The Importance of Knowledge Management in Contact Centers

Learn the importance of choosing the right partners along with specific tools that lead to CX success. View the webinar and expand your understanding of Knowledge Management in Contact Centers.
COPC + Livepro Webinar "The Importance of Knowledge Management in Contact Centers"


Ian Aitchison (00:01)

Hi, everyone. Thank you very much for joining us today for the COPC webinar that we are joined with livepro to talk about the importance of knowledge management. And what we are going to be looking at is the importance of knowledge management in both contact centers, as well as self-service technologies. To begin with, I would like to introduce the two presenters today. 

Ian Aitchison (00:33): 

Firstly, I’m very pleased to welcome Brad Shaw to join me for this webinar. Brad is the CEO of livepro, and as many of you who are in Australia will know livepro, they are what we might think of as experts in customer experience knowledge management. They have been helping companies improve their customer experience for a long time. Since about 2001, they’ve been delivering knowledge management solutions to customer contact centers in all major industries. Brad, welcome. 

Brad Shaw (01:09): 

Thanks, Ian. It’s great to be here. I haven’t been doing since 2001, that would make me really old. I’m not that old as you can see from this vision. Anyway, it’s great to be here, man. 

Ian Aitchison (01:21): 

Thanks. My name is Ian Aitchison, I’m the CEO for the Asia Pacific Region for COPC, and I’ll actually be doing the majority of today’s presentation. And throughout the presentation, Brad and I will also be having some discussion. Well, I’d like to tell you what we’re going to be talking about today. And really a sort of overview of the webinars that we’re going to look not just at voice channels, we’re going to look at multi-channel journeys, and how the industry is moving more and more towards multi-channel journeys. And within that, we’re going to look a little bit at self-service technology and the importance of knowledge management or issue resolution within self-service technology. We are going to focus a big part of today’s talk looking at the importance of first contact resolution, and then we’ll look at the key drivers of resolution, and that’s where knowledge management really plays a part. To finish off today’s presentation, I just want to introduce briefly what the approved technology provider process is, and talk a little bit about livepro as well. 

Ian Aitchison (02:37): 

So without any further ado, I’m going to start. 

Ian Aitchison (02:47): 

A number of years ago, customers were able to make a choice about which channel they would go to resolve their issues. And something interesting has been happening over time. And the interesting thing that’s been happening is that journeys are becoming much more multi-channel, and they are also becoming much more multi-contact, but let’s focus on the multi-channel journeys. In according to our research this year 82% of consumers stated that they have been involved in multi-channel service journeys. And this has definitely increased from previous years. It used to be stuck around about the 65%. Last year, 2020, it grew to about 70%, and 2021 it grew again to about four out of five customers had to go through at some point, went through a multi-channel customer service journey. 

Ian Aitchison (03:44): 

Unfortunately, when we interview customer contact center managers or executives involved in customer contact, many of them don’t know how many of their customers are having to use multiple channels to resolve their issues. And this disconnect means that we are not setting up our service journeys or not setting up our knowledge management in a way that allows customers to get answers to their questions in the channel they’ve first chosen to contact the organization. We also asked the executives, why is it you think that customers want to go through multiple channels? And quite often we were hearing that “Well, normally it’s through choice.” They choose to go through, they choose to go to a channel that makes sense for them. Sometimes they start off in one channel they choose to move. 

Ian Aitchison (04:38): 

That’s not exactly what our research is showing us. So we have surveyed a few thousand consumers across a number of different countries to get this information. And one of the questions we were asking was about whether they had gone through multi-channel journeys, and then we were asking them, “Well, what took you to change channels? Why did you have to go? Why did you have to use more than one channel?” 63% of the consumers who used multiple channels to resolve their issues, said that they were forced to do so either due to complexity, or due to the customer care processes themselves. Now, this is interesting, because this makes you think, the way customer care processes are designed, that is the biggest reason for customers having to use multiple channels to get their issues resolved. 

