Delight Your Customers & Agents With Knowledge-Centered Support

Knowledge Centered Support for Your Business

Knowledge is at the heart of customer support processes. 

While it makes customers independent problem solvers, it helps agents deliver better and faster customer service. 

But, if the right knowledge is not available right away, frustration builds up in both customers and agents, leading to substandard or even poor customer service.

And this can cost you dearly. 

Embracing knowledge-centered support is a pragmatic approach that can turn around your customer support process, making it more streamlined and super-effective. 

Dive into this blog to decode what this support is all about and discover how it can be of help.

What is Knowledge-Centered Support?

Knowledge-centered support methodology that uses knowledge to boost the support process of an organization. It involves capturing, storing, and making knowledge conveniently accessible via an online knowledge base to achieve your customer support goals. 

This system equips your customers with instant information so that they don’t have to reach out to your support staff for addressing issues they may have with your product or service. As for your support staff, KCS is an important asset. It provides them with a ready information source to deliver top-notch support across calls, emails, chat, or social media. 

Knowledge-centered support aims to deliver unparalleled value to customers by empowering agents to solve cases promptly and effectively.

Why Is Knowledge-Centered Support Important?

A knowledge-centered support system is a remedy for some common issues faced by organizations, like:

  • Agents drowned in support tickets 
  • The declining quality of responses provided by agents 
  • Customer satisfaction dipping slowly

KCS helps you conquer these challenges by bridging knowledge gaps and keeping your customer support function in good health, regardless of the number of tickets flowing in. 

For customers, interacting with a knowledgeable representative is critical for a great experience. That’s another reason why KCS is crucial for customer support. 

With KCS, agents are better positioned to fix customer issues confidently, ensuring that customers leave with a contented and happy heart.

Helpdesk Statistics

Let’s now dive into the benefits of KCS in detail. 

Astounding Benefits of Knowledge-Centered Support

Deploying knowledge-centered support gives you more than one benefit. It takes the entire support process to the next level, making agents more productive and customers more delighted than ever before. 

Here are some of the significant benefits of knowledge-centered support for businesses:

1. Makes Problem-Solving Faster & Simpler

When product and service information, FAQs, training materials, how-to guides, and other such content are well-documented and centrally accessible, problem-solving becomes a breeze for customers, and answering complex issues gets faster and simpler for agents. 

While customers have a one-stop solution for all their basic queries, agents have instant access to knowledge that helps them serve customers faster and better.

2. Faster Customer Service Response Time

By implementing knowledge-centered support, agents have to spend less time looking for information and more time doing the work that matters – answering customer questions. KCS provides agents a trusted platform with reliable, verified, and up-to-date information, so they can respond to customers faster without any delays or hassles. 

Read More: How to Reduce Customer Service Response Time

3. Seamless New Agent Onboarding

With KCS, it is easier for new agents to get familiar with your customer support process, as all the vital information they need is right at their fingertips. This easy access to critical information brings them up to speed faster, and they are able to give a good performance in less time.

4. Consistent Agent Responses

All members of the customer support team have access to the same information source. This keeps agents on the same page, ensuring that the responses they give to customers across channels are consistent. When everyone is using a common information center, customers are more likely to receive a consistent experience regardless of the channel they use or the agent they speak to.

5. Creates Opportunities for Improvements

With a single source of information, agents can keep a constant eye on which articles are most viewed, which solutions are most preferred by customers and which articles are not helpful. These are the performance metrics that can be monitored easily with the right tool. Once you know what is valuable and what is not, you can make improvements in the KCS, upgrade your products, and offer better solutions to customers. 

To glean these benefits’ having a dedicated online knowledge base is crucial. A centralized knowledge platform helps you put KCS into practice real soon. We’ll learn about it in the coming sections. 

How Knowledge-Centered Support Works?

KCS should be seamlessly integrated with your existing customer support process so that it can be of real value to your support team and not an extra burden. It is a modern and more effective way to solve customer problems by creating and using knowledge. 

Powered by technology, KCS is created by agents for themselves and, of course, for their customers, based on the problems they solve and the experiences they receive every day while working. 

Setting up a knowledge-centered support system involves five key steps:

  • Gathering knowledge from multiple sources
  • Structuring and customizing the content
  • Reusing the content by making it highly searchable
  • Capturing feedback from customers and support team
  • Improving and updating knowledge regularly

Let’s look at these steps in detail:

1. Gathering Knowledge From Multiple Sources

A customer support knowledge base should ideally comprise everything your customers need. So, the best way to capture knowledge here is by:

  • Going through the notes taken by support staff while interacting with customers 
  • Asking products and service-related questions to customers and using those inputs to create useful articles 
  • Going through agent and customer conversation history across email, call, chat, or social media.  
  • Consolidate all this information in a cloud-based knowledge base. Agents can pen down their experiences, add details about customer conversations, create articles on the top issues customers face, and anything else they feel can help the entire team serve customers better. 

