This is a 4- step guide on how to make your self service knowledge base a success and one of your must valuable assets. This guide is aimed at those who want to enhance an existing knowledge base as well as those who are planning for a new knowledge solution.
Your self-service knowledge base is never better than its content. Your ability to set up and maintain content for your knowledge base will be the single most important factor for success. I want to share some basic tactics and ways to make sure the content in your knowledge base meets the demand from your organization.
Step 1: Choose the Right Content Manager – THE HERO
A content manager is by far the most important person for keeping the knowledge base up to date. He or she should have the qualities and ambitions of a hero. This person will make sure the right people are informed, trained and involved in the work of maintaining the knowledge base. Remember: a good content manager does a good job working with the actual content of the knowledge base. But an excellent content manager delegates and makes sure other experts contribute skills from their various areas of expertise. In the early stages, it may be wise for the content manager to be fairly hands-on in order to demonstrate good examples, some short wins and a best practice for others to copy.
Step 2: Track and Analyze Real Usage and Need – ACCURACY
Working with content in a knowledge base is no guessing game. Track real searches and if possible, set automatic alarm functions to notify you if your knowledge base is missing any content. Maintenance, writing new articles and making videos can be time-consuming; you want to be sure your organization truly needs and will heavily use the content you are spending time adding or improving.
Of course content is king, but without a hero making it happen there will be no good content
Another essential knowledge article category to track is the one your organization does not like. Because you want to improve or remove them as soon as possible. Remember: many reasons may exist for disliking an article, and it is important to understand why. Start by listing your worst articles (the ones with the lowest resolution rate).
Here are a few questions you can use to evaluate why an article is disliked:
- Is the headline right?
- Is the headline matching the rest of the content?
- Is the headline what users search for?
- Are the instructions correct? Do they lead to what your headline says?
- Is it too complex to try to answer a particular issue in a single article? Should it be divided in several articles?
- Is the article in the appropriate format? Are you dealing with a text guide that would be easier to follow as a video?
- Is it too much information? “Less is more”, especially when it comes to self service knowledge articles
Step 3: Use Your Knowledge Base – SHOW THE WAY
Your team should show the way and make sure your service desk team uses the knowledge base as a starting point when solving incidents. Doing so will offer several important benefits. This way your service desk team will be up to date on the contents of the knowledge base and they will automatically look through and improve the articles when needed. They will also feel a need to add missing articles and they will market the content to the rest of your organisation. The popular knowledge management strategy Knowledge Centered Support (KCS) supports and describes using the knowledge base as a central part of the work performed by the service desk team. The strategy ensures that everyone has access to knowledge in a database and that this is the central method for delivering support.
We cannot expect others to like and use our knowledge base if we do not use it ourselves as support consultants at service desks.
Step 4: Add New Content as Soon as It is Requested – SPEED vs TIME FRAME
Follow these 4 steps and the reward will be better metrics, including higher usage, a higher resolution rate and immediately improved customer satisfaction. Without a doubt your knowledge base will be one of your must valuable assets.
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Per Strand –Founder and Vice President, ComAround