When your business is in the customer experience category, much is observed and said about the day-to-day routines of knowledge workers (professionals who occupy customer facing roles in service, support, and implementations). They are the frontlines of any business that needs to meet and exceed customer satisfaction goals (read: all businesses), and as such, they deserve particular attention, with tools that are designed specifically for them - they cannot just be an afterthought. Unfortunately, so many systems that they use weren’t even built with them in mind. More often than not, they are using systems that have been adapted to their user scenario from other contexts, such as a sales context. Let’s dive into a few of them.
The foundation of any client-facing organization’s tech stack is, of course, its CRM platform. CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management,” and it was developed primarily to provide a system of record for sales, business development, and account management teams. These days they are highly customizable, so much so that companies will employ people just to maintain their upkeep, keep data clean, and provide solutions to the teams using them. At scale, realizing the value of their customizability can become incredibly costly - and at the end of the day, they are still mainly a system of record. They are not a system of execution, which is what knowledge workers need. Integrated with ticketing and email, they can often tell you what happened, but often fail to tell you why, or what to do from there.
Traditional ticketing systems are quite simple. An issue gets created on the customer’s end, and that is routed to a knowledge worker, whose responsibility is working toward finding a solution to the issue at hand, and providing that solution to the customer. These tickets are devoid of any context surrounding that customer - the products they use, their prior interactions with the company, and any third parties they might be working with. More often than not, the first place that a knowledge worker will look is in their system of record for that customer - the CRM, and when that fails to surface an answer (as is often the case) they will have to search through PDFs, knowledge bases, and other static, internal knowledge repositories. This results in time-consuming channel-switching in which the knowledge worker is left to scramble to find an answer while the customer is on hold.
What comes about as a result of making knowledge workers depend on CRMs, ticketing, and siloed knowledge that’s squirreled away in PDFs and other knowledge repositories? Simply that knowledge workers are left to look for a needle in a haystack, experiencing high levels of stress all the while. They are left to their own devices to rifle around to pull knowledge from somewhere, but they don’t know where from, and in the meantime, the customer is left holding on for a solution. It’s a no-win situation.
The way things work now could scantily be called a “methodology.” Rather, it’s a hodge-podge of next-best approximations for how knowledge workers should handle their responsibilities - constantly diving into a new haystack with each ticket or call they receive. Wouldn’t it be better for everyone involved if knowledge workers were to move from searching and pulling for the right information, to having that information pushed to them? We certainly think so, and if you agree, we’d love to hear from you below.
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