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In today’s intensely globalized competitive environment, being able to bring an organization’s cumulative knowledge, expertise and insights at the point of need and in real time are proving to be a crucial capability.
Ultimately, efficient support is proving to be a compelling and competitive point of advantage. Whether your support team is directly engaging customers to resolve their queries or problems on the fly, or providing specialist technical support to the employees, your support team needs to be highly adaptive and responsive.
What Is A Wiki?
A wiki is a collaborative onsite collaborative tool that collects and organizes content created, edited and curated by its contributors. Wikis offer a cost-effective, low complexity solution to the usual need for an organization to grow knowledge around a particular practice group or area of practice. Wikis are based on the concept that all enterprises hold a significant volume of knowledge, experience and expertise amongst its members. Being able to share this knowledge and information quickly and effectively can raise the organization’s intelligence levels.
Common applications for wikis have emerged where an organization needs to collect and distribute information around technical help for customers, knowledge bases around Sales, IT, HR or quality control, and FAQs. Wikis are particularly useful in bridging geographically dispersed teams to collate solutions to common problems, developing best practice standards, creating a database of technical issues & stories and finding group solutions to problems.
Advantages of wiki For Support Teams
Corporate wiki software has been widely adopted by support teams across industry verticals due to its flexibility. Here are some of its key features:
- Can be private or public facing
- Create a sense of community across a practice group
- Wikis are available at minimal or low cost
- Fast and easy to setup, deploy and maintain
- Accessible for multiple users simultaneously
- Flexible structure suitable for almost any content area
- Easy to use, search and navigate
- Knowledge and information is readily stored, searched and accessed
Employed effectively, a wiki can unlock productivity within a team, reduce their collective workloads and enhance the customer experience by speedily resolving their problems and questions.
Building Online Communities
Internal wiki software has proven to be effective at developing a sense of community within practice groups or teams. Their open collaboration and self-editing model typically provide contributors with a sense of ownership. Internal contributors frequently bring a sense of real world experience that others within the enterprise find engaging and compelling, creating grassroots buy-in for the online community.
These communities offer rich sources of experience in innovating around new product or service development, solving customer problems, taking costs out of a business and coordinating suppliers and service providers.
Key Tips For A Successful Wiki
In tapping into the benefits a wiki can yield for support teams, there are five key areas to consider:
- Ensure the goal of the wiki is clear and then communicate this to your organization
- Map out who the ideal participants will be and what access rights they will enjoy
- Ensure the community has a moderator to ensure the wiki’s content meets the wiki’s goals to ensure contributors are using the internal wiki software correctly
- Provide clear instructions on how to use a wiki and how to contribute to a wiki
- Nurture a culture of collegial collaboration within the wiki
Connecting With Customers Via A Wiki
Many wikis initially start by connecting individuals across the organization, building interpersonal relationships based on trust, reinforcing positive group norms, and nurturing a sense of common identity and commitment to the group. The presence of these factors within the community can motivate individuals to share their knowledge and expertise with others in a way an organizational chart cannot.
While many corporate wiki software knowledge management applications are focused within the organization, networking with prospects, customers and suppliers beyond the organization are also a crucial activity in developing new sources of knowledge and experience, testing existing knowledge and comparing and contrasting alternative viewpoints.
Unlocking Enterprise Value
There is an emerging consensus that accelerating the speed of knowledge flows between individual experts and teams across an organization has a force multiplier effect. Significant potential value realization has been demonstrated by harnessing corporate wiki software in three key areas:
- Onboard new employees more speedily by giving them quicker access to organizational knowledge and experts
- Reducing operating costs by sharing experience and expertise, increasing knowledge reuse, lowering problem rectification costs
- Improving customer experience by identifying experts quickly to aid problem solving
By leveraging internal wiki software in this way, organizational networks and communities can contribute hidden benefits to support revenue growth and manage costs.
Internal networks and communities are social configurations, essentially voluntary, self-organizing, sense-making entities. Wikis enable these networks to adopt common practices, tools, symbols, signs, artifacts, stories and histories as they mature and evolve, unlocking significant value for the enterprise in terms of enhanced customer experiences, service levels and internal operating cost management.