The Proliferation of Content and Its Impact on Your Customers

Managing proliferation of content

We’ve all been in this situation: talking about a document, saying “oh it must be in that folder, oh wait, this email thread, or maybe this Slack channel,” only for it to be in another ecosystem. We spend so much time talking about and looking for information, and this wasted time gets multiplied when teams grow.

We experientially know that scattered content is a problem for businesses and their teams. And there’s (unfortunate) data to back it up: IDC data shows that “the knowledge worker spends about 2.5 hours per day, or roughly 30% of the workday, searching for information.”

Expanding the scope slightly, Asana reports that 60% of workers’ time is spent on “work about work,” which includes looking for and sharing information.

All told, Dropbox and The Economist report that the overall problem of lost productivity is costing U.S. companies $391 billion annually.

Content, collaboration, and communication platforms like Asana, Dropbox, and others are working to address this problem. For the most part, the end goal is to make employees happier and more productive, ultimately benefiting the business.

With that said: employees are motivated to find this information and make it work — fair or not, it’s part of their job. And it’s getting more difficult with each passing year as content grows exponentially.

Now imagine how an information-seeking customer — who has options in their choice of products and services — would react to a disorganised and unintuitive content hierarchy? Because that’s exactly what’s happening on business’s websites and online platforms.

A brand’s website is supposed to be an easy-to-navigate, tidied-up version of the tornado of files and assets that an internal team spins up. But, similar to the way that internal teams struggle to find information, that chaos is often reflected in public-facing channels: on the site’s homepage, product pages, FAQs, social media channels and profiles, in voice assistants, etc. In some cases, this is precisely because different teams from across a company contribute to and own those channels.

So employees are not the only ones affected by the distributed and siloed nature of content these days — customers are losing, too. It therefore shouldn’t be a surprise that, according to Zendesk, customer support tickets are up 30% since last year. This is in part because customers don’t know where to find the information they want and need.

The reality is that business software has become more and more specialised, and content will continue to live in disparate places for the foreseeable future. Integrations certainly help. But the day of all content living under one roof might still be a ways away (if it ever arrives).

The key struggle for Support and Knowledge Management leaders may be less about housing all your content under that one roof. Instead (or at least in addition), it’s about ensuring that both your employees and customers have the ability to discover and apply content from those different houses on their own terms — via search.

With a powerful search platform that covers your internal and external properties, customers — and those employees who support customers — can slice off some of those wasted time numbers by quickly, independently, and effectively finding the right information. For example, a customer support agent who can quickly obtain helpful content for a customer? A double win, for the employee and customer. 

Because if wasted time internally is costing U.S. businesses $391 billion, it’s painful to imagine the amount of lost customer revenue due to a confusing buying journey or ill-equipped customer service efforts.

It’s clear that employees are suffering from the proliferation of content. That narrative as it relates to your customers is much less established. It’s time to change that, and work towards fixing it.

To learn more about what Yext is up to with AI-powered search and empowering customers and customer support teams, click here.

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