Mar 05, 2015

Knowledge intelligence: The crystal ball for customer service

In order to ensure ideal use and further development of a customer service centre, reporting by means of the ACD system must be linked to the centre’s heart: the knowledge base. Learn what key performance indicators help you control your service centre optimally.

The customer service call centre make a crucial contribution to enhancing customer loyalty and to ensuring a company stays competitive – regardless of whether it’s used for B2C or B2B purposes. It’s also of secondary importance whether its staff merely receive inquiries from customers and pass them on or handle and solve them directly over the phone.

A common need at all such centres is to systematically establish a practical knowledge base that enables employees to deliver services quickly and without mistakes. Once the knowledge base has been rolled out, companies face the challenge of enhancing it purposefully with appropriate content. Yet what are the requirements for the content and how can “flying blind” and so inefficient, costly knowledge management be avoided?

Analyses of common ACD systems reveal initial indicators. All key performance indicators relating to calls can be collected and used to determine the ideal staffing level at the customer service centre. A more detailed interpretation of these KPIs reveals – at the latest in relation to the number of calls forwarded – that only inadequate recommendations can be derived from them. Why was a call forwarded? Didn’t the agent have the necessary knowledge to help the customer satisfactorily? Do the calls forwarded often relate to technical support services which the first level is not even authorised to provide? Or to put the question another way: Is the agent even able to provide such services and might there even be regional differences that mean a customer service centre in the north faces completely different challenges to an identical one in the south?

In order to ensure ideal further development of a customer service centre, the KPIs of the ACD system must be linked to the centre’s heart, the knowledge base, so that the centre can be geared optimally to customers’ needs. Moreover, a customized analysis of the knowledge base’s use may reveal further significant potential for optimisation.

The following is an excerpt of possible key performance indicators at the customer service centre:

Search analysis

  • Search terms
  • Number of search queries
  • Number of search queries based on documents
  • Number of search queries based on categories
  • Number of searches without a result

Analysis at the document level

  • Number of documents
  • Number of documents per category
  • Frequency of use per document
  • Frequency of use per document category
  • Number of feedbacks per document

Regional analysis

  • Use of document categories per region
  • Search queries per region
  • Use of documents per region
  • Number of feedbacks per region
  • Search queries at the category level per region

Particularly insightful reporting is obtained if the analysis tool offers the option of correlating KPIs from the knowledge base with evaluations from other systems so as to ascertain overarching KPIs. An example here is when absolute figures from the ACD system are linked to corresponding KPIs from the knowledge base.

Apart from these external factors, a knowledge base with an ideal content can have a positive impact on a further important aspect: Employee fluctuation and dissatisfaction. Employee motivation is reflected very strongly in how successfully tasks can be accomplished and solved and ultimately in how profitably the customer service centre can be run.

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