For Consortium Members who have been on the KCS journey for a few years, KCS has come to be known as the "great enabler." Capturing the organization's experience in a knowledge base proves to have many benefits. While the operational benefits of KCS are profound, there is a long list of functions that KCS enables (see KCS: The Great Enabler). If done well, KCS dramatically increases a team or function’s value proposition to its employees, its customers and to the organization.
KCS enables the organization to improve its ability to capitalize on what it collectively knows. The benefits happen over time and can be put into three general categories:
The near-term benefits of KCS, realized in the first 3-9 months, include:
- Improved resolution times by 25-50% (improved capacity to handle requests)
- Improved first call resolution and reduced escalations
- Improved skills, job satisfaction, and confidence for the knowledge worker (less stress)
The mid-term benefits, realized in 9-18 months, include:
- Dramatic improvement in user success with self-service
- Reduced training time for new employees
Long-term benefits, realized in 18-36 months, include:
- Business improvements based on patterns and trends of the user experience
- Identifying improvements in features, functionality, processes, policies
- Enabling the use of AI to improve user success in finding resolutions
- Enabling analytics that provide predictive and preemptive capabilities (proactive customer engagement)
The degree to which the knowledge worker consistently reuses, links, improves, and - if it doesn't exist - captures knowledge as they resolve issues is directly related to the degree to which the organization will realize the benefits of KCS. Maximizing and sustaining dramatic KCS benefits is fundamentally about people and their understanding, buy-in, beliefs, and behaviors. The workflow model, content standard, and technology are enablers.
We have found that people aren’t likely to do things if they don’t understand why they are doing them. Therein lies the challenge. Everyone in the organization needs to understand the big picture. Said another way, the knowledge workers who do the Solve Loop have to understand how their participation enables the Evolve Loop, and benefits the people they're serving, the organization as a whole, and the knowledge workers themselves.
This is why the KCS adoption model focuses so much on leadership, coaching, and communication.
Coaching and validation of understanding through a licensing or proficiency model are important elements in promoting understanding and changing behaviors. To fully realize KCS success, the Solve Loop practices (capture, structure, reuse, improve) have to become a habit for knowledge workers, not something they occasionally do, or something only some of them do.
The Power of Certification
The Consortium for Service Innovation, the only authorized certification body for KCS, offers rigorous, industry-level certification programs for some of the roles described both here and in the KCS v6 Practices Guide. The certification programs validate that individuals have an operational understanding of the KCS methodology. The criteria and exams for certification were developed by the members of the Consortium with guidance from a psychometrician (an expert in exam development and validation).
The organizations that have made use of the KCS certification programs are reaping the benefits of KCS. Knowledge workers who truly understand the methodology and how it can benefit them consistently create more value than those who don’t.
KCS Certification programs include:
- KCS v6 Fundamentals – Entry-level certification for anyone interested in learning the basics of KCS.
- KCS v6 Practices – Advanced-level certification for those demonstrating thorough, deep, and broad understanding of KCS.
- KCS v6 Trainer – Advanced-level certification for experienced trainers who hold the KCS v6 Practices certification and intend to sell and deliver accredited KCS training.
- KCS v6 Internal Trainer – Advanced-level certification for experienced trainers who hold the KCS v6 Practices certification and intend to deliver accredited KCS training within a specific company.
For a listing of official KCS workshops and certification offerings please visit the Consortium for Service Innovation.