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In Conversation with...Knosys MD John Thompson

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In this blog post, our third in a series of ‘In conversation with…’ posts, I spoke with Knosys Managing Director, John Thompson. John has been with Knosys since July 2016 when he was awarded the leadership role of Managing Director. John works closely with both the development teams and on the investor side of the company, engaging with clients, stakeholders and providing employees with the opportunities to excel.

Just like many of those at the helm of companies here in Australia and across the shores, John has had to navigate recent changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic and adjust his entire company working structure. Not only that but he has responded with his team to an increased need for their KIQ Cloud Knowledge Management solution, so it’s been an unpredictable time that has brought both positives and negatives to the industry but above all, has shone a light on the benefits of Knowledge Management.

Knosys provides a very competitive knowledge management solution for enterprise businesses and SMEs. With so much attention now being placed on a company’s ability to provide a convenient, structured and secure way to enable staff to service clients in a support capacity, as well as upskill, train and learn new processes, your product has suddenly become an essential component for many. Have you seen an uplift in companies within your markets looking to educate themselves on how to facilitate changes and position themselves to better respond and are investors more engaged as a result?

I think many companies became focused on understanding how existing technologies and platforms already in use could be leveraged first then looked at gaps and what other solutions they needed to be more effective. We certainly have seen greater interest in contact and service centre parts of these businesses as they need to handle larger volumes of inquiries, more complex questions and are needing to train new staff to a higher level of proficiency as quick as possible. Investors at high level seem to understand the positioning of our solution in times such as these and we certainly have placed more emphasis on our technology’s use case in these customer facing parts of businesses.

With restrictions slowly easing, what plans does Knosys have for the remainder of 2020?

We must consider the restrictions and accept that general market conditions will remain for the balance of 2020 ⁠— therefore, we have shifted our attention to where we can improve our digital footprint. We expect to release more digital media assets over the next 6 months and redevelop our website to provide a better user experience and more info for our customers.

The overwhelming advice from Governments around the world, especially those such as Australia that are successfully managing COVID-19 outbreaks, is to continue working from home where possible.

What is your response as an employer and Managing Director and what is the message to those who are contemplating their options?

Continued WFH operating model is not for everyone as one size does not fit all unfortunately. We are fortunate that a major portion of our business can WFH but a large part of our sales and marketing is outreach focused. We and others need to adapt and focus on improving activities that promote inbound activities.

The economy is currently enduring unprecedented disruption that will take years to recover – but online spending has surged, businesses who thrive online are continuing to succeed -  what can knowledge management offer to help industries simultaneously recover and maintain the trust of their customers?

KM generally assists online companies with their customer experience be it through their service desks, support teams or self-help digital channels. The KM solution means a customer inquiry is handled in the shortest possible time and a positive resolution is achieved. This all builds on the customers brand and generates repeat sales and thus improves their bottom line.

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Training and development methods have become so important recently. With staff being repurposed, retrained and distributed to alternate teams and departments and with new staff being brought on to manage changing consumer behaviour, can you explain how the KIQ Cloud platform is utilised to achieve as seamless as possible a transition?

The KIQ Cloud platform delivers a total KM solution which includes process guidance to assist staff learn new processes, decision trees so staff make the right decision by following procedures and knowledge articles which are always up to date and relevant. Teams therefore build confidence that the KM solution is there to support them and make them better at their jobs and promotes confidence.

As a technology company that works to support contact centres, you have likely witnessed the increased need for these support staff in varied industries. It’s so important we recognise the hard work, extended hours and dedication of these ‘behind closed doors’ workers on the other end of the phone or chat bot. How can knowledge management help reward the hard work of these employees and make their lives easier?

Our experience in this case is that staff are less stressed when supported by KM, staff turnover is reduced as people find the work environment better, greater satisfaction in performing their roles, less errors so less scrutiny, all of which leads to improved staff retention. Our KM solution can be used to help staff and management understand and improve upon the level of knowledge with quizzes and testing and the interaction created from this is great for team moral and gives individuals added incentive. 

Knosys are continuing to adapt and respond to the changes going on around us in Australia and abroad but as an organisation, our role is to help others do the same, and this is something we're looking forward to continuing long after everything returns to so called 'business as usual'. 

We hope more businesses will look at this temporary upheaval as an opportunity to learn and improve and understand their customers behaviours and needs, in deeper and more universal ways. By responding to customers more quickly, with technical support and the knowledge needed at their fingertips, support performance will only continue to improve, enabling higher levels of customer satisfaction in the future. 

For more stories from our 'In conversation with' series simply take a look at our blog

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Picture of Elise Kuchel By Elise Kuchel on June 17, 2020