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Blog

Nov 20, 2016

What Is Customer Knowledge Management?

business people with charts working on customer knowledge management

[Estimated read time: 3 minutes]

Customer knowledge management refers to the tools and processes that a company uses to capture, store, organize, access, and analyze data about its customers, for the purposes of enhancing its sales, retention, and engagement efforts.

This data often includes:

  • Personal information
  • Demographic and psychographic data
  • Purchase history
  • Loyalty program membership
  • Past customer service interactions
  • Customer feedback

Why Is Customer Knowledge Management Important?

If you follow knowledge management best practices, the result will be a unified, 360-degree view of the customer. This holistic picture enables:

  • Personalized customer experiences
  • Tailored digital self-service
  • Intelligent, automated escalation to a live agent
  • Data-driven agent interactions
  • Omni-channel engagement with seamless transitions
  • Better voice of the customer (VOC) information
“MARKETERS WHO FAIL TO COLLECT REQUISITE DATA OR ELIMINATE CHANNEL-SPECIFIC DATA SILOS WILL STRUGGLE TO DELIVER VALUE EXCHANGES AT THE CUSTOMER’S MOMENT OF NEED.” -FORRESTER

Personalize the Customer Experience

Consumers expect a personalized experience at every touch point they have with a brand. And they’re willing to volunteer very private information in order to get it. For example:

  • 51% of consumers (and 68% of Millennials) would share their medication history so that an online drugstore could stop them from buying products that would react adversely.
  • 46% would share their household budget so that a retailer could advise against purchasing a big-ticket item above their spending limit.
  • 40% would share their dietary restrictions so that a grocery store could alert them to items they might be allergic to. 

(Check out our infographic for more examples of the value of personalization to consumers.)

Tailor Digital Self-Service

Until fairly recently, personalizing service meant bringing in a live agent, which most companies couldn't afford to implement for all customers. But smart virtual agents are making that level of personalization scalable. They combine customer data like purchase history and previous interactions with the current self-service request to return not just the one right answer, but the one right answer for the individual.

Intelligently Escalate VIP Customers

You can use customer knowledge management to identify the most valuable consumers on your website at any given time and automatically offer one-click escalation. Intervention by a live agent at just the right moment can avoid service roadblocks and keep drifting customers engaged, increasing retention and reducing cart abandonment. (Check out our infographic to learn more.)

“NOW [BRANDS] NEED TO GO FURTHER…BY DELIVERING RELEVANT, TAILORED EXPERIENCES THAT MEET INDIVIDUAL USER NEEDS BY COMBINING HISTORICAL, BEHAVIORAL, AND PROFILE DATA WITH REAL-TIME SITUATIONAL FEEDBACK.” -FORRESTER

Create Data-Driven Agent Interactions

The right CRM (customer relationship management) software displays customer information and call data and gives agents context-sensitive guidance to help them customize upsell and add-on sales offers. In addition, agents can review customer information before they begin a conversation, which allows them to create personalized service interactions that lead to improved satisfaction and retention. (Use our calculator to find out the value of personalizing your agent interactions using the concept of knowledge management.)   

Make Transitions Seamless

A meager 17% of consumers say that companies make it easy to switch between channels. Most brands collect customer data from multiple channels, but very few integrate those channels to create seamless transitions. Agents need access to complete customer knowledge—including comprehensive interaction history—to ensure a true omni-channel experience.

Improve VOC Information

For complete and accurate voice of the customer (VOC) information, you have to collect customer intelligence from multiple sources, including customer feedback, social listening, and internal metrics, among others. Knowledge management can integrate this data to give decision-makers a unified, panoramic view of the customer.

Customer Knowledge Management Software

Customer knowledge is collected from many sources, including contact center interactions, customer posts on social media, surveys and other feedback, self-service requests, ecommerce and brick-and-mortar purchases, loyalty program registration, website cookies, and more. Too often, though, it’s also stored in just as many places.

Successful knowledge management combines data from every source and stores it in one database, building a holistic picture of each customer. That database is usually connected to a CRM solution, allowing for easy access and analysis.

Astute’s CRM software shows a unified customer view and provides all the information agents need to personalize interactions and improve loyalty in a single, integrated interface. Watch a video tour to learn more.

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