For many companies, the question is; How is compliance achieved through knowledge management systems? How can we have confidence that our customer service team and customer-facing digital channels are delivering the most up-to-date and ‘approved’ answers to customer questions? This is a challenge facing many organisations, and the answer starts with another question: does your organisation have control of its knowledge? Do you have a knowledge governance process in place, and do you have a knowledge management system (KMS) that compliments the governance process?
Plenty of organisations have introduced customer portals and knowledge databases that encourage collaboration in solving a client’s problem or query, but they now find themselves questioning whether this approach can give them certainty in their answers. Compliance and knowledge management are also questioned in regards to how they can successfully integrate.
Others have turned to emails as a way of keeping customer service teams up-to-date, but this approach often proves frustratingly ineffective. Organisations know they can’t be certain that all staff have read and understood every email. And when it comes to retrieving an email to answer a customer’s question, agents struggle to find the relevant information quickly – if they can find it at all.
Given the shortcomings of these existing knowledge management strategies, financial institutions and other organisations that operate in strict legislative environments are increasingly realising that they need a new approach that enables far more control over the answers their agents and digital channels deliver.
To achieve this control, businesses need a clear governance process and a KMS that enables their legal and compliance teams to review and approve knowledge before it is published. There also needs to be a clear record of the development of the
knowledge, and robust, detailed version control that makes it easy to demonstrate what knowledge was visible to an agent at any particular time. The opportunity to print knowledge is obviously a high risk because the knowledge could be out of date
mere minutes after being printed and any facility to delete knowledge has a negative impact on the audit process in version control.
The solution: purpose-built knowledge management systems
Leading customer service KMS have developed answers to these challenges by offering robust workflow features that can be customised for each organisation’s compliance framework. These workflows enable users to easily manage who has
permission to author knowledge, and then helps move that knowledge through the approval process – all while keeping a full record of the input from each party, and restricting the authority to publish knowledge to only approved parties.
KMSs have also replaced emails with a much more reliable feature: delivering on-screen notifications to agents that an urgent message is waiting for them. This notification will stay on the screen until they open the urgent announcement. Built-
in reporting functionality shows management who has (or hasn’t) opened the announcement, and, if necessary, they can send out a quick quiz to check that agents have read and understood the information.
Organisations are also finding that “knowledge articles”, which need to be reviewed to find an answer, are frequently unreliable, since agents can misinterpret or even miss key elements. Purpose-built customer service KMS eliminate this issue by delivering specific answers, not articles. Agents love it because they know they can provide accurate answers quickly and confidently, with no time wasted reading an article and no risk of making a mistake. Customers love it because they feel like they are speaking to an expert who knows the answer without delay.
Ultimately, organisations aiming to tighten their compliance around the answers provided to customers should look for a KMS that includes effective workflows and tight version control, and takes agents straight to the answers that customers need.
And those looking for the best KMS for knowledge governance should expect these features to be as standard, not add-ons.