What Are Knowledge-Centered Services (KCS) and Why Does Your Business Need Them?

Image of a laptop and a tablet on a table in front of a bookshelf filled with books. The laptop and tablet display images of a bookshelf filled with books on their screens.
Wondering what knowledge-centered services are?

Your support teams solve customer problems because they know your IT systems well. However, not all support team members have the same level of knowledge. Due to this, your support staff may not be able to handle certain queries, so they’ll pass them on to internal experts. As a result, customers might face delays in resolution. But expert team members also get overloaded with work, creating bottlenecks. Knowledgecentered services (KCS) are the answer if you face support challenges

In this article, I’ll explain what KCS is along with the benefits it brings. I’ll also recommend some of the top software you can implement right away. Let’s dive in!

What Are Knowledge-Centered Services?

Knowledge-centered services (KCS) are the tools and processes that a business uses to create and maintain support documentation. Companies treat knowledge as a business asset. They don’t rely on employee memory and experience to solve customer problems.

KCS integrates knowledge creation and management with every customer interaction. This is the general process for support staff implementing KCS:

  1. Check the documentation before resolving new queries
  2. Follow the outlined steps and quickly resolve new issues 
  3. Create detailed documentation regularly on how to resolve customer issues 
  4. Update the documentation immediately if the resolution process changes

You can also extend KCS beyond customer service by documenting other areas of IT support. For example, it can help with incident management and change management. You should adopt this practice mainly to reduce support costs and resolution time. I’ll explain more benefits below!

What Are the Benefits of KCS?

Regardless of industry and size, any company can take advantage of KCS. Companies mostly use it for the following benefits:

Increased Efficiency

KCS frees up time as support staff resolve queries faster. They can use the additional time to take on more work and update documentation. Additionally, you can train new team members and handle additional workloads more efficiently.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

Customers will have a consistent support experience as all support staff members will follow the same resolution process. You can also use KCS documentation to create self-help portals for your customers. Customers can use these portals to search and find solutions by themselves instead of approaching customer service.

Continuous System Improvement

Your IT administrators and engineers can use KCS documents to improve your systems. For example, your customers may have frequent questions about regular payments. Your IT team can upgrade the system to handle auto-debits as a solution. That’s just one example!

Are you convinced about the importance of knowledge-centered services yet? If so, great! Next, I’ll explain how it works.

Screenshot of stats for implementing KCS.
KCS benefits are measurable!
Source: Creatio

How Does KCS Work?

You can implement knowledge-centered services by adding four steps to your existing customer support process. This section will cover those steps in further detail, starting with knowledge creation.

Step 1: Knowledge Creation

Your support staff creates new documents as they resolve common customer queries. They prioritize writing processes that are important for customers.

Step 2: Knowledge Structure

Leadership and management outline and refine document structure over time. They create templates and add features like tagging or backlinks. They primarily aim to make knowledge articles findable, consistent, and reusable.

Step 3: Knowledge Reuse

Team members should carefully avoid creating duplicate documents. To do this, they must search the knowledge base before adding any new content. They can also try and backlink or cross-reference existing content for clarity.

Step 4: Knowledge Improvement

Updating knowledge articles is the whole team’s responsibility. They should make regular changes and keep the content fresh and relevant. As your knowledge base grows, you can gain new insights to improve customer service. For example, you can assess performance and identify knowledge gaps in your documentation. You can then change your systems or processes to improve the customer experience further.

While the four steps outlined above are straightforward, adopting them can be challenging. For example, your team might not want to accept the additional workload of creating and managing documentation. In addition, the benefits won’t be visible at the outset. A high-quality software solution can make things much easier. Read on for my top software picks!

Infographic of four people standing in a line. One person holds a checklist, one holds a megaphone, one holds a pencil and one holds a document.
Everyone works together to maintain KCS!
Source: Atlassian

Top 3 KCS Software Solutions

Software solutions can make managing and implementing KCS much easier than if you were to do it manually. Before talking about these solutions, I’d like to outline how to choose the best one briefly. Typically, businesses choose a tool by considering factors such as:

  • Team size or daily request volume
  • Existing customer support workflow
  • Integration with existing software you use
  • How you plan to structure and use your knowledge articles

Once you’ve analyzed your own specific requirements, I’d suggest you choose from one of the tools listed below. Without further ado, here are the top 3 KCS software solutions available today!

