Why Traditional Knowledge Bases Fail Support Teams

Posted by Alyssa Verzino on Aug 23, 2018 10:30:00 AM


The best customer support representatives don't just know the best answers to common questions, they know how to find any answer to any question -- and they depend on an internal knowledge base to do it. Unfortunately, too many modern knowledge base solutions let down the support reps that rely on them.

That's because knowledge bases aren't built to support your support team, and the software falls down in some very serious ways.

In an ideal scenario, a support rep could ask a knowledge base a question, and it would provide a discrete, appropriate answer directly to the rep.

The best-case real-world scenario for a support rep is to enter a query in a search window, and their conventional knowledge base returns a series of links, the first of which navigates to a knowledge base article that matches the term. The support rep then must read through the article to find the answer.

The best-case scenario isn't all that great, and the best-case scenario is far from the only scenario either. Modern knowledge bases fail in a variety of ways.

The best-case scenario assumes that there is at least one matching article for a search term. It's entirely possible that the answer hasn't been added to the knowledge base. The support rep's search could easily return nothing. That's not helpful.

If there is a matching article present, it may match the search term, but not provide the answer the support rep is looking for. The article could be an incomplete stub, or about a related but unhelpful topic.

If the article does contain the right answer, it could be buried deep in a long, poorly organized document (or poorly indexed video or audio file), which requires the rep to hunt the answer down within the content of the article.

If the right answer is there and the support rep can find it, it's possible the information is incorrect or out of date because the data hasn't been maintained by subject matter experts. The only thing worse than not finding the right answer is finding the wrong one, and it happens far too often.

All this assumes there was only one result returned for the search query. Many times, a common search term will return many, many results, and a support rep will have to wade through all of them to find the one that best answers their question.

And all of this while a customer is awaiting a reply, perhaps in real time.

There's no way for a typical knowledge base to prevent these problems, as conventional knowledge bases just passively store the information that humans place in them. It is the ultimate garbage in, garbage out scenario.

But what if a knowledge base played a role in its own population and curation? What if a knowledge base came with its own artificial intelligence that could help audit, organize, and complete the data it contains? What if a knowledge base contained its own virtual managing editor that made sure your support reps had exactly the information they need, in exactly the right format, exactly when then ask for it?

Talla is building that knowledge base. Your company needs it. Your support reps deserve it.

If you want a knowledge base that can actually support your support team, contact Talla today.

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Topics: AI, knowledge management, Customer Support