Community for Customers, Partners and Users – Knowledge

In Best Practices, Project Management, Tips & Tricks by Andy YangLeave a Comment

This is the third article in a multi-part series on Salesforce Experience Cloud. The entire series can be found here.

Knowledge is power, and it’s never more true than in customer service.  When your organization can address customer issues in the best way possible every time then you are upping the quality of your customer service interactions and, in the process, delighting your customers.

Everyone remembers that agent you got on the phone who seemed to be able to answer any question you threw at them.  That interaction plays a major role in the customer experience and can leave a lasting positive impression on your brand.

Having the best possible answer is key – but the value of that answer multiplies when you can make that knowledge consistent across your organization and in your self-service applications.  When you can consistently respond to customer issues with the best possible answers, you optimize the customer experience.  By putting in place Salesforce Knowledge, you can accomplish this with just a week or two commitment in setting it up.

A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste
If you don’t have a Knowledgebase in place now or even an FAQ, then you might be losing massively on opportunity cost.  Here’s why:  imagine that you have agents independently researching the same issue for a given category of requests at different times.  They are reinventing the wheel each time and creating incredible waste.

Imagine also that the consistency of research is different – some agents might give different answers to the same issue, some better, some worse and possibly at times, some incorrect.  Somewhere in your organization, an agent created the perfect, best practice answer to the question.  The rest have suboptimal responses that they wasted time researching or reused over and over again.

The Knowledge Platform
Many organizations suffer from a lack of a knowledge “platform” – a central place where agents know that if they have a great answer to a problem, they have a facility to share that with the rest of the team.  Many organizations start with an FAQ – a flat document that is continuously added to and modified.  It’s a blunt instrument but a great start to organize the best responses.

But clearly, it has its limitations.  When you have a real knowledge platform like Salesforce Knowledge, you can set up a proactive knowledge attainment process.  For example:

  • Agents can submit knowledge articles to document the best answers 
  • Articles can be reviewed and approved for publishing using various access and approval processes 
  • The articles can then be appropriately indexed to be highly searchable
  • Using Salesforce AI capabilities, Knowledge articles can be suggested in the customer service agent console based on keywords, adding even more productivity gains

Extending Knowledge to Your Customers
Knowledge can be exposed to your customers through your customer portal (using Salesforce Experience Cloud for instance).  Customers can then self-service their needs by searching for knowledge articles or interacting with a chatbot to query for help.  Again the best responses can be presented to the customer immediately, efficiently, and without any live person interaction.

When extending Knowledge to your customers, keep in mind that there are often key differences between using Knowledge for your internal agents and how your customers may interact with it.  The internal agent’s Knowledge articles typically being a superset of the customer’s article.  

In addition, the approval processes may be entirely different.  Internal articles may go through an internal committee to review and approve, while customer-facing articles may go through a community forum leader.  Some even go so far as to allow anyone to publish articles but reserve the right to take down anything that doesn’t meet established standards.

An Immediate ROI
Salesforce Knowledge often has an incredibly quick ROI because it rapidly improves the quality and consistency of customer-facing responses.  This results in hard benefits: improved time to resolution, increased resolution on first response, and case deflection because customers can self-service themselves with the best answers.

On top of that, Salesforce Knowledge is relatively straightforward to implement.   Getting started is easy.  Look to the KCS standard (Knowledge Centered Service) for inspiration and guidance on best practices.  As you institute more best practices, the set up becomes more complex but is still straightforward.  MondayCall has done many KCS standard implementations of Knowledge, it’s not more than a week or two commitment and pays off quickly.

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