Channel Preference and Usage – Reasons for Multichannel Interactions

Ian Aitchison (05:34): 

And I’m not sure if that’s how they’re being designed. The other thing to think about there, is that we split these thousands of consumers into two groups, and we were able to track their satisfaction without leading questions to get there. And then we cross referenced it back to whether they chose to use multiple channels, or whether they were forced to use multiple channels. Customers who were forced to use multiple channels were one and a half times more dissatisfied with their experience compared to customers who chose multi-channel usage. So if we are designing our processes, and within that design, we’re not allowing customers to resolve the issues they have within the channels they have chosen, then they are more dissatisfied than those who can. I thought that was an interesting point. And then, one of the things that we looked at in a little more detail was, all right, so what channels are they starting in? Or what channels are they finishing in? Because anyway, let me share that information before I go into it in more detail. 

Ian Aitchison (06:48): 

We split up these channels into three main categories. So there’s what we call assisted realtime channels, there are assisted deferred channels. And then there are self-service technologies. The assisted realtime channels are those ones where we are communicating with a human in real time. So that’s typically over the phone, or web chat, or in person, or certainly more so since the pandemic, via zoom, via video, for example, zoom. Deferred transactions, so assisted deferred, are when a customer might make contact, but they don’t get an answer straight away. And typically that used to be by writing a letter, or sending a fax. Those days are gone. It’s now typically email or messaging system, asynchronous messaging systems. And then self-service technologies are quite self-explanatory. 

Ian Aitchison (07:52): 

Some channels are better for starting than they are for finishing these journeys. It was interesting that about a 26%, about a quarter of customers said they started in the phone. But when we looked at them, it was almost 40% finished their journey on the phone. And when we looked at the self-service technologies, 10% started their journeys in self-service, but only 4% were able to finish their journey in self-service technology. Web chat was another one that lots have come… Web chat’s really growing in popularity, both from a consumer point of view, and from an organizational point of view. More and more content centers are using web chat. And in terms of growth over the last few years, it’s probably the channel that is growing the most. It’s not yet the one that’s the highest usage, but it’s the one that’s growing the most. 

Channel Preference and Usage – Multi Channel Interaction – Channels Used

Ian Aitchison (08:50): 

The ones with highest usage are still voice, phone, and email, but web chat’s certainly growing. Anyway, it’s very interesting that web chat still hasn’t yet been designed to be able to resolve in some companies. Some companies do it really well, some companies don’t, but only 50% of the customers who started their customer service journey in web chat, were able to finish that journey in web chat. So it seems as though we’re trying to drive customers to self-service technology. We’re trying to drive customers to web chat, but we haven’t yet managed to design the knowledge management however that is, whether that’s assisted through a person, or whether that’s automated through self-service technology, we’re not able to complete all the inquiries that are coming in through those channels. And that’s why people are ending up still using the phone. And phone is still the most popular channel, but we’re still forcing people to use phone even if they didn’t want to use it in the first place. 

Ian Aitchison (09:57): 

So I think it’s really quite interesting when you look at these customers who’ve said they’ve gone through multi-channel interactions to see where they’re starting and where they’re finishing. 

Brad Shaw (10:10): 

And my observation from that is that there’s actually even one missing from there, and that’s the website. The first place that people go to serve themselves is to see if the information is on the website, and then you’ll interact with the organization, if you can’t find it. Unless of course if you’re lazy like me and don’t want to do the research. But I think if you look at each one of those channels, and the website, you can see that there’s a possibility of three or four different silos of knowledge bases. The website has its own knowledge base, the chatbot has its own knowledge base, the contact center has its own knowledge base. How to keep all those up to date and relevant, when you’ve got clients, 80 something percent of customers, doing multi-channel? If you haven’t got the answer coming from one knowledge base, then there’s high potential for conflict. 

