Effective self-service delivers value on multiple levels. It improves service levels and satisfaction by making knowledge easily accessible 24/7. And it reduces the costs of support by decreasing the reliance on humans.
However, self-service can only work if it is underpinned by knowledge management. Without accurate and relevant knowledge, any self-service portal or facility is useless.
Capturing this knowledge is difficult because it resides in the minds of the individuals within the organisation. Maintaining the knowledge is similarly challenging because it is constantly changing. Every individual has their own ever-changing version of the truth. For these reasons, knowledge management has remained an unsolved puzzle for many organisations.
Knowledge Centered Service (KCS) is a methodology created by the Consortium of Service Innovation, a non-profit alliance of businesses, designed to solve the problem of collective knowledge. It offers a structured approach to collecting, managing and improving knowledge within the organisation. Now in its sixth incarnation, KCS has seen heavy investment and uptake. Organisations using it to improve knowledge management reporting spectacular results.
For example, organisations using KCS report 50 – 60% improved time to incident resolution. Helping new starters become effective dramatically improves because of access to knowledge, with a 70% improvement in time to reach proficiency.
How does KCS work?
KCS tackles flawed knowledge management by offering an alternative. The traditional approach relies on individuals sharing their knowledge, most typically entering it into a digital knowledge base as an “add-on” to their regular task load. In reality, this means when contact centre agents or other “front-line” service operatives conclude a call they must immediately create a knowledge article based on the prescribed fix. But given they are under pressure to move immediately to the next customer that needs help, they don’t record the knowledge.
KCS was built to change that. It is a highly detailed, prescriptive methodology which creates a definitive structure for capturing and improving knowledge. KCS explains how to build a system that captures knowledge during the interaction, not retrospectively. This is crucial to overcoming the problem of knowledge not being recorded. KCS also explains how to create a self-learning, self-correcting loop to ensure the knowledge is regularly updated and presented in order of usefulness.
The essential role of people
KCS also acknowledges the hugely important role of people in knowledge management. In this respect, it differs greatly from other technical methodologies. Rather than just referencing people and culture in an abstract way as many other frameworks do, KCS offers definitive processes and strategies for ensuring that people contribute to knowledge management.
It’s impossible to quickly summarise all the elements that comprise KCS. If you want to delve into the detail of how it works, we’ve produced a beginners guide to KCS which we urge you to read
Online self-service portals which host knowledge have improved markedly. The culture of self-service has also changed. We happily use shop and bank online with almost no human interaction. We search Google for answers rather than contacting a traditional support function. This cultural shift is still happening and in the near future, AI will mean that self-and-assisted service will become even better and more commonplace.
But to reach this point, organisations need to extract knowledge and create a system that ensures its accuracy is maintained. The published results suggest that KCS has succeeded in doing this. And by learning more about it, we think you’ll quickly see why it works and how it could transform knowledge management and self-service within your organisation.
Download the Beginners Guide to KCS here