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Knowledge Management in a financial institution’s call center's database during times of crisis

1 April 2020

Rimona farkash baruch

The coronavirus pandemic presents us with formidable challenges, indirectly and directly affecting several sectors of our economy as reflected directly in local and global stock markets.

The capital market's high volatility has placed financial institutions' call centers' representatives in the line of fire. They must face confused, angry, fearful, and occasionally helpless customers who are, in turn, facing huge losses. Managing a financial institution's call center's knowledgebase requires constant updating and accuracy. This is always true, due to the need to meet the high regulatory demands of the capital, pension, and insurance market. In times of peril, such as now, these demands are coupled with the uncertainty generating great volatility, causing an overload on the call centers. This is due to a substantial increase in customers calling to perform urgent operation such as withdrawal, shifting banking tracks, etc. This requires the representative to be ever more precise and provide full and professional information regarding their questions such as balance inquiry, rights actualization, restriction, taxing, etc.


5 main principles to adhere to when managing a financial institution's call center's knowledgebase during a crisis:

  1. Defining the relevant professional partners in the organization to feed precise data and coordinate expectations: times of crisis lead to intraorganizational chaos, especially at the beginning. Crisis also leads to changes which cause some of the parties we have previously turned to feed and receive the professional knowledge were transferred or released. Therefore, it is vital at first to understand who are the relevant professional parties with which we will have to work in order to feed in the most precise information. It is important to define new work procedures and coordinate expectations.

  2. Prioritizing and setting schedules to update details: during times of crisis and emergency when vital information may change frequently, it is important for an organizational knowledgebase's manager to know to update the most relevant and urgent data as quickly as possible. Usually, task prioritizing is performed at the beginning of each day. However, during times of crisis it is best to check up on this data several times a day as well as ask the relevant professional parties in the organization. One platform that may help keep this data up to date is news flashes, i.e. notifications containing short segments of data.

  3. Using short, simple, and precise phrasing: creating updated, short information items requires simple, clear, and precise writing as call representatives must withstand the overload and take the lease time to provide the fullest, most precise, and most comprehensible data.

  4. Retaining the organizational digital interface uniformity: all financial institutions are steadily shifting to digital interfaces, yet this crisis has made the need to present a digital interface all the more prominent. Therefore, when constructing a knowledge item to be used by a customer service representative it is vital to make sure that this data matches the data on the company website. Furthermore, some of these items are to be sent via email and be applied digitally.

  5. Flexibility, creativity and longevity: a time of emergency is usually characterized by constant changes, and requires work in unconventional and unexpected settings (such as working at home with the kids around), organizational changes which require working with other interfaces in the system and generally multitasking in a state of frequent change. For the information to be precise and correct we must be able to think clearly, initiate, be creative and most importantly utilize longevity and flexible thought.


I wish us all a speedy return to more peaceful days.

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