Knowledge management refers to the ongoing process of effectively managing your knowledge resources. It generally includes the strategies and methods for recording, organizing, and using knowledge. Technologies and systems simplify the sharing and storage of knowledge.
Within an organization, knowledge management aims to facilitate access to information and knowledge. Effective implementation creates a unified corporate culture that promotes the sharing and use of knowledge.
Crucial to the effective management of knowledge is its strategic alignment. Strategic knowledge management means consciously managing and using knowledge resources methodically. In this way, you can also achieve long-term goals and increase the success of your company.
Through the far-sighted approach, the existing knowledge can be used purposefully and also continuously developed and adapted - thus achieving a sustainable competitive advantage for your company.
Strategic knowledge management takes into account the entire lifecycle of knowledge and its impact on the long-term development of your company. This also includes close links with the higher-level corporate goals. Your company's vision and mission play an important role here, as internal knowledge management should help to support and implement these strategic guidelines.
Knowledge management should be designed to be as effective and flexible as possible. To this end, you should take advantage of the opportunities offered by digital technologies. This is what digital knowledge management is all about. The goal here is to record, store, share and use information faster and more purposefully. The knowledge database should therefore be easily accessible to all employees of the company.
Digital knowledge databases have the advantage of enabling structured and systematic storage of information and documents. Clear categorization and indexing make it much easier to find relevant knowledge.
Digital knowledge management makes knowledge sharing a lot more effective. For example, this is also due to the fact that not only text documents, but also photos, screenshots and videos can be consulted.
From improving customer service to optimizing work processes, knowledge management offers a variety of options to make your company's overall operations smoother and more effective. Implementation at your company offers many direct and indirect benefits. These include:
Faster search, centralized data and decision trees mean more calls are solved first time around.
With predictive search, interactive troubleshooting and one place to look, agents can resolve issues faster.
Built-in e-learning means agents can train where they work, learning both the tool and content simultaneously reducing onboarding by days and even weeks.
Multilingual and multi-market support make international service a breeze.
With all your service channels connected to a single source of truth, you can manage them in one place with no duplicate effort.
Advanced analytics help identify search and issue trends, find content gaps and ensure self-service for the most frequent issues.
The modular model for knowledge management according to Probst, Raub and Romhardt from 1999 is a comprehensive framework for the management of knowledge within organizations. It consists of two interconnected loops - one for strategy and one for implementation - with a total of eight different modules.
Effective implementation of all modules is critical to realizing the full potential of existing knowledge at a company and deriving sustainable competitive advantages.
A knowledge management lifecycle can be derived from the modular model. The is because knowledge management encompasses the entire life cycle of information in your company:
The modular model and the lifecycle for knowledge management show that knowledge management is a holistic process that encompasses a wide variety of components. Knowledge management is not a one-time project with a fixed end date or a final solution. Rather, it is a continuous process that is always evolving and adapting to changing requirements.
Two of the most important strategies in knowledge management are personalization and codification. They represent different but complementary approaches to handling and disseminating knowledge.
The personalization of knowledge refers to the fact that knowledge is created on an individual level and is shaped by practical experiential knowledge and the expertise of an employee. This implicit knowledge is difficult to formally document and pass on.
Interpersonal communication is often crucial, as informal conversations between colleagues and teams can also play an important role in knowledge sharing. Employees can share the challenges they have faced as well as their successes achieved to learn from each other and develop imaginative solutions. A positive and open communication culture within the company is essential as a framework condition for knowledge management to enable the free flow of ideas and experiences.
In contrast to personalization, codification refers to transforming implicit knowledge into explicit knowledge so that it becomes accessible and usable by others. Codification makes it easier to share knowledge and apply it to different workflows.
Codification fundamentally facilitates systematic access to knowledge and enables broader distribution. The difficulty lies in fully capturing implicit knowledge and converting it into explicit formats.
One of the central challenges in knowledge management is to efficiently structure and organize the collected knowledge in order to be able to access it quickly and in a targeted manner. While a database enables structured storage and targeted searching, a visual representation with mindmaps can create a good overview and show connections in a more understandable way.
Mindmaps are a pictorial representation of information. Due to the tree-like structure, they are particularly well suited to representing complex relationships, ideas and knowledge in a hierarchical way. In a mindmap, central themes or concepts are presented in the center of the diagram, and then branches are created from there with sub-themes, associations, and connections.
