Using Knowledge Management Systems for Technical Support

By Monica Kohn   |   September 24, 2019
Using Knowledge Management Systems for Technical Support
From customer service to sales and marketing, knowledge sharing can boost every function within your organization, eliminating communication obstacles while streamlining information sharing in the workplace.

Enhancing IT Support with Knowledge Management

Growing service demands and an increasingly complex IT environment call for an IT support knowledge management system (KMS) that helps meet these challenges head-on. For example, the growth of BYOD (bring your own devices) can pose potential problems that need to be solved by IT support agents within the service desk.

The benefits of IT support with knowledge management are well-documented:

  • Better outcomes due to increased collaboration; especially companies experiencing rapid growth
  • Minimization of downtime and increase in productivity
  • Optimal use of team members with the right technical support knowledge
  • Quicker onboarding and training of new hires
  • Reduced operational costs due to increased efficiency

Its benefits may be easy to quantify, but many organizations still struggle to get knowledge management right. These four areas are good starting points.

How often do IT support agents get questions that have the same answer? Companies should enable users to self-serve their own, non-complex support tickets via an IT support knowledge management system or dynamic database of FAQs.

  1. Can tech support agents need easily locate information? While basic technical facts and knowledge can be quickly provided, questions requiring higher consideration and technical knowledge call for specialized information. A KMS creates a searchable database that allows agents to retrieve information at the click of a button.
  2. Is your current tech knowledge outdated and badly maintained? If so, confusion and circulation of inaccurate information can wreak havoc on operations. KMS software allows for easy updating and revision of existing tech knowledge articles, creation of new content, and rapid distribution to the agents who need it.
  3. Do your IT support agents know how to prioritize their workloads? A clear structure that uses key metrics to determine which issues are most important not only helps reduce support expenditures but enhances employee engagement and satisfaction.
  4. The bottom line? A successful KMS gives agents access to better information needed to do their job. And that has a ripple effect throughout the organization, improving dynamic capabilities, getting better buy-in from the C-suite, and motivating employee performance.

AI-Based Knowledge Management

In practice, knowledge management is a less-than-perfect endeavor. Getting it right requires significant amounts of time, attention, and energy, something most organizations lack. Adding artificial intelligence (AI) to knowledge management can reduce the time and money spent on program oversight. How?

AI simplifies the process of capturing, sharing, discovering, and maintaining knowledge. It uses technologies like semantic search, natural language processing, and machine learning to make it even faster for employees to find information.

  • It helps different departments and team members capture and share information the same way by connecting and combining knowledge across multiple systems.
  • Knowledge base content is well-maintained, and employees are systematically reminded to keep their knowledge up-to-date.
  • AI tools can provide important knowledge management metrics so productivity and operational costs are easily tracked.
  • AI and machine learning are no longer “techy” jargon used to make knowledge management tools sound impressive. They are helping organizations of all stripes discover and more effectively maintain company knowledge; something every organization should reach for.

In Summary

Knowledge management provides real, measurable benefits to IT support. It ensures people, processes, and technology are aligned with a common goal: helping your organization leverage various techniques that lead to faster and better outcomes. For that reason alone, the costs of implementing a KMS far outweigh any disadvantage to making the investment.

Done right, using a KMS for technical support gives your business an enormous competitive advantage over those that choose to wait.