It’s Time for Knowledge Management

Knowledge management (KM) is an essential enabler for contact center (and enterprise) employees, whether they work virtually or in the office. The pandemic proved that agents and other contact center resources can successfully and productively work remotely when they are equipped with the right tools. Knowledge management solutions are an always-on source of help for agents when they need it and can’t turn to a colleague. Today’s artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled KM solutions take it a step further by proactively delivering context-aware knowledge articles to agents so they can provide accurate, consistent, and efficient responses to customers. Sophisticated KM solutions identify and address agent knowledge gaps by creating and delivering quizzes and other training content. These solutions make agents more productive by empowering them with the information and knowledge they need to do their jobs confidently and comfortably, which reduces the handling time of voice and digital interactions and elevates the customer and employee experience.

Enhancing the Customer Experience 

Enterprises want to deliver an outstanding and frictionless experience throughout the customer journey. To achieve this essential corporate objective, they require a company-wide KM solution that enables them to provide consistent answers and information in all channels and touchpoints. An effective KM environment enhances brand perception and the customer experience (CX) while dramatically reducing the cost of service for contact centers and every other department that interacts with customers. Having a single source of accurate information for employees, partners, and customers is one of the pillars of success in the era of AI. 

Delivering Great Self-Service

Customers prefer helping themselves rather than interacting with live agents, when the self-service solution is effective. Today, customers believe they have a “right” to self-serve, and a well-curated and maintained knowledge base is key to success. The new generation of AI-enabled KM solutions is enhancing the effectiveness of intelligent self-service applications by rendering “answers,” not merely delivering articles, in a manner appropriate for each interaction. The next step is for the KM solution to work together with intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) to address issues proactively based on inferred intent, as would a live agent. This may sound futuristic, but work is already going on in the industry to enable these solutions to be more responsive to customers’ needs. 

Self-Learning KM

The infusion of AI into KM solutions is making these solutions smarter, more responsive, and more accurate. Although there is still a lot of work to be done, AI, particularly machine learning (ML), is starting to be used to address the age-old KM challenge of “garbage in/garbage out.”

The primary issue with KM has always been getting the right information (answers, FAQs, best practices, calculations, guides, decision trees, etc.) loaded and keeping it current. For decades, this has been a time-consuming manual process where the cost often outweighed the benefits. But no more. The more innovative KM solutions now apply ML to identify redundant, outdated, and missing content. While live employees are still needed to make the final decisions about content, ML has already reduced the effort by approximately 50%, and more innovation is on the way to further simplify the KM content management challenge.

Knowledge Everywhere for Everyone

The current generation of AI-enabled KM solutions are adept at making knowledge readily accessible to all users. Knowledge can be accessed via enterprise, faceted, or federated search, self-service portals, websites, and user communities. It can also be pushed to agent desktops or customer relationship management (CRM) applications based on context and intents identified in voice and digital interactions. As importantly, the solutions come with content management workflows that facilitate the process of keeping knowledge assets up to date and can be kicked off by an agent/employee, customer feedback, or automated content expiry designation. Enhanced authoring capabilities allow content editors to create an asset once and limit what is published based on user type, permissions, or language preference. And there are many additional and improved asset creation and collaboration features that enable these solutions to personalize content delivery to system users. 

Market Outlook 

The outlook for the KM market has never been brighter. This IT sector is experiencing rapid growth, which is fueling more research and development (R&D) investments that are driving the ongoing delivery of innovation. This, in turn, is strengthening system usability and adoption. As importantly, companies that are implementing the new generation of AI-enabled KM solutions are realizing quantifiable benefits that improve the customer and employee experience, while also increasing their profitability. During the next few years, DMG expects to see enhancements to most aspects of the implementation and operation of KM solutions. These developments will be widespread, including system integration, search, content creation and curation, knowledge rendering and personalization, community contributions, and more. 

For an in-depth analysis of the knowledge management (KM) market and the solutions that are vital in supporting the needs of today’s digitally transformed and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled enterprises, please see DMG’s 2022- 2023 Knowledge Management for the Enterprise report.