For your home you bought new piece of furniture, which is delivered disassembled into individual components. How do you proceed with the assembly? – You pull out the assembly instructions.
Could you have done it without instructions? With craft skills and experience, probably. But certainly, with longer processing time and higher error potential.
A 1st or 2nd level agent is in a similar position. Every day, they deal with many different customer inquiries, complex concern, new processes or go through onboarding measures.
Internal knowledge databases can take over the role of those assembly instructions. It helps agents resolve simple concerns on their own. FCR, CSAT and eNPS of the 1st level increase. The workload of the 2nd level, the AHT and the use of resources decreases.
But what do you need to consider when creating a knowledge base so that if efficiently helps an agent in their day-to-day madness?
In this article I will present 30 pieces of advice. Think of it as a basic assembly instruction.
Do not collect content randomly but start with a concept. Many companies tend to rush through or even skip the planning phase due to time constraints – to the disadvantage of the outcome’s quality.
1. Determine the MVP: What are the most common/important customer intents? Prioritize the articles, that cover these intents.
2. Make use of feedback mechanism. Employees are actively involved in the creation process and gaps are closed early. A suggestion box or a feedback button within the CRM can be the solution.
3. Involve your colleagues of the 1st and 2nd level. Customer inquiries are their daily business.
4. Think about a reasonable structure and categorization of the content, e.g., by creating a tree diagram.
5. Check the feasibility of integration with the CRM for easy and quick access to the knowledge base.
6. Define clear responsibilities regarding the creation of articles. Who creates which articles and by when?
7. Check the search function of your knowledge base tool: Is there a semantic, keyword or title-based search available? This has a significant impact on the article content.
8. Question in which language the articles must be available – with the MVP in mind.
Besides the search function, other advice regarding structure and content should be considered.
9. Define a unified article structure. This applies to every article.
10. Write short articles with bullet points instead of continuous text.
11. Highlight important keywords visually.
12. Place the most important content in the upper part of the article. Eternal scrolling takes a lot of time.
13. Divide the text using headings.
14. Choose titles that make sense, are understandable and fit the search function.
15. Avoid duplicates. 1 topic = 1 article.
16. Do not overload articles. Split extensive topics into several articles and link them using smart links.
17. Always keep the agent glasses on. Create articles with clear step-by-step instructions that fit the call flow and use simple, understandable expressions.
18. What keywords are the agents going to search for? Make sure these words appear in the text (or title, depending on the search function).
19. Consider channel engagement in the instructions. The approach may vary depending on the channel.
20. Do not use abbreviations without an explanation.
21. Keep the maintenance effort in mind. Data and information that are relevant for several articles (e.g., escalation matrix) should be mentioned in a separate article and linked to the respective articles by smart links.
22. Include screenshots/smart art/images/diagrams in the article – especially for complex processes. Recordings can also be helpful. But: avoid unnecessary back and forth switching of articles.
23. Multimedia files in various formatsas attachments can be useful for support purposes.
Deployment in day-to-day business
If you have taken all this into account, the project is not completed yet. To further adapt/optimize the tool, there are several options.
24. Get feedback from the agents. This can be a simple article rating using thumps up/down buttons. Question and revise non-helpful articles.
25, Communicate and document escalation paths for issues not covered (yet) by the knowledge base. Collect them and add respective articles.
26. Inform the agents when articles have been added/revised to let them know their feedback is taken seriously.
27. Review articles regularly to ensure they are up to date.
28. Define clear responsibilities for article maintenance.
29. Integrate the knowledge base into agent training sessions.
30. Analyze, if possible, what an agent is searching for and derive gaps and actions.
If you are looking for a cost-reducing and efficient solution, an interaction of (internal + external) knowledge bases and AI may also be suitable option.
An efficient, agent-centric knowledge base leads to several benefits.
Pay attention to a good preparation, a consistent structure and well-thought-out article content and do not forget the process after the implementation.
We are happy to support you in the analysis, conceptual design, implementation, and optimization of a knowledge base including customized (agent-) trainings.
Do not hesitate to reach out.
Ivonne Rauter – Consultant