Optimize your contact center knowledge base to drive efficiency

If you manage a contact center, you’re always on the lookout for opportunities to reduce average handle time (AHT) and increase customer satisfaction. But have you assessed your contact center knowledge base? Experienced agents and new hires alike rely on your knowledge base to address customer inquiries with speed and accuracy. Their ability to find clear answers quickly—regardless of experience—improves AHT while also reducing errors and customer call backs. Start with these four questions to uncover opportunities to optimize your contact center knowledge base and improve AHT.

Is the writing style concise and consistent?

A challenge contact centers face is the varying levels of agent experience. Tenured agents rely less on detailed instructions than new agents, although they still need to find critical information quickly. Newer agents appreciate step-by-step details, but don’t want to sift through long-winded blocks of text. Which means you need to adopt a writing style with the right level of detail to satisfy the needs of both.

  1. Keep titles and headings short but descriptive. Use simple, consistent language and include target keywords.
  2. Likewise, use plain, consistent language across all articles. For example, stick with the same, familiar commands throughout, such as “click” versus “select.”
  3. Choose concise words, such as “use” over “utilize” and “start” over “commence.”
  4. Trim redundant and other unnecessary words. For example, change “two different methods” to “two methods.”
  5. Keep sentences short, putting new ideas into separate sentences.
  6. Choose active voice over passive voice whenever possible.

Are the articles (or user interface) visually user-friendly?

In addition to a concise and consistent writing style, make knowledge base articles visually scannable and easy to navigate. User-friendly navigation within articles helps agents find what they need faster.

  1. Use white space to separate information visually. Too much information crammed onto the page can make information difficult to find.
  2. Use consistent, accessible heading styles to make scanning easier.
  3. Number steps and keep them short.
  4. Bold key commands and options, such as this example: “Go to Home > Styles, and then select Heading 1.”
  5. Make critical information easy to identify on the page.
  6. Ensure consistent navigation across knowledge base articles.

Do articles support contact center workflow?

To optimize your contact center knowledge base, consider the agents’ workflow. Tap data insights around typical call flow and agents’ next steps to understand workflow needs. Ensure articles align with workflows, so agents can resolve calls more quickly.

  1. Put priority, need-to-know information first. For example, ensure that critical policy, cautionary, and other crucial information appear first, with supporting detail after.
  2. Provide links to commonly accessed, related articles and next steps.

Does functional design enhance efficiency?

Functional design elements can enhance AHT when used strategically. Apply functional design elements such as decision trees and popups to support efficiency while striking a balance to avoid unnecessary noise.

  1. Use decision trees for scenario-based processes. For example, if a process varies based on caller location, use a decision tree to direct the agent to the correct article.
  2. Popup windows can be great for removing clutter on screen. But they can also be annoying and occasionally, easy to miss. Use popup windows selectively and ensure they don’t block other content.
  3. Drop-downs and expansion elements help save space but should be reserved for supplementary information. Keep critical information visible to ensure it gets read.

Get a no-cost contact center knowledge base assessment

As a trusted global managed services and service desk provider, Beyondsoft has comprehensive experience implementing and operating global contact centers for some of the world’s leading companies, including Microsoft. Our consultants have deep expertise across verticals in building and managing effective knowledge bases. If you’re interested in seeking ways to optimize your contact center knowledge base, reach out to us for a brief, no-cost assessment.

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