KCS Unlocks Hidden Knowledge

Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS) was developed by focusing on knowledge as a valuable organizational asset and asking: How can we operationalize knowledge-sharing to gain the most value for customers, employees, and the business?

To embark on a KCS journey, it helps to understand:

  • Why KCS is a smart approach
  • How KCS improves employee engagement & customer experience
  • What we gain by harnessing knowledge for continuous improvement

Why KCS is a Smart Approach

KCS is purposefully developed to consistently harness the value of knowledge in environments that are constantly changing. Tool -agnostic by design and time-tested, KCS creates remarkable value from work that is already happening.

KCS Today

  • Maintained by Members of the Consortium for Service Innovation, a nonprofit think tank focused on customer engagement
  • A methodology with extensive guidance for any organization to adopt and adapt for their environment
  • Latest v6 released April 2016 and evolving continuously via Members
  • See: KCS Benefits

KCS History

  • Hundreds of contributors iterating for more than 30 years (since 1992)
  • Based on the academic concept of double loop learning to be demand-driven and self-correcting
  • Members generously share their intellectual property under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
  • See: KCS Case Studies

KCS breaks through the limitations of traditional knowledge management strategies and enables organizations to deliver greater value with more efficiency. The secret? Capitalizing on what they already have: knowledge

KCS Practices Guide – Why KCS?

How KCS Improves Employee Engagement & Customer Experience

Knowledge is captured or updated for fellow Knowledge Workers and/or customers via self-service as quickly as possible. By publishing knowledge real-time based on demand, customers have access to answers they need and Knowledge Workers spend time focused on new issues instead of redundant effort on known issues.

Employee Engagement

  • Knowledge Workers (Customer Support Agents) are enabled to capture and share new knowledge in their workflow
  • Creates an environment for teamwork, skills development, and autonomy to thrive
  • See Technique 8.5: Tap into Internal Motivators

Customer Experience

  • Content Standards ensure that newly published knowledge is findable and usable while mitigating risk
  • Customers access validated and updated information rather than wasting time with incomplete or unreliable sources
  • See Technique 5.11: Self-Service Success

KCS is based on the belief that the best people to create and maintain knowledge are the people who use it every day: the knowledge workers. The larger the audience of knowledge workers engaged in KCS, the richer the knowledge base will be and the knowledge that is being used will be of higher quality.

KCS Principles – Abundance

What we Gain by Harnessing Knowledge for Continuous Improvement

When we trust and enable Knowledge Workers to better support customers at scale, the system we create provides valuable insights for enhanced organizational learning and more meaningful prioritization.

Double-Loop Process

  • Solve Loop and Evolve Loop are interdependent because each enables the other
  • Driving interaction, reuse, and improvement into the same system via the Solve Loop creates the data and insights for the Evolve Loop
  • See: The Double Loop Process

Example Insights

  • Activity monitoring for improvement opportunities (training, tools, etc.)
  • Visibility to impact for Knowledge Workers about valuable outcomes
  • Root cause analysis to identify high impact improvements to products, documentation, business processes
  • See: The Evolve Loop

Knowledge is the by-product of an interaction or experience. It is best captured in the context of use, which is why we say the best people to create and maintain knowledge are those who use it everyday.

KCS Principles – Create Value

Knowledge operates on a principle of abundance – the more we share the more we learn. Knowledge is the by-product of interaction or experience, and no one leaves an interaction with less knowledge than they started with. Are you making the most of it?

Recognition programs designed on a model of abundance ensures people’s strengths and talents are acknowledged based on their contribution. Recognize people for what they are good at based on their ability to create value, not based on a comparison with their peers.

Abundance is a powerful and disruptive principle for business.


  • WHY – wisdom of time and collective input for the greater good based on intrinsic motivators
  • HOW – thoughtfully and iteratively make the most of what is already happening
  • WHAT – more engaged employees, better customer experience, meaningful business insights
Designing KCS for Your Organization

Resources for KCS Success

The latest resources, tips for success, Q&A with KCS Trainers

Adult learners in a classroom

KCS Self-Paced Training

We offer 3 interactive courses to introduce KCS methodology

KCS Adoption: Top 7 Tips for Getting Started

Most Repeated KCS Advice

Consortium Member guidance for achieving celebration-worthy results

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