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We can look at reports and numbers all day, but for those on the front lines like contact center managers, editors and knowledge managers, action is key. So whether the thought of charts and numbers makes your heart flutter or gives you a panic attack, I’m here to offer you a short list of actionable reports, i.e. numbers you can actually use to make concrete changes that improve contact center performance.
Here are five key reports every contact center or knowledge manager should review regularly and how to optimize your service performance using them.
1. Top Searches with No ResultsA knowledge base is for finding and delivering answers but there are always gaps. Information changes, businesses change and new issues regularly arise. Part of maintaining a healthy knowledge base and providing great customer support is regularly identifying those content gaps and quickly filling them.
The easiest way to do this is to go to your knowledge management analytics and review search queries which are returning no results. There are always a few one-off searches that yield nothing, but we want to see recurring ones that indicate a gap in documentation.
Problem: Agents are regularly searching for issues with no or inadequate support documentation
- Filter the queries from most to least to see those searched for most frequently
- Begin with the top five and copy them into an Excel sheet or table in a Word document
- For each query, make a list of the users who performed that search and add them to your table
- Contact each group, whether in a short meeting, email or Slack channel and task them with explaining the problem and drafting an article to address it
- Once each group has completed their draft, have them submit it to your editorial workflow to be checked by a SME or team lead and finally your editorial team.
- Repeat this process regularly (at most monthly) based on the size of your contact center. Make sure to setup a recurring task or calendar appointment to block the time. You can typically subscribe to specific reports in your knowledge base and have them automatically emailed to you at an interval of your choice.
If your editorial team has the resources, we recommend it being a part of their regular duties.
Supercharge Results with A Data-Driven Approach to Knowledge Management
2. Process Bottlenecks & Time in Status
Having enough staff and time are never-ending challenges and often keep people busy putting out fires or jumping from call to call without enough time to stay on top of maintenance and optimization work. While I can’t send you new employees or add more hours to the day, I can help you identify the problem faster, earlier and to understand exactly where the issue is.
- Review your editorial process and all of the steps it involves. Similar to a Kanban board, every document should move through a series of steps from creation, through one or multiple reviews to publication.
- Next, run a report on average “Time in Status”
- The report will show you the average time a document spends in each step of your process.
- Identify whether the overall process is simply slow, perhaps due to a lack of time or resources, or specific steps are the problem.
For example, perhaps your articles need to be reviewed by a subject matter expert and the report shows that as the longest average time, i.e. where most documents end up stuck and not being published. Maybe that person is on vacation, or perhaps they have so much work and reviewing content is not part of their official duties, rather something they squeeze in now and then when they have time.
You may consider officially updating their responsibilities to ensure that SME reviews receive the same attention as their other duties, or finding another person who can additionally review, reducing the workload.
3. Finding Self-Service Opportunities with Most Used Documents
While some people may love talking on the phone and helping customers, even the most motivated can probably live with a few less password reset calls. Self-service is not only an expected option by many customers today, it can dramatically reduce the number of frequent inquiries, lessen your workload and call volume, and free up agents to deal with more complex problems while spending more time with customers and not rushing to end a call.
Problem: Your contact center receives many inquiries about the same topics that increases call volume, workload and reduces time spent on more complex issues.
- Go to your Knowledge Management Analytics and run a report on “Most Used Documents.” I recommend using longer time periods such as three, six or even twelve months.
- Go through the documents and identify the simple issues which customers can usually fix themselves.
- Check with front line agents to ensure the list you have is correct as perhaps some of the issues end up being more complex than it appears.
- Once you have an accurate top five list, check whether your current service offering allows customers to find the solution on your website, chatbot etc.
- If you currently offer no self-service options, now is a good time to head back to your analytics and building the case for it. You may also want to cross reference your data with your CCaaS system to find out how many calls, how much call time and how many staff it is costing you.
- If you do offer self-service options, it’s time to speak to the owner of those systems and plan how to move forward, delivering content from your knowledge base into those systems as well. Your agents will thank you!
4. Finding Stale & Out of Date ContentNothing is worse for agents and customers than giving or getting incorrect answers. Customers become frustrated and lose trust in both the company and its service while agents are frustrated, lack confidence while helping and can become disillusioned with their job over time if it happens often.
Problem: Agents, or even customers are finding out of date content leading to angry customers, insecure agents, a lower FCR and higher error rate.
- Head to your analytics and run a report on all of your content for “Average Document Age”
- If you are currently setting an automatic rereview date for content every time it is published, check what it is currently set to. For example, you may have every document set to automatically go back into the editorial queue after 6 months to review it for accuracy.
- Before you go changing the automatic review date and potentially flooding your editors with work, look at your error rates as well as the topics they apply to. If there is no discernible pattern, talk to your agents and editors and find out why incorrect information is being given. If you do see a pattern, for example that the majority of errors relate to just a handful of topics, go back and narrow down your report to cover just the documents in those categories.
- At this point, you’ll need to dig into the data and decide where the problem lies. It could be you don’t have a SME in your editorial process and incorrect information is simply getting approved by editors who only deal with style, grammar and formatting. In that case, it’s time to add a content check step to your process. On the other hand, those specific topics may change more frequently than others and you’ll want to reduce the time between publication and rereview.
5. Feedback & Content HealthFrequent and quality feedback is a key indicator of the health of your knowledge management system and the content itself. Nothing is perfect and every piece of information as a limited shelf life. While you may have automatic document rereviews setup, you cannot and should not rely on them alone.
Problem(s): Document quality varies, and users complain about inaccurate or outdated information. Users are not submitting much feedback, which may be due to not having a sense of ownership or simply not having the time.
- Open up your trust analytics and run a Feedback Report.
- There are many options here so start by looking at the overall amount of feedback that has been given.
- Next, compare that to your overall number of documents, looking at how many feedback submissions there were on average per document.
- Please note, on an individual document level, if one document has a high number of feedback submissions, it is not automatically a bad thing. Many submissions indicate user engagement and ownership which is a great thing. On the other hand, why are so many required? Is the document quality low and perhaps a SME needs to be added to the editorial process? Or perhaps the role should go to a different person. Alternatively, it could be the topic changes very frequently and could simply require more frequent automatic rereviews.
- If you find a low number of feedback submissions, you similarly need to dig deeper before drawing conclusions. Your editorial process could be so well designed and smooth that few errors are making it through. On the other hand, it could indicate a low sense of ownership with agents not willing to take the time to submit corrections. Yet, they may also not have enough time between calls to stop and take 5 or 10 minutes to write up feedback including what needs to be changed and how.
- Talk to your team leads and front line agents with your numbers in hand and establish the underlying reasons for the lack of feedback.
- Potential solutions include a short meeting to clarify the function and its importance since after all, agents themselves benefit most from it as they will otherwise be giving out incorrect information and thus receiving more repeat calls. Consider also having some kind of contest or leaderboard for those who submit the most feedback.
While the reporting and analytics fetish that some managers have can turn people off to regularly using it and digging in, focused reports on concrete data points can deliver both clear optimization steps to take and real improvements in your KPIs, not to mention employee and customer experience.
Jarrod worked as USU's Product Marketing Manager for Knowledge Management in 2019.