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Knowledge Management within the Travel and Tourism Industry

23.01.2015 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

04.04.2014 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?

03.09.2013 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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Knowledge – The lifeblood of your organization

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IT Service Desk Productivity Enhancement

02.05.2013 Industry Sectors

This article focus on the ways in which IT Service Desk productivity can be enhanced through the implementation of a quality knowledge management solution.

This initial post introduces knowledge management solutions and the many benefits as well as the many challenges that may be faced without it. Subsequent articles will look at each area in more depth.

Do More with Less

Given the current economic climate, it is now more important than ever that businesses aim to ‘do more with less’; increased budget constraints and reduced staffing levels are just two of the many challenges faced by entire organisations – but nowhere are these challenges more prominent than within a modern day service desk.  Can efficiency and productivity be increased against the odds?

A Complex set of Challenges

The challenges of a service desk are vast; not only are senior staff asked to support an increasing number of often complex technologies with fewer resources but they are also under pressure to ensure that the resource that they do have is trained adequately and, most importantly, quickly.

Additionally, they are required to increase first line resolution whilst reducing escalations all without relying too heavily on individual ‘experts’ that, should they be absent for any reason, can leave behind a number of unresolved issues.  Add to this the desire to implement a self-service strategy and it’s clear to see why an intelligent knowledge management solution is required.

The Time Spent Searching for Information

45% of the US workforce spends at least 3 hours per week just searching for information in the workplace¹.  This shocking statistic becomes even more considerable when it is within the context of a service desk where the inability to find relevant information at first contact can cost the satisfaction of a customer and affect revenue.

Using Knowledge Management to Leverage Existing Information

Such is the reason why companies are keen to implement a knowledge management solution where the ability to leverage existing information is key. One centralised knowledge base that sits over the top of an entire information estate (and all the departments that sit within it) allows staff to quickly and easily find key information at the point of need, consequently making self-service and its many benefits (increased service levels and customer satisfaction plus lowered costs and call volumes) a possibility.

What are the Alternatives?

The consequence of not implementing such a system?  Low customer satisfaction and high customer turnover; in a survey of 58 business and technology decision-makers, nearly 40% evaluated their knowledge management abilities as poor or below average.

This gap makes it difficult for customer service agents to quickly find the most relevant information with which to respond to customer requests.  This lengthens call-handle times and frustrates customers who are not provided the most pertinent advice for solving their problems.²

Reduce Training Times for New Users

Another advantage to having one ‘overarching’ knowledge management solution is the reduction in (new user) training times.  The ability for ‘experts’ along with any other member of staff to share experience and knowledge in a reusable and easy-to-find format allows new employees to quickly gain the confidence that they require to be productive.

This would also help experienced staff to further increase their existing knowledge.  This consequently improves the customer experience, reduces escalations and most importantly significantly lowers training time and costs.  In fact, some best of breed knowledge bases used effectively have reported reductions in training times from 6 months to 6 weeks to gain 80% operational effectiveness.

Delivering Benefits to Secure Stakeholder Support

Whilst it is true that technology alone cannot transform a business, securing the buy-in of senior members of staff (and consequently adding the final piece to the jigsaw) becomes much easier when they can see a return on their input the value of knowledge management can be measured by the increased effectiveness of staff using the knowledge³ refined speed to resolution and quality, aided adherence to SLAs and, most importantly within this context, a significant improvement in the productivity and efficiency of the service desk.

Sources:

¹Forrester October 2012, “Take Control of Your Content” report.
²January 10, 2008, “Customer Service Best Practice Adoption” report
³March 9, 2010, “Knowledge Management Is A Foundation For Good Customer Support” report

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

Latest from our news room

Knowledge – The lifeblood of your organization

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KPS gains ISO27001 : 2013 Certification

KPS News Blogs

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

Knowledge Management Guides
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