Discussions on Salesforce Service Cloud focus on case management. For good reason, too. A lot of planning and configuration goes into making sure support cases get into the system and are handled in a timely fashion. Yet, I contend that a Service Cloud implementation should start with Knowledge Management.
Knowledge Management is a good investment in time and money. As Forrester Analyst Kate Leggett writes in her report titled Best Practices: Knowledge Management for Customer Service: “Research demonstrates that effective knowledge management practices yield a quantifiable return on investment in better customer satisfaction and lower support costs for customer service organizations.” Great knowledge practices make customers more self-sufficient and service employees more effective.
Firms do not need to delight customers, as much as they need to respect their time. As Leggett writes in her recent report Demands For Effortless Service Must Influence Your Customer Strategy, “Customers simply want an accurate, relevant, and complete answer to their question upon first contact, so they can get back to what they were doing before the issue arose.” All this is possible when firms manage their knowledge.
But handling knowledge is not an easy task. Most companies have vast amounts of knowledge in unconnected silos. Still, firms can build a knowledge management strategy based on a methodology built by the Consortium for Service Innovation, called Knowledge Centered Service (KCS). Over the course of five revisions, KCS has evolved into a set of principles that, when followed, has been shown to significantly improve first contact resolution and overall time of resolution. Salesforce’s Service Cloud is the first software product in the knowledge space to achieve the highest level of KCS Verification (Version 5). Salesforce Knowledge empowers front line support agents to create, contribute, and update the content they share with their teams and customers.
Of course, effective knowledge management requires more than good software. To help firms build a knowledge management strategy, we create an eBook titled “Turn Your Salesforce Service Cloud into a Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS) Machine – Best Practices for Implementing Salesforce Knowledge and KCS.” The eBook is focused on helping firms think about and implement KCS best practices in their Service Cloud implementation, with the ultimate result of the effort being happy customers and empowered employees.