Head with a bookshelf in front of black wall representing knowledge management technology

Knowledge is the lifeblood of modern business. As a customer, I know how frustrating it is to deal with brands that can’t easily answer my questions or resolve problems quickly. Everyone today expects quick, seamless, and personalized experiences. That’s where knowledge management (KM) (and knowledge management technology) comes in. Done right, it powers exceptional customer service and drives business success.

At Lucidworks, we’ve been thinking a lot about how companies can do better, and a recent panel discussion with Lucidworks’ VP of Partner Success, Patrick Hoeffel, highlighted some essential KM strategies. It covered everything from search technology and AI to the importance of human connection in a digital world. 

Here are the key takeaways:

  • It’s all about the results. Customers don’t care how you do it, but they just want the right information the first time. Focus on delivering accurate, relevant answers seamlessly.
  • Empower customers while guiding them. People want autonomy to a degree, but they also want a helpful hand. Design intuitive interfaces (powered by knowledge management technology) for self-service when reasonable, and always offer the option to connect with a real human if needed.
  • Reduce friction. Overwhelming customers with choices or information backfires. Make the journey as easy as possible with smart features like auto-suggest, powered by effective knowledge management technology.
  • Humanity still matters. Even with advanced AI, genuine personal touches are indispensable. Use names, sprinkle in appropriate humor, and express simple courtesy — it goes a long way.
  • Create engaging experiences. Surprise and delight customers by going the extra mile. Tell stories, be solution-focused, and exceed expectations where you can. Knowledge management technology can streamline these efforts by making the right information instantly accessible.

You can watch the full webinar or keep reading for the top strategies for optimizing CX with KM.

Transforming CX with KM: Key Strategies

Let’s dive into the top five KM best practices that emerged from the panel discussion:

#1 Relevant Results are King

Customers demand fast and accurate answers. Your search systems must deliver the most relevant results seamlessly, regardless of how a query is phrased. A hybrid search approach, combining keyword search and large language models (LLMs), is often essential.

#2 Empower Your Customers

Strike a balance between automation and human control. Offer intuitive self-service options while allowing customers to steer their experience when needed. Think of Google’s uncluttered interface — it empowers users without overwhelming them.

#3 Ease the Cognitive Burden

Design interfaces that streamline decision-making and minimize cognitive load. Features like auto-suggest and personalization reduce friction, guiding customers effortlessly toward their goals.

#4 Don’t Forget the Human Touch

Even with the rise of AI, the genuine human connection remains irreplaceable. Personalize experiences by using customer names, infuse humor where appropriate, and show empathy. A simple “thank you” goes a long way.

A McKinsey study found that companies implementing personalization strategies can see a 10-30% increase in marketing ROI.

#5 Create Immersive Experiences

Make interactions memorable. Customers should feel valued and understood. Aim to surprise (positively!), offer tailored solutions, and tell stories that resonate.

Young man jumping into water, representing immersive experiences.


Knowledge Management Technology: The KM Backbone

To achieve these customer-centric goals, the right knowledge management technology is essential. Here’s where a hybrid search approach becomes so powerful:

1. Keyword Search: The Master of Precision

How It Works: Keyword search engines search for exact matches to your search terms. They meticulously look for documents or pages that contain the words or phrases you’ve typed in.

Where It Excels:

  • Part Numbers and Specific Identifiers: If a customer knows the exact part number for what they need, they shouldn’t have to sift through irrelevant products. Keyword search excels in this scenario.
  • FAQs and Technical Documents: Direct queries with clear specifications (e.g., “How do I reset my password?”) are best served by keyword search, as the focus is on finding an exact answer, not variations.

precise keyword matching representation of knowledge management technology; Lost jigsaw ,Filling in what is lacking ,Wooden blocks on a blue background ,Not completing the goal ,Copy space.

2. Large Language Models (LLMs): The Semantic Powerhouses

How They Work: LLMs understand the nuances of human language. Instead of focusing on exact words, they look at the context, intent, and meaning behind the search query.

Where They Excel:

  • Ambiguous Questions: Customers don’t always express themselves clearly (e.g., “Thingy that connects to the other thingy”). LLMs can decipher what they likely mean and find helpful results.
  • Related Concepts: If a customer searches for “laptop stand,” an LLM can also surface relevant results about desks, posture, and ergonomic accessories. This broadened scope improves discovery.

3d rendered image of data analytics, digital networks or technology including large language models and knowledge management technology.

3. Neural Hybrid Search: The Dream Team

The Best of Both Worlds: Neural Hybrid Search<sup>™</sup> combines the precision of keyword search with the understanding of LLMs, creating a powerhouse search engine that understands precisely what the customer needs and the broader context of why they might need it.

Why It Matters: Imagine a customer asking, “What are the tax implications of buying a second home?” A keyword search would simply look for those terms. But an ideal solution needs to consider their location, income, and other financial factors for a truly accurate, useful result.

The Bottom Line: A true hybrid approach offers a search experience that is both accurate and empathetic to the user’s intent. It minimizes frustration and maximizes customer satisfaction by ensuring the right answers are found, regardless of how a question is asked.

top view closeup detail macro of many wooden cut small alphabet letters on orange background; semantic search representation

Additional Thoughts

The discussion touched on several other relevant CX strategies. Here’s what stood out:

  • Knowledge accessibility is everything. Consistent knowledge, driven by robust knowledge management technology, should be easily available across all customer touchpoints.
  • A little empathy goes a long way. Train customer-facing teams on not only product knowledge but how to convey genuine understanding when customers are frustrated.

Watch the full webinar and let’s continue the conversation! Schedule a call with us to learn how Lucidworks’ knowledge management technology can elevate your KM and CX strategies.

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