Zingtree Tags: interactive knowledge base

Call Centers: Here Are 10 Knowledge Management Mistakes That You May Be Making

Knowledge management is one of the most important business functions in any industry – for call centers, in particular, having an effective knowledge base isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s necessary.

Sharing mission-critical information in a digestible format is one of the most powerful ways to keep customers, employees, and stakeholders in-the-know when it comes to customer support, product information, training practices, business processes, and more. That’s exactly why we created Zingtree in the first place; to provide an interactive knowledge management platform that presents just the essential information at each step in the agent’s process flow. In the call center world, interactive knowledge bases and documentation are an incredible alternative to traditional articles, making it easier:

  • for customers and call center employees to engage with and understand the content at-hand
  • to cut down on time spent solving problems and finding the specific information
  • and to enrich information and improve retention with visuals, media, and other interactive elements

In a recent Call Centre Helper article, the author, Craig Rich, delves into how knowledge management functions in the call center landscape, as well as several mistakes that are made often and tips on how to fix them. He shares how knowledge is split into three main categories:

Explicit Knowledge: Formal and systematic, and usually in the form of written documents, it’s easy to communicate and store, such as information found in documentation, books, instruction manuals and on the web. It can also be in an audio or visual form such as instructional diagrams or videos.

Tacit Knowledge: Typically, the information held in people’s heads. The trick is to either enable them to share this information via tools and processes or to connect these people with those needing the information.

Embedded Knowledge: Information stored within policies, procedures, legal documentation and other unstructured data (such as social media). This can require observation, insight and analytics tools to identify this knowledge.

For every type of knowledge that needs to be properly conveyed, managing how it’s processed and presented for consumption can present a new series of challenges without the right tools on-hand. Traditional linear documents can be confusing for agents and can lead to fruitless searches and unnecessary steps being taken; interactive decision tree-based content is much easier to navigate, and also presents the added benefit of enabling reporting to track each step of every procedure – on every single call.

One of the main purposes of sharing knowledge within a contact centre is to ensure that information is easy to navigate and use for all team members. This information should be the latest and most accurate on record and there should be a common source for it, which should become an obvious place for the team to go when seeking information… If applied and planned strategically, knowledge management will allow the contact centre to be the heart of the organisation, demonstrating value far beyond the basic customer interface.

This is where having a complete, comprehensive system in place for knowledge management comes in. With a well-developed strategy for knowledge base management in a call center, there’s a huge wave of benefits that come with it, including:

– Improved contact centre metrics such as Average Handle Time, First Contact Resolution and Customer Satisfaction.
– Lowering the Time to Competency for new employees.
– Lowering overall training costs.
– More accurate call logging, and reduced after-call work (ACW).
– Enabling wider sharing of information across the whole organisation.
– Operational efficiencies communicating key information more quickly.
– Consistency across an omnichannel implementation.
– Ability to create a “trusted source” or a “single source of truth” for key information that needs to be shared either internally or with your customer base.
– A source of intelligence to help product teams improve future versions of products or services.
– Enabling emerging technologies such as AI, chatbots, robotic process automation.
– Increased Employee Engagement.

As the author stresses, it’s important to understand the mistakes that can arise when preparing a complete knowledge management strategy, as well as implementing a system for it, in order to succeed. So, what are the common mistakes and what can be done to fix them? 

Keep reading the full Call Centre Helper article here >>

 

For a call center, an interactive knowledge base can serve as a self-service support platform for both employees and customers alike, offering a guided format for presenting important information, tutorials, and how-tos in a categorized and clickable display. Call centers and other organizations that use decision trees to create a fully-interactive knowledge base have seen a 20% reduction in support-related costs, and ultimately have happier customers and employees due to the saved time and effort.

When it comes to creating a customized, in-depth, interactive knowledge base for call centers, Zingtree has the most powerful toolkit for getting started. With the ability to build decision trees that host product/service information, troubleshooting help, and call scripts securely, as well as integrate with popular CRM tools, it’s a one-of-a-kind way to streamline and simplify knowledge management.

What do you think about the future of knowledge management? Join the conversation with us on Twitter

Head over to the Zingtree Knowledge Base to see how we set up our own interactive knowledge base with decision trees.

Making Your Knowledge Base Interactive with Decision Trees

A knowledge base of articles and resources is often at the very heart of a customer support strategy. An effective knowledge base will house materials that can help customers self-solve, troubleshoot issues, and better understand the details about products/services without the hassle of calling up your company on the phone or waiting for someone to get back to you via email.

Your typical customer support knowledge base includes categories of articles, tutorials, guides, how-tos and other helpful materials that can help to break down your products and services, and other important processes. Presenting this kind of information as readily available, bite-sized pieces, consumers are better able to help themselves; and, in turn, become more loyal to your company. In fact, stud­ies show that self-service support is considered a good, useful idea to 75% of con­sumers – 91% of those said that they would use an online knowl­edge base if it were easy to find, con­ve­nient to use, and (most importantly) applic­a­ble to their needs.

