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Consortium for Service Innovation

Doubt: I wasn’t hired as a tech writer. It’s not my job.

This concern often comes from...

Possible Underlying Beliefs

  • Fear of change
  • Perception of extra work
  • Need to write a “story” or create a document in sentences and paragraphs
  • Customer description of the issue is never correct so why capture it?

Suggestions for Discovery

  • Ask before coaching.
  • I can see how you might expect it to be more work
  • Can you show me how you handle your cases and where you see the extra effort

Key Points for Advocacy

  • This is doubt is often driven by an unstated belief or fear.
  • Only need to write the key points/facts 
  • We already write much of what should be in the article in the case notes 
  • We want to preserve and connect the customer’s perception of what is happening to the facts about the issue, the environment and the resolution 
  • KCS does not propose additional work it proposes we do our work in a different way that creates a structured and findable article 

Reference Materials

Sample Scenario

NOTE: This is a sample scenario that provides an example of how a conversation might go between an influencer (Mala) and a doubtful knowledge worker (Stephan). 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.

  • Stephan: Oh, hi Mala
  • Mala: Hello Stephan
  • Stephan: I didn’t realize it was time for us to meet … let me just finish these case notes and email the customer the resolution. 
  • Mala: Sure
  • Stephan: Ok, what’s on your mind today? 
  • Mala: I wanted to check in and see how you are doing with the knowledge base and creating articles. Inquiry 
  • Stephan: Oh…. well, ummmm I really don’t see how I am supposed to do that in addition to my case workload.  We have been very busy since the new release came out. 
  • Mala: Ah yes, I know I have seen the case volume reports. You have been busy! Reflection
  • Stephan: So there is really no way I can write articles with all this activity. 
  • Mala: I know you have heard this before… but we are hoping that the KCS processes will be less work, not more. Advocacy
  • Stephan: Well, good luck with that.  And besides, I think I was hired to solve customer issues not to be a technical writer.
  • Mala: I see, maybe you can show me where you see it causing additional work? Inquiry
  • Stephan: Ok. 
  • Mala: Can we use that case you just closed as an example?  Reflection, Inquiry
  • Stephan: Sure, it was a tough one. But I did figure out the resolution. 
  • Mala: Was that what you were writing in the case notes? Inquiry
  • Stephan: Yup.  And I suppose you think I should create an article in the KB … which is a lot of rework and takes more time. 
  • Mala: Well, it seems you have already written the resolution. Is there a way you could reuse that? Inquiry
  • Stephan: I suppose I could cut and paste it into an article but I still have to create the other fields.
  • Mala: Are you familiar with the “create article from the case” feature? It was just added to the system a few weeks ago. Inquiry
  • Stephan: Oh…. that just doesn’t make sense because most of these cases are created by the customer on the service portal. I wouldn’t want to put the customer’s perception of the issue into the knowledge article. It’s never technically correct.  
  • Mala: Yes I know customers often have an inaccurate view of what is happening. Reflection
  • Stephan: Right, so we certainly don’t want that misinformation to be in a KB article.
  • Mala: Well….. Actually… the structure of the article allows us to capture the customer’s perception of what is happening and connect it to the technically correct information. Advocacy
  • Stephan: Really? 
  • Mala: Yes, capturing the customer’s view as part of the article is what makes it findable for other customers because that is likely how other customers who encounter this problem would describe it.  As you said customers aren’t going to describe the issue in technically correct terms, they will use their own words. Advocacy, Reflection
  • Stephan: Huhh… Ok… so how bout some of those other fields in the article?
  • Mala: Right, like the environment statements? Reflection
  • Stephan: I guess.
  • Mala: I know when I am working the queues and encounter a new issue, I will often take a few notes as I diagnose the issue.  I see you have a notepad there. Did you take some notes when you were working on this case?  Advocacy, Inquiry 
  • Stephan: Ummm…. Yeah, I write down some of the key points about the situation based on my conversation with the customer. 
  • Mala: That’s great. Can we look at your notes for that case? Appreciation, Inquiry
  • Stephan: Sure, there’s the customer name and his answers to some of my questions about what release they are on and a few points about the configuration parameters they had.
  • Mala: Yup, I would do the same thing.  So a lot of those notes are in fact the environment statements in the article.  What if you captured them in a work-in-progress article instead of on your notepad? Appreciation, Advocacy
  • Stephan: They are pretty cryptic
  • Mala: Well, most of a good knowledge article is not written in sentences and paragraphs. We just want the facts. Advocacy
  • Stephan: Oh
  • Mala: So … my observation is we don’t want you to be a tech writer. And, you are already capturing or writing what is in a knowledge base article either in your case notes or in your notebook.  Advocacy, Reflection
  • Stephan: hmmm
  • Mala: I don’t see KCS as being additional work, it is about doing what we do in a different way.  Advocacy
  • Stephan: I don’t know…. 
  • Mala: I know it takes a little bit of time to get used to working in a different way but the benefits we see in teams that have mastered it are really compelling.  Would you be willing to try it next time you get a new issue? Reflection, Inquiry
  • Stephan: ….. Maybe.
  • Mala: Oh good.  Let me know if you have any questions.
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