The importance of knowledge management in smart organisations

Pearl • 6 minute read • 12/01/2021
Online customer service
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There’s a lot going on! The volume of questions, the online channels and the expectations of the customer are increasing. In times when web shops are gaining ground and physical stores are losing ground, online customer service is the distinguishing factor. How does this affect customer service agents? How do they keep their heads above water and ensure that the customer can be served quickly, efficiently, and effectively? In this blog we will discuss the importance of knowledge management. Find out how the knowledge of your employees can be used for the benefit of the entire organisation!

Back to the basics. What is knowledge?

Before we discuss the importance of knowledge management, it’s important to know which components knowledge consists of. Knowledge is everywhere in an organisation. Mathieu Weggeman, a professor of Organisation Science, defines knowledge with the following formula:

Knowledge = information x (experience x skills x attitude)

Implicit and explicit knowledge

The information component can be seen as explicit knowledge. This knowledge is tangible, and you can record and share it. When employees leave the workplace at the end of the day, this knowledge stays with the organisation.

The combination of experience, skills and attitude can be seen as implicit knowledge. This is intangible knowledge that belongs to the employees, and they take it home with them at the end of the working day.

What is knowledge management?

Collecting and storing knowledge is an age-old tradition. In the past, knowledge within an organisation was stored in filing cabinets. Today, there’s smart technology that allows explicit and implicit knowledge to be stored in an instant. Thanks to knowledge management systems, it’s now a lot easier to record, manage and share knowledge within an organisation.

Imagine that a customer has a question about a product in the web shop. Can I wash this dress with hot water? The average service person would not be able to answer this by heart. Fortunately, the product developer has shared all specifications about the product in a knowledge base. Using modern technology, the service employee can easily call up the information and share it with the customer.

But even if information changes, a knowledge base enables us to quickly share information without having to personally inform all the employees of the change. The information can be changed in one go in a central location and the employees are provided with the correct information as soon as the question arises.

The added value of knowledge management systems

Knowledge management systems such as Polly have proven themselves to be quite helpful in recent years. Some of the advantages of systems like these are:

  1. Many mistakes can be prevented by sharing knowledge in the right way within an organisation. Different employees give consistent answers to the same questions with the help of these systems.
  2. Service agent training time is reduced by at least 30%. Employees can use best-practice scripts and therefore provide optimal assistance to customers without any additional effort.
  3. The workload of the customer service agent decreases because answers are immediately presented in the channel in which the agent works. If the customer also uses web self-service, the frequently asked questions will also be answered via the website. At that point, the agent can deal with the more substantive questions.
  4. Because the customer service agent doesn’t have to waste their time with simple, repetitive questions, they can focus on the more complex questions. This makes the work of the customer service agent more interesting and challenging. They can take their time helping the customer with complicated questions, so that the customer also feels valued. Due to the faster processing time for simple questions and the optimal handling of more complex questions, customer satisfaction increases by at least 20%.
  5. The efficiency of the customer service team increases by at least 40%. This means that the customer can be quickly provided with the correct information.
  6. Customer loyalty increases due to the reduction of incorrect answers. In combination with self-service on the website, customers can also find their own answers online any time of the day, seven days a week.

Integration of knowledge management system Polly in OBI Engage

With OBI Engage, the service employee keeps an overview of all questions, comments and complaints that come in through various channels. Thanks to the integration with the knowledge management system Polly, it’s even possible to answer questions that come in via these channels correctly and consistently with a simple push of a button.

    “Polly Knowledge Management is the way to manage and share knowledge for an optimal customer experience on every channel and in every language.” – Cees Zwezerijn, Polly CEO

Answers are included in the knowledge base channel-specifically so that a suitable answer is always given that matches the channel in terms of length and tone of voice. As soon as a question comes in, OBI Engage recognises the relevant channel and the service agent is presented with an answer suggestion appropriate to the channel via the integration with Polly. In the case of Twitter this will be a short answer and in the case of Facebook it will be informal in tone. In principle, the service agent can forward the answer to the customer with one click. But it’s also possible to customise the answer before sending it. For example, the service employee can add their name or add a personal note. The system is designed in such a way that the answer that’s given the most is at the top of the service agent’s suggestion list.

Content within the knowledge organisation is continuously optimised based on statistics. Are there questions that often come in that cannot be answered? This will then be registered, and a request will be made to add a new answer to the knowledge base. Are users entering words that don’t yield answers? Then link these words to synonyms that do produce results. To take advantage of sales opportunities, it is also possible to forward questions about, for example, a contract cancellation, directly to the sales department. As an organisation, you get the opportunity to make a competitive offer to customers who intend to switch, thereby keeping them on board.

Integration of knowledge management system Polly in OBI Bots

The chatbots by OBI Bots are all about convenience, scalability, speed and efficiency. A wonderful match with Polly’s knowledge management system! Questions for the chatbot are answered by Polly without the intervention of a service employee. Polly selects the best answers to the questions asked based on statistics. Answers within the knowledge base that have proven to be the most helpful will then be presented to the customer first. And because the answers come from the knowledge base, they only need to be kept in one place (just like with OBI Engage).

Effortless engagement

This wonderful collaboration between OBI4wan and Polly contributes to our mission: truly engaged customers and organisations. We make customer engagement even easier and more accessible for our customers every day. Effortless engagement is our goal and we continuously work towards this with partnerships like this.

Want to know more about the possibilities of OBI4wan?

Would you like to know more about the possibilities of OBI4wan and Polly for your organisation? Request a free demo or contact us via or +31 (0)85 210 50 60.

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Pearl Vink
As a driven writer with a passion for heavy metal, social media, marketing and events, I enjoy writing interesting, thought provoking content for OBI4wan. It makes my day when I hear that I inspire organizations and their customers with interesting articles, a nice conversation, a stimulating newsletter or a convincing social media post.

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