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Consortium for Service Innovation

Doubt: I already know the answers. Why should I use the knowledge base?

Possible Underlying Beliefs

  • Everybody knows the answer to the easy issues
  • If I know the answer and I know it is in the KB why should I have to search and link?

Suggestions for Discovery

  • Ask before coaching.
  • Tell me more about that?

Key Points for Advocacy

  • A complete KB will help new people
  • Reduce rework, reduce the number of known issues that come in as cases
  • Enable customers to find the answers through self-service
  • Linking, even if you know the answer is important for a number of reasons:
    • Capture information about how many times customers are experiencing an issue.
    • Ensure high-value content is available to customers through self-service
    • Linking helps improve the search engine
    • Use the linking data to drive root cause analysis and corrective actions.
    • In addition to driving product improvements, we leverage linking rates as one of the indicators that enable the Knowledge Domain Analysis such as identifying candidate issues for: top ten lists of issues by product, hub articles, multimedia presentation of content, and automation. The data can be leveraged to make improvements in many areas.

Reference Materials

Sample Scenario

NOTE: This is a sample scenario that provides an example of how a conversation might go between a coach/influencer (Heidi) and a doubter (Sophia). Coaching skills are denoted in blue.

Each situation will vary, and influencers will have to adjust their approach based on the situation. Listening and good judgment are required; it is important to be really curious.  We’re aiming to identify underlying beliefs so we can offer a different way of looking at things!.  Asking people to explain their concerns by demonstrating how they do their work can provide a lot of insight.

  • Heidi: Hi Sophia, how are you doing? Inquiry
  • Sophia: Oh hi Heidi. Pretty good. Are you here to bug me about the knowledge base?
  • Heidi: Ha, well I am sorry you feel that way.  You are not a fan of KCS? Inquiry
  • Sophia: Not at all.
  • Heidi: Can we talk about that a bit? Inquiry
  • Sophia: I suppose.
  • Heidi: Can you tell me what you don’t like about it? Inquiry
  • Sophia: It seems like a lot of busy work to me.
  • Heidi: Ok, tell me more about that. Inquiry
  • Sophia: Well, I don’t know about the product area you work in but after a year or two in this product area, we pretty much know the answers to the issues.
  • Heidi: Huh….how often do you get an issue that you already know the answer to? Inquiry
  • Sophia: Uhhh… probably 60-70 percent of the time.
  • Heidi: Ah.
  • Sophia: Right, so why should I spend time searching and linking a KB article when I know the answer?
  • Heidi: Well, do you enjoy answering the known issues? Inquiry
  • Sophia: Oh, it's ok… but I wouldn’t mind if we didn’t get so many repeat issues.
  • Heidi: And you know ….one of the goals of KCS is to enable customers to solve as many of those known issues through self-service. Another goal is to be able to identify those repeat issues so development can fix them. Advocacy
  • Sophia: Yeah….I have heard that…. But it is not happening.
  • Heidi: It does take some time to change the customers’ behavior.  And it takes some time to collect the data to present to the development team. Reflection, Inquiry
  • Sophia: Well ….what does that have to do with me?
  • Heidi: Hmmm.  That’s a good question. Appreciation
  • Sophia: If I know the answers and I know an article exists in the KB…  why should I take the time to search and link?
  • Heidi: Well….Linking has a number of benefits because it helps the search engine, frequently used articles will have a higher weight in the search ranking but also linking enables the Knowledge Domain Analysis that helps us identify the demand drivers. Advocacy
  • Sophia: Well …why can’t I just tell you what the frequent issues are?
  • Heidi: That works … to a point. But since we have support centers across many geographies, any one person might not see how often an issue is being raised by customers.  If we have input globally, through the link rates, we can identify the demand drivers much faster.  Advocacy
  • Sophia: Hmmm… and why is that important?
  • Heidi: It’s important for a number of reasons.  It tells what articles we should promote through self-service, like what articles should be on the top 10 list for this product. It also tells us what issues might be candidates for multimedia. And perhaps most importantly what issues development should look at for corrective actions. Advocacy
  • Sophia: Really? That seems like the best reason to link but is development signed up for that?
  • Heidi: Some of the dev groups are actually very interested in the customer experience. And the link rates help identify and provide quantitative, actionable data for the issues they should pay attention to.  Advocacy
  • Sophia: And what about the dev groups that aren’t signed up for this?
  • Heidi: Well…We are working with them. Once they see the benefit gained by the dev teams that are doing the root cause analysis and taking corrective action, I think they will come around quite quickly. Advocacy
  • Sophia: So you think the link rates can actually drive product improvements?
  • Heidi: I do. Remember the error message that came up for a whole bunch of our customers after the last release? Advocacy
  • Sophia: Oh yeah…that was painful.  
  • Heidi: Right. It was both the number and speed of the linking activity for that article that gave Development a compelling incentive to fix it quickly.
  • Sohpia: Well….it was surprising how quickly the Dev team fixed that one.
  • Heidi: And we have real-life examples from other companies who have benefited from having linking data. But we need people to link, and link accurately, in order to make the data valid and actionable.
  • Sophia: Ok… I didn’t know about the opportunity to influence our dev teams. But linking for known issues is a little tedious.  I wish we had an easy quick way to flag those frequent issues.
  • Heidi: Oh…Have you used the favorites feature in our tool? Inquiry
  • Sophia: Ahhh…. no
  • Heidi: Well… you can create a list of the articles you use frequently and with one click link them to a case you are resolving. Advocacy
  • Sophia: Really?
  • Heidi: Yes.  And of course, for the data analysis to be valid we need the linking to be accurate.  Advocacy
  • Sophia: Hmmm…. And what did you mean by accurate?
  • Heidi: The article linked to a case needs to contain the resolution to the issue described in the case. It needs to be relevant and actionable. Advocacy
  • Sophia: Ah. That makes sense.
  • Heidi: So…. now that you know the benefits do you think you could try linking? Advocacy
  • Sophia: Yeah … I will try it.  Also we should let the rest of the team know about this.
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