Home > Retired: KCS Practices Guide v5.3 > Section 2 KCS Practices and Techniques > The Evolve Loop > Practice 5 Content Health > Technique 8: Assessing the Value of Articles

Technique 8: Assessing the Value of Articles

As we move through the KCS adoption phases, the knowledge base will grow. We will want a way to assess the value of the articles in the knowledge base. There are three perspectives to keep in mind when assessing the value of articles: frequency of reuse, frequency of reference and the value of the collection of articles.  The reuse frequency is a strong indicator of the value an individual article and is fairly easy to assess.  The frequency of reference is equally important and is much harder to assess.  The value of the collection of articles has to be looked at from a systemic point of view.

Article value based on reuse

The value of any particular KCS article can be measured by the number of times it is used to resolve an issue. If we are linking articles to incidents, we can easily calculate the reuse count.  As we move to Phase 4, Leverage, of the KCS adoption, measuring the reuse of articles becomes much more difficult because customers using the article through self-service do not link articles to incidents nor do they show much interest in answering the often asked question, "was this article helpful?"  To assess the value of individual articles in a self-service model, we have to infer value based on a number of factors. 

A few of the members have developed article value calculators that take into account the following:

  • Page views

  • Internal links

  • Customer feedback (member experience indicates that customers provide feedback on a tiny percent of articles viewed; 1-2%)

The value of the collection of articles

The indicators for the value of the collection of content can be calculated based on the rate of customers' use and success with self-service.  More specifically, support organizations often look at the subset of the self-service success rate that represents issues for which the customer would have opened an incident had they not found an answer through self-service. This is often referred to with the unfortunate vocabulary of  "call avoidance" or "case deflection."   This avoidance or deflection view represents a vendor-centric view of support, not a customer-centric view.  A customer-centric view does not avoid or deflect customers; it promotes customer success through the path of least resistance and greatest success - for the customer.

Article value based on reference

The second perspective is the value of the collection of articles.  Even though a specific article may not be the resolution to the issue, an article about a similar issue may provide some insight or remind us of an approach or diagnostic technique that we know but had not thought about. The frequency of reference is extremely valuable and hard to measure. 

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This is minor, but an interesting observation none the less. The first paragraph lists three perspectives to keep in mind. These are listed in the following order: 1. frequency of reuse 2. frequency of reference 3. the value of the collection of articles. However, the remainder of the article has a different order, and slightly different titles: 1. article value based on reuse. 2. the value of the collection of articles. 3. article value based on reference. For clarity and consistency, perhaps it would be best to use the same exact verbiage in the first paragraph and the titles, and the same order as well?
Posted 13:16, 22 Sep 2015
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14:56, 1 Jul 2013

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