Zendesk, Confluence, Google Drive… where is the answer to customer support issues again?

A well-equipped and knowledgeable customer support team creates successful, happy customers. To achieve this coveted level of satisfaction, your support team must have access to product and support documentation at their fingertips so that they have the tools to deliver on this goal. As companies scale, this becomes increasingly challenging. There is no shortage of reasons why delivering top-tier support often feels just out of reach by many customer success teams. Consider these:

  • More customers = more customer support issues 
  • Increasing product offerings or SKUs demands more product knowledge 
  • Scaling your customer support team equates to onboarding challenges that are knowledge and preparedness related

Success, for all of these issues, is intimately tied to knowledge access. Without adequate, efficient, and intuitive strategies to put knowledge in the hands of customer support agents, there will be an ongoing struggle to gain successful customer experiences.

Knowledge silos cause problems

As your company grows, your documentation needs are sure to evolve. You might store customer support scripts in Zendesk, product and technical information in Confluence, and other general information in Google Drive. All of these silos contain resources that are relevant to customer support agents, but where might the required knowledge reside? Each additional silo creates confusion and uncertainty as to where to access the knowledge that is required to get work done. The more confusion and lack of certainty around the exact course of action, the longer it takes to reach a resolution for agents. In many cases, this can put first-call resolution out of reach and instead forces agents to create a follow-up support ticket and reduce customer satisfaction by prolonging the path to success.

How many times do you search before you give up?

As we’ve identified, knowledge silos create a persistent search problem. For each additional silo, the time to finding the correct knowledge can increase at an unsustainable rate, limiting productivity and increasing worker frustration. Since consolidating the knowledge in Zendesk, Confluence, and Google Drive is either impossible or not feasible, the key to solving the problem is through universal search.

51% of employees avoid sharing documents because they can’t find them or it would take too long to do so.

Federated search is a term that refers to searching multiple data sources, or in this case silos, at the same time. Tools and technologies that employ federated search can alleviate silo search burdens. This creates what some call a single source of truth for your search needs.

The trend is your friend

If you suspect that you have a siloed knowledge access problem, confirmation of your suspicions may begin at the exploration of your customer support desk data and statistics. Consider diving into these key metrics:

  • First-call resolution ratio
  • Average time-to-resolution
  • Customer satisfaction ratings

To unearth a problem, you might want to categorize the support issue topics where first-call resolution rates and satisfaction ratings are the lowest and explore if you have a repeated issue related to knowledge access in each of those cases. If this is validated, it’s possible that you have either a knowledge gap or access issue that can be resolved in short order.

Knowledge silos can create productivity issues for customer support teams. But strategies that consider workflows can reveal opportunities to improve the experience for both support agents and customers. 

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