Sunday, May 29, 2016

Oracle Knowledge Management

As customer expectations rise, delivering personalized experiences that improve customer loyalty, increase customer acquisition and optimize efficiency is increasingly more challenging to achieve. It is very important to engage customers in their preferred channel and to minimize the overall effort of that engagement.

A key to minimizing the customer effort is to deploy a knowledge management platform that crosses all channels, presents accurate content from multiple sources, maintains, relevance, and captures feedback for continuous improvement. Oracle Knowledge is a complete knowledge management solution which provides personalized cross-channel service and support.

Knowledge Platform

Oracle Knowledge Platform is an integrated set of knowledge management capabilities including advanced natural language processing, search, flexible authoring and publishing, rich analytics, customizable self-service, and agent facing knowledge applications. Oracle Knowledge is built on a highly scalable J2EE architecture and on Oracle technologies including WebLogic, Oracle Data Integrator, and Oracle Business Intelligence.

Semantic Search

The Oracle Knowledge semantic search capabilities are built on the fundamental understanding of language. Core language dictionaries are available in 20 languages understanding everyday terminology. In addition, multilingual industry dictionaries are available for major industries including high tech, telecommunications, insurance, finance and automotive.

This core understanding of a user’s language is key to finding precise answers from multiple external sources including the knowledge base, web sites, file systems and other internal knowledge repositories. The most recent release of Oracle Knowledge continues to build on this foundation with widely expanded language and geography coverage, significantly increased performance and reduced footprint with faster search response times, faster content processing performance, and a reduced semantic index size, as well as learning-based search ranking for reduced incident handling time. These improved features deliver increased productivity and lower operation costs.

Authoring, Publishing, and Workflow

Oracle Knowledge is designed to help companies to develop a knowledge base as an integral part of a user’s job. Contact center agents and customers create content as a by-product of solving support issues using a powerful, web-based, WYSIWYG rich text editor. Product experts and contact center agents can collaborate with other users and customers to refine or expand the knowledge base.

Advanced editing capability such as global find and replace and replacement tokens improve the article accuracy while lowering operation and knowledge administration costs. Oracle Knowledge comes with valuable tools to manage the life-cycle of articles. Customers can create their own article templates and metadata. The software tracks all revisions of the articles and provides detailed history. Articles may be routed for approval through the use of a workflow. Providing users with the ability to attach files to forum posts allows them to provide additional information to explain their issues. These capabilities improve self-service rates, while expanding the knowledge base and the user community.

The user interface of the authoring system is available in 24 languages, but content can be created in nearly any language. Oracle Knowledge allows customers to manage the relationship of an article across different locales and languages, while providing authors with the ability to develop locale-specific content and metadata allowing fine-tuning of the customer experience.


Analytics Dashboards are tailored to functional roles across the service organization. They harness the optimal value of company stakeholders by providing relevant insights at a glance to reduce operational costs, increase employee productivity, and strengthen customer relationships. With the configurable custom KPI wizard for creating KPI with thresholds and triggers, organizations can increase the efficiency of authoring content, increase answer relevancy, and improve the overall insight of knowledge activity.

InfoCenter: Self-Service Knowledge

InfoCenter provides a Knowledge portal for customers and employees with integrated browse and search functionality via a customizable user interface and knowledge widgets. InfoCenter surfaces the power of industry-based libraries, knowledge federation abilities, and natural language processing abilities of the platform to deliver true, intent-based best possible answer to customers. It transforms the self-service experience for customers by providing contextual, and relevant answers to their questions.

iConnect: Agent Knowledge

iConnect provides robust and scalable answer-delivery framework aiding the agent-facing service delivery model. The context-driven user interface simplifies and enhances the user experience and is tuned for increased performance. iConnect is available as an out-of-the box integration into Oracle Service, and Oracle Service Cloud. Open APIs allow for integration into most industry standard CRM applications.

AnswerFlow: Guided Knowledge

AnswerFlow provides consistent service resolution for agents and customers with the prescriptive delivery of knowledge. AnswerFlow combines decision trees with external data that leverages and increases the strategic value of Knowledge Platform across self and assisted service customer interaction channels. AnswerFlow enables to create and deploy automated interactive processes that guide users toward appropriate answers or solutions in cases where:
  • answers are conditional, and can vary based on factors such as account status, location, or specific product or model;
  • diagnosis is complex, and identifying the best response among many possible answers involves asking detailed questions and eliminating alternatives.

Galaxy Consulting has over 16 years experience in many knowledge base applications. We can help you to deploy Oracle Knowledge Management. Contact us today for a free consultation!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Use Knowledge Management to Increase CRM Value

Today's post focuses on how knowledge management adds an essential layer of value to customer facing systems, which ultimately drives improved customer experiences.

