What are the signs that the machine is about to be damaged? What is the most efficient way to exclude common causes of malfunctions? Your long-standing service employees have the answers to these questions. The need for this knowledge is constant, because manufacturing companies are placing an increasing focus on the service business. But what happens when precisely these employees leave the company? Many companies respond to this question by building up their own service knowledge base. In this article you will learn how this tool can reduce costs and increase service quality.
Knowledge databases for the service at a glance
A knowledge database stores the knowledge of your application experts in a structured form. This prevents it from being forgotten or lost. By introducing a knowledge database, you create consistency in the service. New team members also immediately have access to the wealth of experience that has grown. This considerably reduces the time and effort required for familiarisation. In addition, you can give your customers direct access to the knowledge. In this way, they can research approaches to solving problems themselves in the sense of self-service.
How closely knowledge management in service is linked to the dimensions of quality and costs can be illustrated by the first contact resolution rate. This service KPI describes the proportion of customer enquiries that the service team is able to resolve directly at the first touchpoint, the so-called first-level support. Customers expect this successful first contact. But only if the service provider optimally manages the required knowledge can it offer this at acceptable costs.
The first-time resolution rate varies greatly depending on the service provider's industry. While it is not uncommon for B2C providers to achieve rates of 70 per cent, the key figure for companies in the B2B environment is significantly lower. The decisive factor is the disproportionately higher complexity of products and services for business users. Service staff often have to travel to the customer for the final problem solution. This leaves a lot of room for improving the service level while at the same time reducing costs. Knowledge management takes on a central role here.
Advantages of a knowledge database for the service
As they equally address the levers of quality and cost levers, knowledge bases become a strategic tool for service. These are the main advantages of a knowledge base:
- Making expert knowledge independent of people: Experienced generations of employees are retiring. Use the remaining time to preserve their knowledge.
- Customers want more self-service: By giving your customers access to the knowledge base, you make them independent of your service hours.
- Reduce response times: If the service employee has to arrange a callback or send a colleague to the customer, this costs valuable time. In the B2B sector, we are not just talking about an annoyance, but about quantifiable downtime costs.
- Relieve service staff: Online service channels are becoming increasingly important. Not only humans, but also software robots can access a knowledge database. Based on a knowledge database, you can build a chatbot for first-level support.
Building online channels for service with the knowledge base
Many factors speak in favour of building up a knowledge database. Preserve valuable expert knowledge and make it available to your service organisation. At the same time, knowledge databases strengthen the increasingly important online channels for service, whether self-service or requests to chatbots. The knowledge database is one of many examples: Read more about how digital solutions open up new opportunities for customer service and internal communication in the MEXS blog.