Using Other Resources to Improve Customer Service

278743888_51b085a201 There are billions (trillions?) of pages of content on the Internet. Even if a mere 1% of that content is at all useful, that is a lot of content. A surprising amount of companies are not using this content to improve the customer service and support they are providing. It is an opportunity that is constantly overlooked.

Having your representatives use other resources.
Companies spend a tremendous amount of time and money to build gigantic internal knowledge bases and information management systems. These are great to have and often very useful, but if representatives can’t find the answer, they should be encouraged to search Google or another search engine for it.

Consider other places.
There is a lot of great information scattered around the Internet. Consider looking in these places for great tips and answers:

  • Your own community forums (the amount of companies that overlook this extremely valuable resource is really sad).
  • Communities and forums visited by enthusiasts and experts in your space.
  • Specific blog posts.
  • Specific blogs.
  • Digg, Delicious, etc.
  • Resources (public knowledge bases, forums, etc.) from competitors.

A lot of companies overlook these really valuable resources. They have made it a lot easier to find the best content. As such, representatives should be encouraged to give them a fair amount of attention.

When you find a great resource or page, add it to so some sort of internal (or public if you want) link repository or the appropriate article in your company’s knowledge base. It is perfectly okay (and encouraged!) to include links to other resources in internal documentation.

Send the link?
Some companies have a problem with sending a customer to any outside resource. This can be a valid concern, but in a lot of cases, shouldn’t be a concern at all. For example, a company I worked with would regularly send its customers to a very detailed guide about how to do something needed to troubleshoot their software.

The page was written up by the IT department of a college. The company and the college didn’t compete or have any issues, so it was no problem. Use your judgement about when to send the link, but in most cases, it probably shouldn’t be a problem.

Update your own content.
Based on your findings and other content that you come across, update your own content to reflect the findings. The update can include a few more links, a new section, a revised section, etc. As long as it is useful – that’s all that matters.

Photo courtesy of striatic.