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Helping Universities to Save Money and Improve Student Services

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Over the past 5 years student enrolment figures at universities has seen a dramatic rise.

Together with student fees and rising expectations of students, this is prompting the need for universities and further education institutions to deliver a service that caters to prospective and current students needs.

At the same time, universities are now having to explore ways in which their increasingly regulated budgets can stretch to meet these needs whilst ensuring that core areas of delivery are not compromised.

 

Improve Student Services

The technological era is upon us, with technology providing solutions to many everyday customer service challenges of businesses, with higher education institutions proving to be no exception.

Students and staff are progressively making use of technology to supplement their working lives at university and so expect systems to be in place that seamlessly cater to their requirements, and that most importantly improve the quality of Student Services.

Moreover due to the increased influx of enquiries from not only current students but also prospective students and their parents, universities are finding it increasingly challenging to manage their time effectively meaning that time and money are being spent on areas that could be managed using methods such as self-service that are far more cost effective and time saving.

So what approach can universities undertake to make sure that their students and staff are receiving the service they expect?

This white paper explores how universities across the globe are finding Knowledge Management to be a tool to effectively alleviate issues that are resulting in loss of time and funds, whilst providing a level of service to their members that ensures accurate information is available to them at the click of a button.

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SRO Solutions Improve Business in Offshore and Marine Sectors using Knowledge Management

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SRO Solutions deliver leading asset management solutions, focusing on the three main sectors of Transportation, Offshore Oil & Gas and Manufacturing & Production.

The SRO portfolio includes: software, consulting, support, training and bespoke development as well as two unique solutions for Maximo: SDR and SDU.

With multiple products and services, SRO identified the need for a Knowledge Management tool to help in supporting customers more effectively. KPS was selected due to its ability to easily migrate legacy information, whilst at the same time providing the tools to search multiple sources and formats of information.

What are the Benefits?

For SRO Solutions the benefits were considerable. Once installed the Universal Knowledge solution provided:

  • Legacy information migration
  • Tools to search multiple sources and formats of information
  • Customers self service while deflecting calls away from their support team

What did SRO Solutions have to say?

Bill Wallace, Technical Manager at SRO, was very interested in how the use of Knowledge Management could continue to expand, remarking that:

“Universal Knowledge provides us with an easy to use content creation tool, in addition to us being able to incorporate existing forms of knowledge”

Tony Lackey, Director at SRO Solutions, needed the KM solution to both meet SRO’s requirements but also be delivered in such a way as to minimize the impact on SRO resource. He commented that;

“KPS were incredibly flexible in their approach to the project, providing us with bespoke training and excellent levels of support whilst we rolled out the Knowledge Base”

What Does Adding Knowledge Management to my Business Process Involve?

KPS installed the solution and provided training to staff in only 5 days. This also included provision of a re-branded user interface, content migration and custom style sheets to ensure the internal articles were structured and presented appropriately. Furthermore, the end-user and administration staff were trained and given bespoke user guides fit for their needs. Learn more about how Knowledge management is implemented:

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When Outdated Systems no Longer Meet Requirements in Online Retail Contact Centre

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What happens when legacy systems used for documenting key processes no longer meet the requirements of a fast evolving contact centre environment? 

This was the challenge faced by call centre operator Serco and Online retailer Shop Direct. With 6 contact centres handling thousands of customer queries every day and over 1500 different processes to follow, contact centre agents were struggling to keep track. The constraints of a legacy system were also felt by management, being unable to track and measure the interactions with the customer.  Here are some of the challenges identified:

Process Documentation Captured in Spreadsheets

Issues with the legacy system included the fact that all process documentation was captured in a series of Excel documents. The format meant that contact centre agents would have to access the relevant process document and assimilate the whole process before being able to respond to queries.

Time-consuming Training and Cross Training

This meant the learning curve for new staff and cross training of existing staff was time-consuming and resource intensive. It also meant the range of enquiries such as refunds, deliveries, promotions and credit account queries were harder to handle, even for experienced agents.

Lack of Management Information and Reporting

With existing systems, management information was lacking. There was no audit trail on what information had been accessed by each agent. It was not possible to track how agents navigated the available information or which of the information was used most frequently.  The absence of tracking data made it difficult for managers to prioritise staff training and development of process information.

