Customer Success, Part 2: 4 Methods for creating a scalable Customer Success program

This guest post by Francoise Tourniaire is the second in a series that takes an in-depth look into creating a successful Customer Success program. You can catch up with Part 1, Setting the stage for customer success, and Part 3, How segmentation delivers value to customers – and your business


high-touch_low-touchThe traditional idea of customer success is the ever-friendly customer success manager who gets customers set up and comfortable with the tool and checks that all is well on a regular basis, bringing interesting suggestions to improve the customer experience. Sounds lovely, right? But it’s expensive.

It’s expensive because it is a high-touch process: the customer interacts with a human being (the customer success manager), in a 1:1 interaction. In contrast, a low-touch process uses alternatives that allow customers to get what they need with fewer 1:1 human interactions, instead using self-service or group interactions for most of the activities.

Clearly a low-touch customer success process is less expensive, and easier to scale, but can it deliver equivalent results for customer retention? This second blog post of our customer success series shows how low-touch, low-cost alternatives to the high-touch, high-cost, traditional model of customer success can deliver results both for onboarding customers and for ongoing retention efforts.

Leveraging Self-Service

It would be difficult to conceive of a customer success process that is purely self-service, but it is very effective to mix self-service activities with personalized check-ins. Here are three ways to make use of self-service:

  • Online training. This can be short videos, recorded webinars, or full-blown computer-based training if you can provide it.
  • Onboarding plan. Giving customers a list of steps and activities to set up the system minimizes confusion and suggests a firm schedule. It can be delivered in self-service, group settings, and also
  • Just-in-time hints. Customers usually follow a predictable path, which makes it possible to deliver helpful hints, ideally in product, as they start using new features for instance.

Leveraging Group Delivery

Many customer success activities can be done with a group of customers rather than with just one customer. Customers get the warmth of a human interaction but at a much lower cost to the organization.

  • Welcome call. The welcome call introduces customers to the onboarding process and can be a small-group affair, scheduled a few times a week to accommodate several customers at once.
  • Live webinars are great training tools and perfectly appropriate if customers all use the system in a similar manner. They can apply to product training or best practices sharing.
  • Online communities. Communities are helpful for all customers. Consider maintaining a separate forum just for new customers, whose concerns may not match established customers’.

Leveraging Big Data

Mining customer data can help you understand patterns so you can deploy better tools and specific customer success strategies as needed to rescue at-risk customers.

  • Health monitoring. Although not foolproof, customer usage is a telling sign of successful adoption. Customers that are not using the tool at all, or using it lightly or incompletely can be flagged for intervention.
  • Churn analysis. While health monitoring focuses mostly on usage patterns, churn analysis evaluates a holistic set of data across customers to detect patterns of defection – which become opportunities for action. Don’t delay churn analysis until your data is “perfect”: start with what you have, and build up over time.

Leveraging Repeatable Processes

Even when you must use a high-touch approach, a repeatable process improves efficiency and consistency.

  • Scripted onboarding. Rather than asking the onboarding specialists to create a custom program for each customer, script the sequence, ideally by customer segment.
  • Adoption campaign kits. Help customers train and motivate their internal users with pre-packaged materials and suggestions. This can be a pure self-service item, or be a part of a program driven by a customer service manager.
  • Responsive support. What is support doing in a customer success checklist? Well, we would not want customer success to be nothing more than an escalation channel, would we?
  • Business environment tracking. Just like support organizations capture their customers’ technical environments to expedite troubleshooting, customer success organizations should have a structured method to capture relevant features of their customers’ business environments.
  • Targeted, scripted check-ins. Equip the customer success managers with a reason and script to contact customers. Use the outcome of health monitoring data (see next paragraph) to trigger the contacts rather the calendar, at least for lower-value customers.

The high-touch model of customer success is wonderful – for key customers. By leveraging self-service, group delivery, big data, and repeatable processes, you can deliver excellent low-touch services to most customers so you can lavish high-touch services on key or at-risk customers. Tell us how you deploy low-touch programs.