Brad Shaw (11:08): 

And I think the contact center world and the customer service world really has trouble measuring whether they’re satisfied out of these channels, and I know that you’re going to refer into that, but on the website, if you have the satisfaction level of did you get the answer from our website, is never measured. And I think if once organizations see that they’ve only got one set of products, and they should have had the same knowledge base across all of those channels, it’s going make this experience a whole lot better. 

Ian Aitchison (11:46): 

Well, it’s interesting. So this was just looking at customers who said they’d gone through a multi-channel journey. There were other customers who we spoke to who had just a single channel journey, and we also asked people about, before you started contacting customer service, did you try and look up the answer yourself? And the most common place was the website. A big chunk also tried to do something with mobile apps, which isn’t there for every organization. And then, those were by far the two most important, or most used. And it got me thinking about, last year we were doing a project with a really big global technology firm. And they were trying to solve a specific tech support problem. And what we found was the information available on the website to the consumer was similar, but slightly different, to the information that was available to the call center staff who were looking at the same problem. And that was one of their top 10 problems globally. 

Ian Aitchison (12:59): 

So customers who did look at the website still had to contact tech support. The agents would give them a slightly different answer than they would’ve got on the website, which was causing a massive amount of confusion. 

Ian Aitchison (13:17): 

So self-service technology, it’s important not only as part of a multi-channel journey, but it’s important in itself. And companies are getting better at implementing self-service technology. And the reported use, and I’m sorry I haven’t updated the slide to last year’s research, but it does increase again. But the reported use of self-service technology has increased year over year with almost twice as many customers in 2020, having tried to use self-service technologies compared to previous years. So the growth is massive. And when we look at what channels they’re trying to use, it’s mobile apps they’re trying to use, it’s websites they’re trying to use. And what they’re looking at, which maybe wasn’t there in such great depth a few years ago, are chatbots. 

Ian Aitchison (14:18): 

So chatbots. Now, there are people on this call from all over Asia, not just from Australia and New Zealand. Australia and New Zealand lags behind quite a few countries in the adoption of chatbots, but chatbots everywhere still are not universally loved by customers, no matter which environment, which country they’re in. And the main rationale for this, which will get to as we go on, is that they can’t always resolve their issues in the chatbot. They frequently have to end up talking to somebody. And so if the chatbot itself is not able to resolve the customer’s issue, that drives time satisfaction. In fact, what we found was the biggest determinant of customer satisfaction with self-service technology, was the ability to resolve the issue. It wasn’t the look and feel of the website, it wasn’t the user experience of the mobile app. It wasn’t the voice sound of the chatbot. It was whether they were able to get their issue resolved or not. 

Ian Aitchison (15:41): 

Now, year and year, because it’s a slightly different sample that the exact numbers change here, but the pattern stays exactly the same. Customers who report having their issue resolved are much, much, much more resolved with the self-service technology than customers who did not get their issues resolved. Brad, that makes sense, you would think that. But the gap itself is huge. It’s six times more. So top two box satisfaction with the self-service technology for customers who got their issue resolved was 87%. So that means that 87% of the customers said they were satisfied, or very satisfied. If they hadn’t had their issue resolved, it was only 14%. So there are, obviously, people like using the new technologies, maybe they’ve enjoyed it, but it’s resolving the issue that matters the most. 

Ian Aitchison (16:41): 

And that’s not only important from a now point of view, from the present, it’s also important for the future usage of the self-service technologies. So we cross-referenced the data that we had, and we looked at the customers who said they’d had their issue resolved, and we looked at the customers who said they hadn’t had their issue resolved. Customers who did not have their issue resolved were 15 times more likely to say, no, I don’t want to use the self-service in the future. So that kind of doubles down on the importance of issue resolution and knowledge management, because repeated use of these self-service technologies drives consumers acceptance and comfort with the channel. Now, actually, one of the really important things is that if customers have a bad experience, A, they’re unhappy, B, their issues not resolved, but the organization then has to spend more time, more money and more effort, in seducing those customers back to using self-service technologies in the future for either that issue again in the future, or for other issues in the future. 

