Kristin Robertson, KR Consulting
Are you looking for a way to increase the effectiveness of your knowledge management process? Many support organizations find that their knowledge management methodology fails to produce incremental benefits after a time, and they look for an improved approach. That improved approach might be Knowledge-Centered Support.
Knowledge-Centered Support (KCSSM) is a methodology created by the Consortium for Service Innovation and is based on the premise that empowering all support analysts to structure, create, modify and reuse knowledge is the key to effective problem solving in the support center. KCS seeks to change the way that you create and share knowledge. KCS breaks down the barriers between levels of support (such as Tier 1, Tier 2, etc) and helps you build a culture of collaboration within your company.
What is the typical way of creating knowledge? In my consulting and hands-on experience over the years, I’ve observed many support centers follow some variation of the following process:
While this works well for many centers, this process has several potential drawbacks:
The process is time consuming, and can delay the sharing of time-sensitive information until the knowledge article has gone through several levels of editing and approval. Bottlenecks in the process flow can slow down the publication of new articles.
It confines the participation in knowledge editing and perhaps even creation to a small group of knowledge engineers. Sometimes the process excludes the frontline support analysts (the ones who may know the most about how the customer uses the knowledge) from the creation or modification of the information.
The knowledge created is divorced from the context of the original support interaction, thus making it impossible to capture the language of the customer in describing the problem. The language that the customer uses on the phone is likely to be the same that they use when they search the self-service web portal – and if you haven’t captured their quirky, non-technical description of the problem, they will never find the solution using that same quirky, non-technical terminology.
KCS directly addresses these drawbacks and enables both better internal (within the support center) and external (with the customer) knowledge sharing in these ways:
- KCS asks the support analysts to structure and create knowledge within the process of providing support to the customer. It expects the analysts to search for a knowledge article (called a solution in KCS) during each support interaction and to do one of four things:
- Create knowledge if a solution is not found
- Edit knowledge if the solution found is incomplete or incorrect
- Flag the solution if the correct solution is not known
- Use the solution by linking it to the case management record
- All support analysts are trained and licensed to participate effectively in the knowledge creation process. They are coached by a peer to continuously improve their knowledge creation skills and effectiveness.
- All support analysts are trained to capture the context of the customer within the solutions they create, thus ensuring a better online search success rate.
KCS is an exciting innovation knowledge management. If you’d like to know more about KCS, please visit the Consortium’s KCS website at www.serviceinnovation.org/kcs. If you’d like to schedule a free, 30-minute consultation on the benefits of KCS to your organization, please contact Kristin Robertson at email@example.com.