Francoise Tourniaire is the founder of FT Works and co-founder of ChurnSquad. Both companies provide consulting, training, and coaching to create and improve customer success initiatives. Her most recent book, The Art of Support: A Blueprint for Customer Success and Support Organizations, is now available on Amazon. Contact Francoise at FT@ftworks.com or 650 559 9826 for more information.

Customer Success, Part 1: Setting the Stage for Customer Success

This guest post by Francoise Tourniaire is the first in a series that takes an in-depth look into creating a successful Customer Success program. The series continues in Part 2, Creating a Scalable Customer Success Program, and Part 3, How segmentation delivers value to customers – and your business

What is Customer Success?

The idea of customer success is that appropriate nurturing yields loyal customers, which in turn yield profits. Customer success aims to:

  • Increase customer adoption, which leads to
  • Increase customer retention, which leads to
  • Reduce customer churn and
  • Increase expansion revenue

Customer success is the brainchild of SaaS vendors, but the approach and techniques can apply to all organizations.

What Does Customer Success Consist Of?

Customer success organizations provide a range of services, which can be organized in five categories:

  • Onboarding to help customers get started with the vendor’s product or service. Onboarding is more than pure training: it also helps customers navigate the setup and customization of the tool. Onboarding occurs at the beginning of the customer lifecycle, but it can continue as customer usage expands, new users are added, and existing users discover more sophisticated uses of the product or service.
  • Customer health monitoring. This includes monitoring the usage of the tool as well as ongoing communications with customers.
  • Retention. If a customer is determined to be at risk, specific initiatives may be deployed to rescue the relationship, from a simple conversation to touch base with the customer to offering additional training or adoption assistance.
  • Lead generation. Customer success organizations diligently cultivate leads from existing customers, usually passing them on to the sales team, but sometimes closing them themselves. Some customer success organizations also own the renewals of subscriptions and maintenance contracts.
  • Customer advocacy. Providing structured feedback from customers to internal teams is an important function of customer success organizations.

Are All Customer Success Organizations Alike?

No! Customer success organizations have a variety of roles. Differences are common in these four areas:

  • Whether they own the onboarding This is usually the case, sometimes through a specialized subgroup. For complex products and services that require a professional services team, onboarding may still exist in the form of encouraging users to engage with the platforms.
  • Whether they are responsible for technical support. Usually not, especially for more complex products: a separate team handles technical questions. But customer success managers are sometimes asked to provide first-level support.
  • Whether they are directly responsible for renewals. Usually, a dedicated renewals team or the sales team itself takes responsibility for renewals (assuming renewals are not automated), although the customer success organization is often measured by the renewals percentage.
  • How much selling they do. Most influence and suggest, but do not have a sales quota, so as to minimize conflicts of interest with customers and channel conflicts with the sales team.

How Do I Get Started With Customer Success?

If you are starting from scratch, the first step is to identify your main issue: do customers never start to use your products? Do they start, but then lose interest? Do they fail to renew? Fail to expand? Or do you simply not track any metrics?

Focus your initial efforts to resolving your main issue. Perhaps it’s simply starting to measure retention (or its mirror image, churn).  Or it may be putting in place a robust onboarding program so customers can get started in an orderly manner. Or analyzing the reasons why customers fail to renew.

Make sure that the initial efforts are proactive, not just aimed at preventing customer escalations. Escalation management is important, but it is a support function, not a customer success function.

In our follow-up posts, we will show you how to segment customers and how to define reusable processes for onboarding and retention.


Francoise Tourniaire is the founder of FT Works and co-founder of ChurnSquad. Both companies provide consulting, training, and coaching to create and improve customer success initiatives. Her most recent book, The Art of Support: A Blueprint for Customer Success and Support Organizations, is now available on Amazon. Contact Francoise at FT@ftworks.com or 650 559 9826 for more information.

