Why the home working trend has made Knowledge Management even more critical for Customer Support Operations.

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The recent health crisis we went through have brought radical changes on the way Customer Support Operations (CSO) are managed

It is clear now that having a significant fraction of your CS staff working from home has become a normal way of doing business. This new way can bring benefits and advantages to both employees and employers … under certain conditions!

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This kind of radical change of working environment requires to re-evaluate things that were working on large open spaces and that might not work anymore when each employee works from home.

Let’s say: you work on a large open space, you have a customer on the phone asking for a new product price, if you’re not sure what to answer, you can quickly ask around if the new price list applies today or next week…you’ll get a yes/no reply from your team leader or your desk neighbor within a fraction of second. It might not be the ultimate way to get reliable information but we all know it works.

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Now if we think about the same situation when you’re “on your own” at home, this is totally different, well you are.on.your.own. You can look for the email from marketing announcing the new price list last week, you can try to chat with colleagues you think are on the same hour shift than you… but you’ll still be on your own.

All the good things that bring informal communication are gone with Home Working: what is easy when working in an open space, with opportunities to ask colleagues for help at the coffee machine or at the cafeteria, is becoming more tricky when you find yourself working from home…

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Not that long ago, I heard a manager in charge of Contact Center Operation telling me that Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) were all fine but he could not see the benefits as his team were talking enough to exchange and share commonly required information.

His point was: floor discussions, coffee machine interactions and cafeteria small talks were doing a better job than complex technology systems…He did not convinced me and I did not manage to break his certitude about “people natural knowledge maintenance”.

A few years later, after Covid experience, I’d like to ask him if he was still relying on this informal natural knowledge exchange, not because I want to prove him wrong but because the main information flow he was relying upon is not there anymore, or at least not there as much as it was before.

Now that some top tier BPO providers are announcing more than 40% (and +) of their production being from home office, you just cannot rely on human informal exchanges to vehicle content.

Even for the operations which were relying on some KMS, the challenge is there: content must be monitored, highlighted, made visible, improved, reported upon on a much higher frequency. Freshness of knowledge is becoming a headache for all Customer Touch Points operational managers

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A KMS such as SHA enables you to support your agents, are they in the office or remote from home, with fresh, easy to find information.

Another key benefit using SHA is that you can ensure your teams are educating themselves on the latest “need to read” new information, and you can hear their comments on the quality and usefulness of data you submit to them.

SHA helps the Customer Support Operations to provide better Service to your clients by providing better information and support to your teams!

Some advices from the Customer Support Experts at SHA:

  • Start today with a KMS solution that will enable you to create, maintain and monitor your enterprise knowledge
  • So that your teams can access this knowledge irrespective of their location!
  • So that your teams can be guided on what and when they have to learn.
  • So that your team leaders and supervisors can easily track the knowledge usage and learning
  • If you need to set up a KMS from scratch or move your existing KMS to a much more agile and cost-efficient system, have a look at what SHA can provide you!

Mass resignation: how can Knowledge Management help your Company to remain afloat:


Across all industries and all business sizes, the “quit/leave” trend is confirmed to be more than an episode.

We are not here to discuss about the root causes or if it is really to the benefit of the ones deciding to leave (what some old school business veterans would qualify as “leaving too soon”) but to discuss about the consequences for the company and for the remaining teams.

Immediate impacts

The immediate impacts that managers are thinking about, when being told “I’m sorry I decided to leave”, are:

  • How to redistribute the workload without overloading the ones remaining
  • Efforts required to start hiring again
  • How much time do we need to train the new hire and catch-up the leaver productivity and quality

Let’s be honest those are the most likely thoughts managers have at that time and it is probably enough to keep their minds busy…We’ll see later that there is a fourth impact which can bring a much more negative consequence.

How and where KMS can help?

If Knowledge Management Systems (KMS), cannot do a lot to overcome the first 2 pain points, KMS are critical in many ways to shorten and ease the ramp up when getting a new hire onboard.

Not only the direct manager, the direct manager can dedicate less of his/her time to get the new hire onboard, letting the new hire autonomously deal with normal tasks very quickly, having the backup of colleagues of course, but also the strong support of the KMS which would fill in the gap when necessary.

But on top of that, the new hire will feel much more comfortable growing in a secured environment where mostly his/her skill will make the difference not the knowledge of all the product/process/policies nitty gritty.

This win-win might even be an incentive for “potential leavers” to stay as they know they can reveal their true talent in a Company that is providing them with the right information at the right time without having to waste energy and time to look for it.

Can KMS help more than that?

So, what about a fourth negative impact of talents leaving a company?

The issue is not only about training the newbies, but also about retaining knowledge within the Company.

We are not talking here about data which are frequently changed (prices, opening hours) but about items that only a few employees know (or even worse: things that only one employee masters)

  • From relatively basic stuff like: “How to update the retail shop opening hours on the web site”
  • To more complex know-how like: “How to upgrade a firmware when receiving the update from vendor X”

The employee who knew “how to do that” and who was always keen to show others how to do it, might be the one who left last week. The leaver might have created a note about it but how to retrieve it once this employee is gone? Search the leaver’s desk, check the leaver’s HDD, call him/her?

