Put yourself in the shoes of a user and imagine how overwhelmed they might feel when you talk in IT terminology. They’ve been on their own and restarted their machine, and now they are stuck. These days, their next step is to search use Google or YouTube to help them resolve the issue. But, what about the specific protocols you’ve built into your technology assets? YouTube probably isn’t going to give them the step-by-step your IT team requires for security purposes, nor is it a great employee experience.
So, if you don’t want your end users Googling their way to a resolution or losing productivity waiting for your agents to become available to assist them, knowledge management tools bundled with good service desk software can become the experience they need to be successful when an issue arises. Knowledge management can empower self-service among users, and, when users get to the point that they need to open a ticket for an incident, they can speak more fluently about troubleshooting steps they’ve already taken.
What steps can you take to building out a knowledge base so that employees have a consumer-like experience when it comes to their internal IT challenges?
Build on a common language
There are two common subjects that users need to discuss with service desk personnel. First, service disruptions and solutions. Second, services or assets they’d like you to acquire, improve, or use. Start by building a vocabulary around your most common service desk issues so the users are empowered to communicate effectively. Your knowledge management library should include a glossary of important IT terms. Also, in addition to explaining terms to users within knowledge management, get your technicians on the same page when it comes to the way they use terms.
Write articles with the employee experience in mind
Within your service desk software, you should have the ability to create both user-facing and technician-facing articles. Each would be written with a different vocabulary to meet the needs of the reader. Protect your employees from falling down IT language rabbit hole by segregating user articles from technician articles, with access dependent on job role. Also, be sure to use internal linking within user articles to help them find their way to related topics.
Remind employees where to go
The most relevant training to help users take advantage of your knowledge management library happens in the moment. Instead of scheduling knowledge management “lunch and learns” or “office hours” that no one attends, show users how to find knowledge management support while you work their service tickets. Roll out weekly communications that help users get familiar with what is available to them by linking back to new or relevant knowledge management articles.
Make the knowledge base searchable
Rather than building a complicated hierarchy through which users must work through to find articles, focus on tagging each article with appropriate metadata and making it searchable. You can tag it with relevant ticket numbers or incident types, relevant systems, document type or content types, such as step-by-step processes for a bug fix or an update. Implementing a table of contents or index is never a bad idea, and you can add breadcrumbs to each article for easy navigating and hierarchical understanding, but good searchability is your top priority.
In the end, the entire goal of the service desk is to speed up incident resolution time, which is turn can lead to higher SLA achievements and greater customer satisfaction ratings. By keeping your employees in mind as you create articles and ensuring they are created for them to understand, you can drive less tickets to the service desk and more time for your agents to work on bigger projects.
Senior Manager, Solutions Consulting at Symphony SummitAI