Issue resolution is vital in driving further usage of SST

Ian Aitchison (18:04): 

So it is really important to be able to resolve issues at the start of the journey, if you think about it that way. As close to the beginning of the customer needing the answers, that’s where you want to give them the answers. You don’t want to use self-service just to triage people to the right area, you want to be able to resolve answers. That’s where knowledge management plays a big key, not just in humans talking, but also in self-service technology. 

Brad Shaw (18:37): 

I was going to say something, but you’re absolutely right. And the thing is, it’s not just knowledge management, it’s using the same knowledge management. And having the jeopardy of a person going from one channel to another, and getting a different answer, is something that every organization should tremble over. It just doesn’t make sense to have a different set of knowledge articles separately kept in different areas, updated by different people. Doesn’t make sense. Anyway, I’m loving this. 

Ian Aitchison (19:14): 

You need a single source of truth, right? That’s your terminology, SST, I think. It’s interesting. We use it for self-service technology. You use it for single source of truth. You have to have that no matter which channel. And a lot of organizations are aiming for consistency across, are the talk about aiming for consistency across the channels that they’re managing. But really the consistency that really matters, is the knowledge management, is the answers, no matter which channel you go to, you should be able to get the same answers. Anyway, sales service technology obviously plays an important part in managing customer contact right now. It is growing and usage from customers, it’s not universally loved. And we still see a lot of customers who are not getting the answers they are looking for, even though quite often they’ll only use the self-service technology for reasonably simple inquiries, or simple questions. 

Ian Aitchison (20:22): 

Customers with more complex questions will typically go to what we were calling the real time assisted. So talking to a person somehow, and the most popular real time assisted channel is still the voice channel. So when we look at the voice channel inbound calls, I think these numbers are interesting. And I guess a big part of it is how you measure it, right? So what we really care about is how important through this channel issue resolution is. And so you might say that if you’re measuring first contact resolution with the call center, and so this is looking at people who only used the call center, not people who went through multi-channel journeys. People who got their issue resolved and only had one contact, that is first contact resolution. So the overall resolution rate was about 91%, which is slightly lower than some other channels. 

Ian Aitchison (21:32): 

But the first contact resolution was 46%. Second contact resolution was 29% customers. 16% of customers had three or more contacts. 9% when surveys said they hadn’t had their issue resolved at all. Now, I think it’s interesting that we often see organizations who report first contact resolution rates up in the nineties, right? And we’ve had this, it’s slightly flippant, but if you are somewhere between 60 to 65% first contact resolution, you’re doing pretty well. If you are below 60, you’ve probably got something to work on, as we’re finding from this cohort here. If you’re over 65, you’re doing really well. If you’re over 90, you’re probably measuring it wrong. And actually what we found was lots of companies who were reporting first contact resolution were mixing it up with issue resolution as a whole. 

Ian Aitchison (22:39): 

So let’s say I’ve been to a thousand companies, there’s probably 950 different ways of measuring first contact resolution. So if you’ve joined this call the numbers are different from yours, it’s probably because it’s been measured slightly differently. But we believe at COPC that the customers are probably the best judges of whether their issue was resolved first time or not. And this is telling us across the thousands of customers that we surveyed who had used the phone as their channel for getting their issue resolved, only 46% of them got their issue resolved at the first contact. Which, makes me think, Brad, given that you’re on a knowledge management company, that there’s an opportunity there for you. 

Brad Shaw (23:29): 

Yeah. And I remember having a catch up with you once and telling me that, I think at that point it was five or six years ago, 60 something percent of customer satisfaction came from resolution. And we were talking at that point about how the contact centers get measured on almost everything they do. And first call resolution or resolution of issues is just one of those measures. But as I said earlier, if I go to the website and I don’t have my issue resolved, nobody’s measuring that. And it’s interesting. 

