While we want the customer context in the article, we don't want it verbatim, and we don't necessarily want to capture everything the customer says about the issue. The goal is to capture the information that will make the article findable and usable by others. Relevance of information is one of the many areas of KCS that requires judgment on the part of the Support Analyst.
The following are some guidelines for content relevance:
Words and phrases the customer used to describe the issue (even if technically inaccurate)
Environment statements relevant or unique to the issue
Environment statements should be true before and after the issue is solved
Information that distinguishes this article from other articles with similar symptoms but a different resolution (distinguishing characteristics are most often environment statements)
Diagnostic process used in resolving the issue (details or how to do complex, reusable diagnostic processes are often articles themselves and should be referenced or linked)
Resolution statements which completely resolve the issue described by the customer
Capturing and refining content in the article as we work the issue is critical. As the KCS problem-solving process indicates, we start by being very literal and seek to understand before we seek to solve. This may lead to capturing information in the article that once we have solved the issue we find is not relevant to the situation. This is typically true of the environment states (products and versions involved). Prior to changing the article state from Work-in-Progress or Draft to Approved or Published (meaning we are confident in the resolution) we should do a quick check for content relevance.
A few scenarios where the customer's self-service search is captured as the customer searches:
The search terms can be used to create the problem statements in a new KCS article.
A customer using self-service searches and then submits an incident online. The search history and articles viewed are stored with the incident (this is a function of the integration of the knowledge base and CRM application, a technology dependency). When the Analyst take the incident and launches the knowledge base to find answers, the field for search questions can be passed to the knowledge base from the case and used to populate a section of a new article.
A customer calls and we create an incident. The Analyst searches for answers with certain questions, the first of which is from the case summary so that the Analyst does not have to enter anything to get initial answers. The Analyst may modify the question after that. All questions are being tracked during the Analyst's session. The Analyst sees their running search history as well to be able to click back to a previous question. When the Analyst creates an article, the search history can be used to populate a section of the article
See Appendix E for a sample of a quick reference guide for article content and structure.