1. Jira Service Management

Image of the Atlassian logo. A blue graphic "A" precedes the word "Atlassian" which is written in blue.
Atlassian solutions can handle the most complex KCS needs!
Source: Gartner

Atlassian’s Jira Service Management (JISM) is a KCS tool with documentation capabilities for customer support. You can customize the tool for other use cases like change or incident management. With JISM, you can:

  • Build checklists and forms for knowledge structure
  • Submit and approve knowledge articles through a handy mobile app
  • Integrate with other software tools like Google Docs and Slack

2. GFI HelpDesk

Image of GFI HelpDesk's logo. The words "GFI HelpDesk" are written on a white background.
GFI HelpDesk is an all-in-one solution for support issues!
Source: Shi

GFI HelpDesk is an all-in-one solution that integrates knowledge-centered services with chat and ticket management. You can create text documents and record page views, shipping history, and other customer details. Your team can also customize the software for your IT system for real-time customer interactions. Here are some more features:

  • Get customers to log tickets through chat, email, or other applications
  • Create, assign, observe, track, and close support tickets with ease
  • Encourage team collaboration with features like notes and comments
  • Use AI technology to automate document creation

3. Helpjuice

Image of the Helpjuice logo. Two concentric circles with a blue water drop in the middle precede the word "Helpjuice" written in white against a black background.
Create a designer knowledge base with Helpjuice!

Helpjuice is a customizable KCS solution that offers design support for your knowledge base. You can request designers from Helpjuice to structure your documents or choose from hundreds of beautiful design templates. Additional features that you might find useful include:

  • Automatic search engine optimization, so your knowledge articles rank on Google
  • Custom-built search engine to quickly find documents
  • Minimal training required to get started

All 3 solutions offer great benefits. Go with the one that best suits your business needs.

Let’s recap everything discussed so far.

Final Words

Overall, KCS is an internal knowledge management system that makes customer support more efficient. IT teams document customer problems and troubleshooting steps in one location. 

Additionally, everyone in the team uses, updates, and maintains the documentation for knowledge sharing. KCS has several benefits, including cost savings and improved customer experience

You can implement KCS by adding documentation to your existing customer support workflows. However, KCS can be fully effective only if the whole team embraces the process. You’ll also need to use the right KCS software and a well-planned strategy to reap the benefits in the long run.

Do you have more questions about knowledge-centered services? Check out the FAQ and Resources sections below!

FAQ

What is knowledge-centered support?

Knowledge-centered support is another full form of the KCS abbreviation. Initially, companies started knowledge creation for customer support only. However, over time, companies began knowledge management for all use cases. As the scope of KCS increased, it became known as knowledge-centered services.

What are the principles of KCS?

Companies follow four main principles in adopting KCS. The first one is abundance. Teams that share more and learn more are more effective. The second is demand-driven, where teams prioritize documenting issues based on how frequently customers report them. The third is value creation, where teams think of the bigger picture beyond their daily tasks as they create documents. The last principle is trust, where managers empower and motivate everyone in the team to create and update documentation.

What is a KCS article?

A KCS article is a document that represents a team member’s knowledge of any IT issue. It can be a detailed how-to guide or a shorter document containing configuration details. These articles are also less structured than traditional technical documents. For example, they can include snapshots from chat conversations or emails.

Who is the KCS manager?

The KCS manager is an individual who champions KCS implementation in a company. The KCS manager is mostly responsible for creating a KCS culture and motivating team members to create documents. They keep the bigger picture in mind and plan a KCS strategy. They also support team members in finding documentation solutions that work for everybody.

How can a company adopt the KCS way of working and thinking?

To adopt KCS, your company must assess the team and its existing workflows and processes. You also have to analyze customers, common issues they face, and when and why they approach customer support. Only then can you choose the best KCS software solution for your team. You must also train and motivate your team to use the solution regularly.

Resources

TechGenix: Newsletters

Subscribe to our newsletters for more quality content.

TechGenix: Article on Documentation with Microsoft Tools

Discover how to co-author documents with Microsoft Sharepoint.

TechGenix: Article on Problems Due to Incomplete Documentation

Read more about problems caused by missing documentation.

TechGenix: Guide on Securing Customer Documents

Learn how to secure your customers’ documents.

TechGenix: Article on Product Documentation 

Explore how to manage project documentation with Azure.

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