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Knowledge Management within the Travel and Tourism Industry

KPS Agent Efficiency

With competition ever increasing within a rapidly growing travel and tourism industry, it has become crucial for companies to provide levels of customer service that surpass all previous standards in order to gain the upper hand when securing business from potential holiday makers and travellers. Along with increasing competition, the number of customers booking online has seen sharp growth over the last decade leading to the need to devise strategies in which these increasing demands can be managed.

Holidaymakers are no longer required to take a trip to their local travel agent to book their long-awaited breaks, and have access to a broad range of companies and travel options at the click of a mouse online.

As a result of this, customer contact centres are becoming more and more stifled with vast volumes of customer queries, be it a pre-sale or post-sale enquiry requiring agents to possess unprecedented levels of travel knowledge. Therefore additional tools must be implemented for agents to achieve their full productivity potential.

Knowledge Management – Moving with the Times

The solution for managing these continually rising demands is Knowledge Management software, enabling the customer to self-serve and empowering the agent with fast access to an extensive resource of accurate knowledge.

Knowledge Management software is an ideal solution to not only decreasing the volume of customer calls to contact centres, but also as an answer for reducing call escalations by significantly improving first-call resolution rates. This allows your agents the time to address more complex customer queries and provide the levels of customer service that are paramount to your company’s reputation.

The above resolutions to modern day travel and tourism challenges not only provide cost-saving measures to your travel company, but also add an abundant value to improving customer satisfaction and experience, by greatly reducing the time taken to find accurate answers, as well as providing exceptionally customer friendly self-service channels.

Knowledge at your Agent’s Fingertips

A quick to deploy Knowledge Management system removes the need for timewasting by flicking through large numbers of company documents and PDF files.

In place of this time consuming process, customer service agents can effortlessly span a whole library of documents using a natural language search feature, providing results almost instantaneously.

To learn more about how deploying Knowledge Management software can benefit your travel company, download our free whitepaper:

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KPS will be at the Executive Customer Contact Exchange

KPS Agent Efficiency

KPS will be at the executive customer contact exchange at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester on May 19th and 20th 2014. We look forward to exchanging views and perspectives around industry developments.

We will be sharing our findings in the rapidly evolving area of self-service contact technologies, from the recently published Inside Circle report covering many aspects of multichannel self service delivery.

Created by CONTACTBABEL the contact centre industry expert the report offer insight on self-service conversion rates and drivers by industry. The report also cover many of the challenges in multichannel service delivery together with solutions for how to address these.

 

So what is the Executive Customer Contact Exchange all about?

Customer expectations are increasing dramatically, leaving companies across all industries with the challenge of growing consumer demands. Rapid advancements in technology and the growing use of social media are changing the way in which consumers access information, changing the balance of how information is sourced. Customer contact and service delivery has to be consistently excellent across all channels.

Streamlining operational activities and creating a customer focused culture, have the potential to transform your customer service strategy and gain a crucial advantage in your marketplace. That’s why the leading minds in the customer contact arena will gather at the Executive Customer Contact Exchange (19 – 20 May 2014) to discuss best practice and learn how to implement the very latest tools and techniques required for delivering an excellent customer service.

The Executive Customer Contact Exchange 2014 is for those leading the customer contact transformation. Cutting edge-case studies, controversial debates and structured networking are in store during this exciting two day agenda.

Space is limited to just 80 attendees so please get in touch if you would like to attend.

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Speed to Competency for Service Agents – Measurement or Action?

KPS Agent Efficiency

Is increasing speed to competency in a contact centre environment about  measurement or action?  Maybe it is about a bit of both.  By taking advantage of knowledge management tools, service delivery managers can track and substantially improve speed to competency. 

In fact knowledge management tools offer the opportunity to become proactive and redefine the speed with which new employees can achieve competency.

Defining Speed to Competency

In discussions on service agent “speed to competency” the focus is often on the definition and measurement. The rationale is that with a defined and repeatable metric, the effectiveness of employee induction and training programmes can be compared and improved.

What Speed to Competency Measures can Tell You

At the same time the metric will inform on cost of employee attrition and the cost associated with recruiting and assimilating new employees into the organisation.  This helps with planning and budgeting during changes in workload, centre integrations and consolidations.  Speed to competency metrics also highlight the core costs associated with providing a competent team to service inbound call load.

Measuring Speed to Competency

In service desk environments measurement of service agent competency is often using service delivery metrics or KPI’s obtained by the call handling or CRM system.  The key metrics are applied across the team thus comparing the performance card of new team members against target KPI’s or the average performance of the team. Time to competency is defined as the time to achieve the target performance level.

Using Employee Scorecards

This approach can highlight employees that are either faster or slower at developing the skills required to meet the criteria set out in the performance card.  What it may not provide is any diagnostic insight into the reasons for the differences or ways to speed up the learning curve.

Using Call Monitoring

An alternative approach is for line managers and supervisors to monitor service agent interactions including by listening into calls and evaluating call performance on a call-by-call basis.  This approach can be effective and allow for immediate feedback to the service agent. It is also time consuming and risks absorbing time with service agents that are already competent.

