Stop me if you’ve heard this one

A new customer support manager walks into the office on her first day. She’s excited because from the interviews she had with the director, it seems like this team really knows how to solve tickets, and they just need a few small tweaks to get their CSAT scores up. With her experience, she’s confident she can make that happen. She decides she’ll spend the morning rolling up her sleeves and shadowing the agents in real time.

That’s when everything changes. She sees agents move through their tickets with a robotic, despondent cadence. When they do communicate with each other, it’s to mock the customer for contacting them about something stupid, or to jibe the product team for being “so out of touch.” When one agent can’t answer a customer’s question, he gets out of his desk to go ask Ted, because “Ted knows everything.” Ted has a line of agents behind him; he hasn’t solved one ticket in the past hour.

The color drains from the new manager’s face as she wonders what she has gotten herself into. This team doesn’t need a few small tweaks; it needs a complete overhaul!

3 signs your support team needs Knowledge-Centered Service

Why you should consider implementing Knowledge-Centered Service 

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you are either the new manager I just described, or you are the proverbial frog in the water pot, only now realizing that the water around you is boiling. You know that your support team needs an overhaul, and you’re scared of the large task ahead of you.

Lucky for you, other people have done this successfully before, and you can learn from them. I would argue that the best approach to take is Knowledge-Centered Service (or KCS®). Now, I might be biased because I’m a KCS Certified Trainer, but organizations who have successfully implemented KCS achieve:

  • Better experiences for customers — faster resolution times
  • Better experiences for support agents — lower attrition
  • Better experiences for the business — lower support costs

Seems too good to be true? It’s not. We have case studies to prove it. I won’t get into the specifics of what KCS is (you can read about it in this blog post), but I will help you determine whether or not KCS is right for you.

The Top 3 Signs Your Support Team Needs Knowledge-Centered Service 

1) Your support agents are so busy fighting fires that they can’t prevent them 

Symptoms: 

Your agents work tickets very effectively, but the queues never seem to get any lower. If you ask an agent how they solved an issue, they can articulate that clearly, but it isn’t written down anywhere.

The KCS Cure:

With KCS, your agents capture the knowledge they use to solve issues while they work, and then make that knowledge available to the public. Over time, your customers stop contacting you about known issues as often, freeing you up to solve bigger problems.

2) Your contact center has a revolving door that is always spinning

Symptoms:

An agent who has been on your team more than six months is referred to as “the old guy”. New hires are referred to as “baby rabbits”, because most of them won’t make it. 

The KCS Cure:

With more new issues than known issues coming in to the queues, the work of your support team becomes less robotic and refreshingly  interesting. Your team manages not just individual issues, but now entire problem-solving processes. This gives your team a stronger connection and a reason to stick around longer.

3) Your product team and support team have no respect for each other

Symptoms:

When releasing a new feature, your product team wonders how they can “dumb down” the documentation so the support team can understand it. In between tickets, your support team jokes with each other about how your product team is building things that your customers don’t want.

The KCS Cure: 

When you generate knowledge from your customer interactions, you collaborate to build a better experience for your customers. The disconnect disappears and both teams can finally put their egos aside in order to focus on what really matters: the customer. 

I love talking about this stuff, so please connect with me on Twitter @YaelMcCue if you want to continue the conversation! 

KCS® is a service mark of the Consortium for Service Innovation.

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