Crowdsourcing knowledge can be a fast and accurate way to build a knowledge base. In fact, a recent market study found that 51 percent of respondents will be implementing KCS to quickly bolster their knowledge base. There’s no question that KCS should be a valuable part of your organization’s ITSM processes. The principles of KCS stipulate that the creation and maintenance of knowledge must be fully integrated into the most important support operations.
Here are a few reasons why Knowledge-Centered Service can be so powerful:
- Helps to continually lower inbound call volume.
- Increases customer satisfaction.
- Provides customers with the answers they need now.
- Crowdsourcing knowledge helps maintain accurate content.
- Offers opportunities for professional development and career progression.
By adopting KCS, you can not only improve customer satisfaction but dramatically reduce the per-incident cost incurred by IT (from about $22 for a level 1 support call to $2 for self-service); and reduce the volume of issues and requests coming to the help desk, allowing IT to reallocate technicians to higher priority tasks and projects.
Keep in mind that the concepts behind KCS are relevant to the entire organization – as you begin to expand from just ITSM to full-blown Enterprise Service Management, articles will increase, and each department will benefit from iterative feedback.
Getting started can feel daunting but it is actually easy.
Over the last few years, the University of South Dakota (USD) has been working hard to implement KCS best practices within its Information Technology Services (ITS) division. By collecting all information in a single, easily accessible knowledge base, ITS staff say they’ve been able to avoid a lot of repetitive work and improve their problem-solving capabilities. In addition, it’s reduced the amount of time it takes to train new ITS employees and has eased the burden on staff as more and more people use self-service to solve their problems.
“Early on, we saw an 18-percent reduction in time logged to service tickets,” Paula Cottrell, knowledge manager, said. “What would you do if you had an additional day a week?”
When USD had to shift to online instruction during the coronavirus pandemic, students and staff had many questions — and they could find answers to most of these at Coyote One Stop – the school’s branded knowledge base.
“With COVID, our hits went up tremendously,” Cottrell said. The university’s KCS methodology “allowed us to get new knowledge articles published quickly for people working [and learning] from home.”
Based on USD’s experience, Katharina Wymar, who heads the Project Management Office within ITS, and Cottrell shared these keys to success in implementing KCS:
- Look for executive sponsorship. “This project is going to take time to work through, and our CIO was our biggest supporter,” Wymar says.
- Find the right solution for your organization and get trained.
- Set your KCS processes and develop a communications plan to keep everyone engaged.
- Celebrate success. Reward both the quality and usage of articles. “Make sure you’re recognizing the right behaviors,” Cottrell advises. Don’t turn it into just a numbers game. Encourage people to contribute their knowledge, and reward them for their article edit requests, article usage, and the quality of their articles. Recognize team members as they move up in responsibility.
For more information about USD’s journey, including how team members set and maintained standards for quality and consistency of articles, check out their Customer Spotlight, here.
©KCS® is a service mark of the Consortium for Service Innovation™.
This article was originally published in December 2020 and has been updated with new information.