Why Interactive is Better

Decision trees are the ultimate tool for creating interactive knowledge bases that can serve internal or external purposes. Set in an interactive environment that can be embedded into any website or page, decision trees are an ideal way to help customers without the need for live agents or long support articles. Interactive knowledge bases allow you to:

  • Make content more engaging and easy to absorb
  • Support frictionless data collection
  • Automate support efforts to save time and money

For companies who have deployed Zingtree, like Applian Technologies, an interactive knowledge base is saving an incredible amount of time and money on support efforts – in their case, implementing a decision tree-based knowledge base saves over 15 hours every week on support communications and $30,000 of valuable human resources.

Our own Zingtree knowledge base is fully-interactive and built within our decision tree platform. Take a look at it here, or a quick peek below:

Our Best Tips for Building a Knowlege Base

Getting up-and-running with an interactive knowledge base shouldn’t be a huge project if you already have basic support articles written out already. There are a few key tips we like to share with support teams to get them started with an effective, highly-optimized knowledge base.

  1. Take what’s already out there and make it even better. We built a complete Gallery of decision tree examples, including many FAQ and troubleshooters, to help businesses adapt and create the best trees they can. You can also take a look at our own interactive knowledge base for some helpful notes, and those of our successful customers.
  2. Keep things as simple as possible, and provide concise questions and short answers. The short-and-sweet approach is largely appreciated by customers of all types, so it’s important to keep their time in mind when you craft up the copy for every support piece.
    Here’s an example of how not to write something:
    Q: Would you like to receive help on registration or product support?
    A1: I need help with Registration
    A2: I need help in Support.Here’s an example of how to clean it up for simplicity:
    Q: How can I help?
    A1: Registration
    A2: Support
  3. Use visuals, videos, diagrams, GIFs, and other types of media where it would be helpful for customers. Using photo-based media and adding relevant videos to your questions is a great system for communicating more with limited space.
  4. Collect customer data and feedback where it makes sense. With our decision tree platform, you can easily analyze where your customers are navigating to most on your knowledge base, where they are getting stuck, and even collect feedback on specific trees to make them better over time.

 

Want to see some first-hand, real-world examples of interactive knowledge bases (and other types of decision trees) on the Zingtree Gallery

4 Customizations to Make Self-Service Support More User-Friendly

When developing a customer-facing decision tree, an important piece is to add some personality, brand identity, and industry-relevant knowledge to allow end-users a more user-friendly customer support experience.

Implementing a personalized or branded color scheme, along with icons that relate to your company, will keep an easy-to-follow and digest structure throughout your support process. An interactive decision tree is the easiest way to help a user with visuals, where they can follow the trees effortlessly while being able to really learn from the guided instructions.

We’ve detailed each customizable element – and examples of how to use them correctly – to make your end-users even happier about their customer service experience!

1. CSS & Personal Style Customizations

Colors and icon choices communicate in subtle ways and can reinforce your brand and mission. Here are some ways to manage these:

Custom colors

We made it easier to adapt your decision tree to your personality or brand when customizing so your tree can fit your desired color, custom CSS files being the main one. Once you have created your ideal profile, you can simply add it to your decision tree product finder which will help reveal your true brand identity.

Animated themes

We had feedback from our users suggesting that it would be more user-friendly if we included a feature of animated themes, including colors but remaining easy-to-use. Our design team and engineers set out to create this recommendation with the main goal of making tree color customizations easy.

See the endless possibilities in this quick, fun video:

Color buttons and icons

Here’s the feature that will allow you to build your own personalized color buttons, icon imagery or even to include emojis within your page titles and buttons. To customize the style of your buttons, all you need to do is prefix the button text with special classes. For example, for your color buttons, choose:

  • .btn-blue
  • .btn-yellow
  • .btn-sky
  • .btn-purple
  • .btn-pink

To add an icon that helps guide your customer but also helps reveal your brand personality, add one or more of these classes:

  • .btn-yes
  • .btn-careful
  • .btn-arrow
  • .btn-thumbs-up
  • .btn-question

2. Visual Features for Creative Support

Video content is shaping user satisfaction across the internet. And with many uses and forms, this is something that more people are demanding, which is why video is the best way to improve your user experience. GIFs are also actively being incorporated into decision trees making the user experience more rewarding. A short clip of a difficult instruction, being repeated several times after 3 seconds or so makes the process of self-service a lot easier to follow.

When including still imagery, diagrams or other graphics into your customization, you are allowing the customer to be at the same pace when working towards a solution. Having reminders follow your tree also makes the service more user-friendly.

There are two main features when using visual aids with a decision tree, one is the effectiveness and the second is interactiveness. It’s so easily done, you can add it to any node you want.

3. Easy Data Collection and Presentation

The use of document nodes can be used for specific types of customized documentation that prove highly beneficial to the self-service aspect of support. Documentation can include building legal agreements, generating purchase orders or even a lead to a returns label that the user has personally generated. 

4. Messaging & Translations for Understanding

When publishing across multiple languages, creating a decision tree that works interactively for these can become complicated. With the translation customization, you can reach a larger user base who need the language localized. With localization management software, along with other custom support features, your users will find your platform much easier to follow. You can follow our instructions here on how to translate your decision trees.

