Identify (and resolve!) support content issues with one precise exercise

hand-and-compassThere are times when you are looking for a quick win to give your customers an improved support site experience. You can have a big impact with focused content improvement efforts that align to your customers biggest concerns.

To get started, begin by doing some analysis on what types of issues your customers are asking about most frequently when they contact you. If you have data, dig into it and figure out what it is telling.  If you don’t have data to look at, poll the agents who work with customers directly.  They can easily tell you what questions they are frequently asked.

After you have the frequently asked questions, test your support site by searching for information for those questions. Remember that you are playing the part of a customer who doesn’t understand your system from the inside like you.  They are coming to your support site with very limited visibility into how it works.  If you are able to, it would be great to ask a customer to help you with this. Even if you engage with your customer remotely, via web conferencing, you will see and hear what the experience feels like for them.

Now, starting with one of the frequently asked questions, improve the content by assigning a knowledge engineer resource to address the issues with the content.  They should remove the outdated content and update existing content with better and more targeted information. Don’t be tempted to create a single long document with responses to each of these frequently asked questions. Since each question is important to many customers, it requires substantial content that aligns to their needs (not yours) and should be kept separate to support findability.

This is a very simple way to positively impact your customer’s experience with your support site.  Ideally, this should not take a long time, but should be a focused effort to ensure that it is completed well. Don’t forget that you will have to keep this content maintained to be helpful.

On March 31, I’ll be joined by an expert panel including Jordi Torras, Founder and CEO of Inbenta, for a webinar titled Preparing for the Next Evolution of Self-Service.

Join us to hear share actionable advice and strategies that will help you take your self-service experience to the next level.

KCS Academy certifies Irrevo’s Knowledge Roadmap Services as KCS-Aligned

The KCS Academy has certified that Irrevo’s Roadmap and Implementation Services align to the guiding principles of the KCS methodology. Our Roadmap and Implementation Services integrate recommendations and roadmap elements to the 4 key concepts of Knowledge Centered Support. We specialize in defining and integrating your knowledge management and customer support goals into a clear plan of action, leveraging the KCS methodology.

Need to solve cases faster?  Need to improve time to proficiency for your agents?  Looking to improve your knowledge offering for customers who self-serve?  If so, the Knowledge Centered Support methodology capitalizes on what your organization already knows. KCS shifts knowledge management focus to teams who share what they know with each other and with your customers.  By capturing and managing your knowledge assets following the best practices laid out in the KCS guiding principles, you can build a scalable, efficient knowledge operation without dramatic cost increases.

Our content quality evaluation tool, KnowledgeAQ, has also been certified as KCS-aligned. KnowledgeAQ provides a framework that enables Knowledge Managers to roll out the KCS methodology to knowledge creators at all levels in an easy-to-use format, while providing leadership with visibility into the overall quality of all evaluated content.

We quickly get your program where it needs to be.  Whether you are planning complex systems transitions, migrating content to a new knowledge base, or making organizational changes to support long term success, we will help you build a custom roadmap to quickly navigate your journey, every step of the way.

4 Strategies to Minimize Effort and Maximize Value during a Content Migration

It is time to move! Nearly everyone has taken advantage of the opportunity to sort and purge when moving.  You have the same chance when moving your content from a legacy system into new one. We recommend that you take a demand-driven approach and go through a sorting exercise to identify the most valuable knowledge. If you are restricted on time and budget, only focus on these documents.

Here are some suggestions on how you might make decisions on what to bring and what to leave behind.


80-20The 80-20 rule applies here. Identify those pieces of knowledge that are used most frequently. Specifically, identify the top 20% that generate the most usage from your end users. Consider these your priority documents.

If you are not able to access usage data, you can still rely on a manual demand-driven migration strategy.  Architect a manual process and enable your end-users to identify those documents that they use and flag them for migration. Enabling your end users to identify those documents that they find most valuable will mean less cost as you migrate content.


Accuracy and relevance

Once you have identified your top 20%, review this content for accuracy and relevance. In some cases, you will have user feedback data to help provide clues. Look in your feedback data to identify those documents that appear to need improvement work. Examples include documents that are being opened many times but where users are not giving them good ratings. These documents are candidates for content migration, but will need to be updated at the same time you move to the new system.

