In today’s age of information abundance and excess, organizations struggle to store, organize, and access valuable information. The banking and financial institutions are no different.
Over the last 20 years, banks have slowly automated previously manual processes. This has resulted in the creation of huge volumes of past information systems that are hard to search through and navigate.
Even more, a problem of information silos is created where knowledge is not easily disseminated to those who need it, when they need it. This creates many challenges hindering the ease of access to information as well as the efficiency of employees in the banking industry.
Rewritten: Even more, agents who need information are not able to access it at the right time because the problem of knowledge silos becomes visible when agents discover that information is not easily accessible.
Knowledge management in any organization is the process of storing, organizing, and distributing information across the organization. If knowledge is not properly stored, employees are bound to spend a lot of valuable time trying to find this data instead of focusing on completing other high-priority tasks. Hence, in order to save time and costs, properly storing and managing knowledge is crucial for any organization, including financial institutions.
How can a Knowledge Management System (KMS) help manage knowledge in banks and financial institutions for improved customer experience?
According to a customer experience (CX) report by Forrester, only 2 out of 10 retail banks try to enhance customer experience. As a result, the major CX challenges faced by financial institutions include:
- Long wait and response-time causing an increase in AHT (average handle time)
- Issues related to data breaches and security
- Use of outdated systems and databases to store information
- Lack of efficient self-service portals
Since inefficient knowledge management is the root of every CX problem, the next step is to find more effective methods to solve these knowledge management issues related to customer experience.
One way to solve this issue is to adopt a good knowledge management system that can help manage knowledge in banks to boost your CX.
Some key benefits of using a knowledge management system to manage knowledge in banks for better CX include:
- An increase in operational efficiency due to ease of access of the desired information
- Ensures consistency in the information disseminated due to a consolidated knowledge source of truth
- Provides a coherent brand experience across all channels
- Improve CX due to reduction in AHT
Let us now look at a few ways to ensure efficient knowledge management in banks and financial institutions to improve customer experience.
7 ways to manage knowledge in banking & financial institutions for improved CX
1. Eliminate data silos
Information silos in banks are not uncommon, majorly because data storage is scattered across different places like documents, spreadsheets, files, and legacy document software.
The lack of data exchange can cause operational inefficiencies that will inevitably impact customer experiences. By properly managing and sharing knowledge across teams and departments, you build a solid knowledge repository that acts as a single source of truth.
Your agents can have direct access to this knowledge repository and use it when needed. They no longer need to ask around for clarification from colleagues. Instead, the knowledge they need is reachable to them in one single source. Thus, a consolidated knowledge repository democratizes information leading to the elimination of information and data silos.
2. Ensure knowledge is consistent across channels
Usually, most banks have independent databases that operate individually across departments. This results in disparate and disjointed dissemination of customer information.
By using a unified knowledge base, organizations such as banks are able to deliver an omnichannel customer experience as information is consistent across all channels that you support. Your customers can be transferred from one support channel to another, depending on their need and preferences in real time.
As different channels use the same database and share a common logical function, your customer can initiate a transaction in one channel and complete it in another due to interconnection in the banking channels.
3. Integrate knowledge base with all customer contact channels
Imagine this scenario. A frustrated and confused customer faces an issue and chooses to access your help center over the phone support. What your customer would expect from your help center is quick access to FAQs and articles thus making it crucial to integrate the knowledge base with all customer support channels.
A good knowledge base software allows for integration with other popular customer support tools. For instance, a robust knowledge base consisting of thorough FAQs and help articles are a great way to organize information. They are not only easily accessible but having compact and concise information in one place benefits your employees and customers both ways.
Similarly, a knowledge base as such will improve employee productivity and efficiency as the required information is only fingertip away.
4. Create visual how-to guides
According to research, 65% of people are visual learners. This implies that visuals and graphics help people better understand and retain new information.
Visual how-to guides are a series of pictorial step-by-step instructions describing a process from start to finish.
Similarly, in the banking sector, having a repository of visual guides help break down complex topics into more consumable and digestible chunks.
From the employee’s end, pictorial guides assist in faster and more efficient problem resolution, reducing wait and handling time and enhancing customer satisfaction, including overall operational efficiency.
5. Make knowledge accessible with an intuitive search
In banks, long wait hours and queues are frustrating yet common. Employees are often under pressure to provide quality service in as little time as possible.
In this situation, rummaging through files and data for the right information will only cause confusion and frustration, ultimately hampering employee productivity and customer experience.
By having a knowledge management system that supports intuitive search, the employees are empowered with knowledge literally at their fingertips. As intuitive search makes information easily accessible through elastic search intent, it helps retrieve data from a wide pool of information.
Intuitive search helps agents deliver quick and accurate information as information is only a search away, ultimately improving CX. An intuitive search function not only helps better manage knowledge for internal teams in banks but it also boosts business productivity by reducing long wait times.
6. Use guided workflows to help agents with the next best action steps
When it comes to accessing information, most times the problem is not so much about knowledge dearth. Instead, in most scenarios, it is the inability to access the right information at the right time.
Moreover, information overload can be overwhelming for anyone to sieve through and decide what the next best action is, especially in high pressure environments like banks and financial institutions.
This is why using a knowledge management system that provides a simplified guided workflow with the next best action steps will help organize and better manage knowledge. The agent can simply use a support tool called decision trees software to probe the customers on their queries and guide them to take the next best action through this step-by-step guided workflow.
7. Educate and train your employees
For any organization to prosper, knowledge sharing and transfer are crucial to equip employees with information and resources to help solve customer-related problems and queries daily. However, knowledge transfer can be a difficult and time-consuming process. By leveraging technology like a KMS, time to proficiency is reduced in the training period and acts like a ready reckoner.
By analyzing the training patterns that work best for your employees, building a repository of training resources is a good practice to manage knowledge and encourage learning. New and current employees can access this repository whenever they need to refresh their memory.
Pro tip: Take feedback from the agents as they are in direct contact with customers and help improve the knowledge base.
Good knowledge management practices in banks and financial institutions help to create a culture that improves efficiency, transparency, and growth. By employing a knowledge management system, banks can overcome the many challenges that have persisted in the industry for decades and pave the way for more accessible, findable, and reachable information when needed.
Baphira Wahlang Shylla is a content strategist at Knowmax, a SaaS company that provides knowledge management solutions for various industries who are seeking to improve their customer service metrics.