What is Knowledge Centered Support (KCS)?

5 minutes read

Service management has long been an important discipline in the area of business operations. The goal of service management is to ensure that the needs of customers are met through the delivery of quality services. In order to achieve this, service organizations need to understand and manage how they create and deliver value to their customers.

This is where knowledge-centered service (KCS) comes in. KCS is a process that helps organizations capture and reuse knowledge so that services can be improved and automated. As such, it offers a number of benefits for improving service quality and organizational efficiency.

One of the primary benefits of using KCS is that it can help reduce or eliminate the need for knowledge workers to repeatedly answer the same questions. By capturing knowledge in a reusable format, KCS enables it to be accessed and used by other employees as needed. This not only helps improve service quality but also helps to improve organizational efficiency by freeing up employees' time to work on other tasks.

KCS can also help improve communication and collaboration within an organization. By providing a common repository for knowledge, KCS makes it easier for employees to share information and work together to resolve issues. This can help improve problem-solving and decision-making and can lead to more efficient operations overall.

Finally, KCS can help organizations better understand how their services are being used. By tracking how knowledge is being accessed and used, KCS can provide insight into areas where improvements may be needed.

In this article, we will explore in great detail what knowledge-centered service is, what are the core challenges and benefits of adopting KCS and how your organization can move towards adopting it.

What is knowledge-centered service (KCS)?

The knowledge-centered service (KCS) model is a knowledge management system that focuses on the creation, capture, and sharing of knowledge within an organization. It’s based on the idea that if you can create a system where people can easily find the knowledge they need, they will be more productive and the company will be more successful.

Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS) is a methodology for improving the knowledge management process within an organization. KCS was developed in response to the challenges of Knowledge Management (KM). KM has traditionally been seen as a technical challenge, but KCS recognizes that the real challenge is getting people to share their knowledge.

KCS is a methodology that focuses on creating and using knowledge to solve customer problems. It involves creating a knowledge base, or repository of information, that employees can access to help resolve customer issues. Using KCS can help businesses reduce the amount of time it takes to resolve customer inquiries and improve customer satisfaction.

What are the benefits of the knowledge-centered service (KCS)?

This can help organizations optimize their services and make sure they are meeting the needs of their customers.

Specifically, the benefits of the knowledge-centered service (KCS) are:

Accelerated knowledge creation

Many companies today struggle to keep up with the creation and upkeep of their product and service documentation. Product expertise is often scattered across the organization and it can be difficult to keep track of who knows what and where the latest information resides. KCS process put knowledge capture and improvement right into the hands of the people who have to resolve customer issues on a day-to-day basis. As a result, the entire company can reap the benefits of having accurate, up-to-date documentation.

Benefits of using KCS for product documentation:

  • Eliminates duplication and inconsistency in the product documentation
  • Enables knowledge workers to share their expertise quickly and easily
  • Creates a single source of truth for product information
  • Provides accurate, up-to-date, and trusted information to customers, partners, and teams

The rise of the digital age and its ever-growing demand for knowledge has placed new pressures on businesses to find ways to quickly and efficiently create, store, and share knowledge. The answer to this challenge is often found in the form of knowledge-centered service (KCS), which provides a collaborative and streamlined way for businesses to capture and share knowledge.

Customer self-service adoption

Many customers find self-service channels like knowledge bases more convenient than other service channels. Simply put, self-service is what customers want.

An approach like KCS that builds good, up-to-date documentation into your service practice can make self-service much more effective. Specifically, it helps your company to:

  • Reduce support costs - by providing relevant, up-to-date content companies can reduce the number of support tickets they need to work. This not only saves the company money but also frees up support staff to deal with more complex issues.
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty - KCS can help improve an organization's response and resolution times for customer inquiries, leading to improved customer satisfaction throughout their journey. Satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat and loyal customers.

