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What is knowledge-centered service (KCS)?

Definition: Knowledge-centered service (KCS) is a method of generating and improving customer service knowledge through solving customer issues.

It involves capturing and creating knowledge as a byproduct of resolving customer issues that customer service can reuse to solve future issues.

Businesses that leverage it encourage their support to document and share any new issue they come across and any new answer they give for the whole team to be aware of.

KCS is an ongoing process that grows with each new addition to its knowledge base.

The core principles of KCS

KCS follows four principles:

Abundance - Knowledge must continuously be captured and shared with the organization. Every new customer interaction is an opportunity to learn.

Value Creation - Content created out of knowledge must have a reason for existing. If no one will use it, then it shouldn’t be created.

Demand Driven - Knowledge must be captured based on real-world demand. If customers are asking for something or having the same issues, that content needs to be created.

Trust - Knowledge must be accurate and reliable. It must be written down, backed by facts and examples, and updated constantly.

The double loop process: How does KCS work?

All the knowledge in KCS continuously goes through two loops.

The solve loop is the external part of the KCS process where interactions with customers happen and has four phases:

Capture all the new knowledge acquired from solving customer issues. It must be captured the way it was said without changes.

  • Structure captured knowledge in a consistent manner and ensured its usability. It must be written, reviewed, and shared with the team.
  • Reuse stored content to give better answers and reduce resolution time.
  • Improve knowledge by using it in new interactions. It must be up-to-date and relevant at all times.

The evolve loop is the internal part of the KCS process where the knowledge acquired is managed and has four phases:

  • Content Health indicates if the stored knowledge quality is up to established criteria.
  • Integration of all stored knowledge into every customer service workflow. These workflows must be updated with every new knowledge-base update.
  • Performance Assessment rates the efficiency of knowledge users (service team) and promotes learning.
  • Leadership promotes understanding of KCS’s importance and ensures everyone contributes to it.

Knowledge-centered service examples

  • SaaS company that offers a product support center updated with content about its features, common questions, and use cases gathered through customer interactions.
  • A software company that provides a self-service portal with FAQs, articles, and tutorials.
  • An e-commerce store that provides customers with a public database with all of their product information.
  • A healthcare provider captures knowledge of patient treatments and how they react to them, which they share with the public.
  • An IT startup that uses an IT service desk to share knowledge related to its IT services and solve customer issues.
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Article FAQs

What is an example of a knowledge-centered service?
A help desk that uses content created with the KCS methodology to provide customers with content that solves their issues. Another example is training customers on using a product based on previous customer experiences.
What is the difference between ITIL and KCS?
ITIL is an IT service framework that provides organizations with support practices that help them manage their service, while KCS is a method for creating and managing service knowledge. 
What are the benefits of KCS?
KCS improves the quality and efficiency of customer service by utilizing best practices from past customer interactions. It also reduces the time and cost spent on resolving customer issues while encouraging knowledge sharing.‍

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