2Know Magazine: Sharing KM Knowledge
2Know: Sharing KM Knowledge
May 2017 - Magazine No. 212
May 2017 - Magazine No. 212
Written By Dana Neuman- Rotem

Although I've been involved in customer service since I was 14, I still love to provide and improve service. However, when asked in numerous meetings to mention a memorable service experience I've had some difficulty presenting one. Don't get me wrong, I have been fortunate enough to encounter great service on several occasions, efficient service with a smile- I just don't think that counts as memorable. This all changed during my last spring vacation.


I've wanted to experience a different kind of vacation for quite a while; to rent a trailer for a few days and camp outdoors with my family. My journey began on a previous vacation in a B&B several months ago. During this vacation we happened to see a trailer the B&B manager had just purchased and presented to us proudly. We got all excited and said to ourselves "maybe someday…"
Come spring vacation I decided this might be the right time and talked a couple of friends into joining us. The only problem was that the B&B manager owned only one trailer. Don't worry, he said. I will take care of everything; all you have to do is show up. And you know what? He did. When we arrived at the site we saw 2 trailers, straw-mats, a shade awning, tables & chairs. Even the water and electricity was taken care of; this all led to a super vacation!

When examining this remarkable service experience and what actually made it so good, I reached a simple conclusion: the service experience enveloped my entire journey, from the idea to its actualization. It all started when I was exposed to the trailer at the B&B and continued when my needs were addressed to the point when a product unavailable at the time was pursued in order to fulfill my requests. The journey advanced when we settled in our trailer and were provided constant connection just in case and of course ended with the service experience regarding payment. In short, the service experience was complete due to attention to all stages of the journey.

What is a Customer Journey?
A customer journey illustrates the interactions people have with an organization over time via all available channels (telephone, digital, frontal service, email, etc). The journey relates to what people do, what they experience, what they expect and what they feel regarding these interactions and the service-providing organization. A journey can focus on a certain task (e.g. product purchase) or the customer's lifecycle when dealing with a long term service. A customer journey is total experience the customer will encounter on his/her journey i.e. total interactions with the brand and organization. Instead of viewing only a part of the experience or deal, the customer journey documents the full experience of being a customer.

This requires viewing the journey from the customer's point of view. In order to produce a persistent learning and service improvement process we must utilize our opportunities in order to research, comprehend and implement these lessons in order to improve the journey experience. Furthermore, it is important to understand that what is considered today high-quality service will be viewed tomorrow as satisfactory and next week as obvious. Learning and contributing value to quality service must be consistent.


The Map
The customer's journey map presents the customer's experience: from the initial encounter to a long-term relationship. The map can focus on a certain part of the story or provide a general review of the entire experience. It is vital to recognize key interactions between the customer and the organization. The map should also relate to the customer's feelings, motivations and questions regarding all points of interaction and can serve as a tool through which organizations can learn more about their customers and the service experience they are provided.

There is no single correct way to create such a map. Usually, some sort of infographics with a timeline of the user's experience is used yet other models such as a video or schedule. The map must tell a simple story in order to focus people's attention on the customer's needs and relate to the total encounters, service channels, procedures and documents required in order to highlight the customers' needs, requests and feelings during their interaction with the organization.
View the journey map as a poster on the office wall. In one glance, people should be able to see the main interactions the user has experienced. This should remind them that the customer's needs must always be a top priority.


In conclusion: learn about your customers; try to experience the service you provide through their eyes. Creating this map can assist us to learn about the process a customer must go through in order to receive service. Service is a world that requires us to improve constantly.



We usually associate Conversational UI to a system's visual and graphic aspects. While this is true, there are other properties which can improve user experience. Conversational UI is a user interface which simulates a conversation with an actual person. Instead of clicking on menus and icons or typing a keyword in a search engine, users can express themselves freely in order to find the required data. This can be done either by "chatting" with the virtual representative (or "chatbot"), engaging in an oral conversation with virtual help such as Siri, or even sending an IM to the business via designated app.

This way, the system studies the user instead of the other way around. By using complex algorithms and AI systems, conversational UI translates the information (whether transmitted orally or textually) into data items or commands stated by the system.

An increasing number of organizations, from Google and Facebook to your local vender, understand the potential of Conversational UI, whether in its simpler Chatbot form which includes only some basic scenarios or in its AI-based form which is more complex and elaborate. The more advanced versions identify audio/text commands and relates to additional properties such as user location in order to present an answer adapted to his/her needs (e.g. Google voice-search).

Conversational UI provides businesses an innovative way to communicate with their customers. If I can text my spouse "please turn on the boiler", why shouldn't I be able to text the café "2 espressos, please"? This was indeed done by Starbucks: the Starbucks application enables customers to order via text or voice message. The customers receive a message when their orders are ready so that waiting lines are spared.

Nevertheless, in regards to business aspects the western world is years behind. In China, an application titled WeChat which began as an IM app enables users to perform numerous activities via text or voice messages including hailing a cab, purchasing clothing, making appointments and paying bills. 10 million businesses offer their services via this app to 870 million Chinese users.

Conversational UI offers a substantial improvement to UX and data accessibility and in turn can contribute to customer service and sales. It is not unreasonable to assume that this tool will be developed (in conjunction with the development of the field of AI) and utilized in other fields. We may possibly be able to use it in organizations in order to provide our workers a friendly User Experience.
Let's talk about it.


This question is common among many clients, both newcomers to the field making their first steps in their organization's Knowledge Management and veteran clients considering whether to replace their organization's current KM system for various reasons. The question is also common among clients that heard of upgraded KM software tools, others have purchased, and wish to acquire these features as well, or clients which are dissatisfied with their current system and seek a new solution. Sometimes it is just a matter of timing: it is time to update, replace or refresh the old system.
When clients ask this question they look to me since as a consultant I had an opportunity working with various systems. They ask for my opinion: Oracle, KMS LightHouse, Jive, Kana, or SharePoint? Which system serves their organization's needs best? Should they go with Omer, Documentum or another system? The market is abundant with systems, platforms, tools, software and apps specializing in Knowledge Management and document management and the list will probably only grow longer in recent years. These systems mostly feature similar properties and abilities for the organizations KM needs.
Before reviewing this question let's consider another. Perhaps we should inquire: what should we examine when we debate whether to purchase a Knowledge Management system. The answer is that we must consider the following criteria:
• Charting and defining the organizational need for a Knowledge Management system: target audience and business needs
• Organization size and apt infrastructure: servers, positions
• Operational characteristics of the organization: languages, authorizations, centralization/decentralization, etc.
• Organizational culture: hierarchical structure, work processes, procedures
• organizational budget; cost of the recommended systems (both annual and one-time)
• Unique characteristics of the offered systems: based on benchmarks between systems and client stories
Note: these criteria are general. Some additional criteria may exist in specific organizations.

In spite of this important list, there is one more thing that should be considered, maybe as important as the entire list together: What is the ability of the organization and its management to commit to a long term project- to manage the change, invest effort, time and money in setting up, applying and managing a new organizational KM system, and implementing it and embedding it into the organizations current work methods.

My personal experience shows that the success of a project of this sort does not depend on a specific system rather mostly on the implementation work plan and the manner in which the organizational change is conducted.
I'll end off with this: if you need a consultant to guide you through the process, you are more than welcome to contact my friends at ROM and myself. We would be glad to be your partners and assist you along the way.
I wish you luck!


Written by Rom Knowledgeware
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