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Good knowledge sharing habits important for self-service

Good knowledge sharing habits

A great customer experience involves meeting customers wherever they are in their journey. That means providing helpful information that’s relevant to them and useful. Self-service is an increasingly important channel for improving customer experience, with 70% of customers demanding that self-service be integrated into company websites. An effective self-service option starts with good knowledge sharing habits within your organisation or team.

Fast response time, consistency across channels and knowledgeable staff are all important attributes for delivering on customer experience. Think about it. The more informed support teams are about product changes and known issues across the organisation, the quicker they can help customers; and the quicker the support team can publish known issues and solutions to self-service, the quicker customers can help themselves. Sounds simple, but getting there isn’t always easy.

As a support leader, you have to champion the value of knowledge sharing to both executives and your own team members. It can be hard to gain and keep support for the behaviour changes needed to keep knowledge flowing, but it isn’t impossible. Knowledge Centered Service (KCS) is a best practice methodology for creating content that’s findable and usable by a specific audience, all within the problem-solving workflow. But that workflow looks quite different to how most teams solve problems and create self-service articles today.

Even though KCS has been developed by and designed for large scale organisations, there are fundamental actions that even the smallest teams can take that will make a profound difference to their self-service outcomes.

The following knowledge sharing habits will set you in the right direction, but it only works well when team members work this way consistently.

Capture the customer’s context

Self-service is only effective when customers can find the knowledge. Too often we make the mistake of writing content from our perspective of how the product works. Your customer doesn’t have that same perspective. They will be searching with their own words to describe how your product isn’t working. Provide a simple template to capture the issue described in the words the customer used, a field for details of the environment related to the issue, and a space for the resolution. Well-structured support notes can more easily be reused as content for knowledge articles.

Search first

The value of a collective knowledge resource is only realised when people actively engage with it. Search first, improve and reuse what exists before solving any problem or starting a new article.

Reuse is review

Every time anyone reuses an existing knowledge article, review it and improve it on the spot. The best thing about KCS is that it’s demand-driven maintenance, and means you aren’t wasting effort on maintenance overhead where it doesn’t add value.

 

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