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Vendor Landscape Plus: Customer Service Knowledge Management Platforms

Provide agents and customers with solutions, not search engines.

  • Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) lists and Website search is sufficient for most simple customer service scenarios. But organizations with complex product portfolios and high volumes of service inquiries need knowledge tools optimized for multi-channel customer service.
  • Failing to provide consistent solutions to customers’ problems across all service channels lowers customer satisfaction, reduces customer retention rates and creates redundant service efforts.
  • Effective customer service requires knowledge platform services that support customer-facing self-service tools, agent-facing assisted service tools and support product specialists in the creation and maintenance of service content.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Search engines alone are inappropriate for Tier 1 customer service agents. Tier 1 agents are process workers, not knowledge workers, who need to locate solutions quickly and not spend time doing unfocused research.
  • Most CRM systems come with some service knowledge tools, but these rarely scale up to support complex service scenarios.
  • Customer Service Knowledge Management (CSKM) is a discipline which requires dedication of full time knowledge managers to create, maintain and structure service knowledgebases, bridging the gap between product specialists, service agents and customers.

Impact and Result

  • Understand the features and business benefits of using a dedicated customer service knowledge management (CSKM) platform, and determine functional requirements based on organizational needs to focus product evaluation on the right things.
  • Plan for and select a CSKM platform that supports your product portfolio, customer segments and service interaction channel mix.
  • Use Info-Tech's Vendor Landscape to compare the major CSKM platforms available and prepare a vendor shortlist to save time and money in the selection process.
  • Use Info-Tech's CSKM platform RFP template and demo script to prepare solid requirements for vendor finalists and select the right product.

Vendor Landscape Plus: Customer Service Knowledge Management Platforms Research & Tools

1. Assess the need for a CSKM platform and narrow down a list of CSKM vendors

Create a strong list of vendor candidates.

2. Compare leading vendors and develop a shortlist

Narrow the leading vendors down to the most appropriate few.

4. Implement a CSKM platform

Deploy the platform, and build an effective knowledge repository.

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Authors

Timothy Hickernell

Ben Dickie

Victoria Moore

Contributors

  • Barry Wehmiller
  • CIHR
  • E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company
  • Emhart Glass
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs
  • North Shore Credit Union
  • Transport for London
  • USBR
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