Best of Both?

Use a combined approach with metrics used to identify any areas for concern and call monitoring used for diagnostics and feedback. This allows team leaders to focus their efforts towards the employees that need it the most. Whilst more effective this still remains a reactive approach.

Rewriting the “Competency” Rulebook – Let’s Get Proactive

For a start, lets consider what competency means in a service centre.  For the customer, it means getting an appropriate response to your enquiry.  For the service agent it means having ready access to relevant information to allow you to respond to and resolve the enquiry. In short speed to competency is about speed to access relevant knowledge, with the training concentrating on the call handling process, rather than the knowledge needed to resolve a call.

Getting the Information When You Need It

This is where knowledge management tools come in handy.  Not only do they facilitate the organisation of relevant information, they also help present this to the service agent quickly and accurately, especially when a natural language search can be undertaken. With the right information at their fingertips, ALL service agents become more competent.

Process Competency is Quicker than Acquiring Knowledge

This replaces the need for service agents to acquire the organisations knowledge to the much simple task of following the organisations process. Learning and following a process is much simpler and quicker than acquiring a body of knowledge.

Tools to Keep Track and Take Action

An added benefit of knowledge management tools is the analysis of enquiries across the team to identify where additional training could be of benefit, or where additional knowledge would be beneficial. This means that knowledge gaps can be plugged by pushing the most relevant information to individual agents.  For service centres that handle a wide range of tasks and require multi skilled agents, this process can be targeted individually, driving relevant knowledge improvements across the team.

Knowledge Management Tools – Integrating Measurement and Action

In summary, knowledge management tools reduce time to competency pro-actively, by eliminating or reducing the need for service agents to acquire knowledge in order to deliver high quality service. The tools also help track and improve performance through targeted interventions across the team based on the profile of incoming service request that the centre is faced with.

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Case Study – How to Provide 24/7 IT Support AND Reduce Cost

KPS Agent Efficiency

Devon and Cornwall Police Constabulary have been able to Launch 24/7 help desk support across their IT Service Management Help desk by deploying a knowledge management solution that enables self service as well as supporting service agents.

With a complex and diverse IT estate, it was essential to enable service agents and end users to have access to a wide range of relevant information while at the same time making it easy to identify critical information based on the specific type of enquiry.

The case study describe how this has been achieved and how Devon and Cornwall Constabulary worked with their service provider and suppliers to enhance IT service and support delivery while reducing delivery costs at the same time.

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Ni14 Reducing Avoidable Contacts in Contact Centres

KPS Agent Efficiency

Up to 85% of public contact is unnecessary, regardless of the sector,according to the Bank of Scotland. There is a need for local authorities to consider the National Indicator ni14 reducing avoidable contact to your contact centre in order to provide a better customer service offering and reduce operational costs.

One way that this can be achieved is through the use of web self service.

Why do we phone a local authority contact centre?

So if all enquiries for information services to your contact centre are regarded as avoidable, how can local authorities move to a consistent and efficient approach for managing their information and knowledge?  We are all aware that local councils have had their budgets slashed.  Can we, as responsible citizens, help ourselves refine the services to delivery better outcomes around costly activities?  It got me thinking how often I contact my local council, why I contact them and how I can help them to save money.  Often we call the call centre because that is the quickest way to get a resolution to our query.

Searching a local authority website

I usually call to get in touch with my local authority as their website is so appalling, its difficult to navigate and identify where they have actually put information and on top of this the web site itself is unappealing and uninviting and I don’t think the look and feel has had an overall in the last decade!  Even though local authorities have a standardised taxonomy (structure for organising their content) it can still be a mystery as to where the information resides.  All I want to be able to do is use the search effectively to find things an not get presented with error pages or totally irrelevant information.

Avoidable contacts with a local authority contact centre

Basically it is my money and that of my neighbours that is paying for the staff and contact centre environment, which in some part could be reduced or avoided if information on the web site was better organised, gave relevant information and could be found much more easily.  Ultimately too, our council tax will increase to pay for services to meet the growing need for us to seek and find information.  Calls to the call centre could be avoided if there was greater adoption of a web self service approach, where by questions can be asked and answered using the local councils existing information.  If the council didn’t need to reorganise or repurpose its information, this would also save time and they could introduce a technological solution to their current problems.  Also, I believe that we all as Citizens need to find new, cheaper ways to contact councils and become more proactive in informing the council how they can reduce avoidable contacts within their contact centre and understand the consequences if we don’t!

 

The National Indicator Ni14 Reducing Avoidable Contact Report can be found at the Improvement and Development Agency http://www.idea.gov.uk/idk/aio/8621612

Although Ni14 ‘Reducing Avoidable Contact‘ is no longer a requirement, in order to reduce costs and improve the customer service experience for Citizens it should be used as a guide and considered as best practise advice for local authorities and others.

Latest from our news room

KPS gains ISO27001 : 2013 Certification

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How Long Does It Take to Implement a Knowledge Management System?

Knowledge Management Guides

How Long Does It Take to Implement a Knowledge Management System?

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