How does your IT team solve problems? Does it involve answering a lot of emails? Does half the company walk by and ask for help? That’s not exactly the most efficient way to help your internal customers, and in IT, every second wasted is a problem left unsolved. Having a consistent way to work is important (and even a poor process is better than no process). But what if I told you there’s a way to re-write the script?
Providing a killer knowledge base for your customers makes a huge difference. It gets them the help they need at the speed they’ve become accustomed to – i.e., in the time it takes to swipe around on their phones – and it frees service desk agents from stressing out while anxious customers wait on hold or answering the same question over email for the 10th time this week.
Today I’ll share four high-level tips designed to point you in the right direction as you get started with knowledge management and build a knowledge base. These tips will help you flip the script for your 9-to-5 and unlock more of your IT team’s (and your customers’!) potential.
1: Manage all your knowledge in one place
With technology’s constant evolution, knowledge is everywhere. From emails and texts, to Facebook and Twitter, a plethora of information surrounds us. So aggregate your knowledge into a single repository that’s simple to use. By centralizing that content, you accelerate learning and help your customers find the information they need.
How do you identify what information your customers need most? Analyze the work you do for them.
If your team receives multiple tickets about a common issue, create an article about the topic. Or, if someone on your support team has solved an ongoing problem, have them document the steps they took to resolve the issue – that’ll be useful both for your customers and your fellow service desk agents.
The thing to always remember about a knowledge base is that it’s a living document meant to help agents solve problems. And by making it available to people outside your IT as well, it offers a low-stress and time-saving solution for your customers.
2: Keep updating your knowledge base
Whether your knowledge base is internal for agent use only or available to customers as a self-service database, your system has to be easy to update. (Here’s where that “living document” thing comes into play.) Keeping the knowledge base current improves First Contact Resolution (FCR) rates, and can reduce your cost per contact. And FCR is critical for your business: resolving issues inside the first contact improves efficiency and increases customer satisfaction, all while giving your IT team bandwidth to crank away resolving issues.
How do you identify which knowledge base articles need updating? Listen to your customers.
Let your customers leave feedback on articles so you understand which articles are serving their purpose, and how to fine-tune the rest to deliver the best answers. Without that feedback, you’re shooting in the dark. The feedback itself doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be as simple as a “thumbs up” or “like” on the page. If you’re using a wiki tool like Confluence for your knowledge base, it could be more involved – perhaps a detailed suggestion left in the comments section. Either way, providing a feedback loop boosts the quality and performance of your knowledge base.
3: Adopt smarter self-service
Knowledge management isn’t just critical for agents; it’s super important for your customers. Having answers to just about anything only a Google search away has seriously whet our appetite for self-service – as evidenced by the fact that 60% of consumers use web self-service to find answers to their questions. And when customers go in search of answers, those answers had better be easy to find. (I mean, who even goes to the second page of search results anymore?)
How do you make them easy to find? With a customer portal or intranet.
Knowledge-centered support helps customers help themselves, and lets your agents focus on the high-priority issues. In fact, applying KCS can lead to a 50% reduction in incidents. As service desk portals proliferate throughout your company, you’ll be dealing with tons of data. This is an excellent opportunity to apply machine learning for smarter self-service, as we did with JIRA Service Desk, so the universal keyword search is smart enough to find the right request type across all portals.
4: Measure your metrics
Measuring success when you’re getting started with knowledge management is an important step towards improving your team’s performance. Some metrics to consider include:
- The number of articles attributed to First Contact Resolution
- The number of articles created and updated by the team
- The number of articles utilized by the team
- The number of incidents with article links
By tracking the right metrics hand-in-hand with your knowledge base you’re building a winning combination that’s smart, effective, and constantly learning – and that’s a winning combination.
And there you have it: four quick tips to improve your knowledge management. True, these tips are quick to give, but perhaps not-so-quick to implement. But it’s worth it. A well-written knowledge management script will help your IT service desk team deliver a star performance.
Ready to get started with knowledge management?
JIRA Service Desk is your IT team’s one-stop shop for service management, incident management, SLAs, and more. And now you can attach Confluence to JIRA Service Desk absolutely free to create that killer knowledge base. Hop over to our product tour to see how.