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Knowledge management and CRM: a relationship meant to last?

Applying knowledge management within customer relationship management (CRM) has been common in help desk industry as client representatives are increasingly challenged by the ability to access and deliver real-time answers and information.  Beyond the call of duty to attend customer requirements are there any other applications for KM in the CRM segment? In the following post we will explore three potential outcomes leading from the newly weds:  KM & CRM.

  • Improve average customer satisfaction and employee productivity

Denehy pointed out that by “introducing knowledge management into the quality cycle, employees critical to the customer experience are enabled with tools to help improve average handle time (AHT), first call resolution (FCR), customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, sales success and secure process compliance, in real time”. Some of these tools have already taken a web 2.0 form as products offer more intuitive and social collaboration options. This seems to be a natural action deriving from the proliferation of digital media and customer mobility.

  • Create new forms of collaboration between customers and customer service agents

In a HBR article Bala Lyer and Wendy Murphy sustain that “Today, all of us can follow and interact with experts via Twitter, blogs, and Q&A sites such as Quora and GitHub. In addition, organizations are investing time and money on social media tools. Knowledge-sharing networks are not brand new, of course. Communities of practice and BPs virtual networks have been around since the late 1990s”.  Why not create a community of practice for your clients? CRM can take advantage of new forms of online collaboration and improve relationship channels.  By applying these type of spaces not only are you empowering customers with the ability to reach out any time- anywhere but are also helping knowledge flow in order to capture deep insights and trends with the help of analytic tools.

  • Reduce human dependency

Remember that interaction with agents is still handled normally through chats and phone calls, which in turn mean higher human dependency. Although human touchpoints are essential when dealing with clients, usually time to answer does not help to deal with angry customers who are looking for quick answers. The margin of error can also be high so reinventing the wheel moments can be common as well.  Although some authoring tools have allowed companies to create great content (mobile too) so that clients have find answers themselves, there is still a long way to go.

CRM will benefit greatly from new forms of cognitive tech like Watson that are not just able to assimilate knowledge but rather, provide answers and suggestions. They can also tap and discover insights which will add further value to customer knowledge management.

Finally it is important to discuss with your line managers, the VP sales and CEO the expected outcomes from the strategy. As Arun Hariharan mentioned “Leaders get the results they expect from KM. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy. If the leader’s expectations are low, naturally, their involvement in KM will be low, leading to low results. The reverse is equally true. Leaders with high expectations know that it’s worth spending their time on KM, and this gives them results”

© Jose Carlos Tenorio Favero


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