Managing Knowledge to Achieve Greater Impact: Case Analysis

Our recent webinar, Managing Knowledge to Achieve Greater Impact, covered the important aspects of building a knowledge ecosystem that creates happy, loyal customers.  It’s a big topic so it’s no surprise that we couldn’t get to all of the audience questions in the Q&A.

Senior Knowledge Consultant, Melissa Burch, and founder of FT Works, Françoise Tourniaire, have previously answered your questions on how to transform your knowledge program, and how to change your organization’s relationship with knowledge. Today, they’re tackling questions on case analysis.

Q: What’s your recommendation for the number of case evaluations per analyst and who should do them?

Francoise Tourniaire: For established analysts, a couple per quarter, randomly chosen, should suffice, assuming that the outcome is positive. (If not, review more to determine whether there is a real issue, or if you just happened to pick problematic cases.) For new hires, or anyone with performance issues, you should review more, maybe all of them for brand-new hires.

As to who should do the case evaluations, I’m a strong proponent of having the analyst’s manager perform them. It’s best to have the same person perform the evaluations, deliver feedback, and manage the performance. That being said, with very technical products it’s often helpful to enlist the help of a senior technical resource who would be better able to assess the quality of the troubleshooting process.

Q: How do you measure case deflection as a result of knowledge?

Francoise Tourniaire: I wrote a book on this! Seriously, it’s a very difficult topic. Depending on the tool you are using, you may be able to present possible solutions to users as they are logging cases. If so, you can measure the percentages of cases not logged. Voila! (But note that some, maybe many users may have found solutions and gone away happy without starting to log a case.)

Otherwise, you need to have a method for measuring what’s NOT happening, which is very difficult. I like to simply measure the incident rate, so volume of cases per customer (or per seat, per license, whatever method helps you capture the size of the customer base). If the incident rate goes down when you are improving the knowledge base, that’s a positive result. Of course, incident rate depends on many other factors, most notably product quality… If you have multiple product lines you can check them against each other to eliminate these other factors.

Q: How do you measure quality when the customer needs to go and do some work and only then determine whether the solution worked? They are unlikely to come back and score the item.

Francoise Tourniaire: Determining the quality of an individual solution is best determined by (1) feedback on the solution itself and (2) reuse during case resolution. The vast majority of customers will not bother rating solutions at all, so be sure to use whatever feedback is given: if one person complains about a solution, chances are that dozens of others also had a problem.

Q: Similarly, what’s your recommendation for the number of KB articles evaluated per analyst and who should do them?

Francoise Tourniaire: Here again, a small number will suffice, assuming that the analyst is experienced and has a good record of writing quality documents. That’s a job for the KCS coaches, if you have them.

Q: Case quality reviews: Aren’t case reviews also lagging since it is after the case is closed? How is it leading?

Francoise Tourniaire: Case reviews are often conducted on closed cases, in which case they do, indeed, come after the fact. But they can be conducted on cases that are still open. Also, not every customer will return a customer satisfaction survey so the case quality review can be considered as a leading indicator of quality, suggesting what customers might say in the future about cases closed by that same individual.It’s not always easy to cleanly distinguish between leading and lagging indicators.


Further insight

If you missed the live broadcast, you can watch the recorded webinar.

And for practical advice and strategies to transform your customer support experience,  read  our new white paper, Managing your Knowledge to Achieve Greater Impact.

Stay tuned to the Irrevo blog for answers to more follow-up questions.

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