Cognitive Engagement: The Future of Customer Experience

The future of customer engagement will be run by a machine.  That is what Forrester predicts for the near future.  Kate Leggett of Forrester states that one of the top trends for 2015 will be that “organizations will look at ways to reduce the manual overhead of traditional knowledge management for customer service.  In doing so, they will explore cognitive engagement solutions — interactive computing systems that use artificial intelligence to collect information, automatically build models of understanding and inference, and communicate in natural ways.”

robot_csrEarlier this year, IBM launched the Watson Engagement Advisor.  It is one of the first of its kind to pave the way for a new way to engage customers.  It “via cognitive computing intellect, can proactively engage with a business’ customers, and continuously learn from interactions, anytime and anywhere, providing fast, more accurate and personalized interactions”.  IBM Watson was the computer that beat former grand-champions on the TV quiz show Jeopardy!.

Where to invest and focus

Obviously not all companies will have IBM Watson in their arsenal to interact with customers providing them with immediate answers to their complex purchasing questions and problem resolutions.  However, many have 2015 goals to solve problems faster and improve relationships with their customers.  Adding artificial intelligence to your self-service website or as an internal tool for agents will transform how companies engage with customers.  As products become more and more complex and the amount of information available grows, the need to hone in on an answer quickly proves increasingly difficult through manual means.  A dialog takes up valuable time to try and get to the right response.  Self-searching can be frustrating if you don’t use the right terminology or give up easily.  The effort the customer has to make using artificial intelligence is greatly reduced and answers are available in a fraction of a second.  It is as if they have their own personal assistant there to answer their questions. It will also allow companies to expand this assistance across multiple channels.

Preparing Your Knowledge Data

The effects of using Cognitive Computing is already leading consumers to demand a new level of engagement and interaction from companies.  One way to help prepare systems for this new capability is to make sure new knowledge is coming in.  Without the data (or knowledge), there won’t be anything to cull through to hand off to customers.  Still some human intervention is needed.  New knowledge needs to be created in order for it to be used by customers and agents.  This will be especially important as companies invest in cognitive engagement systems and start to find that the speed and accuracy of the answers correlate directly to the amount of knowledge within the system.

Make sure processes are in place

Finding ways to focus on the new problems should be part of any knowledge program.  Whether it be analyzing which knowledge base articles are used frequently and exposing them, communicating and training customers on how to find articles on the known issues, or making changes to products that remove the issue completely. Make sure your knowledge program has these processes in place to focus resources on creating new knowledge.

Let the system do the work

The way to evolve how you engage with customers is to reduce the effort they must make to interact with your company. Artificial Intelligence allows a cognitive system to cull through big data for relevant responses while taking into account the nuances of human language.  While there will always be a need for the human touch in solving customers’ problems, the key is to focus on the new problems.  Let the computers take on the ones that already have an answer and can find it a whole lot faster.

 

Don’t Let Your Knowledge Die a Lonely Death: How Knowledge Centered Support Immortalizes Knowledge

I don’t have time to give the customers the quality attention I’d like to…I’m just keeping my head above water as it is!

Have you experienced this?

  • Your tech support staff drowning in a sea of service requests?
  • Your customers complaining about the quality of support they get?
  • Your staff demoralized because even they don’t think they are doing a good job for all their customers?

I have.

KCS and a good website where customers can get the information they need can solve this problem. But when you turn to the business, they say “What? You want us to take time out from working tickets to create knowledge articles too? Didn’t you get the part about us just barely keeping our heads above water as it is?”

The solution to this dilemma resides within a well-implemented KCS system, one in which knowledge articles are created as a by-product of working tickets – not as an additional activity on top of working tickets. In this mode of operation, people are not writing any more information than they currently are – it’s just that instead of writing it in notes in their tickets, where it dies a lonely death after the ticket is closed, they’re writing their notes in a different place. It takes no more time to write the information in a window on the left side of your screen than it does to write it in a window on the right side of your screen. But by using KCS methodologies to capture the data where it can be reused, you’re writing it somewhere where it survives the closing of the ticket, escapes the lonely death, and goes on to be re-used by many others as a knowledge article.

I do oversimplify this a bit, but not much. There will be a bit of extra time as your support staff publishes their information, while they pause to make sure that what they wrote in the heat of the moment of the ticket is worded in the best way for the new knowledge article’s extended public life. But that time is easily recovered from the vast time savings of the self-service that these knowledge articles enable.

