Digital service provider for a special customer experience
With SmartStash, we have introduced a digital knowledge management solution to map and simplify customer service processes.
Digital knowledge management based on Microsoft 365
As a modern, owner-managed service company with around 300 employees, impacx services GmbH, headquartered in Kleve, stands for sophisticated customer experience management. In 2022, impacx will become the new umbrella brand (formerly: tel-inform) of the family-owned company founded in 1846. As a digital service provider, impacx handles complex customer service processes for clients from a wide range of industries, focusing on the implementation of state-of-the-art technologies. With the tel-inform product brand, impacx continues to offer customers classic telephone and secretarial services. Based on more than 25 years of experience in the customer service business, impacx develops individual CX solutions for special customer experiences together with its clients.
In order to meet the diverse customer requirements even better and to satisfy its own highest quality standards, impacx works together with trustworthy and competent partners.
The initial situation
As a provider of customer experience management, the company serves customers from a wide range of industries from its headquarters in Kleve. These include a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises as well as municipal companies and large corporations. As a result, employees are confronted with a wide variety of customer concerns on a daily basis, ranging from technical product questions and questions about orders to returns and complaints. It quickly becomes clear how demanding and complex the processing of such customer inquiries is and how crucial a central knowledge management system is in order to always be able to react competently and professionally to customer inquiries. All the knowledge required must consequently be structured, archived and, in particular, always kept up to date.
Until now, impacx has responded individually to the requirements of the clients and worked with different help desk solutions or wikis based on Confluence, depending on the complexity. Thus, there were separate software solutions and knowledge management repositories for each client - a system that worked in principle, but presented some challenges due to its limited functionality.
Since impacx wanted to further improve the quality of knowledge management, the need arose for a new system that would offer an expanded range of functions and optimally meet the increasing requirements. In addition to a powerful keyword search, which makes it much easier for employees to find content quickly, the new system was to offer more comprehensive options for consistently structuring information. Furthermore, the new solution was to support the implementation of rights and role concepts in order to distribute knowledge to employees in a more targeted manner and to effectively protect information from unauthorized access. While the old system was only accessible to impacx employees, the new solution was also to offer clients the opportunity to enter new information themselves in order to make the knowledge management process even more efficient.
In search of a new digital knowledge management solution to map and simplify customer service processes, impacx finally turned to Fellowmind. Since the company was already using Microsoft 365 anyway, it made sense to go for a knowledge management solution that was also based on Microsoft 365 and could be perfectly integrated into the existing environment. With SmartStash, we were able to offer impacx a solution that brought many of the required functionalities out-of-the-box and in which the still missing features could be implemented quickly. The project was also an exciting experience for our team due to the use of SmartStash in a completely new context.
"The live use of SmartStash as a service tool naturally places even different demands on the product than its use as a classic knowledge management system. However, the necessary adaptations could be implemented without much effort, which proves the flexibility of SmartStash as a WMS or IMS."
~ David Hosni, Consultant Modern Work - Team SmartStash
After SmartStash was adapted to impacx's needs, a 6-month pilot phase began in which the use of SmartStash was tested together with a 12-member team on the basis of a pilot customer company. A special feature was that, in addition to the impacx team, employees of the pilot customer company were also involved in the conceptual design of the system during this phase. This close cooperation enabled SmartStash to be precisely tailored to the needs of all participants from the very beginning and subsequently ensured a smooth project flow.
As a result, we jointly implemented a digital knowledge management system that is optimally adapted to the needs of impacx employees and their clients.
Thanks to a full-text search that covers all content and can be easily restricted to individual clients and other characteristics using filters, access to knowledge has been greatly simplified for all employees. The basis for this, along with well-prepared content, is in particular the consistent filing structure that we developed together with impacx. In addition to the ability to quickly find content via keyword search, a detailed rights and roles concept was implemented on the basis of SmartStash. In this way, not only can relevant content be found more quickly, but new content can also be distributed to the respective employees in a targeted manner. This not only guarantees that the content is up to date and of high quality - thanks to the new rights and roles concept, read confirmations can be used to ensure that employees actually take note of the new information that is relevant to them.
The new rights and roles concept also offers considerable advantages in terms of data protection. This ensures that employees can only see and access content that is actually relevant to them. In addition, the relevant client:in has access to selected content in SmartStash. Content can thus be reviewed jointly in the system and changes can be initiated by both sides.
The system is designed so that new content or changes can be made by the clients themselves. The responsible impacx employees are then automatically informed by SmartStash about the changes made. A reviewer from impacx then only approves the content. In this way, the time-consuming manual input of changes is eliminated and the impacx employees have even more time to concentrate on the essentials, namely providing an outstanding service for the end customers.
"For us, the great added value of SmartStash lies in the collaboration option with our clients. By jointly editing the knowledge database, the manual effort for data maintenance can be drastically reduced and all relevant information can always be kept up-to-date."
~ Bernhard Sack, Managing Director impacx services GmbH
In addition to the new structure and keyword search, the categorization of content also contributes to faster content retrieval. While no consistent filing system was established in the old wikis, it is now possible to tag content and then filter it according to the corresponding tags.
Each stash is divided into the categories "Knowledge", "News", "FAQ" and "Archive". While the basic information for the service can be found under the "Knowledge" category, current and only briefly valid information is assigned to the "News" category and distributed to the relevant people. Furthermore, impacx employees have the option of recording particularly frequently asked questions in the form of "FAQ articles", tagging them as FAQs so that they can then be accessed even more quickly via the corresponding category. Outdated content is stored in the "archive", so that a kind of change history can also be accessed if required.
Overall, this results in a completely new work experience for the impacx employees, who ultimately work with the knowledge management system for most of their working day. While working with the individual wikis was more like a digital loose-leaf collection, the use of which was not very intuitive due to the lack of a consistent structure, SmartStash now provides them with a highly intuitive knowledge management system that makes their everyday work much easier thanks to various new features and user-friendly structures.
"I am pleased to be a part of impacx's exciting journey to your Modern Workplace. Replacing a single tool can have so much impact on day-to-day work, which means a lot of change management and was excellently driven by those involved in the project!"
~ Leslie Emder, Account Manager Fellowmind Germany GmbH
Following the successful go-live, further clients are currently being integrated into the new system. For the future, it is also planned to use SmartStash in the company's own academy for the training and further education of employees.