Customers calling the help desk multiple times for the same issue, field service technicians visiting the same piece of equipment many times, often in remote areas, to fix the same breakdown – it’s all a part of daily life in service organizations that are not optimized for increasing quality and customer satisfaction.
A virtual scattered knowledge base
For most businesses, you’ll find that the essential data, information, and knowledge is scattered throughout endless product manuals, electrical diagrams, printouts and binders, flow charts, notes and even in the minds of employees themselves. Often you will see documentation and expert advise captured in everything from old Lotus Notes systems, SAP documents, Sharepoint and ticket system knowledge base articles. You will see “underground” efforts to collect simple static documents and spreadsheets containing information related to best practices and random solution descriptions for common errors across shared network drives. You might even see FAQ systems (often in the form of hand-coded HTML files) internally built by employees who need a central place to get help, who are forced to start building something on their own that can be shared by colleagues. These systems are rarely maintained, as they are time-consuming to update and there is no real ownership, procedure, feedback cycle or sense of community to ensure a continuous growth in the knowledge base. Solutions such as these never really gain traction in environments that are already using many different software systems, and adopting a new system is a tough challenge itself.
It’s a state of “virtual knowledge base” that lacks corporate financing and support. The knowledge is there within the organization but it’s not rapidly accessible, forcing companies to dispatch expensive engineers to the same site over and over again, dealing with the same problems and having to address the same issues every time. Often the problem is escalated back to factories and R&D departments at headquarters.
Unacceptable fault handling experiences
We are left with extreme difficulties in retaining knowledge, low quality of service, high call volumes to the call center, high average handling times and high customer service costs!
Customers, on the other hand, are left with unacceptable fault handling experiences resulting in annoyance, downtime, loss of production and ultimately frustration.
To improve this situation, we need to structure and optimize the call center processes to be much more dynamic and automated. We need to make sure our staff is assisted in the best possible way by offering them the most efficient action to perform at any given time and in any given situation and in all environments. We need to automate difficult manual, tedious evaluation of complex data to ensure a correct and precise fault handling process every single time and not leave out important pieces of data.
We need to organize data and information and aggregate facts, processes, and data into knowledge and capture it in a structured form. To do this, we need to find out what knowledge is – join us next time where we will be looking into the very important distinction between data, information, and knowledge.
Here at Dezide we have helped organizations structure knowledge for 20 years and achieved reductions in average handling time of more than 20% and we have achieved a 60% decrease in calls to HQ from field service staff as a direct result of capturing and organizing expert knowledge. I hope that this inspires you and make you want to learn more about the great opportunities for building a great knowledge base for your organization.