It’s that time of year again. This October, Salesforce is bringing together some of the world’s top thought leaders, industry pioneers and service professionals for its annual Dreamforce conference. Dreamforce has grown to be one of the largest, most influential technology conferences in the world. With thousands of sessions and live demonstrations, you are guaranteed to find content specific to your industry, role and company size. A hot topic this year, particularly for support leaders, is Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS), as the majority of them are investing in self-service this year to improve the customer experience. In order to do self-service right, it is essential to have a good process for capturing, managing and re-using Knowledge, and KCS offers that. Organizations which have turned to KCS are enjoying profound benefits. So before you head to Dreamforce, it’s time to learn about what it can do for you.

What you need to know about the KCS methodology

KCS is a set of practices and processes that focus on capturing and re-using knowledge to enable customer self-service success, support organization performance, and to improve the customer experience. KCS provides a methodology to create reusable content as a byproduct of solving real customer issues. That knowledge to resolve known issues is made available to customers directly on self-service portals, allowing customers to resolve issues themselves, and your support team to focus on solving new issues. While it requires commitment, KCS organically becomes part of day-to-day operations and helps your support team develop and maintain a knowledge base of its collective experience.

Below are the four key principles of the methodology that will enable your organization to create a sustainable culture of knowledge reuse, sharing and self-service self-service success:

  1. Creating content as a byproduct of solving issues

KCS improves support efficiency and organizational learning by utilizing your company’s collective knowledge and blending your people, processes and technology. Adoption of the KCS methodology begins with reusing the information you have within organization’s ecosystem and optimizing it so that it is relevant and contextual. In addition to reusing existing information, the KCS methodology requires organizations to document and share new experiences as they arise for future reference. Knowledge is the result of an interaction or experience and needs to be made accessible to both your Customer Support Agents and customers alike for best results.

To learn more about how you can leverage KCS to make knowledge management effortless for your support agents and empower your customers to self-serve, we recommend listening to this webinar recording with KCS expert, Jennifer MacIntosh who explores key strategies for improving the customer experience.

  1. Evolving content based on demand and usage

The best people to capture and maintain support knowledge are the people who create and use it everyday”  – The KCS Academy

As with all good technology-based methodologies, the KCS methodology is constantly evolving to best meet the needs of its practitioners, as should your content. The information you’re creating should be dictated by the demands of your users. Instead of anticipating or imagining issues that may or may not happen, KCS proposes that we respond to issues as they occur. By doing so, your ecosystem of knowledge is influenced by the events and people within it. As a result, your people and your information are self-optimizing. Intelligent search technology can help you identify content gaps and fine-tune the content you deliver to your customers based on what is making others successful.

  1. Developing a knowledge base of the collective experience

When all content contributors, internally and externally, are responsible for the knowledge base, keeping it up to date is no longer the task of a single group. Knowledge can then be created and improved in real-time by the very people who are using it – when it is most needed. This concept of organizational knowledge sharing helps quickly identify common issues that are being raised about new products and passes the insights to R&D teams so they can address them.

To learn more about how KCS exposes collective knowledge to increase the support organization efficiency, register for Greg Oxton’s Dreamforce session: Knowledge Best Practices using KCS for efficiency and scale.

  1. Rewarding learning, collaboration and sharing

While KCS is enabled by technology, it is primarily about people, and rewards learning, collaboration and sharing. One of the fundamentals of KCS is the shift in organizational mentality, from valuing individuals for what they know, to valuing them for their ability to learn and share. By rewarding people for contributing and sharing you help create a culture of collaboration and collective wealth instead of having a few experts that possess the knowledge (and take it with them when they leave).

Why it’s a hot topic for support leaders

The KCS methodology has been used and perfected over the last twenty years. Organizations following the best practices mentioned above are seeing real, tangible results. Consortium for Service Innovation has reported that organizations who are applying this methodology have been able to:

  • Solve cases faster: with 50% – 60% of organizations reporting an improved time to resolution and a 50% increase in first time resolution
  • Optimize their use of resources: knowledge is everywhere, being able to access it has resulted in a 70% improved time to proficiency, 20% – 35% improved employee retention and a 20% – 40% increase in employee satisfaction
  • Enable a self-service strategy: which improves customer success with self-help on the web by up to 66%
  • Build organizational learning: get actionable information to develop solutions for customer issues and reduce incidents by removing the root cause
  • Save money: KCS impacts the ratio of support cost to revenue by improving self-service success rates
  • Measure success: by making search a cornerstone of the support process, organizations leveraging KCS are better able to measure self-service success and can quickly identify knowledge gaps

While at Dreamforce, come meet the Coveo team and learn how our intelligent search solutions support KCS principles, and what they can do for your support organization.