They say knowledge is power. With power comes great responsibility, according to Spiderman's uncle, and your Knowledge Base is no different. It has huge potential to create value for your customers and your organization, if you manage the responsibility well. Of course, that is where things get tricky-how do you know if you are managing your KB well and using its powers for good and not ill?
Let's take a look at where you can and should focus in determining you knowledge base's performance.
It is easy to overlook the Knowledge Base as a key component to helping reduce costs and improve experience when there are other new, exciting components such as chatbots and AI are emerging.
Therefore, I always impress upon my customers early on that Knowledge Base is one of the most important things to get right. Why? Your Knowledge Base is effectively your "Tier 0" area for supporting and empowering your customers. Your Knowledge Base enables your customers get answers to their questions, when and where (syndicated widgets) they need it.
If you look at your Knowledge Base as a member of your Support team, how many service requests is it resolving and deflecting every day? How does that compare to the average number of service requests your agents are closing every day? Your Knowledge Base is, or should be, your superhero agent who frees up your Tier 1, 2 and 3 agents for more complex inquiries!
In short, your Knowledge Base should be high priority and area of strategic investment. It isn't just about having a knowledge base and sitting back. It is about getting customers to self-serve, agents to offer answers in their responses and contribute their expertise back into the Knowledge Base, and agents updated through knowledge. As you can imagine, this can be quite a culture change.
In consulting engagements, I'm often asked what a successful Knowledge Base looks like. The questions range from, "What sort of reduction in emails might we see?" or "What kind of deflection can we expect to see?" or "How do we resource our knowledge base? How do we justify resourcing for our knowledge base?" There aren't straight forward answers to these questions.
Why are these questions hard to answer? Every Knowledge Base is unique-the number of answers, the quality of answers, whether you use knowledge syndication or not, whether you promote answer usage in incidents, chats or standard text, customizations...the list goes on! Usage is also very different from a customer-facing, internal-only or HR Knowledge Base. Just a few examples:
It also depends on the website design too. How easy is it to search or view your Knowledge Base? Do customers have to login to search your Knowledge Base? Knowledge can be consumed in many ways, and your metrics are going to vary accordingly. I would guess two Knowledge Bases from two organizations in the same industry might have very different statistics.
I recommend setting a benchmark for your own Knowledge Base. Focus on improving your own figures, rather than trying to look at what others are doing or chasing industry benchmarks.
Take a snapshot of various reports, and use them as a benchmark and look at trying to improve performance on those metrics. There are some useful out-of-the-box Knowledge Foundation reports that give a good assessment of your Knowledge Base's performance:
Keep measuring against the same metrics over periods of time; look at the behaviours they reveal and then improve where you can. Use the reports as a guide, so you get a picture as to what is going on, but remember no one report is the be-all and end-all.
You can go deeper and leverage the framework and reports from the 'Deriving Business Intelligence through Service Cloud Value Analytics' set of report recipes in the Analytics Cookbook.
Check out some great articles (Knowledge Base answers, in fact!) including, "Tips and Best Practices for Maintaining Answers" and "Best Practices for Setting up Knowledge Base of Answers."
In summary, your Knowledge Base is uniquely yours. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing. Imagine what Spiderman would have missed out on if he spent all his time trying to be the Hulk!
I'd love to hear how you have approached this challenge of analysing your Knowledge Base performance. What is a metric that you have focused on and positively influenced?