Inability to Proactively Distribute Relevant Information

With available information only being accessed through Excel files and no ability to track usage it was not possible to proactively direct the most relevant information to agents.  Neither could supervisors or managers gain any confirmation that the most relevant information has been read and assimilated by agents, until now.

Processes Mapped to Decision Trees

With this range of challenges Serco and Shop Direct worked with KPS to investigate and develop a solution.  A key requirement was the ability to use existing sources of information while creating a structured work-flow for contact centre agents. Enabling agents to follow processes step by step through guided decision trees allows agents to focus on the customer interaction while relying on relevant information and guidance being presented as each service interaction develops.

Solution Developed and Live in 3 Months

Working together, KPS, Serco and Shop Direct managed to implement a solution in 3 months. Roll-out was swift with a days training before agents were using the system to handle live enquiries.

To learn more about how the knowledge management system was implemented for the contact centre, download our Case Study:

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Customer Service – Which Channels are Trending?

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What are the key trends when customers choose service channel? Working with ContactBabel the contract centre research specialist we have collected information about service channel choice by industry segment.

It may be no surprise that agent based telephone customer service is still the number one channel used by customers. But with overall share of telephone based customer service reducing, which channels do customers choose instead and why? 

Although it may seem difficult for beleaguered customer contact professionals to juggle service levels across five or six different channels, the multichannel revolution has only just begun.

At the most basic, customers will choose to interact with a business through the channel which they believe best suits their requirements, which are usually quite generic regardless of the actual query.

Specifically, customers look for service experiences which are effective, quick, painless and cheap. The question is how best to deliver this across channels?

Service Channels Trends – Which Trend to Follow?

Self-service is found across most industries – there is often at least one function that self-service is suitable for, regardless of what a company actually does – but some sectors use it far more than others.

Some businesses are finding that web self-service is becoming more popular with their customers especially with the uptake of smart-phones which can provide customer services apps and allow web browsing on the move. What other trends did we discover?

Effective, Quick, Painless and Cheap – How do you deliver all at once?

If a channel does not meet these requirements to a significant extent, it is unlikely to succeed. The majority of customer interactions fall into one of two categories: those that are purely transactional and those that require dialogue (interactional):

Transactional Service

Service Interactions such as balance enquiries and travel information, require access to highly-structured business information, and non-automated transactions can require an agent to act simply as an ‘organic interface’ between the back office systems and the customer. Such communications may be dealt with effectively by self-service and increasingly are. Automation requires effective system integration but little work on content and knowledge management.

Interactional Service 

Interactions such as technical help desks, complex or multiple enquiries or where the customer requires reassurance and confirmation – require actual dialogue and discussion between the customer and the business’s representative.  For these investment in both systems and knowledge base is required. System will ensure the interaction is slick while investing in the knowledge base will ensure the interaction achieves the desired outcome for the customer.

Cost Saving or Service Improvements?

Self-service can provide huge cost savings to businesses. Some organisations, having seen this, perhaps got overexcited about the potential for cost savings, and implemented self-service too enthusiastically and sometimes inappropriately. The large number of poor customer experiences over the years with self-service would seem to suggest that this is still an issue. The question is how to avoid the pitfalls and achieve better service delivery at a reduced cost.

Together with ContactBabel we have created a comprehensive guide to multichannel service delivery packed with insights, industry data, recommendations and ideas for how to address the multichannel service delivery challenges faced by the customer contact industry.

This summary is just skimming the surface. For anyone facing the challenge of multichannel service delivery this comprehensive 95 page report is essential reading. Download your copy now:

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Knowledge Management Software on G-Cloud

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KPS has been accepted as Crown Commercial Service (CSS) Supplier and by joining CSS KPS knowledge management software is now available on G-Cloud the UK Government platform for Cloud based delivery of public sector IT solutions.

By joining G-Cloud KPS offers enhanced value for UK Central and Local Government service delivery. The KPS G-Cloud Knowledge Management Software can be used across public sector services such as Health, Emergency Services and Education as well as for IT Service Management delivery across any public and not-for-profit organisation.

 

G-Cloud is Fully EU Compliant

The KPS G-Cloud solution is EU compliant providing access to knowledge management software at reduced time and cost for implementation and ongoing operation. Investing in improved technology allows public sector organisations to enhance service quality while reducing cost of delivery. With G-Cloud the implementation is simpler and requiring less up-front investment.

