Being a Consortium Member certainly has its perks. The Consortium for Service Innovation held its 2018 Member Summit in Napa, California. Aside from the great views and delicious wine, there was a lot of valuable information regarding content strategies and models that improve the customer experience. MindTouch attended this three-day event, and these are the top three highlights.

KCS May Be More Than A Support Model

Knowledge Centered Service (KCS®) is a methodology that enables support agents to take advantage of existing knowledge and create new knowledge in order to decrease their mean time to resolution and increase customer satisfaction. Over the years, this methodology has continued to evolve, and during the Member Summit, David Kay and John Chmaj presented sessions on ways in which KCS aligns with the Agile methodology.

David Kay discussed potentially broadening KCS to include Agile terminology. An Agile approach to knowledge is relatable to people outside of the support world, and those who are familiar with Agile may have an easier time understanding the value of KCS. Agile for support increases efficiency, reduces customer effort, and delivers more value to customers faster.

John Chmaj’s session expanded on Kay’s talk by highlighting 12 Agile knowledge building principles and covering the ways in which Agile principles can be used for content structure, style, and migration. Establishing an association between Agile and KCS can help create a consistent approach to knowledge across the organization.

Photo of David Kay's presentation at Photo of Matt Seaman's presentation at the Consortium for Service Innovation 2018 Member Summit

The Future Of Content Is Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) was a hot topic at the Member Summit this year. Many companies are finding ways to use AI to improve the customer experience. Matt Seaman discussed how machine learning can drive customer success. His presentation included a Harvard Business Review video that showcased augmented reality applied to content. An augmented reality companion app, when used to view an article, brings a diagram to life allowing the reader to zoom, rotate, and isolate segments of an otherwise flat diagram.

Jim Pendergast, Kevin Walsh, and Matt Chinn highlighted some challenges they faced with customer experience at AARP®. Specifically, the team spoke about how AI is helping them improve through personalized content. Their goal is to utilize member preferences and behaviors to curate and personalize AARP content and member benefits in order to increase member retention rates and satisfaction.

Photo of Matt Seaman's presentation at Consortium for Service Innovation 2018 Member Summit

Dr. Michael Wu gave an engaging presentation showing how data tells a story. Dr. Wu pointed out that big data alone doesn’t provide the necessary information for machine learning because not all data is relevant. He explained that you have to understand the context before you can glean valuable information:

What’s relevant is determined by the problem you are trying to solve or the question you are trying to answer.

It’s important to use relevant data to feed machine learning and prescriptive or predictive analytics. Indeed, the future of support is a personalized experience formed from machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Intelligent Swarming Is An Emerging Support Practice

Intelligent Swarming℠ is a methodology developed by the Consortium that moves away from a tiered support model to a more collaborative resolution model. A swarm includes agents of different skill levels. One person takes ownership of the issue until it’s resolved while collaborating with others, instead of a typical escalation process where the issue is passed on to the next person in line. In Bill Ackerman’s Intelligent Swarming session, he explained one of the big pain points customers face when submitting a ticket through an escalation model:

Customers repeat their problem to three different case owners and waits for multiple escalations until they FINALLY have a solution.

As Ackerman points out, Intelligent Swarming seeks to improve the customer experience while increasing efficiency with support agents.

RELATED: KCS Intelligent Swarming Framework Released


Overall, the Consortium Member Summit was a major success and extremely informative. MindTouch is so happy to have the opportunity to be involved with the Consortium and contribute to the group as a whole. We will be expanding on the topics above with a webinar series and additional blog posts in the not-to-distant future. Stay tuned for those! In the meantime, we’re already making preparations to attend the Predictive Customer Engagement Team Meeting in Austin!

About the Author: Bonnie Chase (@bonniedchase) is a Product Owner at MindTouch, helping create a product that enables support agents to contribute content to their organization’s body of knowledge. Prior to shifting to product, she spent the last ten years in the technical communication field focusing on content strategy, knowledge creation, and user experience, helping companies like Verizon, Hitachi, and Accenture empower their users through self-service. Bonnie has a M.A. in Technical Writing and is KCS v6 certified.

Editor’s Note: KCS®, Intelligent Swarming℠, and Adaptive Organization℠ are service marks of the Consortium for Service Innovation™.

Additional categories: Knowledge Management