Customer Experience with Phone – Issue Resolution

Ian Aitchison (24:09): 

There are companies you’re beginning to [inaudible 00:24:11]. Many companies are not measuring it. 

Brad Shaw (24:13): 

That’s great. And from that catch up, that was when we developed the livepro [inaudible 00:24:21] that allows you to measure, as soon as somebody comes onto your website, if you’ve connected livepro to your website, you can then measure every, all the analytics right through, if they resolve the issue when they’re on the website, and then, or, if it uses the livepro resolve function that allows you to seamlessly transition onto whatever other channel you want to use with the customer. And being able to use that, to be able to measure the satisfaction, but also how quickly you resolve the issue. Because if I come onto the website and then I have a popup that says, “Oh, we didn’t resolve your issue. We’d really love to. Would you like to chat with us? Would you like us to call you?” That is customer service. 

Ian Aitchison (25:08): 

Yeah. Right. I think it’s really important to be able to listen to your customers. And one of the best ways of listening to the customers is through measurement of the voice of the customer. And that is, why people are not necessarily getting that voice when customers are going to the website, are indeed if they’re going to the IVR, quite often they’re not getting it. IVR is dying as a methodology for resolving customers inquiries. At COPC we like people using a sort of top two box satisfaction, five point scale satisfaction measure. But we know that there’s many other measures out there for measuring the emotions that customers have when they’re dealing with an organization. And so kind of the three most common ones are customer satisfaction, customer effort score, and the net promoter score. And I think it’s interesting that no matter which one of these metrics is used to measure the customer experience, they all show the same pattern. 

Ian Aitchison (26:19): 

So let me take you through step by step about how this changes. So if you just look at the group overall that contacted the call center, the sort of overall top two box satisfaction was 76%. The customer effort score was 64%. And the net promoter score was dead on zero. If you then break that down into whether those customers had their issue resolved or not resolved, you begin to see some interesting differences. So for customers who had their issue resolved, satisfaction was 81%, customers who didn’t have their issue resolved, it was 33%. How that made customers feel about how hard it was to deal with the organization, while the customer effort score when the issues resolved was 68. When it was not resolved, it was only 17. 

Ian Aitchison (27:14): 

And then for those of you who use net promoter score, to be able to see the difference here, when the issue was resolved it was +4; when the issue was not resolved it was -45. A real big difference. But that’s just issue resolution. We’ve been speaking about get the resolution as close to the beginning of the journey as possible. So how much does first contact resolution matter? Wow, this is where it really does become quite interesting. 

Ian Aitchison (27:48): 

If the issue is resolved in one contact, top two box satisfaction was 90%. 90% top two box satisfaction. Net promoter score, +18. Customer effort score, +79. That drops down for every contact they have to make to get their issue resolved. So actually for these customers, if they get their issue resolved in the second call, their net promoter score is already negative. You’ve already destroyed value with that customer. Now, that destroyed value might be short-term. But look at the difference there is a net promoter score between resolving the issue one contact when it’s +18, resolving the issue after three contacts where it’s -19, or go back to if you don’t resolve the issue at all, it’s -45. 

Ian Aitchison (28:41): 

So we have got to make sure from not just a cost perspective, because every, remember, these are real time human interactions, these are calls. Every call has got a cost. But the second call that you get is destroying value. The third call you get is destroying value in that customer relationship as well. So we’ve got to be focusing from a cost perspective to get first contact resolution, but from a customer satisfaction net promoter score, the emotions a customer has associated with your organization, we’ve got to move resolution back to the first contact. 

Brad Shaw (29:23): 

Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how that resolution number in terms of how well the companies resolve the issue in first call, has been impacted through work from anywhere. Because when you’re in a contact center, you can put your hand up or you can to turn to a buddy to find out an answer. But I can’t imagine what it’s like to work on the phones, answering calls at home, without a quality knowledge management system. And you and I know through the surveys that there are still way too many companies using document management systems that aren’t up to date, aren’t managed. That resolution figure is one of the main things that our customers see increase, because if you’ve got a good knowledge management system, then the answer is at the fingertips. 