It all starts with a good base of messaging, however. When communicating throughout your decision tree, you should write well and use industry language that is helpful and informative. For nodes with poorly descriptive language, it creates confusion and incomplete results. Here are some of the basics of writing effective nodes that will help you write informative questions that lead to a better, more personal experience. 

Make questions concise by focusing on one subject at a time and structuring to an easily absorbed manner.

What not to do:

If our system of tutorials and articles hasn’t been helpful, do you think you would consider switching service providers?

What to do:

Would you consider another provider if you were not able to self-solve using our knowledge base?

Use the right language so that every user can navigate through your tree knowing the subject and words being used. 

What not to do:

What kind of issue or problem is happening with your account? 

What to do:

How can we help? Please select a category.

Focus on an active voice so you can communicate areas appropriately that identify awareness of the issue within that action. 

What not to do:

Our recommended guidelines and instructions for solving your issue should be followed as written below.

What to do:

Follow our recommended guidelines below to solve your issue!

When navigating through the creation of your decision tree, have the customer at the forefront of your mind, and keep questioning the end user experience. If you need any other assistance, reach out to us so we can assist you with the best self-service solutions.

 

This article was originally published on November 14, 2017, and has been updated for accuracy. 

7 Tips for an Effective, Interactive Knowledge Base

Interactive Knowledge Base

These days, there are quite a few solutions for improving customer service and support in completely digital ways. Customer-friendly knowledge bases are one tried-and-true way to present every bit of important information, tutorials, and how-to’s in a completely categorized display. Your typical, traditional website knowledge base can’t compare to the power and effectiveness of a fully interactive knowledge base, however.

Armed with guided instructions that are compacted into smaller, more digestible pieces, interactive knowledge bases allow customers to quickly troubleshoot, find answers, and solve complex issues, all without calling your business up on the phone. Zingtree enables organizations and businesses of all sizes to create and integrate a customized, easy-to-use, interactive knowledge base into their support system, so every customer gets the answers they need. In fact, we host our own Zingtree FAQ on the Zingtree platform itself!

Here are just a few of our best tips for building the best interactive knowledge base you can.

1. Nail down your categories and main topics first.

Start with an outline of the topics you want to cover, as well as the categories of topics that they belong to. Having this thoroughly laid out before you set in will help you visualize your completed knowledge base, as well as make sure that you’re not missing any key topics, tutorials, or FAQs.

Here’s an example of how we have our own interactive knowledge base set up:

2. Always add a search bar.

The key to having a fully automated, interactive knowledge base is to make it as easy as possible for customers to direct themselves to the correct article or tutorial. Adding a search bar to the top of your knowledge base will prompt any unsure customers to see if they can quickly pull up the answers or information they need. It’s a simple tip, but one that your customers will absolutely appreciate!

3. Start with your favorite tool.

It’s important to work with the decision tree-building tool that works best for you, personally. We offer up a few different ways to get started:

  • Overview: Build your trees from scratch, piece by piece (or rather, node by node).
  • Visual Designer: Draw out every node, connection, and final result in one visual space.
  • Wizard: Quickly create by answering a series of questions and answers that ultimately build the final tree.
  • Spreadsheets: Start creating in Excel or Google Sheets and import for refinement.

4. Word everything carefully and concisely.

Beyond the general advice to keep wording (especially complex wording) to a minimum, it’s important to carefully craft each question, how-to, or other information to be perfectly clear, and never use phrasing that could steer customers down the wrong path. Keeping the decision tree questions and information presented in your interactive knowledge base as simple as possible and structuring them in an easy-to-absorb way is the best way to help customers get the help they need.

5. Use videos and animated GIFs strategically.

Visuals are proven to aid in information retention, plus they are fun to look at and are easy for customers to save to their respective desktops for future use! An interactive knowledge base built with decision trees allow for businesses to embed documentation and/or visual media to help convey information better. Using photos, graphics, and GIFs, and adding relevant videos to your questions is a hugely productive way to communicate instructions within limited space.

Here’s an example GIF that clearly shows how to connect nodes in our Visual Designer:

6. Link to more in-depth information where it’s needed.

There’s a lot to be said about going with a more streamlined, bite-sized approach to your support articles – something that our decision trees help a lot of businesses with. When in doubt, it’s always better to keep things short and to the point while linking out to further information or details when needed. Our decision trees allow you to use what we call “link nodes” to easily open up into a new window.

7. Integrate with CRM systems and other platforms.

One of our best tips for building a great interactive knowledge base is to make sure that it’s all linked up to CRM. Zingtree decision trees integrate directly with Freshdesk, Salesforce, Zendesk, and just about every other CRM out there to make the sharing of information fast and easy. With these integrations in place, support staff will have a much better look at where customers are getting held up, and can quickly send a full decision tree transcript over to their CRM for fast access.


Head over to the Zingtree FAQ to see how we set up our own interactive knowledge base with decision trees, or check out the Gallery to get inspiration for your trees!

Anything else? We’re always here to help you get started, offer advice, and answer any questions.