Pairing IT Service Management and Knowledge-Centered Service

Why Does Knowledge-Centered Service Matter?

To succeed in exceptional IT Service Management (ITSM) delivery most organizations need to focus on improving resource optimization. To help with this, a useful tool is Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS), formerly known as Knowledge Support Centered Services or Knowledge Center Support. This is a service method that focuses on knowledge and its documentation and uses within organizations.

Since its inception in 1992, KCS has invested $50 million in developing its methodology. It has produced support organizations worldwide, including the U.S. Department of Health, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Russia, China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Turkey, Greece, Israel, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal, Ireland, the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

Research shows that a majority of IT organizations are feeling the squeeze of resource constraints, and are looking to self-service adoption as a key initiative to help combat this issue. This is where KCS can help, and here’s how.

IT Service Management (ITSM) & Knowledge-Centered Service

Knowledge-Centered Service is a perfect complementary strategy to self-service, as it can become the mechanism for creating and curating knowledge content that’s already being collected as part of your current troubleshooting and problem-solving efforts.

Using KCS, you can crowdsource knowledge and build out a proper, accurate knowledge base that users can search when they need help – making it easier for people to self-service their IT issues when they come to your service portal. Not only does keep people from submitting tickets, but it can deflect calls to your service desk as well.

KCS Should Be Part of Every ITSM Strategy

How Knowledge-Centered Service is approached can vary based on a variety of factors, but it certainly can and should be part of your ITSM processes.

While there will always be incidents reported and service requests made that are unique in some way, have you ever run a report to determine the number (or percentage) of inbound calls or requests that can be repeatedly traced back to things like Wi-Fi passwords or where to go for XYZ on campus? If you’re not taking stock of the vast amounts of knowledge you already have at your fingertips and you’re not using that knowledge to your advantage, you’re really doing yourself—and your customers—a disservice.

In order to be successful KCS, managed by the KCS Academy, stipulates that the creation and maintenance of knowledge must be fully integrated into the most important support operations. By making it part of your support team’s normal workflow, it’s more likely to be successfully adopted. And the more knowledge you can curate and keep up to date, the better your self-service stats will be.

Knowledge-Centered Services can be an incredibly powerful strategy, and here are just a few reasons why:

  • KCS can help to continually lower inbound call volumes.
  • Increases customer satisfaction.
  • Provide customers with the answers they need, right when they need them.
  • Crowdsourcing knowledge helps maintain accurate content.
  • KCS offers opportunities for professional development and career progression for your customer support employees.

What Success Looks Like: IT Service Management & Self-Service Adoption

When the University of South Dakota adopted KCS and they saw dramatic results.

By using KCS as part of their overall ITSM strategy ITS staff at the university were able to build out a robust knowledge base and self-service portal that resulted in an 18 percent reduction in time logged to service tickets. With KCS in place, the team can now avoid repetitive work and improve their problem-solving capabilities by focusing their saved time on more complex projects.

In the world of ITSM, self-service often removes the burden of limited resources. By moving to a self-service model, users will be able to find the answers they need whenever and as often as they need to, with much less reliance on making transactional phone calls or in-person visits to the help desk, which are simply not needed in many cases.

This shift not only improves customer satisfaction but also dramatically reduces the per-incident cost incurred by IT (from about $22 for a level 1 support call to about $2 for self-service) and the volume of issues and requests coming into the help desk. This allows IT to reallocate technicians to higher-priority tasks and projects. But for this to work as intended, self-service must:

  • Provide the ability to publicly access answers and services through customizable views.
  • Offer access to request forms that require a sign-in process.
  • Be easy—greatly reducing your call volume while also giving end-users what they want.
  • Respond to multiple devices and support those with disabilities.
  • Be easy to configure.

You can learn more about KCS and service portals here.

KCS® is a service mark of the Consortium for Service Innovation™.

This blog was originally posted in March 2020 and has been updated with relevant information.

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