The net result is fewer repeat issues stealing time from your support staff, so they can spend more quality time with the customers they are working with. The customers are happier, the employees are happier… and you are happier!

Hear from author Russ Brookes, Director of Knowledge Management and GSS Customer Satisfaction at Avaya, and the rest of our expert panel in our recorded webinar, Re-imagine Your Customer Experience with Knowledge Centered Support. Hear how others are capitalizing on the promise of KCS.

KCS Expert Panel

 

Projects are Out, Programs are In: Tackling Knowledge Management The Effective Way

program-project-fieldDid you know that 91% of customers would rather use a support site, instead of use phone support to get help for their support issues, if a company has a support site tailored it to their needs? If you’re trying to reduce your company’s support call volume, this is good news. But, also be aware that 45% of customers will toss online purchases they were about to make, if a support site doesn’t allow them to quickly find answers to their questions.

To attract that 91% of customers to your company’s support site, and avoid that 45% potential loss, it isn’t enough for your company to simply build up the knowledge available on your support site so that it contains all of the answers your customers could ever search for. You need to establish a plan of attack for building up the support site and maintaining the knowledge within it. This is where a knowledge management project and a knowledge management program come into play.

You might ask, what’s the difference between a project and a program? Aren’t they the same thing? They’re related, yes, but certainly not the same thing.

A project is a high-level goal you want to accomplish, whereas a program is the definition of the project’s goals and the roadmap for how you will reach the project goals. Think of it this way – if knowledge management was a sport like football, winning a football game would be the project, and the players in the game, the plays the coach has prepped, and the statistics generated during the game would be the program.

So, how do you create that roadmap so that you can see success for your project?

Define the Vision of Your KM Program

In order to begin planning out your KM program, you need to define what it is you want to accomplish within the program. Part of this is to identify what kind of support experience your customers want and how you want to deliver on that expectation.

Next, decide on what level of effort is needed to accomplish the goals you’ve defined. This may be as simple as creating a high-level outline of the work to be accomplished, or you may need to bring in some additional data to better define the required effort.

Define the Success Metrics for Your KM Program

Before you can plan out steps for accomplishing the vision of your KM program, you need to set some milestones for yourself, both short-term and long-term. These milestones will help your roadmap take shape.

When you know what your milestones are, determine what the success markers for each milestone will be and how you will measure the success metrics. For example, if one of your milestones is to improve on the searchability of your support site, you might utilize usage data to determine how easy it is for users to locate answers on the support site. However, for something like improving customer satisfaction, you may need to employ customer surveys.

And, lastly, you need to decide how to act on the goals you want to accomplish at each milestone in the program. Ask yourself, what steps need to be executed to meet each of those success metrics? Knowing what steps need to be taken to reach your milestones is crucial to successful implementation of your program.

Put all of these pieces together, and you will have taken your KM project to the next level. You will have a well-developed KM program that will help you attract and retain customers looking for help on your company’s support site.

Further Reading

whitepaper_managing-knowledge_thumb (1)Irrevo’s recent white paper, Managing Knowledge to Achieve Greater Impact, takes a deeper dive into the processes and success measures behind transitioning your knowledge program from short-term project approach to a long-term program. Download it today!

Outstanding Customer Experience: How to Coordinate Marketing, IT, and Support

Marketing as an independent strategy is a thing of the past. In today’s integrated world, marketing occurs at every customer interaction. Unfortunately, customer interactions aren’t doing so well these days.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) reported that customer satisfaction in the U.S. is on the decline for the fifth consecutive quarter.

What could be causing this negative trend?

support+marketing+itA study in 2012 found that 42% of customer support representatives were unable to efficiently manage customer issues due to disintegrated knowledge transfer within the company. In the same study, only 37% of companies received an “excellent” or “good” rating from their customers.

It’s no coincidence that knowledge sharing issues and low company ratings appeared in the same study. The good news is that knowledge sharing issues can be resolved internally and dramatically improve the overall customer experience.

