Why your approach to knowledge is key to the customer experience
Providing access to knowledge is at the heart of creating an excellent customer experience. Failing to deliver timely, accurate answers to consumer questions disrupts the customer journey, while making it difficult to access relevant information, such as on your website, drives potential buyers away. To underpin the customer experience, access to knowledge should be quick, easy and friction-free, whether customers are interacting with agents on email, social media, telephone and chat or they are looking for answers on your website, self-service systems or chatbots.
Given the importance of knowledge, are UK brands delivering? To find out the Eptica Knowledge Management Study asked consumers about how satisfied they were with the way brands were able to answer their questions, and how this impacted loyalty and engagement. Here’s what we discovered:
1. Customers want more - and they want it faster
It’s not a surprise that consumers want fast, accurate consistent information. But they are becoming more demanding. For example, nearly two thirds (65%) said they now want answers to more detailed questions compared to five years ago. 91% admit they become frustrated if they couldn’t find an answer online quickly and 90% ideally want access to information without leaving the page they are on. And there is evidence that this growing impatience extends across every channel – in a separate survey 46% of people said they’d only spend a maximum of 5 minutes searching for information online, while 44% wanted a response on Facebook in 30 minutes, and 61% expected an answer on Twitter within an hour.
2. Knowledge drives customer loyalty and revenue
Knowledge and customer satisfaction are closely related. 94% of those surveyed said that a high quality, personalised response to their query would make them more likely to buy from a company again. 88% said they wanted greater transparency from the brands they dealt with if they were to remain loyal. So, if you want repeat purchases from engaged customers who act as ambassadors for your brand, then invest in creating and maintaining a comprehensive, centralised knowledge base that can support all of your channels effectively.
3. Brands are not delivering
Despite consumers placing a high value on knowledge - and the fact that it delivers a clear ROI in terms of increased loyalty and repeat purchases - organisations are not taking advantage. Three quarters (75%) of consumers said agents didn’t have access to the right information to answer their questions, and 70% complained they received different answers on different channels. And overall only 14% said they were ‘generally happy’ with the answers brands gave them across all channels.
4. Ignore poor knowledge practices at your peril
If you don’t put knowledge at the heart of the customer experience you’ll be hit hard. Consumers who don’t get the answers they’re looking for tend to react be doing one (or more) of the following:
- they switch to a rival, losing your company immediate and future revenues.
- they ask the same question again on the same channel, adding to the volume of queries and pushing up costs
- they switch to more expensive channels i.e. to those that involve agents (such as email and the phone)
- they continue on their journey, but their view of the company is damaged
- they complain, both directly and to their friends and family on social media, again damaging brand reputation
Consumers want to engage with brands that deliver a high quality, transparent and knowledgeable experience, across every channel - and throughout the customer journey. The findings of Eptica Knowledge Management Study demonstrate the importance of knowledge. Brands that can successfully make accurate knowledge and answers easily and quickly accessible to customers will enjoy increased loyalty and revenue. Fail to do so and your revenues and reputation will suffer.
To find out more about putting knowledge at the heart of your customer experience, download the Eptica Knowledge Management Study here. Alongside analysis of our consumer research, it includes best practice recommendations to help organisations transform knowledge management across the customer journey.