How much does FCR matter?

Ian Aitchison (30:16): 

Absolutely. Now, being able to resolve calls that first contact, not only impact satisfaction, or net promoter score, but we did some research at end of last year into the Australian banking. We surveyed hundreds of customers who get in touch with their banks. And what was interesting here was looking at the likelihood to switch banks in the next 12 months, which ties into how happy or how unhappy they were with the call center. And so if they got their issue resolved in one contact, only one in 10 said they were likely to switch. That doesn’t mean that one in 10 will switch, it’s a small percentage of that amount to actually do. If it’s two contacts, it’s one in four who said they were likely to switch. But if it was three or more contacts, we denied customers enough that at that moment, they were willing to say, “Now, that’s it. I’ll leave. I’ll go to another bank. You guys can’t resolve my inquiry. I’m going to go somewhere else.” 

Ian Aitchison (31:20): 

And I think the financial impact to banks or to any organization, that when you annoy a customer enough that they’re willing to go somewhere else, are huge. And that’s a massive benefit of good knowledge management helping resolve issues at the first contact. 

Ian Aitchison (31:44): 

You mentioned, Brad, that giving the right answer was only part of what drives satisfaction. And you’re right. There’s a whole lot of things. Customers are looking for a nice human interaction, they want to speak to someone who communicates well, who’s got empathy, who shows professionalism. They want the contact not to take too long. But really they’re looking for knowledge, because they’ve got a question and they’re looking for an answer, right? And what we found by doing what we call key driver analysis, and driving back, was at the heart, the two most important things were providing an answer or providing the accurate information. And it didn’t matter which channel the customer had gone from. They just needed to provide answers and provide accurate information. 

Ian Aitchison (32:39): 

And if I can look more broadly about how that information has impacted COPC, my organization, well, COPC 25, 26 years ago created what’s called the COPC Standard. Many people in the call might know it. But we have identified that managing knowledge and content is such an important aspect that it’s an item in the standard itself. And it’s been included. So each organization has a structured approach for managing content to ensure that customers and staff are provided with consistent and up to date information across all channels. Now, the standard doesn’t say how you do that. It just says that has to be done. But over the years we’ve seen good approaches, and some not so good approaches. And we’ve seen successful approaches, and we’ve seen less successful approaches. And a couple of years ago, we decided that we wanted to recognize, if that’s the right word, technologies that are able to, they don’t in themselves allow an organization to be certified to the standard, but they can support some aspects of certification.

The COPC Standard 

Ian Aitchison (33:58): 

And so that is why we developed the Approved Technology Provider program. And if I can very briefly explain what that was, because I don’t think people are joining to listen to this, but the Approved Technology program is a fairly rigorous audit where we look at what technology, or the technology company comes to us and says, “Hey, we think our technology supports certification.” We then do some data gatherings, some spec reviews. We then evaluate the tool in its use. Now, during COVID that had to be through remote interviews, but that would be an onsite we’d look at being used. And then we make a determination about, yep, does it help or does it not help. We are very pleased to say that livepro went through the rigorous ATP process last year. We did site, they were virtual, but site visits with three of your clients in Australia. And every one of them loved the livepro tool. 

Ian Aitchison (35:07): 

And it was lucky, because we were doing some other research at the same time, looking at all the different… Now, you may not think that all of these are knowledge management competitors, but looking at all the different knowledge management tools that were out there, and this was in the Australian, New Zealand, the Australian market live rule was by far here, the sort of market leader, certainly from the people who responded to the survey, both in market share as an individual one, but more importantly, I think, was livepro had no dissatisfied customers amongst the respondents who reported using it. So it was way ahead in satisfaction, which I think is important, as well as lots of customers using it. 