Two sweeping trends have emerged in recent years: the proliferation of customer channels and the resulting explosion in the amount of data produced. 

Customer relationship management has done a great job of providing a strong framework for these multi-channel interactions. Knowledge management (KM) has done an equally remarkable job by providing the brains behind the increasingly diverse network of customer contact points.

With the explosion of data from many different types of sources in the past several years, the tight integration of KM and CRM systems has become even more essential to offering customers and the agents who serve them the concise and timely information they need.

KM and CRM have a long history of ultimately serving the same goals of quickly and efficiently providing customers with information, whether it is through Web self-service, a call center agent, kiosk or mobile application.

CRM and KM Synergy

CRM applications are systems of record that manage customer data. Knowledge Management (KM) systems, in the context of customer engagement, enable businesses to systematically capture knowledge from subject matter experts within the enterprise, and social knowledge from online communities, social networks, partners, etc. for use by customer-facing organizations and end-customers.

When integrated, KM helps expand the business value of CRM, delivering transformational benefits in enhanced customer experiences, contact center productivity, and improved customer acquisition, among other things. KM systems are also able to leverage existing content management systems by adding a layer of findability and know-how for content-enabled process automation.

How it Works

There are many use cases of how CRM and KM work in tandem to deliver business value. A common one is in the customer contact center where knowledge solution is often used in conjunction with CRM.

When customers call, agents use a CRM to open a case, enter the problem description, and click on a “solve” button. This, in turn, invokes a resolution path, for example, a set of search paths to find the right answer or next steps. Agents get to the resolution using the path of their choice, “accept” the resolution, communicate it to the customer, and close the case. The interaction, including the path to the answer and the knowledge base article that was used to solve the problem or sell a product, is recorded in both the CRM and KM systems.

Business Value

Many companies worldwide leverage the combined power of knowledge and CRM to drive business value. Adopting best practices can help make the business case, implement knowledge, and manage it for sustained business value. Here are some examples:
  • Premier home appliance manufacturer: $50M in savings by eliminating unwarranted truck rolls through knowledge-powered resolution processes in the contact center and website.
  • Semiconductor giant: 59% increase in web self-service adoption, 30% increase in First Contact Resolution.
  • Global knowledge and legal services solutions provider: 70% deflection of calls and emails through knowledge-powered self-service, 30% reduction in content authoring time.
  • Leading telco provider: 42% reduction in unwarranted handset returns through knowledge-powered resolution process in the contact center.
  • Global bank: 88% reduction in agent training time and 70% increase in productivity through knowledge-powered account opening process in small business sector.
Quantify Value

Assessing expected and realized ROI before and after the deployment would help you to justify the initial investment as well as continuous improvement of the CRM - KM solution. Make sure the ROI metrics you use are aligned with business objectives. For instance, if your main business goal is to increase sales, reduction in average handle time will be a conflicting metric. As you assess ROI, keep in mind that KM delivers ROI across a broad range of business problems. Some examples are:
  • deflection of requests for agent-assisted service through effective self-service;
  • increase in first contact resolution and sales conversion;
  • reduction in escalations, transfers, repeat calls, and average handle times;
  • reduction in training time, unwarranted product returns, field visits, and staff wage premiums.
Start with Depth

Unfocused deployments almost always result in a shallow knowledge base that is full of gaps. If agents and customers can’t find answers, or receive inadequate or wrong information, they simply stop using the system. Focus first on depth rather than breadth. Start with common questions on common products or lines of business and expand out over time.

Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS)

Best practice frameworks have emerged over time in knowledge management. For example, the Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS) framework is a comprehensive methodology that helps to improve speed of resolution, optimize resources, and foster organizational learning. Adopting frameworks like KCS is a win-win-win for customers, contact center agents, and the organization alike. Implement the best practices in knowledge-centered customer support.

Maximize Findability

Users prefer different ways of searching for information, just as drivers prefer different ways of reaching their destination. A GPS-style approach with multiple options to find information dramatically improves knowledge base adoption. For example, new agents may find it difficult to wade through hundreds of keyword search results, but might fare better if they are guided through a step-by-step dialog, powered by technologies like Case-Based Reasoning (CBR).

Multiple search options such as FAQ, keyword and natural language search, topic-tree browsing, and guided help enable a broad range of users to quickly and easily find information. Make sure you leverage a unified multi-channel knowledge platform for consistent answers across customer touchpoints.

Implementing these best practices, while making sure that the KM and CRM solutions are tightly integrated, will help you deliver transformational customer service experience while generating breakthrough value for the business!

Galaxy Consulting has 16 years experience in this area. We can help you to integrate your knowledge base with your CRM. Contact us today for a free consultation!