Modern knowledge management tools come with rich editing capabilities that make content authoring a piece of cake. They have a built-in editor with an array of formatting and styling options, allowing authors to create quality content with minimum hassles.

2. Structuring & Customizing the Content

The real work starts once you have added the content to the knowledge base. 

The next step is to structure and customize the content to make it easy for customers and agents to navigate through the knowledge base. 

Imagine if your content is all over the place with no headers and subheaders, no consistency in formatting, and the style doesn’t match your branding. Navigating the articles and getting to the right article can be a pain in such cases. 

A good way to avoid this is by ensuring that your knowledge-centered support is backed by a carefully structured knowledge base that has the following:

  • A well-placed table of contents 
  • Content divided into categories and subcategories 
  • The right use of fonts, colors, and themes 
  • Bullets are used across articles 
  • Short and easy to digest paragraphs 
  • Multimedia is used in the right way and at relevant places (Look at examples below)

You will find all these elements in HighQ’s knowledge base. 

Based out of London, HighQ provides an intelligent work and client engagement platform that solves operational issues faced by the firms of the legal sector. HighQ took a knowledge-centered approach for its cloud-based product Collaborate to serve its clients better and reduce the constant flow of tickets. 

It created a self-service knowledge base using ProProfs Knowledge Base software to cater to its rapidly increasing client base. 

HelpQ knowledge base example

Things to note: 

  • Clearly defined sections on the home page
  • A Well-structured page that gives readers a glimpse of what they can expect in the help center

Well-structured knowledge base page

Things to note:

  • A video right at the beginning of the page
  • Short and action-oriented title

As you scroll through this help center, you will find, the article has a rich mix of text and screenshots that are used at every step to explain a process.

3. Reusing the Content by Making It Highly Searchable

Even if a knowledge base is well structured and consists of helpful content, it can turn futile for agents if the search is poor and content cannot be reused for handling different customer issues. 

When agents are on a call or email interacting with a customer, they need information in a heartbeat. Waiting even for a few minutes is out of the question when the customer is on hold, desperately waiting for a response. 

The search system has to be on point for a knowledge base to be of real help to agents. And for that, you’ve to ace the keyword game. The content should have all relevant keywords that are frequently used for searches. Combine this with a robust search system, and you have a knowledge base that delivers accurate information at lightning-fast speed. 

While addressing customer issues, agents can quickly search for the right article and share its link with the customer. This saves them a lot of time and effort that goes into manually typing responses for all customer questions or explaining the entire process on call. 

Look at the screenshot below to understand the way a search mechanism should work:

helpq knowledge base example

Things to note: 

  • Clearly defined sections on the home page
  • A Well-structured page that gives readers a glimpse of what they can expect in the help center

HelpQ knowledge base video example

Things to note:

  • A video right at the beginning of the page
  • Short and action-oriented title

As you scroll through this help center, you will find, the article has a rich mix of text and screenshots that are used at every step to explain a process.

3. Reusing the Content by Making It Highly Searchable

You have quality content in your knowledge base, and it’s also structured well for easy navigation, but what’s the point if your agents aren’t able to run a search and reuse content while handling different customer issues. 

Your content should be highly searchable, with all the right keywords that are frequently used by customers. Try to sprinkle them across articles in a way that doesn’t look forced. A Google-like search mechanism works great here.

While addressing customer issues, agents can directly share the link of a relevant article with the customer. This saves them a considerable amount of time and effort that goes into manually typing responses for all customer questions or explaining the entire process on call. 

Look at the screenshot below to understand the way a search mechanism should work:

Knowledge base search mechanism

Things to note: 

  • A huge search bar
  • Autocomplete suggestions on typing a keyword

4. Capturing Feedback From Customers and Support Team

Customer and agent feedback is essential for the constant improvement of KCS. Both agents and customers will have suggestions that can make the knowledge base content better and far more helpful than it currently is.

And therefore, it’s crucial that you ask them the right questions and incorporates the appropriate suggestions to take the knowledge-centered support one notch higher. 

Adding forms and surveys to the knowledge base at the right spots is the best way to collect feedback. 

You can either opt for simple feedback forms where you ask the reader at the end of the article – “Was this information helpful,” with a yes or no as the answer options. Or, you can add a sidebar form to your knowledge base. 

Here’s how a Yes/No feedback form looks like.

On selecting ‘No’, a list of suggestions is presented for the reader.