Increased agent productivity

Providing quality customer service is essential for any business. However, providing quality customer service that is also efficient can be a challenge. KCS is designed to address that challenge by enabling:

  • Faster resolution of customer inquiries - by utilizing knowledge-centered service (KCS), businesses can speed up the resolution of customer inquiries. With KCS in place, knowledge-centered support teams can be confident that the knowledge they need to answer customer inquiries is always up to date and easy to find. This way, they can spend less time searching for information and more time resolving customer issues.
  • Improved consistency in support team responses - In knowledge-centered service (KCS), customer service teams answer questions in the same way, enabling communication consistency across the organization. By reviewing the same content, KCS teams can flag inaccurate or outdated information for revision, or make revisions themselves. This allows for constant improvement of the knowledge base and enhanced consistency in support team responses.
  • Faster onboarding for new customer service team members - KCS can make onboarding new customer service team members quicker and easier. All the information they need to do their job is easy to find, which helps boost confidence and gets them productive more quickly.

What are the challenges of knowledge-centered service KCS?

Most customer service teams understand the benefits of knowledge-centered service. When it works well, it can save time, increase profits, and make teams happier. However, there are some challenges to implementing a knowledge-centered service (KCS) model.

One of the most difficult aspects is getting all employees to buy into the new process. It can be hard to change the way people have always done things, and even harder to get them to think differently about how they work.

Another challenge is making sure that all knowledge is captured and shared. This can be difficult when employees are working on different parts of the product or service and don’t have visibility into what everyone else is doing.

Finally, creating well-thought-out high-quality content can be a time-consuming process, but it’s essential for providing accurate information to customers.

How does KCS work?

KCS process consists of a double loop for maintaining, sharing, and improving knowledge in the organization. These loops are known as the Solve Loop and the Evolve Loop.

The Solve Loop

Step 1: Capture knowledge. As the support team resolves customer requests, they also create new articles for the knowledge base. These articles are written with the customer in mind, so the content is relevant and easy to find.

Step 2: Structure knowledge. The customer service agents use a template for writing their knowledge base article. This makes it easier to author content and keeps knowledge consistent for customers.

Step 3: Reuse knowledge. Customer service agents first search for existing knowledge while resolving customer issues before creating new content and improving the existing knowledge base by linking together related articles. This allows agents who might not be aware of the relationship between two topics to benefit from the collective knowledge.

Step 4: Improve knowledge. Customer service agents who use the knowledge base regularly review its content to ensure that it is up-to-date and accurate. Out-of-date content gets flagged and improved. This helps to ensure that the information contained in the knowledge base is accurate and relevant.

The Evolve Loop

The Evolve Loop works behind the scenes to continually improve KCS. It also has four parts:

Content health. Content health is a vital part of any content strategy. By monitoring the performance of your articles, you can ensure that you’re producing content that is valuable, effective, and engaging to your customers.

Process integration. Stive for reducing friction by integrating requests for assistance with the problem solving and knowledge creation and maintenance processes

Performance assessment. Analytics can provide valuable insight into the success of the articles. You can use this information to determine which articles are the most popular with readers and what content gaps might exist.

Leadership and communication. Provide knowledge authors targeted feedback and reviews for their articles and help your subject matter experts build on their writing and communication skills.

How to implement KCS

In order to provide a knowledge-centered service that can offer a faster resolution of customer inquiries, there are five key steps that need to be taken:

  1. Establishing a knowledge management system that will allow for the sharing and retrieval of information across all departments.
  2. Training all customer service representatives on how to access and use the knowledge management system.
  3. Encouraging customer service representatives to share their own knowledge and expertise with their colleagues.
  4. Developing processes and procedures that will make it easy for customer service representatives to find the right information quickly.
  5. Measuring the effectiveness of the knowledge management system in order to make necessary improvements.

Conclusion

Knowledge-centered service is a process that continually improves and provides more value to the company and the customers. By implementing a knowledge-centered service, teams are able to resolve issues quickly, provide consistent answers, and enable self-service. If you're curious about how knowledge management can support other service management practices, you can learn more here or contact us.

David Hayden
Software entrepreneur who enjoys building products that empower business people to create and evolve enterprise applications without code.

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