In a previous article, we talked about how to create consistent support content to make customers happy. The next step is making sure that content and every customer interaction aligns with your overall marketing goals.

Make the customer experience part of your marketing strategy

Marketing strategies are all about branding, emotional connection with customers, creating recognition and loyalty, and making customers happy. What better way to satisfy a marketing strategy than to implement it during IT and support team interactions with customers?

Your IT and support teams are on the front lines of marketing. Let them send all those branding and loyalty messages directly when the customers need it most.

Of course, it takes time, planning, and budget to integrate a marketing strategy into IT and support operations; but with a thoughtful, streamlined process, you’ll retain more happy customers.

Create a plan

You need a solid strategy with a measurable end goal and target date in order to be sure the integration is working.

First, clearly define your goal. The goal should take into account the overall marketing strategy for the company and the customer experience. Ask yourself:

  • What is the overall goal for the customers?
  • What experience do I want our customers to have?
  • How should the marketing strategy align with the customer experience?

Then, create metrics. How you measure your progress depends on the types of interactions the IT and support teams have with customers. For example, you might consider:

  • Customer satisfaction surveys results
  • Number of resolved inquiries
  • Customer retention rates

Next, determine how to implement the marketing strategy within IT and support services. Some potential areas to consider:

  • Language during phone conversations and online chats
  • Flow through the IT and support processes
  • Online branding and support site navigation

Open internal communication channels

Be sure to check in with your IT and customer support teams for feedback. These groups are on the front lines of the customer experience and are valuable implementers of the marketing strategy. Here are some ways to get needed feedback from support teams:

  • Hold regularly scheduled meetings to discuss customer interactions
  • Implement employee feedback surveys to collect measurable data
  • Have an open-door policy where support team members can provide insight on customer care strategies

Spread the knowledge

This part can be tricky. You can have a great plan and know exactly what you want to do, but the execution part can be very overwhelming.

Knowledge mangers can help facilitate the transfer of information from the marketing team to the IT and support teams using existing platforms within your organization or by introducing new knowledge management technology. With an effective knowledge management tool, all that prep work can be brought to life and sent through the veins of your organization directly to those who matter most – your valued customers.

What Every Startup Needs to Know about Knowledge Management

Captured knowledge lasts foreverOccasionally, I’ve been hanging out at the Tech Ranch in Austin, Texas. The Tech Ranch is an office space for startups and entrepreneurs to incubate their ideas and organizations. My focus is on Knowledge Management in medium to large organizations, or more descriptively, managing the flow of information and knowledge across an organization. For the most part, I don’t fit the mold at Tech Ranch, but it offers me a place to break out of my work-at-home routine.

In my observations and interactions at the Tech Ranch, managing knowledge in these small businesses and startups is more spontaneous, earthy, unstructured, and tribal. This is part of the allure of a startup or small organization. Ideas have potential to germinate into big things. Hope springs eternal — until the money runs out. In small organizations, most of the communication and knowledge sharing occurs naturally. Teams are well-connected.

At the end of the day, organizations will make it based on their competitive edge, which is typically defined as speed to market of their unique ideas, muscling forward with determination, and the way they manage their information and knowledge. An organization can have a ton of funding with the greatest, and smartest people; however, ineffectively managing their organizational knowledge will doom them.

As I look at their excitement, the gleam in their eyes, and their noses to the grindstone, I would like to offer a few suggestions to improve their chances of success, lay the foundation for strong Knowledge Management practices, bolster their competitive edge, increase their organizational effectiveness, and allow them to propel sooner to the next level of organizational maturity, growth and revenue.

Knowledge Assets are the value of your organization (KM Strategy)

People, resources, and funding may come and go, but the knowledge you capture stays with you.

Streamline and Centralize Knowledge Assets

Centralize the Organization’s Knowledge by identifying and communicating the official spaces or repositories for your Organization to use. The cloud makes it really easy these days. Employees (including you reading this) should not keep organizational information and knowledge in his or her personal repositories (ie: computers, personal email, phones, etc …). Granted, an organization will have Confidential, Restricted and Legal documents, those assets should be defined as such, and kept in their own restricted areas.