Brad Shaw (35:55): 

I’m glad you used that slide, Ian, because if I think I’ve got t-shirts made from that slide. And really because my team worked really hard to get that score. It’s something that we’ve really set out to do. But the Approved Technology program is something that I think had been missing for a long time. To be able to go in and provide organizations with consulting, and advice on how to improve their customer satisfaction, and to leave the answer at the door that you need a knowledge management system and then walk away, and chance that organization might choose one of those others on that list there, or even worse, ones that didn’t even make it to the list. And think then that they were going to improve their satisfaction. I mean, I know that you’ve quoted me a couple of times. Customers don’t want knowledge, they want answers. Customers don’t want information, they want answers. So let’s have a knowledge system that actually provides answers and not information. 

Brad Shaw (36:58): 

And that’s what livepro has been built to do. Most of the other systems have been built for other reasons. They haven’t been built for customer service. Or, they’ve been built by people for customer service, but they didn’t understand customer service. Our team have years of experience in customer service. And I’m talking to our customers every day to make sure that we’re in line with what’s happening. But yeah, I love that slide, because it really shows that my team is getting recognized for the work we do to make sure our customers are happy. 

Ian Aitchison (37:34): 

And so something like, if you need a knowledge base, and obviously it makes sense to talk about livepro here. So you’ve got knowledge management system. If you’re a contact center manager, but you’re managing live chat, you’re managing voice, but you also have responsibility for some self-service technologies. What do you have to look out for? What do you have to be mindful of now that we know how important issue resolution is in all the channels? 

Brad Shaw (38:05): 

Well, the first thing is, it’s so hard for organizations to actually have that one single source of truth, because the marketing department owns the website, and they’re interested in how many new clients they can get. And so there’s so many different owners of the different channels, that as soon as organizations take that step up and realize that it’s way more broad than that, that they actually have to be talking to the same customer through a mega, multiple channels, then they’ll be able to start the journey to get things right. At the moment they struggle, the people in the contact center generally are the ones that they’re the brunt of it, because they’re either receiving calls from people that are frustratedly not being able to resolve the issue from other through other channels, so they’ve immediately got someone that’s frustrated. Or if they don’t have a good knowledge management system, they’re then having to put people on hold, and knowing that they’re going to have to pick up the phone again to somebody that is typically frustrated. 

Brad Shaw (39:11): 

But the thing that people and organizations really have to understand is that, it is the same information, the same products, but different channels need to deliver the answers in different ways. And so if you’re a chatbot, then you need to be delivering the answer in a different way than if you are delivering it to an agent. You mentioned earlier that IVRs, and resolution through IVRs is diminishing. There’s a growing thing happening at the moment with voice IVR, where you connect your voice IVR to livepro. And so livepro can actually answer the question without even having an agent. Now, that’s not going to eliminate agents, we’ve heard all that before, but those calls that come through to the contact center, or through to the chatbot, or whatever channel, that are so quick to answer that the agents just get sick of answering them. 

Primary knowledge management solution – satisfaction vs market share

Brad Shaw (40:07): 

They’re the types of ones that you can answer directly from your knowledge base, because I think you’ve, and a lot of people on the call might have heard my vision in the past, that one day you’re going to be in your self-drive car. You’re going to ask Alexa, Google, or one of the others, a question, and the answer is actually going to come… The question about a product or a service and the answer is going to come by a livepro. And the IVR connectivity is a step along that journey. But again, it comes down to understanding the channel, understanding how the answer needs to be delivered through that channel, but actually having the answer managed by one group of people for all of those channels. 

Ian Aitchison (40:53): 

So if we think that knowledge management, I was thinking about how do we measure the success of knowledge management? And clearly improving first contact resolution, or overall issue resolution is one way of doing it. Looking at net promoter scores, customer satisfaction, closely linked, is another way. And then while you were talking about those easy calls that agents have to deal with, it made me think about, well, how does knowledge management help when you’re training new staff? Does it play a role there? Because the single source of truth, truly is a good thing to have. 

