Cutting Costs Without Cutting Service
Integrate Customer Service Channels With Self-learning Knowledge Bases
By Ken Burke
The growth of online shopping is forcing traditional call centers to evolve into multichannel customer service centers.
Because Web-based applications are becoming the de facto solutions for integrating different information systems, a variety of choices confronts the customer service center operator: live text chat via the Web site, online FAQ pages, e-mail, online message boards and, of course, the tried-and-true telephone. Each tool has unique benefits and can fit into an overall customer contact strategy to boost customer satisfaction and decrease customer service costs.
Regardless of which tools you use, they're only as good as the information they present.
This is where a self-learning knowledge base comes into play. A self-learning knowledge base is a new technological development that allows users to enter information (questions and solutions) and automatically organizes and indexes that information so future customers/users can find answers quickly and easily. The ultimate benefit is less time and money spent on the expensive interaction of a live customer service rep.
A self-learning knowledge base can serve as the informational core of all of your customer service interactions. The information feeds FAQ lists and keyword searches on your Web site and serves as a resource for your agents answering phone, e-mail, Web chat and other inquiries. It replaces the static, manually updated databases that formerly fed these activities.
Self-learning knowledge bases use artificial intelligence and "fuzzy logic" to interpret a customer's query and provide the most likely answer. The information these knowledge bases draw from is stored in one central location. The knowledge base is initially created from a collection of information you put in—all the information you think is relevant and answers to commonly asked questions.
Once the system is implemented, it evaluates each inquiry it receives and responds with relevant material. If there is no relevant material with which to answer the question, a customer service agent can create an answer, send it to the customer, and add it to the knowledge base so it will be available to answer future inquiries.