Avoid the Cool Tool Du Jour

Even though someone may have their favorite new-fangled, cutting-edge technology that all of the kids are using these days, a smart business will not allow the “cool tool du jour” to occur. One of the fasted ways to derail goals and objectives is to freely allow for splintered and silo’d knowledge to propagate, creating conflicts and redundancy – especially if most of the organization does not know it exists. This is a rampant issue in many large organization today. Nip it in the bud.

Communicate Your Organizational KM Strategy and Practices

If you are currently in a splintered environment with knowledge hoarders, schedule a short meeting to discuss the potential issues with the repository leads and owners. Appeal to their sense in regards to the mission of your organization. This is part of the maturity of an organization. In addition, communicate a KM Practice on a weekly basis.

Finding Answers

Studies show workers spend 20% (or more) of their time searching for answers.

Centralizing your Knowledge Assets will reduce some of these organizational inefficiencies, and administrative overhead.

Establish a Knowledge Structure beyond Functional Roles

You have different individuals in charge of Development, Marketing, Hiring, Sales, and Engineering (or someday you will). You hired them because they are experts in their field and can work autonomously for the greater cause of the organization. But don’t leave it to them to develop their own Departmental Knowledge Strategy without it being part of the overall Organizational KM Strategy.

Knowledge Training

Everyone in your organization needs to be familiar with your Central Repositories, and how they are structured at the top levels. Get in the habit of tagging, and storing your Knowledge Assets in their intended place. This will make it easier for someone in the DEV group to find the latest Logo created by the Marketing team. It will make it easier to onboard new employees quickly. It will make it easier for people to find answers. Everyone in your small organization needs to understand how to do this, as well as the benefits of doing this. Spend 30 minutes training them on your KM Practices, and remind them on a weekly basis. If needed, coach individuals to get their buy-in, and reduce rework.

Understand these two words: Tacit Knowledge and Explicit Knowledge

  • Tacit Knowledge: This is the information and knowledge you keep in your head, and you can spew at will. In other words, you don’t know what you know, until someone asks. (ie: What are the 3 restaurant you would tell people to avoid?)
  • Explicit Knowledge: This is the Tacit Knowledge that has been recorded, and structured into an Organizational Knowledge Asset. Others can find it, Reuse it, and collaborate on the knowledge. This is documents, code, manuals, websites, videos, presentations, procedures, etc …

This is the tip of the iceberg for effective Knowledge Management (Organizational Effectiveness). Many organizations will say they do not have time. Just remember, Knowledge is the value your organization provides, and is your competitive differentiator. If you don’t have a KM Strategy, set aside some time, and bring a bit more sanity to your organization. They will thank you for it.

Managing Knowledge to Achieve Greater Impact: Case Analysis

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, have previously answered your questions on how to transform your knowledge program, and how to change your organization’s relationship with knowledge. Today, they’re tackling questions on case analysis.

Q: What’s your recommendation for the number of case evaluations per analyst and who should do them?

Francoise Tourniaire: For established analysts, a couple per quarter, randomly chosen, should suffice, assuming that the outcome is positive. (If not, review more to determine whether there is a real issue, or if you just happened to pick problematic cases.) For new hires, or anyone with performance issues, you should review more, maybe all of them for brand-new hires.

As to who should do the case evaluations, I’m a strong proponent of having the analyst’s manager perform them. It’s best to have the same person perform the evaluations, deliver feedback, and manage the performance. That being said, with very technical products it’s often helpful to enlist the help of a senior technical resource who would be better able to assess the quality of the troubleshooting process.

Q: How do you measure case deflection as a result of knowledge?

Francoise Tourniaire: I wrote a book on this! Seriously, it’s a very difficult topic. Depending on the tool you are using, you may be able to present possible solutions to users as they are logging cases. If so, you can measure the percentages of cases not logged. Voila! (But note that some, maybe many users may have found solutions and gone away happy without starting to log a case.)

