– Two Business Benefits for your Knowledge Center Service (KCS) Implementation –
So you’re ready to invest in Knowledge Centered Service (KCS) or a similar knowledge management process, and you are looking for ways to justify the investment required to ensure a successful implementation.
In case you are not familiar with the term, KCS is a business methodology that was developed by the Consortium for Service Innovation™ (CSI, www.serviceinnovation.org). KCS is a “just-in-time,” demand-driven approach to knowledge management that integrates knowledge capture and maintenance into the problem-solving steps. KCS is not a process done in addition to solving problems. It is a way of addressing customer requests and creating knowledge content based on demand as part of the problem-solving process. The knowledge content created improves internal efficiency as well as customer self-service success on the web. The basic principles of KCS are to solve a problem once and use the solution repeatedly. Organizations that have adopted KCS have seen an increase in capacity and improvements in operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and employee morale.
KCS Just Makes Sense
Most organizations realize that their customers are asking redundant questions about their products and services. This redundancy includes questions that have been asked and often fully or partially answered as well. So the pure and simple concepts of KCS just make sense. But to implement KCS successfully, you need to have a solid plan and the investment to ensure you have enough resources to make the initiate successful. According to CSI, when planning for implementing KCS, an organization should anticipate spending a one-time investment of around $3-5k per employee for technology and process change(1). Depending on how many employees are in your organization, these costs can start to add up.
Investments for a successful KCS implementation include the following:
- Project and program management costs
- Training investment (for coaches, employees, and managers)
- Tools, technology and integration costs
- Marketing costs to enable an effective communication plan
- Costs associated with a temporary loss of employee productivity (as employees ramp-up, learn and become proficient with the new processes).
With these expenses in mind, as you prepare for your KCS implementation (or similar initiative to improve your knowledge management process), be prepared to develop a business plan and return on investment (ROI) model to justify the costs. As part of this business plan and among other benefits, be sure to include the following two items to help you justify your investment:
Benefit #1: Improvement in Customer Satisfaction with more Effective Self-Service
The most important but sometimes more difficult to measure advantages that you will achieve with a successful KCS implementation are the intangible benefits that your customers will recognize when they can get answers to their questions more efficiently through self-service. Customers want to get answers to their questions quickly, and many customers would prefer not to contact you for help. If they decide to try and find answers to their questions through self-service, they will most often turn either to your company web page, an online customer community forum or they will use a search engine to try and find their answer before contacting you.
After investing in a KCS or similar knowledge management initiative, you should expect an increase in customer satisfaction when customers can more effectively find answers and information from your company through self-service. While this business value is harder to measure, with a KCS implementation, you should anticipate a reduction in churn and an increase in both product adoption and loyalty.
Benefit #2: Cost Reduction and an Increase in Capacity
Secondary to an increase in customer satisfaction, companies that implement KCS (or similar knowledge management process methodologies) should anticipate a decrease in assisted support requests from clients as more customers find answers to their questions through self-service. With a reduction in the amount of redundant customer requests coming into your team, you will also see an increase in employee capacity. To quantify the redundancy that can translate into cost savings or an increase in employee work capacity, you will need a way to quantify the amount of redundant work that is in your system before implementing your new knowledge management process. It is important to quantify the redundant work as accurately as possible to ensure the credibility of your business justification plan and RIO model. Unstructured data analytics can help you quantify the amount of redundant work to be reduced as a result of implementing a KCS or other knowledge management initiative.
CSLD developed an analytic workflow to help companies understand and quantify the amount of capacity to gain by investing in a knowledge creation process or KCS implementation. The CSLD Data Analytics for Knowledge Creation Engine can analyze several thousand customer requests and identify opportunities to remove redundant work through self-service and knowledge creation. Two basic methods can be applied using unstructured data analytics to quantify the benefits of implementing KCS or a similar knowledge management process.
- The first is to consider all redundant customer questions submitted to your customer community or current knowledge base and where you do not have knowledge content ready to the answer the question or request through self-service. In other words, questions that your customers were not successful finding an answer for through your current self-service content.
- The second method is to review all documented customer requests coming into your service or support team and analyze these request for redundancy. In other words, all customer requests where your clients resorted to contacting your service or support team for assisted help.
The CSLD Data Analytics Engine was built to deal with both situations. All customer requests are submitted to the engine for parsing, semantic analysis, and additional pre-processing steps. Once prepped, the CLSD Data Analytic Engine groups and clusters customer requests by topics and then compares each request to all other requests in the dataset to identify the number of similar requests. The engine uses similarity matching to quantify redundant requests. The Engine also looks at your current knowledge content to identify the gaps in the knowledge content currently available for self-service and content that should be created based on customer demand. The following is a sample summary of a report created after a CSLD analysis to be leveraged to justify investment in a KCS implementation or similar knowledge management improvement initiative.
The CSLD Data Analytics for Knowledge Creation Engine was designed to help identify duplicate customer requests so that you can take action to address the redundant work appropriately. This may require addressing product quality issues and opportunities for implementing automation, but in almost every case, the redundant requests can be more effectively addressed through self-service with knowledge content creation. Investing in KCS or similar knowledge management process is highly recommended and is a great way to help your team develop knowledge content efficiently based on customer demand. Using an analytic approach to justify the investment will help ensure you have the resources required to successfully complete the initiative.
CSLD can efficiently review your customer request data to find opportunities to minimize redundancy with knowledge content creation and the insight needed to justify a KCS implementation. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
(1) KCS Benefits and Organization Measures, Measurement Matters (http://library.serviceinnovation.org/Measurement_Matters)