged by both internal and external users increases efficiency and ensures a consistent brand experience for your consumers. Consumers will access the information via the self-service channel on your public website or through a mobile app.

Agents can be provided access to the same information through a standalone solution or ideally through an integration with your CRM. Depending on your business, store employees or field reps can have access to product and services information, allowing them to better serve your customers and decreasing the chance of inaccurate answers.

Getting Started with Authoring a Knowledgebase

According to research from IDC, information continues to grow at a rate of 40% to 60% each year. The longer your company waits before investing in technology to help with your knowledge management process, the harder it will be to adopt.

That said, getting started with authoring a knowledge base is often a daunting task. A good KMS will allow you the ability to start with the documents and information already available as a starting point. Additionally, an intelligent KMS will have the capability to provide insights regarding how the system is being used by consumers and provide suggestions on what content areas are missing or need additional answers curated.

Natural language processing (NLP) is the ability to understand human speech and to interpret the intent of a statement or question. The implications of NLP in a knowledge management system are that users don’t have to “match” the exact wording used by the authors in order to get relevant responses from the system. The key benefit is the ability to determine the intent of the question and then bring back more specific answers rather than a long list of word matches.

Versioning and History

For some companies, understanding exactly what response was given is important to track because information could change over time, or for legal purposes. As an example, drug companies may need to keep a historical view of what the answer to a question was a year ago, versus today. For those companies, it is important to look for a KMS that has versioning and history components.

Ready to up your knowledge base game? Get in touch with Astute today.