Article

In an uncertain world, knowledge is power

One thing is for sure: The world will keep changing. Find out how self service can empower your customers with the information they need.

By Sarah Olson, Senior Associate, Content Marketing, @seolson5

Published September 15, 2020
Last updated September 15, 2020

As we continue to navigate the impacts of COVID-19, businesses and customers alike are recognizing that knowledge is power. Information, resources and instructions—the kind of knowledge typically provided on company help centers and FAQ pages—can help keep the world moving even when so much remains unknown.

The only thing we know for sure is that the world will keep changing, and no matter what happens, you’ll need to keep your customers informed. Read on to see how a knowledge management system can help.

  1. Disseminate important information quickly

    When a crisis strikes, you need to be able to communicate important information and updates with your customers and stakeholders. That is especially true in a situation like COVID-19, where wrong information can put people’s health at risk. Fluyt, a Colombian-based design, communication, and education consultancy, recognized that knowledge is power—the power to save lives. They sought to create an online resource where people could find reliable information without waiting on phone support lines, which were facing high call volumes due to the pandemic.

    But as they quickly realized, a crisis is not the time to start building an app or website from scratch. They turned to Zendesk’s Tech for Good program and soon launched the masuno.app, a content hub built with Zendesk Guide. Since its debut, 40+ volunteers have helped design, draft, and publish over 200 articles on everything from mental health to spotlights on nonprofits actively addressing the crisis.

  2. Help customers before they contact support

    A knowledge management solution can also help you stay on top of surging customer service requests, as many companies experienced in the first few months of the pandemic. Discord, a free service that makes it easy for groups to communicate over voice, video, and text, saw their usage triple following shelter-in-place rules. Thanks in part to their investment in Zendesk’s self service tools, they were able to handle those requests swiftly and with less effort.

    "We know that we cannot scale without having some self service solution, so we invest so much into it."

    With so many first-time users arriving on their platform, self service has helped Discord by allowing them to deflect (or intercept) some of the most commonly asked questions their agents receive, according to Danny Duong, Director of Customer Experience and Community Management at Discord. Providing this information through self service, or automating conversations with Answer Bot, allows his team to remain efficient while still helping customers find the information they need.

    “We know that we cannot scale without having some self service solution, so we invest so much into it,” Duong says. “If we can eliminate any of the tedious busywork when we can, we're going to invest in it 100 percent.”

  3. Be responsive to customers’ changing habits

    Customers' needs often change, in crisis times or not. The support team at Khan Academy, an online learning platform, is accustomed to ebbs and flows in customer service requests driven by the academic calendar, but in the wake of COVID-19, they’ve experienced drastic spikes in usage. They saw a 1,200 percent increase in customer service ticket volume from parents and a 750 percent increase in ticket volume from teachers. Meanwhile, total learning time on the platform increased 150 percent year over year.

    Fortunately, their team was prepared with a knowledge base and community forum, even welcoming their community members to answer support questions directly via Gather. In response to the crisis, they extended their resource offerings and doubled their outsourced support team. With these flexible self service solutions in place, they can be even more adaptable to customers changing needs and an ever-changing world.

Knowledge is power

Knowledge is power, and customers will remember the companies who empowered them during these difficult times; who provided reliable, easy-to-access information; who helped them and supported them instead of simply trying to deflect them. Those companies will be best positioned to thrive in the months and years to follow.

See Zendesk Guide in action with a free trial of the Support Suite.

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