B2C Service – Knowledge Foundation
Build it, and they will come…
A knowledge repository is one of the most powerful tools when servicing your customers.
Most simply, the knowledgebase, or FAQs, hold the questions and answers that customers are interested in.
Many companies see an immediate impact to their contact volumes when they have a searchable knowledgebase. The customer can see the information that is relevant to them, rather than trawling through a list of questions and answers which are unrelated to their needs.
…Maintain it, and they will stay!
However, having the ability to search the knowledgebase alone is not sufficient, it needs to be nurtured and managed.
Some of the common mistakes made in implementing and maintaining a knowledgebase are:
– Out of date content
– The answer uses the language of the organisation and not the customer
– The questions are not answered
– Content is fixed in place
– The information provided is too generic
“This answer is no more! It has ceased to be!”
Answers are only answers if they answer the question.
The Knowledge Foundation component of Oracle B2C Service lets content creators define the date range that the question is displayed.
This can be particularly effective for questions containing seasonality – “What hours are you open during Christmas and New Year?”.
In addition, with the customisable workspace it is easy to ensure that every answer loaded onto the system has a date which it will be taken off the Customer Portal and flagged for review, meaning that your knowledgebase always has the most up-to-date and correct information
“Say that again?”
Speak Customer, not Company.
It often goes unnoticed especially when teams are used to their own terminology for functions, products or services.
Taking a mobile phone the signal is measured in bars, we think of the network as 3G, 4G, and 5G but mobile companies see this as GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900, EDGE, 3G, LTE, LTE-A, LTE-U, 4G, 5G
Customers are most likely going to search for “I have no Signal” instead of “No GSM1800 connectivity”!
Because this is not the language that the customer knows or understands they are probably not going to look at it, even if the answer is exactly what they are looking for.
Oracle B2C Service contains a range of analytics which identify the keywords which have been searched on the Customer Portal (the website that is part of B2C Service) and the number of answers which were returned. They also have reports showing the hot and cold answers – the answers frequently accessed, or not.
This allows the Knowledge Manager to review both the content and refine the keywords.
The Keyword Search report above shows the Stem of the keyword searched, for example “DISCOUNT” will include in addition to Discount: Discounted, Discounts, Discounting.
The column showing the number of answers returned includes a link allowing the Knowledge Manager to drill down and see all of the returned answers enabling the verification of the accuracy, relevancy & content.
“What does that have to do with the price of fish?”
FAQ’s are not for politicians. Answers should not leave the customer asking more questions.
Oracle B2C Service permits the customer to rate the answers that they see on the Customer Portal. This can be a simple Yes or No response to a 5-star gradient followed with the option to provide physical feedback to the response given.
Being able to provide feedback on the question allows the Content Managers to see what the end users were expecting compared to what they saw.
Oracle B2C Service includes answer effectiveness reports which list the answers and notes how they have been scored on the Customer Portal allowing the Content Manager to proactively manage the persistently bad answers.
The Immovable Object
Fixed answers are not necessarily Frequently Asked.
A common problem with knowledgebases is that the top ten answers contain the top ten answers that the company wishes their customers would ask.
Oracle B2C Service offers both dynamic and static placements for answers that are added to the knowledgebase. Each of these options have their own benefits and uses.
Dynamic Answers gain or lose places within the knowledgebase using an algorithm which looks at the popularity of the question, and where the end user clicks off to: another answer, the ask a question page, or off the help pages.
When creating a new answer, placing it at the top of the list of answers allows customers accessing the help pages see this answer, with the algorithm placing it in a more acceptable position over time.
Static Answers permanently fix the answer in the requested position.
When adding a fixed answer, the Content Manager should always make sure that most of the answers are dynamic. Fixing an answer at the top of the knowledgebase should be used in conjunction with a defined review date, whilst fixing an answer in the middle or the bottom ensures that the answer can only be found by searching. This is useful for answers which you need to provide i.e. “What is your phone number?” but would like to encourage your customers to use the knowledgebase before driving them to contact you.
“Do you know who I am?”
Sometimes, it pays to pander.
A lot of FAQ implementations contain one message irrespective of who their customer is, this means that it is making it difficult to tailor to specific audiences or even staff without having multiple similar questions to manage.
Oracle B2C Service allows the introduction of Answer Levels and conditional content depending on the user who is accessing the information.
A simple version of this would be Public, Member and Staff.
The Public answers are information available to all, whilst slightly different information could be presented to members who have logged into the website or Customer Portal.
This would be contained within a single answer using conditional sectioning which reduces the amount of information that needs to be updated by the Content Manager.
Staff access can include additional information available to your servicing agents including procedural information or specific additional information which can be included in a response to be sent to the customer.
In the example above you can see that in addition to the public content, you are also able to see that there is content specific to users with the “everyone” access level and different information for those with the “help” access level.
This blog has introduced you to Knowledge Foundation, a component of B2C Service. The importance of a knowledge base, or FAQ area, is so important for your customers to self serve; in addition the number of tickets being raised can be much reduced.
We’ve shown how knowledge can be maintained and organised. For example setting a review date on an article, determining how the article is placed in a search results list, and suggesting that language your customers are familiar with is used.
In addition, we’ve shown how valuable data can be collected about knowledge usage – how often are articles accessed and did customers find them useful.
All of the points above feed into the reputation of the customer service of the company. A positive interaction can make all the difference to ensure you keep your customers loyal.
If you have any questions then please feel free to get in touch – email@example.com
Coming in the next part of the series:
We will be looking into the types of Answers that B2C Service can use on the knowledgebase, the ways of searching the knowledgebase and how answers can be suggested to the customers query before the contact is submitted.