Brad Shaw (41:32): 

There’s a number of different ways that a good knowledge management system will help your organization. So let’s leave livepro out of it. That’s a good purpose built customer experience knowledge management system will help reduce, if not eliminate, induction. Because induction is generally teaching people to memorize things. And you’re teaching people to memorize things because you don’t trust that they’re going to be able to get it from the knowledge management system at the speed of the conversation. If you know that the organization, that the person on the phone is going to be able to get the answer from a knowledge management system at the speed of the conversation, then you stop training them to memorize things, because guess what, they’re not going to memorize, they’re remember the right thing, or things are going to change and they’re not going to be up to date. We’ve got clients that have gone from six week induction down to three dates, because the induction then turns into, this is more about the organization, this is our culture, and let’s look at people skills. 

Brad Shaw (42:41): 

Because seriously, if you think about it, you really don’t want your staff memorizing things because of the dynamics of the way products, processes, procedures, change. Einstein said once, he didn’t say it to me, but apparently he said it, “Don’t memorize anything that can be written down.” And if you’re talking to customers, as long as you can be certain that you’re going to be able to get the most up to date approved, answer to their question while you’re talking to them, then your staff engagement improves as well. As I said earlier, I’d hate to be sitting at home on the phones answering questions with a poorly managed, or poorly designed knowledge management system. I’ve spoken to many, many agents who basically say that first of all, they’re not dealing with angry customers who they’ve had to have on hold for five minutes while they ask the question, they can actually focus on the conversation and ensuring that they resolve the issues. 

Brad Shaw (43:50): 

And they’re not stressed about whether they’re going to be able to answer the next call. I know that in a lot of organizations that have six-week induction programs, the retention rate of the individuals coming out of that training is really poor for the next two months, because they’ve been expected to memorize all that. And that doesn’t happen. That’s silly. So I think the other thing that is a really important aspect is the fact the whole governance component. You’re going to improve customer satisfaction because you’re delivering and you’re resolving the answer. You’re going to help your agent enjoy their job because they can actually start communicating with the customer rather than worrying about whether they know the answer. And the quality area, and even the executives that the organization can be a hundred percent certain that the answer that they’re giving it out is fully approved and up to date, if you’ve got a good governance process. If you don’t, then it’s possible that people are giving out answers that are old, which puts your organization at big risk. 

Brad Shaw (45:00): 

So if you can think about all that, can you think about the cost that they’re actually going to save in reducing induction, first call resolution, on hold reductions. And that’s just in the contact center. I think organizations need to mature and start thinking about what we’ve spoken about today, that you’ve got a self-service demand, and how do we actually start managing that to get the resolution levels up, and so therefore the satisfaction levels up. And anyone, that one of the components is having the knowledge management centrally managed to cover all channels. 

Ian Aitchison (45:43): 

Excellent. Thanks, Brad. I can see that you have a hand up, but I’m going to show how people can ask questions to us individually. We have tried to fit this webinar to be as short as possible to be able to fit into everyone’s busy life. So Brad, first of all, I am delighted that you joined us. I am delighted to announce that you are the first technology provider in the Asia Pacific region to achieve Approved Technology Provider status. Well done, and thank you. 

Brad Shaw (46:21): 

Yeah. Proud of that, Ian. Seriously. 

Ian Aitchison (46:24): 

And if you have questions that might be about some of the research that we’ve shown about first contact resolution or issue resolution, or about the different channels, I’m happy for you to email me directly. If you have questions about how do you implement a knowledge management system, what’s the difference between a real knowledge management system and say SharePoint, or how do you make sure you get the single point of truth, the single source of truth, what did Brad mean by governance, please email Brad. And we look forward to any feedback that you have through the emails. So Brad, thank you very much. 

Brad Shaw (47:08): 

Thanks, Ian. And I won’t answer via robot, I’ll do it personally. Thanks, team. And great to see everybody there. Bye. 

Ian Aitchison (47:15): 

Thanks for joining us. 

Brad Shaw (47:16): 

Thank you.