G-Cloud for Public Sector, Central and Local Government, Not-For-Profit

The Crown Commercial Service Supplier framework and G-Cloud is available to a wide range of organisations.  Key to the framework is that it will help CSS deliver savings for Government Organisations by identifying and selecting best value solutions. KPS is committed to the framework and to the support of improved service delivery for public sector organisations.

KPS knowledge management software is supporting public sector service delivery working with organisations in Health, Emergency Services, Local Government and Education. Knowledge Management Software enables effective delivery of information based services to internal and external customers and users.

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Inner Circle Guide – Self Service in Multi Channel Customer Service Delivery

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The multichannel revolution in customer service is not just about costs savings. There are real improvement opportunities in service delivery quality. 

Importantly customers are voting with their feet and will pursue the service channel and supplier that serve them best. Every customer service operator should ask:

“What are the trends and statistics for using self-serve in your industry?”

Working with CONTACTBABEL the contact centre industry expert, KPS has commissioned a report on how self-service is evolving.  Key findings in the report include user adoption trends by industry, growth applications for self service and key industry drivers behind the migration towards self service.

The Questions:

Working with our clients and other organisations in the contact centre industry we formulated a series of questions subsequently answered through contact centre industry expert CONTACTBABEL. The questions focus on understanding the opportunities, and challenges arising from a move towards self-service delivery:

– How do we engage team members who are concerned that self-service is being used to replace their jobs?

– How do we show to our board that self-service is more than just ‘nice to have’? What metrics should we focus on improving?

– How can we migrate customers from automated service to live service as required, while maintaining continuity?

– How can we manage the challenge of legacy systems where a lot of our information reside?

For each question the report details answers backed by industry data and research. Most importantly the report shows the trends on how self-service is being adopted across contact centre industries and which channels are preferred by customers.

How to Address the Challenges
Having clarified the industry trends the report goes on to examine technology and delivery options for each of the key channels. This includes detailed reviews with tips and recommendations for how to optimise service delivery across web, mobile web, Interactive Voice and social channels. This review include perspectives on how to integrate the delivery of customer service across multiple channels

Multichannel Customer Service is here to Stay

The report concludes that the growth rates and trends in customer service and contact centres are pointing towards multichannel delivery. The operators that integrate their delivery to offer a seamless interface will increase service quality and customer satisfaction while reducing delivery costs.

This summary is just skimming the surface. For anyone facing multichannel service delivery this comprehensive 95 page report is essential reading. Download your copy now:

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24 Hour IT Support at Reduced Costs – Is this Possible?

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Like many organisations requiring 24 hour IT support, police forces across the UK are faced with pressure to reduce cost and at the same time concentrate their resources to deliver front line services. Achieving both is challenging.

Devon and Cornwall Police constabulary were able to remove the expensive overnight IT service desk shift by introducing a knowledge management software enabled self-service solution for tier 1 support.

Their approach were implemented with their IT support partner; Capita and had to accommodate a number of challenges often faced by IT support organisations, these included:

  • Many documents and sources of information that needed to be accessed in order to provide effective support
  • Needing to deploy a solution quickly without having to re-purpose existing sources of information
  • Statutory requirements to audit support documentation to ensure this is up to date and compliant
  • Induction of new starters in the organisation to ensure they become effective with minimal delay

Working through these requirements and providing an effective solution required deployment of a knowledge management solution that addressed the need for quick deployment and low management overhead.  This case study describes how the individual challenges were met.  Download the case study and gain insights into effective deployment of knowledge management solutions in IT support.

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University of Ottawa Knowledge Management Software

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University of Ottawa Knowledge Management for Student Services

University of Ottawa (uOttawa) has over 42,000 students, 5,000 employees and 180,000 alumni and has a 97% employment rate for graduates. uOttawa uses the Talisma CRM system and as part of that solution has successfully deployed the KPS Knowledge Management product to enable students and staff to access information regarding student services, accommodation, transport and other general information of relevance to students and staff.

As uOttawa has the first and largest French immersion program among Canadian Universities, KPS’s ability to easily handle French and English languages was a major factor is selecting the KPS Knowledge Management solution.

