The benefits of knowledge management for your service desk

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Getting knowledge management right has never been easy. You know that in the long run, recording the knowledge of your service desk could help your team work more efficiently. But it doesn’t seem urgent enough in the short-term: your service desk is always buzzing with activity and implementing knowledge management means spending less time on incoming calls for a while.

So how can you justify investing in knowledge management when it’s hard to prove its return on investment (ROI)?

Benefits of implementing knowledge management

To help you on your way, we’ve collected the main reasons why you should finally make time to implement knowledge management. And we included a ROI calculator to help you quantify the benefits of knowledge management for your service desk.

So, why should you invest in knowledge management?

1. You spend 20% less time on recurring calls

It’s Friday morning. One of your service desk employees receives a call about the printer: it has a paper jam. This has happened a couple of times already this week – but who fixed it those times? And how? After asking around and going through old calls for half an hour, your service desk employee finally finds the answer and gets back to their customer. But there must be a smarter way of doing this, right?

Correct. Implementing Knowledge Centered Service (KCS)* makes processing recurring calls much faster. In our experience, implementing KCS reduces the time spent resolving a call by 20% within 2 to 4 months.

You can even go one step further and make your knowledge base available to your customers as well. With this infographic for better knowledge management, you can make sure both your service desk employees and your customers can pleasantly use your knowledge base. This way, you prevent calls from happening in the first place because your customers can solve their own problems.

2. You increase your customer satisfaction levels

Your customers want the right answer quickly. Having a knowledge base in place allows you to process more questions in your first line of support. KCS also guarantees high-quality answers, since the information in your knowledge base is based on the collective knowledge of your entire service desk. With quicker and higher-quality answers, you’ll definitely see results – fast.

Do make sure your service desk employees can easily use the knowledge base in their day-to-day work. To check if your knowledge base is in tip-top shape, you can use these 5 knowledge base KPIs for a healthy knowledge base.

3. New employees are up and running much faster

Familiarizing a new co-worker with all aspects of their job often takes a lot of time, especially at a skilled service desk. But what if your new co-worker has a complete knowledge base at their disposal? This way, they immediately have access to all the necessary knowledge and can begin processing simple questions. According to the KCS Academy, KCS helps you achieve a 70% improved time to proficiency.

4. Working at your service desk becomes more fun

Solving calls yourself provides a greater sense of satisfaction than simply forwarding questions to other people. Working on complex issues makes for more of a challenge than repetitive work. But why should you care about how knowledge management makes work at your service desk more fun? Well – happy people provide better service! And greater employee satisfaction levels will decrease staff turnover.

Looking for more ways to improve employee experience? Say goodbye to service desk stress.

With knowledge management, one of your service desk employees could spend two days each week doing other things.

Calculate how much time knowledge management will save

You now know why you should invest in knowledge management. But let’s talk numbers. How much time will investing in knowledge management save exactly?

In our experience, service desk employees spend 20% less time on average on resolving recurring calls within 2 to 4 months of investing in knowledge management. Your service desk employees need around half of the time they save to update and add to the knowledge base. This means that on average, your service desk employees spend 10% less time on resolving recurring calls.

To calculate the time you could potentially save, follow these 3 steps:

1. Determine how many hours your team spends processing calls

Say you have four people working full-time at your front office, and four other people who spend two days a week on calls in the back office. You would end up with the following calculation: [4 x 40] + [4 x 16] = 224 hours a week.

2. Estimate what percentage of calls could be solved faster

Usually, around 60 to 90% of all calls could be resolved in less time with a knowledge base in place. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all scenarios: some calls, such as complaints, simply can’t be resolved more efficiently. Consult your service management tool and go through a list of all recent calls to estimate the percentage.

3. Use this formula to estimate the time you could save each week

[…] hours a week spent on calls x […] % of calls that could be resolved faster using knowledge management x 0.10 (net time savings) = hours of time saved each week

Let’s look at an example. Say your teams spend a joint total of 224 hours a week on processing calls, and 75% of your calls could be resolved faster with knowledge management. This results in the following calculation:

224 hours a week x 0.75 of calls x 0.10 = 16.8 hours of time saved each week.

This means that one of your service desk employees could spend two days each week doing other things. Let that sink in for a moment. Your service desk employees could spend this extra time analyzing recurring incidents to identify root problems or gathering customer feedback to find out how to best increase your customer satisfaction. Or they could be making your customers more self-reliant by setting up a service catalogue and implementing a self-service portal. The possibilities are endless!

Start implementing knowledge management at your service desk

Now that you know how much time knowledge management can actually save, you can start thinking about implementing knowledge management at your service desk. Download our knowledge management guide to find out which concrete steps you can take to successfully start your knowledge management process.

*Knowledge Centered Service is a method developed by the Consortium for Service Innovation. This article is an interpretation of that method and in no way suggests to be the correct one. All rights and interpretations belong to the Consortium for Service Innovation and can be found on KCS® is a service mark of the Consortium for Service Innovation™