If you don’t have access to user feedback data, you might consider using a tool like Irrevo’s KnowledgeAQ to review and gather data on the accuracy of the knowledge that you have targeted for migration. Establish a standard set of review criteria questions and manually gather accuracy data on all the documents in your content migration inventory.

Unsupported and very old

Perhaps in your environment it is easiest to identify what NOT to bring. Start by eliminating those documents that align to unsupported products or processes. Also, if it works in your situation, identify those documents that have not been updated for quite some time. These are also candidates for documents that can be left behind.

Hold on, we have to migrate all our documents!!

Sometimes, especially in highly regulated industries, content can’t be purged for a specific period of time.  In those cases, we recommend that you establish a very cost effective process to move your content inventory from the legacy system to the new system as efficiently as possible. Don’t be tempted to make extensive content improvement efforts just yet. Defer those content improvement activities until you have been in the new system for a bit of time and can take advantage of the usage data to identify the most valuable. Once you have visibility to that which is most valuable to you, then you can make your formatting improvements.

Don’t make a costly migration investment and move everything to the new system unless you are required to do so. Instead, take advantage of the opportunity to purge and sort your knowledge while you have the chance.


Implementing KCS is like eating an elephant. Small bites are much easier to digest!

Getting started with a KCS implementation doesn’t have to feel like you are getting ready to eat an elephant.  To help get you off on the right foot, here are some helpful hints to review as you start on this incredible journey.

The 8 practices of KCS

The 8 practices of KCS.

Hint #1: Identify KCS impacts

Take a moment to sit back and reflect on why your business needs KCS and why it needs it right now. KCS implementers gain tremendous confidence when they truly understand how KCS practices impact the critical business operations. You might find it helpful to:

– Review your operational measures to see precisely where there are opportunities and help others connect the KCS implementation to these improvements.

– Survey the target audience to baseline their experiences with knowledge today so you can see impacts of the KCS implementation for them.

Hint #2: Focus on the priorities

Carefully reflect on the KCS practices and let them lead you and your team to a personalized implementation roadmap for KCS. Keeping in mind that KCS is a journey, select the highest priorities to focus on first. These initial focus areas will appear within the short-term component of the roadmap.

– The short-term component of your roadmap will be very detailed and help your team visualize the deliverables with precision. It will also have a very specific timeline illustrating when key deliverables are expected.

– Keep the initial phases of the implementation small and short. It is probable that your initial drafts of the roadmap will be too aggressive. Don’t try to eat the whole elephant. Instead, sanity-check the deliverables and timelines in your roadmap to confirm with certainty that you will be able to deliver on it. Don’t hesitate to scale back initial deliverables to avoid being too aggressive and missing deadlines.

– Engage the help of a small group of supportive stakeholders and team members when crafting the roadmap. Allow enough time to get input from them before communicating it outside the planning team. Rushing through the roadmap preparations means you risk missing opportunities or communicating aggressive timelines that cannot be met.

– Fail fast! As soon as possible, identify a couple representative teams willing to test (pilot) your KCS implementation. Specifically, they should help you test the communication messages, training sessions and KCS processes before rolling it out to a larger audience. Take some time to identify these special team(s) looking for those who can cope with ambiguity the best and are representative of your target audience.

Hint #3: Personalize your communication plan

It has been said a thousand different ways; don’t underestimate the importance of communication to a successful KSC implementation.

– Take extra care to develop comprehensive communication and training plans personalized to your organization.

– One size does not fit all when talking about communication messages. As often as necessary, develop personalized stories for each of your target audiences.

– Look forward to serving as the full-time (or more) communication lead during the KCS implementation. This function needs someone dedicated to it and the implementation lead is the one everyone will look to for this. The more preparation you do in advance, the more smoothly it will go.

– Expect bumps in the road. Be vigilant and proactively address issues as they emerge to avoid impacts to the project plan. Use the eyes and ears of your team to help you identify concerns very early so you can communicate proactively.

These three bites of the KCS implementation elephant will help get you off to the right start.  Begin with the knowledge of why KCS is right for your organization. Then build a comprehensive roadmap that allows for future requirements but is something you can complete on time. Finally, prepare to communicate with personalized messages to all your stakeholders. It will be an amazing journey and we wish you the best of luck!!