This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Customer Relationship Management and KM

This is an older article but it is relevant to the discussion of Personal vs. Corporate KM that is going on at AOK and has been happening in literature for the past several years.

KM World published a white paper in September 2001 on Customer Service: A Holistic Approach Knowledge Management adds value to a CRM Content Management implementation by Karen L. Case and Rita Lochner of IBM Corporation. They summarize what knowledge management is and how it applies in call centers:

Dependence on a mechanical "Knowledge Base Management" approach alone will always take a back seat to approaches human beings have used for thousands of years. We all have tendencies to think creatively, and develop relationships. We love to tell and listen to stories. In fact, to hold, share and grow knowledge through communities is what we do best. And, without a doubt, this holds true in call center and support center environments.

At call centers, meetings throughout the organization have the tendencies to extend our individual and group knowledge through relationships and creative thinking. These social connection meetings, informal or formal, far outweigh any desire to use databases that may contain outdated or hard-to-find documents, or utilization of processes that just don’t fit due to the misalignment with team behaviors or a simple lack of maintenance. Individuals who have developed approaches to get around inconsistencies in availability of support knowledge also easily veer away from management directives that say they should use a system that doesn’t include using people and community as primary resources.

This is a nice description of how the technology of KM for an organization can integrate with the personal effectiveness aspects: The tool has to support the process, not subvert it or change it. Or if the tool requires the process to change, then there has to be a much wider effort around engaging people in a new process that demonstrably helps them get their work done better than the old process. In relation to this article, how will the new CRM tool help the customer service representative respond to inquiries from their customers? How will it support the sales and marketing efforts, and how will the loop be closed so that when new calls come into the center, the phone representatives know what the customers are (and have been) asking?

In addition, the paper describes a model of how CRM and KM could be integrated. Their model, drawn as a compass, includes Structural, Economic, Community & Society, and Inter-organizational views of the world and how CRM impacts them. They note in bold letters that failure to incorporate inter-organizational and community & society views "results in difficulties establishing interorganizational knowledge sharing and a strong relationship with the customer."

Note: This is part of a larger collection of papers on Best Practices in Enterprise Relationship Management.

What have you learned from KM?

Personal or Corporate Knowledge Management