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5 Pieces of Advice for Starting a KM Career in Customer Service

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5 Pieces of Advice for Starting a KM Career in Customer Service

Apr 30, 2023   |  By
KMI Guest Blogger Gary Wyatt

Most Knowledge Management professionals end up in Knowledge Management by accident, rather than a deliberate career choice, just like i did (Nokia 9210 a KM Origin Story)

So below are my top 5 tips to developing a career in KM for customer service. If you get these right, you will go a long way towards a successful career in KM. 

Customer Focus - The Customer and Customer facing staff are the most crucial stakeholders in Knowledge Management for Customer Service. You need to empathise with both and see the world through their eyes. If you can do so, spend time taking calls or dealing with chats from Customers directly to understand what works well and where the challenges are from a Knowledge Management perspective. If you cannot do that, sit with agents and observe the calls. What do agents do? How do they find content? Is it easy to understand? What do they do when they are stuck? I learn far more from sitting with call centre agents than anyone else. Helping frontline staff and delivering value to them should be your primary focus. 

External Networking - Join various industry events. Use LinkedIn's pwer to connect with similar professionals, and don't be afraid to ask questions, share problems, and offer solutions. If unsure, connect with me, and I will be happy to point you in the right direction. Be aware that there are a lot of different fields of Knowledge Management out there, from KM in Law to consulting firms, to libraries, to organisational knowledge, and of course, Customer Service. Most share common traits and best practices, but be sure you find the proper forums for your context. 

Curiosity – Be curious and be happy to try new things and ways of working across all KM strategy components. Pilot new ideas and see what works and what doesn't. Too many KM professionals get protective over the way they work, especially when it comes to content. Try not to be overprotective with your content and embrace constructive feedback to improve it, especially from the customer and frontline staff. A good Knowledge worker should support and encourage this.

Specific Skills – Learning some core Knowledge Management skills could be advantageous. For example, Copy Writing, Process Design, SEO or Information Architecture / Taxonomy skills, but to be honest, in the longer term, I am not 100% sure they will still be as valid, as AI starts to take over a lot of these tasks.

Technical Skills –  Although not essential, it is worth taking the time to understand how your existing Knowledge estate works from a technical perspective. For example:-

  • What systems exist? 
  • How are they connected? 
  • What are the interdependencies? 
  • What is the role of IT for KM in your organisation? 
  • What are all the features of the KM products you are using, and are you using them effectively? 

Most KM Vendors will have external events where you can meet and talk to other KM professionals that use the same technology. Again, sharing knowledge and best practice.

What advice would you give to someone starting a career in Knowledge Management for Customer Service? 

Gary Wyatt is an award-winning knowledge management professional with over 22 years of experience across multiple roles, countries, languages, and industries. Gary has a proven track record of helping businesses achieve greater effectiveness and efficiency through the application of knowledge management tools, principles, and techniques across multiple channels. Gary is committed to helping organisations to deliver tangible, measurable results and believes that by effectively managing and leveraging knowledge, businesses can unlock huge potential and achieve their goals.  

Connect with Gary at LinkedIn...

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