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Knowledge Automation Explained

Knowledge automation refers to the process of automating and/or augmenting business processes with knowledge. You need a modern knowledge management platform to take this automation to the next level.

Customer service is a sweet spot for knowledge automation. Here are four common use-cases that Fortune 500 companies and government organizations have achieved at scale in this domain.

Knowledge automation for self-service

How often do you go inside a bank for service? Most people will say never! Grocery checkout is almost getting there, given today’s worker shortage and the resultant long lines. And there are many other examples across industries.

Self-service is a win-win for the customer and the business—customers get convenient 24×7 service and it is cost-effective for the business. When backed by knowledge and AI-powered conversational guidance, self-service can be taken to the next level. Here are some real-world examples from our clientele:

  • Behemoth US government agency deflected 70% of incoming calls to eGain’s knowledge-backed Virtual Assistant during peak tax season, escalating conversations with full context to human-assisted chat, when needed.
  • Hypergrowth UK retailer, who provides digital-only customer service, deflected up to 90% of customer contacts for agent-assisted chat to eGain’s knowledge-backed Virtual Assistant.

Knowledge automation for conversations

According to a BenchmarkPortal survey, 63% of contact center agents surveyed said that customer queries are getting more complex.
No wonder customer experience took a hit in 2022, with the Forrester CX Index going down for 11 of the 13 industries evaluated. With 75% of agents still working remotely without the safety net of the next cube for answers, increasing query complexity is a double whammy for agent experience. In fact, only 64% said they do not have modern KM tools to guide them through conversations to help them find answers and resolve customer problems quickly and consistently. Savvy organizations are however augmenting agents with knowledge guidance to elevate both their experience and that of customers to get an edge over competitors. Here are some stunning success stories:

  • UK’s largest mobile operator achieved a 25-point improvement in NPS (Net Promoter Score) and a 35% improvement in FCR (First-Contact Resolution), while reducing agent time to competency by 50% across 30,000 contact center agents and 600 retail stores and enabling any agent to handle any call.
  • Global bank reduced agent training time by 60% and Average Handle Time by 67%, while increasing service efficiency by 70%.

Knowledge automation for compliance

Non-compliance with regulations can be costly. As an example, even when compliance penalties for the financial services sector were down in 2021, it still cost them billions of dollars. Less known and understood is non-compliance with organizational best practices, which are no less costly for the business.

Beyond privacy and security, compliance also spans content creation and access, workflow, conversations, and business processes, and without modern knowledge management, it is impossible to enforce it cost-effectively at scale. Here are some examples of compliance automation from our clientele:

  • A leading health insurance firm reduced agent training time for handling complex health insurance queries that required agents to not only solve customer issues and provide them advice but also comply with industry regulations. With compliance and conversational automation, powered by the eGain Knowledge Hub, the organization was able to sustain the quality of service and reduce agent training time by 33% even as over 2000 of them had to go remote overnight due to COVID lockdowns. In fact, eGain Knowledge helped them meet all 30 of their goals, slashing Average Handle Time (AHT) and increasing First Contact Resolution (FCR). Their eGain-powered member service earned them a spot among the top 5 health insurers in the Forrester US CX Index, 2020 and 2021!
  • A mammoth federal agency provides customer service to taxpayers, while complying with regulations, across digital self-service, human-assisted chat, and digital communication, backed by the eGain Knowledge Hub. This has helped elevate both the customer and agent experience. The agency has deflected up to 70% of incoming calls to knowledge-automated virtual assistance, reduced case handling time by 25%, and improved form-filling with granular knowledge assistance within forms. No wonder these powerful capabilities elevated their agent engagement to 92% versus their industry benchmark of 67%.
  • Another mammoth federal agency provides not only effective and efficient but also empathetic customer service to veterans with knowledge-backed conversational guidance across tens of thousands of contact center agents. The eGain Knowledge Hub empowers 25 million users and 128,000 contact center agents and other customer service personnel with consistent and accurate information and guided customer service processes, compliant with regulations. Thanks in part to eGain, their position in the Forrester CX Index improved by 33% in 2021 over 2020!

Knowledge automation for coaching

Customer service and engagement could be one-off or long-lived. Examples of one-off interactions are when customers contact the business to have a question answered or have a problem resolved or even conduct a transaction like opening a new account. On the other hand, examples of longer-term interactions are when a customer goes through a mortgage loan or life insurance application process. Coaching takes long-term interactions to the next level with contextual engagement over time, backed by AI-infused knowledge, to help the customer achieve a specific goal or outcome. The outcome could span answering questions, guiding the customer through their long-term journey, and even nudging the customer to action.

A classic example is financial coaching. Our Virtual Financial Coach guides customers through their journey towards better creditworthiness by not only giving them sound financial advice but also guiding and motivating the customer over time. The Coach even makes it fun with gamification, ensuring that consumers stay on the path of financial wellness.

  • 7 of 10 individuals who use eGain’s Virtual Financial Coach to help them review their credit report find an error and use the coach to dispute the error.

It will be impossible or at least prohibitively expensive for a financial institution to do it at scale without knowledge automation.

Knowledge automation for decision support

According to an executive survey by Grove Critical Thinking, when presented with the proposition “bad decisions cost my organization time and money,” 70% of survey respondents either agreed or strongly agreed. Moreover, 82% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “Bad decisions harm my organization’s reputation in the marketplace.” Decision-making for customer engagement is no different—it could spell the difference between delight (for the customer) and demise (for the business).

Modern knowledge, powered by AI reasoning, can help automate or augment decisions in complex scenarios. Again, unlike rule-based systems that start breaking down as decisions become more complex (these systems are also harder to maintain), AI-infused knowledge helps make decisions with a flexible approach, working with incomplete or ambiguous information and by comparing similar decision-making scenarios from the past. The output could be the final decision or be one of the decisions in a larger customer engagement and contact center management process. Here are a couple of examples from our clientele:

  • Global media and legal services giant makes decisions on whether to take on malpractice lawsuits, based on multiple factors like the amount of damages, win rates in the past for any given topic, tendencies of specific courts/judges.
  • Insurance giant decides how to precisely route customer queries to the right agent, with decision automation, powered by the eGain Knowledge Hub.

These are just four common use-cases for knowledge automation in the customer service domain and this is only the tip of the iceberg. With modern knowledge management, the scope and opportunity for automation and augmentation is limitless!

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