Knowledge is power for us all

Richenda Wilson’s feature Reputation on the line (MW October 4) made the point that long-serving, committed staff are more likely to be able to answer queries at the first point of contact. This is self-evident, but I would make the point that the key is to use systems that make the best possible use of call centre staff, automating routine problem solving and leaving humans to focus on the work that only humans can do. If you can achieve this, you have happier customers and happier staff too.

There are now call centre systems that allow users or support staff to ask questions in their own words and then give likely answers. Some systems even learn from the satisfaction rating given to their answers, improving their suggestions next time round.

This approach solves several problems at a stroke. You can capture knowledge that previously existed only in your long-serving experts’ heads and make it available to the agents who need to use it. By doing so you can educate your customer service team and improve the customer experience. Meanwhile your experts can devote themselves to more stimulating tasks, such as answering the really tough questions from customers.

The net result should be increased job satisfaction for staff, reinforced customer loyalty and an enhanced brand.

Simon Kent

Senior vice-president

Knowledge Management Software

Manchester

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