If you want to find out more about our knowledge management software, please contact us >>

 

 

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Service Knowledge Management Interactions in Health & Education?

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Health and education provision are increasing competitive fields where the laws of open market competition and consumer choice apply.  As this trend continues, the importance of providing high quality service interactions at any time in the client relationship will grow.

Service knowledge management helps service agents and self service interactions become effective, timely and conclusive.  The key is to address 3 simple aspects of knowledge management and deliver an integrated approach.

 

Design for single source of knowledge with multichannel delivery:

Consider the impact of this for a student assessing and trying to select which university or degree course to attend.  Likewise imagine accessing a health care provider to learn about, decide on and undergo a treatment cycle.  In both cases the end user will experience multiple interactions and require different types of complex information

Most end user and consumer interactions are relying on multichannel delivery of relevant information to help the consumer make and execute their choice.  Retail and consumer brands achieve success through multiple parallel interactions and service organisations will interact many times with one client to deliver a single service.

Service Knowledge Management Tying Knowledge Together

The challenge is to make sure that each and everyone of the interactions provide prompts, accurate and concise responses to enquiries.  By tying together all sources of information through a service knowledge management solution, you can ensure that the end user receive the same response regardless of channel.

The best solutions are indexing all relevant knowledge at source and making this available across all active channels including service desks, phone response teams and on-line self service.  By indexing all available knowledge and serving this through multiple channels you can ensure consistency and integrity of the advice provided.

Key features that enable this include:

  • Simple search capabilities supporting natural language search and user focused content listings
  • Easy access to reports and tools for identifying and closing knowledge gaps
  • Segmentation of access to the knowledge base through user segmentation

Design for natural language search to make it easy for the user

Service interactions whether on-line or through service agents ultimately involves a human being looking for an answer.  Most critical to service effectiveness is the ability to interpret the need which is often stated as a question.  Organising and indexing available knowledge in ways that allow natural language search increase the effectiveness of the service.

Natural language search with continual refinement of search results through user feedback will take the user to the best answers first.  It will also increase the effectiveness of interactions across all channels as both questions and answers gets indexed and correlated together with their efficacy.

Reporting and Knowledge Base Curating Tools that Creates Focus

Any knowledge base will have gaps, either missing information or information that does not accurately address the users needs.  By monitoring and reporting on the actual service interactions, information can be added or modified to ensure the most common needs are served better over time.

This approach while requiring effective reporting tools will substantially increase the effectiveness of knowledge base maintenance.  Used appropriately it will focus all effort on the most significant and relevant gap at any one time.

An approach that is based on user questions and the efficacy of existing information allow for dynamic updating and expansion of content.  This can be driven by service agents, knowledge owners and overseen through a knowledge management coordinator with the help of effective reporting tools.

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Web Self Service

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How can you offer a quick and effective way for your customers, clients, staff and stakeholders to find and share information more readily? The answer is by introducing web self service – we explore the benefits that this can bring.

An Abundance of Information vs. What you need When you need It

Information is everywhere, on demand 24/7 but the only information you want at any one time, is important to you.  If you can’t find the information that answers your enquiry at the point of need, then it is like searching for that needle in a haystack!  It could be something basic such as how to get rid of the annoying paper-clip in the ‘Word’ application from Microsoft, reporting a street light that doesn’t work to your local council or understanding why a piece of equipment isn’t working within your organisation.

To increase the productivity for daily tasks, it is essential that information is organised in a way that you can find it or through a system or application within your organisation, that allows you to do these things with ease.

One Touch Access with Web Self Service

Knowledge management software is designed to allow your staff, citizens, clients and / or stakeholders access to the correct information at the right time, when it is convenient for them to do so through a web self service portal.

With the correct security setting enabled, you can ensure that only information designed for the various parts of your organisation and their services are displayed, at the point of need, when the customer, client, member of staff or citizen is searching for that information using a question based approach.

No longer do you have to meta tag every document to death!  You can provide better customer services, regardless of the route of entry i.e. internal or external entry to the information.

KPS knowledge management software is being used by over 100 organisations worldwide from the 311 systems in the US and Canada, to call centres in Australia, help-desks in the Middle East or as Dynamic FAQ’s on council websites in the UK.  The possibilities span every aspect of unlocking the knowledge from within your Information Estate within and across your organisation.

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