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De-Mystifying Enterprise Knowledge Management

Guest Post by 
Kartik Jainendra Kumar, Consultant, Infosys Limited

Today's consumer is more empowered and spoilt for choices. With proliferation of social media, smartphones, tablets etc., it has become imperative for the businesses to adapt themselves to continuously evolving Customer Relationship Management (CRM) landscape. CRM has gradually moved from CRM to Customer Experience Management (CXM).  One of the focused areas where most of the organizations are trying to identify, create, distribute and enable themselves, is the use of insights and intend to improve customer experience. 

Most of the organizations are turning towards knowledge management solutions to help them organize their growing mountain of information. One of the key areas of focus is searching information hidden in myriad systems, applications and databases. This information if made available in organized manner can result in improved user experience which can be a differentiating factor in the world of commoditized products.

There is hardly a website which doesn't offer search capability. Search capability is being used by contact center agent for searching troubleshooting procedures for customers, customers using search on websites to get product information, price of the product etc. Hence search becomes one of the important channels through which customers seek information. Unfortunately many organizations ignore this fact which results in customer abandoning their site which ultimately results in lost sale. 

Enterprise search and Enterprise knowledge management are the two areas which help organizations with their search capability. Enterprise search is nothing but large amount of pages indexed such that content can be easily searched. It is similar to Google search where you enter what you are searching for in the search bar and it returns hundreds of pages matching words mentioned in the search bar. For example if you want to search 'Latest Apple's Mountain Lion OS Download', then the enterprise search will try to bring all the pages which contain any of these words or combination of these words. Many of these pages will be unrelated which users will ignore. Think of pages which were searched based on word combination 'Mountain Lion', 'OS Download', 'Apple download'. These words will return results which would not have any context whatsoever. All these results will be ignored by the users but will take considerable amount of user's time as he looks for relevant information.  

Enterprise knowledge management works on a different philosophy where emphasis is on matching the intent of the question as quickly as possible. In this case, the intent is on downloading Mountain Lion OS.  The search results in Enterprise knowledge management system will eliminate unnecessary results which Enterprise search throws up resulting in quick resolution of customer's queries. It can also group similar terms under the same intent. For example 'Mountain Lion OS', 'Upgrade Mountain Lion OS', 'New Version of Mountain Lion OS' exhibit the same underlying intent. In case of Enterprise search these terms will all give different results even though the intent behind searching is same. 

An area where Enterprise search is lacking is the additional directed knowledge based on the context of the search. For example, based on the intent and context of the inquiry, enterprise knowledge management can present to the user set of predefined responses like related topics, special offers, product manuals or link to any other micro site which contains more information.  For example, if a customer using web self-service portal is trying to find out why sound is not enabled on his laptop speakers, the enterprise knowledge management system can identify the intent behind the search and present the customer with troubleshooting wizard which will direct the user to select the laptop model, OS installed and then present potential troubleshooting procedures. The page can also show FAQs about the laptop, discussion forums on that topic as well as special offer on laptops with better configuration than the customer's laptop. By using the knowledge management optimally, organizations can reduce the incidence of websites abandonment; reduce the number of calls to contact center and ultimately improving the overall customer experience. Also, they can cross sell products. There are numerous possibilities.

Another area where Enterprise knowledge management scores over Enterprise search is creation, management, measurement and evaluation of the knowledge provided to the customer. Enterprise knowledge management offers embedded tools which allows customer service agents, customer themselves to contribute to knowledge creation as a part of user activity or job function. For example customer service agent can solve a particular customer problem, document the solution and add it to knowledge repository where it can referred by other customer service agents for similar customer queries. Similarly, discussion forums created by customers themselves can be part of knowledge base such that whenever another customer searches for related topic; the discussion forum is a part of the search results. The enterprise knowledge management offers ways to measure the effectiveness of solution provided based on user feedback in terms of surveys, comments and rating. The analytics engine of knowledge management system can provide the dashboards helping the organizations understand which types of knowledge best answers customer's questions, which type of questions go unanswered. What are the content gaps and prioritize content creation.

It can be concluded that Enterprise knowledge management solution can help customers who are looking for specific answers, find an answer and close the transaction because these solutions help in quickly identifying the true intent of their query and immediately deliver the best result. 

Thus organizations should invest in knowledge management platform that can help their employees, customers and other stakeholders to quickly find the relevant information, where knowledge keeps expanding itself through collaboration, co-creation and insights. Oracle's InQuira knowledge management product provides such scalable enterprise knowledge management platform with advanced search capabilities delivering enhanced customer experience.

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