Glossary Item

Knowledge-Centered Service

Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS) not only empowers your team but also equips your business with a sustainable, scalable way to manage knowledge. By adopting KCS, you can ensure that your growing business remains agile and responsive in a competitive market.

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Knowledge-Centered Service

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What is Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS)?

KCS empowers everyone in the organization to share collective responsibility for maintaining the knowledge base and informs how people in the organization solve problems. Additionally, KCS helps facilitate and increase the rate at which newly onboarded agents can get up to speed.

KCS revolves around the idea that knowledge should be an accessible and evolving asset. It encourages knowledge as a byproduct of solving problems and integrates the creation and maintenance of knowledge into daily tasks, rather than treating it as a separate process.

Note: KCS®️ is a service mark of the Consortium for Service Innovation™️.

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What are the benefits of KCS?

Implementing KCS in your business can bring several significant benefits:

Increased efficiency and productivity

By integrating the reuse of knowledge into daily operations, employees spend less time reinventing solutions, directly increasing productivity. A report from the Consortium for Service Innovation shows that organizations employing KCS witness a 50-60% improvement in time to resolution for customer issues.

Enhanced customer satisfaction

Quick and consistent responses to customer queries improve customer experience and satisfaction. KCS provides a framework for delivering accurate information rapidly.

Reduced operational costs

By maximizing the reuse of existing knowledge, companies can significantly reduce training and support costs. Over time, this leads to more efficient use of resources.

Continuous improvement of knowledge

KCS fosters a culture of continuous learning and improvement. As knowledge is updated and maintained, it remains relevant and valuable.

Empowered employees

Employees become more engaged as they contribute to and benefit from shared knowledge. This empowerment leads to higher job satisfaction, better employee experience and lower turnover rates.

Use cases for knowledge-centered service

B2B Service Providers

Business-to-business (B2B) service providers leverage KCS to operate call centers and manage self-service customer portals. By documenting and continuously updating solutions and customer service protocols in a knowledge base, they ensure that customer inquiries are handled efficiently and consistently.

Financial Institutions

Financial institutions utilize KCS to help customer-facing employees remain knowledgeable about complex and frequently changing products and services. This ensures that all team members are equipped with up-to-date information, enabling them to offer accurate financial advice and improve customer service.

Healthcare Organizations

Healthcare organizations implement KCS to provide patients and consumers with reliable information about medical conditions, treatments, and wellness advice. By maintaining a comprehensive knowledge base, they ensure that this crucial information is easily accessible and consistently updated, enhancing patient education and engagement.

Manufacturers

Manufacturers maintain customer service hotlines and public databases filled with detailed product information. Through KCS, they ensure that this information is always current and accurate, helping customers make informed decisions and enhancing overall satisfaction with product support.

IT Service Desks

IT service desks apply KCS when handling calls from employees or clients facing computer or technical issues. By documenting problems and their solutions in a knowledge base, they not only speed up resolution times but also build a valuable resource for future troubleshooting, streamlining tech support operations.

And that facts don’t lie; according to Atlassian, the IT average team that adopts KCS sees…

  • A 30 – 50% increase in first-contact resolution
  • 70% faster time-to-proficiency for new analysts
  • 20 – 35% improvement in employee retention
  • 20 – 40% improvement in employee satisfaction
  • 10% fewer reported issues/support requests

Legal Firms

Legal firms utilize KCS to manage case files, precedents, and research. When a lawyer researches a particular case law, they document their findings in a shared knowledge base. This repository becomes a vital resource for other lawyers in the firm who are dealing with similar cases, allowing them to save time and improve the quality of their legal advice.

Educational Institutions

Schools and universities implement KCS to manage educational content and administrative knowledge. Teachers and administrators use a shared database to document and access information on everything from lesson plans to student welfare policies. This approach facilitates a collaborative environment where best practices are shared and continuously improved, enhancing the educational experience for students.

IT Departments

In IT departments, KCS helps manage a vast amount of technical knowledge that is essential for maintaining and troubleshooting IT infrastructure. When an IT professional solves a complex server issue, they document the problem and the solution in a knowledge base. This documentation becomes a resource for other team members who encounter similar issues, significantly reducing the time spent on future problem-solving.

What are the challenges of KCS?

While KCS offers numerous benefits, there are several challenges that organizations may face during its implementation:

  • Cultural resistance: Shifting to a knowledge-centered culture requires changes in mindset and behavior, which can meet resistance from staff accustomed to traditional methods. It may be useful to adapt change management before commencing.
  • Maintaining quality and relevance: Ensuring the knowledge base remains accurate, up-to-date, and relevant requires ongoing effort and effective governance.
  • Initial investment: The initial setup, including training and technology, can be resource-intensive in terms of time and people resources.
  • Scalability: As businesses grow, scaling the KCS practices to accommodate more complex operations and larger teams can be challenging.

5 Steps to build knowledge-centered service

Implementing KCS effectively involves a structured approach divided into five key steps:

Capture knowledge

This step focuses on capturing knowledge in the natural course of problem-solving. It is crucial to capture this knowledge in the context in which it arises, making it easier to access and understand.

Structure knowledge

Organizing the captured knowledge in a systematic way to make it easily searchable and reusable. This includes categorizing and tagging content with relevant keywords.

Reuse knowledge

Before creating new content, employees should first seek to reuse existing knowledge. This step reduces redundancy and ensures consistency in the information provided.

Improve knowledge

Knowledge should be continually updated and refined based on new insights and feedback. This dynamic process keeps the knowledge base relevant and useful.

Translate knowledge into wisdom

Over time, the repeated use and improvement of knowledge assets contribute to a deeper understanding and strategic insights, transforming raw data into actionable wisdom.

Best practice for KCS

Want to start building Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS) but don’t want to get lost in a mountain of time consuming non-effective tasks?

Use this best practice checklist;

How does KCS differ from traditional knowledge management?

Unlike traditional knowledge management, which often segregates the creation and maintenance of knowledge as a separate, centralized task, KCS integrates these processes into daily problem-solving activities, making it more dynamic and contextually relevant.

Is KCS only applicable to large organizations?

No, KCS can be beneficial for organizations of all sizes. Smaller businesses, in particular, can benefit from the agility and efficiency gains, which are crucial during the scaling phase.

How long does it take to see results from implementing KCS?

The timeline can vary, but many organizations start seeing significant benefits within the first six months. Continuous improvement and engagement are key to realizing longer-term gains.

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