Q

Knowledge management for the help desk

I work for a company that has a small help desk but about 2,500 employees to support. We're in the process of researching knowledge management solutions and knowledge bases in particular. Would you have a list of the top five knowledge base products for a call center?
"Top 5" can be relative, depending on what is important to you, what your environment is, and what functionality you really need. Vanguard does not define or track "Top X" of various technologies, but I can point you to some resources and tell you what we see. Our Web site has a resource list that may provide you with some good paths to follow - visit www.vanguard.net and click Connections. Some of the on-line resources, as well as the publications, can offer you information on this topic. For example, Call Center Magazine for May 2003 has an article on Knowledge Management Tools called "Precision Targeting."

Here's what we see in call centers: Many have a 'home grown' knowledge management system, especially for external customer support. You mention help desk, and in those cases, if it's standard product being supported (e.g., Microsoft Office applications), companies may have purchased modules for that from one of many vendors. Also, many of the CRM solutions that provide full contact tracking and workflow management offer at least basic knowledge base capabilities today, so companies may leverage those. And finally, with the ties between the Web and the contact center, many companies are now using knowledge management tools that serve both their users via self service on the Web, and CSRs providing telephone service and accessing the same database via the corporate intranet.
This was first published in April 2003

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