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Knowledge Management as a Tool for Improving Customer Satisfaction in Logistics

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Knowledge Management as a Tool for Improving Customer Satisfaction in Logistics

Mar 18, 2024   |  By
KMI Guest Blogger Amanda Winstead

Logistics and supply chain organizations like any other company need to ensure efficient processes to deliver quality services and products to customers. In a rapidly evolving digital climate, knowledge management (KM) is the tool that can help logistics companies meet customer expectations concerning efficient communication, timely deliveries, transparent tracking, and undamaged products.

This article will explore knowledge management and its connection to customer satisfaction. We’ll also offer insights and best practices for knowledge management implementation.

What is Knowledge Management?

Knowledge management is a systematic process of capturing, curating, and distributing information with regard to more effective utilization of organizational knowledge. In simpler terms, knowledge management is about making sure that the right information reaches or can be accessed by the right people at the right time, ensuring efficiency.

Knowledge management in supply chain and logistics is critical to achieving more efficient processes that can help minimize costs, boost profits, and improve customer satisfaction. The benefits of KM in logistics organizations are plenty. It can help with:

●      More efficient planning;

●      Ensure the flow of knowledge (information) and make sure it reaches the right people;

●      Bridge knowledge gaps by making sure necessary information is readily shared and available;

●      Foster better internal communication by encouraging the sharing of implicit knowledge;

●      Enhance productivity through improved knowledge communication.

Of course, when a company operates more efficiently internally, this means the external impact on the customer will also be improved.

The Link Between Knowledge Management and Customer Satisfaction

While many knowledge management practices are about focusing on improving efficiency to boost profit, there is also a strong correlation between KM practices and customer satisfaction.

When you think about it, customer satisfaction is ultimately what drives business and boosts profits through consistent sales, which means improving customer experiences is paramount to success.

How satisfied your customers are is a key indicator of the health of your business, and today’s customers have high expectations. They want quick, accurate, and personalized service — all of which are facilitated by knowledge management strategies.

When internal operations run more efficiently because of better understanding and distribution of knowledge, customers in turn will receive better and faster service. For example, KM ensures certain people have the information they need when they need it, which means they can be more productive and work faster. This in turn could result in a product being processed and shipped faster to the customer.

Communication is also typically improved with KM practices, which can assist with customer feedback loops and ensure CSRs can generally communicate faster and more effectively with customers.

Knowledge Management Best Practices in Logistics

Knowledge management isn’t just about having a knowledge base of information. It’s about how the knowledge is managed so it can be used to its fullest potential to improve customer experiences. Below are some KM best practices that can help streamline logistic operations and provide more seamless experiences for customers.

1. Understand the Circulation of Organizational Knowledge

Before fully implementing knowledge management strategies, it’s necessary to understand how information is circulating within your organization. This requires looking at how different teams or processes are connected with regard to how information is accessed, stored, and shared.

Doing this will help you identify where there might be any potential issues, such as someone not being able to easily share or access important information. From there, you can start to develop a plan to improve the circulation of knowledge.

2. Create a Strong Knowledge Sharing Culture

Improved internal communication is critical to enhancing customer experiences. Internal communication does impact employees first and foremost, but can also directly and indirectly impact the customer. When internal communication is poor, employees cannot work as effectively, and if their work is negatively impacted, it will also impact the product and service the customer receives.

By creating a knowledge-sharing culture through KM practices, you can streamline internal communication so your employees can deliver better customer experiences. Creating an internal knowledge base is a key KM strategy for improving communication.

This ensures easy access to important knowledge so everyone has the information they need when they need it. Internal knowledge bases can include basic company information and reports, HR materials, training materials, media files, and customer service information and documents.

In addition to having a knowledge base, you can improve internal communication by utilizing telecommunication tools and chat platforms, such as Slack, Zoom, and Teams. Training your employees on how to make the most of these tools and communicate more effectively is also important. 

3. Automate With Technology

Automation is another essential practice when it comes to streamlining knowledge within a company. The right tools and technologies can help you more easily implement KM practices by automating processes that are inherent to knowledge sharing and capturing.

There is a significant connection between artificial intelligence (AI) and KM. AI helps organizations more effectively navigate big data and leverage critical knowledge to improve performance through the use of cognitive computing tools. Cloud technologies are also helpful by allowing you to more easily store and index information in a way that is more universally accessible for knowledge reference.

4. Utilize Analytics to Identify What Works

Analytics is like the icing on the cake of knowledge management practices. Using analytics helps you ensure your KM practices are working. It also helps you identify when things aren’t working, so you can adapt and make any necessary changes to your system or processes.

For example, you can use analytics tools to see what information your employees are searching for and what information they utilize the most to get their job done. This can help you identify any gaps in knowledge or how you can ensure certain information can be accessed more easily.

Additionally, analytics can give you real-time data insights into facility operations. Knowledge management isn’t just about making sure your employees have the knowledge they need but also about giving facility managers the knowledge they need to ensure overall operations are running smoothly.

When the operations of your employees and your facility are streamlined, it ensures ultimate connectivity and knowledge sharing so that your customers can receive even better service.

Conclusion

When everyone has the knowledge they need, they can work smarter, which means the output of the work will be of a higher quality. Higher quality then translates into more satisfied customers. In other words, better knowledge management means better products and better delivery of services, which are two things that are critical to improving customer experiences.


Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Northwest US area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. She has been following Knowledge Management for several years and it's one of her favorite topics to explore.  Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts.

If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn or check out her portfolio.

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