Managing Knowledge for Greater Impact: Culture Changes

Our recent webinar, Managing Knowledge to Achieve Greater Impact, covered the important aspects of building a knowledge ecosystem that creates happy, loyal customers.  It’s a big topic so it’s no surprise that we couldn’t get to all of the audience questions in the Q&A.

Senior Knowledge Consultant, Melissa Burch, and founder of FT Works, Françoise Tourniaire, answered your questions on how to transform your knowledge program in our last post. Today, they’re tackling questions on changing how your organization treats knowledge.

Q: How do you financially justify a need to start a knowledge program?

Melissa Burch: I recommend you start with evaluating the negative impacts you see in your environment from not having a knowledge program. There’s probably a list of key drivers which cost your organization money, for example, training new employees. You can diminish the amount of time it takes to get new employees proficient with the support of a knowledgebase. When training times are significantly shortened, you can see a return on your investment. This can help you lead a financial discussion around the KM program you want to put into place.

There’s also a sales component. When you have a robust set of knowledge your audience can use to make decisions quickly, it can reduce the amount of time it takes for a prospective customer to convert into a sale. Information that helps your prospective customers converting into a sale reduces the amount of time it takes and can increase your number of sales.

Look for the indicators that show there are opportunities and translate those into real dollars.

Q: I’ve talked to numerous support groups who say their corporate culture does not embrace knowledge sharing. How successful can support be in creating a good knowledge sharing culture when executives may not embrace it?

Melissa Burch: Without executive support, you will be able to make some progress in how effectively you can encourage capture of knowledge because in general, most support agents want to help each other and their customers. It’s a much smaller return than you’d see if you had executive sponsorship, but some participation would occur.

Francoise Tourniaire: I agree with Melissa. What I’d encourage you to do is do active knowledge sharing, preferably using KCS within the support organization. People in support are usually well-disposed to knowledge sharing. It’s not easy, but they understand that it’s important to share knowledge.

The important thing to avoid is being the tail wagging the dog. Start with what you can control within your support group, and hopefully it will spread. Lead by example, but don’t try to transform the entire organization. I have several clients that have tried to do that and three years later they’re still trying to get started because not everyone agrees yet. If they had started where they could, they’d have a system that works for them, and they might have inspired others. Start where you are and then inspire others.

Further insight

If you missed the live broadcast, you can watch the recorded webinar.

And for practical advice and strategies to transform your customer support experience,  read  our new white paper, Managing your Knowledge to Achieve Greater Impact.

Stay tuned to the Irrevo blog for answers to more follow-up questions.

Make sure to sign up for the Irrevo Newsletter for announcements about upcoming webinars and insights about creating truly great customer service.