This feedback is then directly emailed to you, where you can separate the wheat from the chaff and further enrich your knowledge base with content that your agents and customers need.

5. Improving and Updating Knowledge Regularly

If your knowledge base is relevant today, that doesn’t mean it will stay the same one year later. 

Let’s be honest. Knowledge goes obsolete super soon. With changing customer requirements and product developments happening frequently, keeping your knowledge base updated is vital. This responsibility should be shared by the entire customer support team, and not just a single person, to ensure that articles are updated often, and the knowledge base remains fresh always. 

The task gets a lot easier if you have the right knowledge base software. Modern knowledge base tools are equipped with a robust reporting system that gives a sneak-peek into: 

  • Popular and poorly rated articles 
  • Failed and successful searches 
  • Total number of searches 
  • Most liked articles 
  • Author activities 
  • Broken links, and much more

This data is usually presented in graphical and tabular form, making it easy for agents to analyze and make improvements to the knowledge base.  

Agents can work together to incorporate changes in the knowledge base either by creating new article pieces on keywords that aren’t providing accurate results or modifying the existing content. 

Here’s a short video to give you more information about how this reporting system works.

Knowledge-Centered Support Best Practices

Follow these simple best practices to make the most of your KCS. 

  • Shifting to KCS abruptly without informing your support staff in advance can play against you. Ensure that you keep your support staff in the loop right from the time when there are discussions around implementing KCS. 
  • Educate your support team on how KCS works and what benefits can be achieved through it. 
  • Keep support team members informed of the roles they will play in the KCS process. 
  • Create a comprehensive and well-structured knowledge platform using the best knowledge base software 
  • Keep your knowledge base updated and in alignment with what customers want.
  • Allow all agents to participate in the content creation process based on their experiences and the customer issues they are handling. 

Incorporate these best practices to make your KCS even more effective, which will eventually lead to:

  • Improved customer response time
  • Happier agents and customers
  • An improved bottom line

Examples of Firms Who Are Doing It Right

1. Unleashed

Providing market-leading inventory management solutions since 2009, Unleashed helps its customers manage inventory in real-time and make smarter decisions. Due to difficulties in content creation, management, and publishing, Unleashed shifted to a cloud-based knowledge management solution that a single person or team can smoothly run. 

Unleashed’s inclination towards a cloud-based knowledge-centered system arose from its dire need to reduce knowledge management complexities and provide customers what they need – relevant content.

Unleashed Help Center

Source: Unleashed Help Center

Using ProProfs Knowledge Base software, the company was able to build a searchable and customized help center where customers can instantly search for answers or raise a ticket in case their issues aren’t resolved.

2. LEAP

LEAP, one of the world’s leading legal practice management software providers, created a community center for its customers using ProProfs Knowledge Base. This platform is a one-stop solution for its customers to address any issues they face while using the software. 

It provides all the latest updates related to its products and services on this platform. Customers can also participate in discussions, ask questions, and get answers immediately on LEAP’s help center.

Leap knowledge base

Source: LEAP Help Center

Is There More to KCS Than What Meets the Eye?

Well, for about a whopping 25 years, KCS was “Knowledge-Centered Support,” but now this approach is getting a facelift. Knowledge-Centered Support is now turning into Knowledge-Centered Service. 

But why?

To cover a broader zone and not restrict itself to the support function. 

The goal is to make KCS relevant for companies operating in any information-intensive industry, not just those who focus on service desks and Support functions handling customer cases.

So, depending on whether your focus is limited to revamping your customer support division or making other customer-facing functions like marketing and sales knowledge-driven, you can either go for Knowledge-Centered Support or Knowledge-Centered Service.

Improve Agent Efficiency & Customer Delight With KCS

Integrating KCS with your customer support function can give this department an overhaul, opening avenues for support staff to stay informed and provide quick services to customers while at the same time making customers self-reliant.

It gives you a better way to manage your business knowledge as well as the information generated during agent-customer interactions, and use it to:

  • Enable your support agents to provide impeccable customer service 
  • Empower your customers to solve common issues on their own via self-service

And what do you get in the end?

  • Delighted Customers 🙂 
  • Happier Support Staff 🙂 
  • Growing Business 📊

Thinking of ditching your regular support methodology and switching to knowledge-centered support?

Don’t settle for less. Try ProProfs Knowledge Base Today!

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About the author

Brayn Wills

Brayn is a knowledge management expert. He has been published in CustomerThink, PointVisible and Apruve. As a customer support specialist at ProProfs, Brayn has been instrumental in building a robust knowledge base and documents that help support executives keep every customer delighted. You can catch up with Brayn on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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