Supporting the customer to serve their own needs effectively
Nowadays, actually getting in touch with customer service might be something you do at a pretty late stage in sorting out a problem – perhaps one step before giving up altogether, on a baffling error or faulty product. Most consumers are likely to at least try to find out how to fix things themselves just so they can resolve things quickly – and IF they are able to rapidly access the information they need, of course.
Offering customers the solutions they’re seeking, in an accessible and appropriate way, means being there at the moment they start looking for answers. Smart knowledge management requires a combination of rich and timely content, intelligent optimisation, and guiding them to the answer they’re seeking from their first search – on whichever site or device this takes place.
As Aaron Rice, VP CXone Expert at NICECXone explained, it’s all about just-in-time answers. “People don’t need to know everything about a product and how to troubleshoot it. They need the right bite-sized chunks, exactly when they encounter a problem. They just need to know the right thing to do, to fix the problem that’s in front of them.”
To intercept the first search with the correct self-service solution is the optimal situation, or even embedding it into the product itself – enabling the consumer to both diagnose and fix the issue immediately, without escalating it to the contact centre. But there are so many layers and contingencies involved, that to make this look easy, is actually very complex.
“The middle layer, between the experts and the user who has a product problem, is huge”, Rice continued.
So creating it effectively requires approaching it from a range of different angles.
“At a very basic level, we have to be able to capture information really quickly and easily in order to get really solid units of knowledge into the system first. So we have smart editor interfaces for experts that will take and transform whenever they write, into customer-friendly content. Then we have smart interfaces for agents who, when they solve the case that has had to be escalated to them, can contribute back to the knowledge base for future use, and can detect problems in the system.
“Then there’s what the AI is doing itself on the back end to discover, hey, wait a minute. That sounds like the answer to a question here and creates the links between them”
As well as curating the knowledge itself, there’s then the challenge of inserting it at the point of need, when it has to be found.
“Yes, we need to be extensive,” Rice reflected, on building that essential pathway for any user journey which could potentially arise. “We need to extend little tendrils into all of those places where a human could pop up and have a problem. So that could be inside the product itself If it has a user interface. Or in organic search results, or through chat interfaces in use in community forums.
“And what we try and do then is direct them through to a rich content site that will supply them their answer, and only then if they still need help, to smartly direct them into the correct channel to have that answered.”
By creating an optimised and comprehensive knowledge base that is continually learning and improving, CXone Expert provides a single source of truth for agents and customers on all sites, brands, locales, languages, and product lines, and help all the people whose first instinct is not to call a support centre these days.
Through owning the source of knowledge, the brand can still be part of their solution, and analyse their needs as part of a collective data set. “What a contact centre sees is less than 10% of the problem,” Rice concluded. “So 90% of the people just are not calling in, and they’re doing something else. This means you’re losing 90% of the data – 90% of the ways that you can improve the outcome, you’re rolling the dice on 90% of your post-sale customer relationships.
“What we do with CXone Expert is tilt the odds back in your favour.”
You can learn more about knowledge management from CXone here.