Information is power and losing information can be a disaster.

Having a Knowledge Management System and having trained your staff to document the processes and policies that they are handling become even more mandatory when staff retention and turnover become a challenge.


You might argue that building such a KMS is easier to say than to do! Well at SHA we believe that we have designed a platform that, during its whole life cycle, simply and easily enables small to large C° to build up, from scratch, world class knowledge management.

Yes, it requires some effort all the way, but nothing to compare with the painful exercise to let talents go, hire new ones and train them, overload the existing teams, (hence creating new risks of people leaving)…and on top of it, risking losing precious knowledge on how to run efficiently your business and stay ahead of your competitors!

Contact us to see more about SHA!

SHA makes your talent management easier to manage!

Never let your precious knowledge go away!

What can go wrong on Knowledge Management (KM) implementation (and anytime after… )

With more than 50 years of cumulated experience, expertise and operational leadership in businesses where Managing Knowledge key asset is critical , we have, at SHA(*), very clear ideas about what works and what does not when it is time to implement a Knowledge Management System (KMS). And we’re happy to share some of our fundamental findings which guided us designing SHA:

Before starting, let’s all agree (if you disagree, there might be no point for you to read what follows…) that having a KMS is… a must, but it’s not enough to have a KMS, you have to ensure it works!   

  • First, let’s talk about what we heard quite often: “we need to integrate our KMS in our IT ecosystem”

Integration is quite a broad and vague term but we all understand what it means: ensuring we can benefit from a Knowledge Platform which is connected to some other business critical applications such as e-commerce, e-service web site. This all sounds good, but, at SHA we have also clearly identified that trying to overdo it, to integrate a KMS with a lot of other applications can lead to expensive, heavy, and ultimately dead ends. So we integrate our solution on your e-support and e-commerce and trust us, this is enough!

  • Then second, we heard so often “no need for a multi-lingual platform to start with, we’ll see that later”.

Well later is very often proven to be “too late”…

One could think that, when 99% of the users are sharing the same language, there is no need to think ahead and a mono lingual KMS is good enough, if this can be proven right, it could also lead to some tough headaches or worse, failures. At SHA, how many times have we experienced some companies who extended their market scopes or move some of their operations to other regions speaking different languages or built some alliances with companies located abroad. Having to deal with a massive, one shot, translation project is a headache that could be avoided by thinking ahead and making the choice to implement a multilingual ready KMS right away. And if your market it truly a one language market, SHA works perfectly with one language as well!      

  • Third, a classic “how easy to use is your solution”?

Easiness of use is a common slogan that most of the KMS are using as a benefit, we, at SHA, not only we adhere to this criteria, but we also know, by experience that this is a must, there is no way that users will use the platform if they have to understand how it works, if they have to ask their colleagues which field to use, which process to select …

Easiness of use is vital to ensure implementation of a KMS is successful, we saw so many clunky KMS which were not used by the teams KMS were supposed to help. We experienced too many WEB site smart FAQs which were just driving clients (including us…) mad. So if solutions are not a couple of clicks away, it means your KMS is not delivering and will not bring the expected benefits.

A good solution is two clicks away and the best is one click away! Same goes with input box: one simple input box is enough to interact with your users. If you add categories, products, serial numbers and any other details, you are focused on your own organisation, and not in your customers. Be simple, be customer centric!

You need the users to love looking for solutions and finding solutions on their own using the KMS. It is such a good feeling finding a solution yourself instead of being told by someone else.                                                           

  • Fourth: quite often mentioned as well: “KM deserves top technology so we need top of the art solution”

At SHA, we love technology and we believe we are quite good at using it and sharing its benefits with our clients, this being said, we put the human being first! And this reflects on providing a simple search interface but also and easiness of system administration (Yes you still need to have some very light resources to ensure the system is working fine and this is largely balanced by major savings on support, customer retention and internal education). KMS should not be an IT managed application but should be run by business. There is a need for an IT-Business disconnect to avoid again poor and disappointing KMS implementation. Of course behind the scene, advanced technology such as Automatic Translation, Automatic Summary, Sentiment Management, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence are there, but not for the sake of being High Tech but to support us, Humans…

  • And finally Fifth: “So if I succeed implementing my KMS, I’m good for the next 10 years”

Well, a good start is encouraging but not enough: It might not be only at implementation phase we have observed most KMS failures, it is during the whole life cycle. The key elements to support growth and avoid growth issues, is to have a system which can maintain the life cycle of the content, that can report on content obsolescence, a system that tracks the low performing solutions, a system which avoid to pile up similar solutions, a system that is also capable to grow in term of performance and adjust its capacities to the need of user (without involving IT in the process as the platform is cloud based)                                                                       

It is on top of it ready to grow and evolve as your company is. We designed it the way we dreamt about it; we would have loved to have such a platform, we are now happy to share it with you!

(*) SHA is a Simple, Agile, Connectable, Easy to Use, Easy to administrate platform despite its internal sophistication.