Otherwise, you need to have a method for measuring what’s NOT happening, which is very difficult. I like to simply measure the incident rate, so volume of cases per customer (or per seat, per license, whatever method helps you capture the size of the customer base). If the incident rate goes down when you are improving the knowledge base, that’s a positive result. Of course, incident rate depends on many other factors, most notably product quality… If you have multiple product lines you can check them against each other to eliminate these other factors.

Q: How do you measure quality when the customer needs to go and do some work and only then determine whether the solution worked? They are unlikely to come back and score the item.

Francoise Tourniaire: Determining the quality of an individual solution is best determined by (1) feedback on the solution itself and (2) reuse during case resolution. The vast majority of customers will not bother rating solutions at all, so be sure to use whatever feedback is given: if one person complains about a solution, chances are that dozens of others also had a problem.

Q: Similarly, what’s your recommendation for the number of KB articles evaluated per analyst and who should do them?

Francoise Tourniaire: Here again, a small number will suffice, assuming that the analyst is experienced and has a good record of writing quality documents. That’s a job for the KCS coaches, if you have them.

Q: Case quality reviews: Aren’t case reviews also lagging since it is after the case is closed? How is it leading?

Francoise Tourniaire: Case reviews are often conducted on closed cases, in which case they do, indeed, come after the fact. But they can be conducted on cases that are still open. Also, not every customer will return a customer satisfaction survey so the case quality review can be considered as a leading indicator of quality, suggesting what customers might say in the future about cases closed by that same individual.It’s not always easy to cleanly distinguish between leading and lagging indicators.

 

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.

Managing Knowledge to Achieve Greater Impact – Your Questions, Expert Answers

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.

In this series of posts, our Senior Knowledge Consultant, Melissa Burch, and founder of FT Works, Françoise Tourniaire, take on some of the insightful questisons asked by our audience.

Each of these articles covers a different aspect of how to get the most from your knowledge program:

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.

Diagnosing Unhealthy Content: 4 Cures for Common Knowledgebase Ailments

Building a successful knowledge management solution doesn’t stop at implementation.  Once a KM system is up and running, it’s important to track how articles are being used and how well the system is performing overall.kb_heartbeat_heart

With 25-45% of today’s workforce using and sharing knowledge and information, it’s more important than ever to provide knowledge base articles that are relevant, useful and easy to find. Building a strong knowledge base that delivers long-term benefits requires constant tracking and maintenance to keep it relevant.  Making small course changes along the way based on user feedback, performance metrics and content reviews are the keys to maintaining a successful KM solution.

Check Your Metrics

To get the most detailed view of how your KM solution is performing, you have to look at the metrics, including which pages are getting the most traffic and how they are rated by users.  Identifying the articles that get the most views and user votes and those that have a high bounce rate and low user ratings is a critical part of any KM health check. Looking at how these articles are tracking compared to others helps with identifying content gaps or outdated content that no longer applies.  Once you have identified areas that should be removed and those that need to be updated, you can work on improving articles and seeing how those updates perform with future metrics.

Provide High Quality Content

A key element to any KM system is quality content.  When evaluating your KM solution, look at the articles that are presented to customer service reps and customers.  Pages that don’t perform well often lack the basic information that someone is looking for or are too full of grammatical errors to be helpful.  Make sure you haven’t placed all of your focus on the technology by neglecting article quality.  Putting your best content efforts forward in articles that generate the most interest and improving those that aren’t performing as well will help drive traffic to your most important articles.

Maximize Search Efforts

Do you know how users find the articles they need?  If you haven’t implemented an SEO strategy, or if it’s been awhile since you did keyword research for the business, then users may not be finding your information.  Doing some basic keyword research and implementing the right keywords into your article update strategy is a great way to help users find the right information.  Staying on top of your keyword strategy and making improvements along the way will help you get the best results.

Review, Improve, Repeat

Having a successful KM system involves much more than just investing in the latest technology and having a great launch.  Making small, yet important changes along the way by identifying content gaps in your knowledge base, improving existing articles and maintaining a consistent SEO strategy will ensure that you get the most out of your investment.