How can knowledge management help in a business objective like customer intimacy?
Here’s how I think it can…with an example; A personal one.
I bought an iPOD (finally!) a few days ago. I requested the customer service executive to load some music into the device for me which she promptly did. I reached home and connected it to my laptop and realized I had a problem. I wasn’t able to use it and was told that I’d have to format the device since I was using a windows machine while the initial formatting and loading was done via an apple mac machine. So, all the songs that the customer service executive loaded were erased much to my disappointment. Additionally, I had to call the outlet a few times before I figured out what was wrong and how I could start plugging into music! The information that I got therein were not available in the short manual I received with the product. How could KM have helped in this scenario? Here’s how:
The outlet (and thus the company) could have saved a lot of time, effort and customer dissatisfaction had it adopted KM practices as related to its customer processes. If the company had got a good sample of its technical support staff together into a virtual group and put down the various problems that customers may face and compiled a handy FAQ list for its customer service executives, in this instance, the customer service executive would have asked me what kind of machine I have at home and saved the time and effort that went into the loading of music when I purchased the device. She could have told me how to go about formatting the device on my machine after enquiring the make of my machine. Also, the customer-facing teams could have prepared a FAQ list for its end customers and handed it over to them in hard copy (small pocket book) for convenience…
These are just initial thoughts. Methinks a little bit of thought applied by a team of people used to the customer-facing processes can do a lot more to improve the customer experience by leaps and bounds using knowledge management!