“Knowledge is power”, wrote Sir Francis Bacon in the 17th century. Today we might say “Retrievable knowledge is power”. Even though we have access to a tremendous amount of information from a variety of sources – print, files, our own experience, the challenge faced by corporations (and individuals) is how to organize and locate the knowledge we need, when we need it.
In most companies, there is no central repository for the knowledge that exists. Our technicians, support staff and sales people all have a tremendous amount of knowledge, stored in various ways. While the “individual knowledge hoarding” approach has worked – to a degree – for years, the sheer volume of information today, coupled with how quickly it changes, makes storing information in traditional ways extremely ineffective.
Additionally, what benefits could be gained if that knowledge could be easily retrieved and presented at the right time to anyone within an organization? Some potential measurable benefits are:
- Increased staff productivity – employees can benefit from their colleagues’ knowledge and expertise
- Increased customer satisfaction – due to quicker response times and a better understanding of customer requirements
- Improved business efficiency – by making better use of existing expertise
A 2012 Fleishman-Hillard study found that 89% of consumers turn to business websites, social media or online reviews for information about a product or company before they interact directly with the company, if they ever do. So what if we took knowledge management a step further and provided the correct information at the right time to our customers? Some potential benefits include:
- Increased customer satisfaction through quicker incident resolution
- Empowering customers to serve themselves online not only increases customer satisfaction, but significantly reduces support costs
Effective knowledge management, supported by the right technology, can eliminate inefficiencies, improve customer satisfaction and retention and have a positive impact on a company’s bottom line. Are you ready to harness the tremendous amount of expertise already existing in your company?