A knowledge management database is a structured collection of knowledge resources that are available in electronic form. The database allows knowledge to be organized into clear categories and tagged (i.e. keywords) for easy search and navigation.
Handling information is one of the biggest challenges facing companies today. The main problem is the ever-increasing amount of data, followed by redundant and inaccurate information stored in different locations. Knowledge management can solve these problems by centralizing information, implementing editorial and quality assurance processes, providing information through multiple communication channels, and doing it all from a single reliable source.
Common challenges for companies include:
Common challenges for service centers:
Use knowledge management to solve the challenges facing modern businesses.
Goals of knowledge management software in customer service:
1. Single Source of Truth
Centralize your data in one place by consolidating your information into knowledge management software and eliminating unnecessary storage locations such as wikis, shared folders, local files, paper copies and Word documents. This provides you with a structured platform that enables efficient access to relevant information and expertise.
2. Reduce standard queries (first-level support)
Answers to first-level queries are usually already included in the FAQs or an external knowledge database. However they often make up a disproportionate share, resulting in higher costs, call or ticket volumes, and low agent satisfaction when answering simple and monotonous queries.
3. Consistent service across all channels and from all agents
Mobile carriers, for example, offer a variety of different rates. How quickly do your employees adopt the information when prices change and how quickly is it available on all channels? For support requests concerning return policies and pricing, it is especially important that all information is stringent and up-to-date across all channels.
Knowledge management provides the right support information to customers and employees in a phone call or other channel. It maps the entire life cycle of information - from recording, structuring and review to publication and optimization. Above a certain amount of data, there is no way around a knowledge management system. The more data you accumulate, the less useful it becomes if it is disorganized.
Document management focuses on the systematic recording, storage and organization of documents and files. It enables efficient management of information, such as contracts, reports, and other business documents, to facilitate access and collaboration.
Content management, on the other hand, goes beyond this and refers to the management of digital content, such as websites, multimedia elements and marketing materials. It aims to create, organize, manage and publish content. This improves communication with the customers of the exact target groups.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a strategy aimed at maintaining and improving customer relationships. CRM systems help to collect, analyze and use customer information. The goal is to optimize customer service and sales and marketing processes.
If you want to introduce knowledge management software at your company, the Knowledge Management Smart Guide could help you, as it gives you several options to choose from. One of them is the decision between an on-site solution and a cloud-based solution. Each of these approaches has its own advantages and is designed to meet the specific needs and requirements of the business.
An on-site solution refers to software that is installed and operated locally on the company's own servers or data centers. In this case, the company has complete control over the hardware, software and security of the application. The company is also responsible for maintaining, updating and backing up the data.
A cloud-based knowledge management solution is a software application provided over the Internet on an external platform. The application and data are hosted and maintained on the provider's servers. Companies using a cloud-based solution access the application over the Internet instead of installing it locally.
Information management tends to focus on managing and organizing information as a resource, while knowledge management focuses on the effective use and development of existing knowledge to create value for the organization.
Good knowledge management is characterized by the targeted recording and structuring of knowledge, a culture of knowledge sharing, clear goals and strategies, and the use of appropriate technologies to effectively use and develop knowledge.
Explicit knowledge is documented knowledge that can be easily shared and communicated. Implicit knowledge, on the other hand, is individual and informal knowledge that is difficult to record formally and is characterized by personal experience, skills, and expertise.
Knowledge management succeeds at a company through a clear strategy, the targeted use of technologies, the identification and use of knowledge sources, and open and constructive communication.
A knowledge database can be built by collecting and structuring relevant information, using appropriate software or platforms, and maintaining and updating the content. The knowledge can be generated directly from the company employees, for example.
Examples of knowledge management include the creation and use of knowledge databases, the implementation of e-learning programs, mentoring programs for knowledge sharing, expert networks for the exchange of expertise, and the sharing of best practices through the exchange of experiences between colleagues.
Finding the right knowledge database for your business can be a challenging task, as there are a variety of vendors on the market. However, a careful comparison of knowledge databases is worthwhile in order to make the right choice for the individual use case and the company-specific requirements.
Knowledge management in customer service makes sense because it enables more efficient customer care, provides quick, consistent answers and, above all, takes the burden off employees. It promotes knowledge transfer within the company and improves customer service.
Knowledge management supports customer centers by providing customers with access to standalone solutions, standardizing processes, accelerating access to information, and enabling data-driven decisions.