Completing the Knowledge Management Picture with Online Communities

iStock-655303558_lady painting_resized.pngIn previous blogs, my colleagues and I have written extensively about Verint Knowledge Management solutions and how to maximize the value of your knowledge management solution. 

Knowledge management offers tremendous benefits around the speed, quality, consistency and agility of information throughout the organization. But, at the same time, you have probably also heard quite a bit about the rise of social content, from sources such as communities, forums and blogs. How does this type of content fit in with an overall knowledge management strategy? Should an organization choose one approach or another?

The good news is that knowledge management is only helped by augmenting it with social content. In this blog I’ll highlight three ways the two solutions work well together:

Finding knowledge gaps

When a customer needs help, one place they are likely to go is the online community. Once there, issues—even emerging and complex ones—are often resolved by peers who have experienced a similar challenge. As a result, there are many situations when an emerging issue is answered by a community member before a formal knowledge base article has been published on the topic. Similarly, rare or unusual issues may not have occurred often enough for the contact center to be aware of them, so answers may only exist in the online community. In both of these cases, the online community is an extremely valuable source to discover knowledge gaps. One of the big challenges for knowledge base owners is to determine what information is missing, and an online community is a great way to find this information.

Trigger knowledge workflow

While finding knowledge gaps and using community content to answer them is a great first start, it does not solve the problem entirely. First, community threads can be lengthy, making it difficult to quickly find the answer needed. Secondly, a customer reading a potential answer in the online community may feel unsure if the answer is correct as it has not been verified by the organization. To provide the best experience, moderators should review community content and mark answers as “verified” by the organization. This action can trigger the authoring workflow, sending the community thread to your knowledge authors to craft a new article. This new article can take the information from the community thread and edit it into a more user-friendly, easy to read knowledge article.

Provide engaging self-service

When you put social and structured knowledge together, you have the pieces to make an excellent self-service experience. Customers increasingly prefer to self-serve, so it is critical to provide as much information as possible in a self-service environment. If your knowledge base is not already available for customers to access, this is an important step to meet the expectations of today’s customer for consistent service across all channels. By combining your customer-facing knowledge base with an online community, you will have an engaging environment for customers to find answers, submit any questions that are not already answered, and collaborate with one another about your products and services.

Luckily, there is no need to choose between structured knowledge and unstructured online communities for your customer service strategy. By combining the two solutions, you’ll maximize the benefits and help provide the best possible experience for your customers. To learn more about the benefits of online communities, download our latest Executive Perspective, Top 10 Reasons to Add an Online Community to Your Digital Experience.

 

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