If the phrase online support tool only leads to an association with call centers or customer service departments, it’s time for a radical refresh.
While there’s no doubt that online product information is critical to the success of customer service professionals who handle calls all day long, other employees would benefit as well.
Think about the massive amount of knowledge inherent in your organization. Managing this knowledge, including all processes, procedures, and product updates, is key to your success. In a 2012 Forbes.com article on knowledge management (KM), the author highlights three reasons why this is true: 1) KM facilitates decision-making capabilities, especially considering the massive amounts of data and other information that employees face every day; 2) it fosters a learning culture, which builds employees’ knowledge and empowers them to improve processes; and 3) it stimulates cultural change as well as innovation.
These are just three of the real benefits to sharing knowledge within an organization. With customer-facing teams like call centers, additional benefits include strengthening customer relationships, solving problems, and increasing customer retention. All of these affect your bottom line.
Now consider other employees whose performance can be improved with an online knowledge management tool. How easy or difficult is it for them to access the exact information they need while carrying out their responsibility?
Take sales, for example. A typical sales department is composed of diverse individuals. They’re at different stages in their career, in your employment, in their skill sets, and in their product training. A cloud-based support tool providing access to sales processes from prospecting all the way to closing a sale is a major advantage to your sales team. It ensures that all of your reps have the same information. They won’t have to rely on content stored in discrete databases throughout the enterprise. They won’t waste time hunting for answers. Knowledge is power, and product knowledge is the currency for your sales force.
Product development teams can likewise benefit from such a support tool. It helps them ensure that all checks and balances are completed before a product is released to the quality control team.
Giving process support to multiple teams throughout your organization is important for your business. A robust, cloud-based tool lets you capture information, document and optimize it, and publish it out to those who need it. It can be updated in real time, with alerts announcing every update sent to appropriate team members.
If it is important to your business that your employees follow a process and methodology, consider giving them an online support tool. In current business environments, where functions are organized in silos and a growing part of the workforce works off-site, giving employees access to a knowledge database will connect them, serve them, and empower them.
Online knowledge databases aren’t only for your call centers. They provide a benefit that others should reap.