Think out of the box to combine traditional knowledge offerings with other forms of knowledge support
There are so many powerful ways to share and consume information today – documents, webpages, and apps on mobile devices to name a few. But when it comes to Knowledge, much of the content comes in the form of documentation, such as downloadable user manuals and FAQs. And this is perfectly OK. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I download product manuals when they’re available because I still find them useful – even though it is considered old school.
For me as a consumer, access to a product manual gives me a better overall experience if I can find what I’m looking for. But not everyone is like me, which is why Knowledge today should be all-encompassing to include what users already use to find their information. For example, YouTube videos can provide users with fast information on how to assemble a product or fix an issue.
Unfortunately, for many organizations, Knowledge is still viewed as written information – text or articles – and this is what they focus on publishing to help their users find answers. But with all the media we have at our disposal today, why don’t we offer other, newer tools for Knowledge? With ServiceNow, you have a wide-range of Knowledge tools to provide your customers with enriched customer experiences.
Add video and make it easy for customers to engage
We can enhance the experience for our customers by adding value to our current knowledge support. In addition to traditional knowledge support, like FAQs, consider videos like the example below, an Adobe Photoshop product on Amazon.
Figure 1: Screenshot of a product homepage with knowledge videos.
As you can see, the product has a home page and traditional knowledge support – but at the bottom there are 6 video shorts – showing how to perform specific tasks in Photoshop. In the image below, you can see the traditional FAQs kind of knowledge in support of Photoshop. But with a search bar, it makes it easier to find what you’re looking for. When I typed in “how do I import photos” I not only find the traditional search results – I see a link open to ask the broader community – thereby automatically tying search to community. This multimedia experience helps to improve customers’ journey in finding answers to their questions.
Figure 2: Screenshot of FAQs linked to the community.
Knowledge is a personal experience
I have an old 2001 Suburban (I am pretty handy and frugal – a bad combination, I know). A few months ago, I had to replace the fog lamps on the truck. I ordered the parts on Amazon, searched on YouTube, and found and watched a 10-minute video. With this newfound, easy-to-get information, I was able to replace the lights. Without the video I would not have been able to figure it out. But with it, it was relatively easy. I bet you have a story like this. But do your customers?
Give your customers modern options for Knowledge, an experience that they can personalize for themselves, and they’ll reward you with loyalty. But this requires moving out the old ways of thinking about Knowledge. To move into 21st century knowledge support, consider adopting the following best practices:
- Embrace modern learning in our knowledge thinking and explore multimedia knowledge alternatives.
- Think first about the desired outcome instead of the means of providing it. This will further help us unchain our traditional thinking.
- Enable knowledge through a unified search capability, regardless of the form (or the source of the knowledge).
Keep knowledge fresh
Wouldn’t it be great if didn’t have to author all the knowledge? Thanks to community-based and social scoring, we don’t have to.
Here’s a fact: we provide hundreds of different technologies to our customers in our organizations, but it is estimated that less than 10% of software features are used, on average. Does it matter how well people use their tools? We may make them easy to get – or REACT to requests for help – but does that meet our responsibility to the business?
Community-based or social scoring gives us pretty sharp insight as to what is seen as valuable and what isn’t – by the customers using it, and as long as it is active – we can even know if the information is stale or not. Social technologies enable people to solve problems and learn how to do new things, together, which helps with community-building, an ingredient essential for brand loyalty. While we can’t guarantee that the information shared is 100% accurate, can we do that for the knowledge that we create and offer?
The vendor community is another source of fresh knowledge. Vendor multimedia learning support out there is phenomenal. As an example, Adobe brings a wealth of interactive tools and training for offerings like the Creative Cloud. Microsoft – tools that probably account for 50% of the average worker’s daily activities – offers a tremendous amount of multimedia support for their software. And there is Photoshop training channel to better teach users how to use the products. We can save a lot of time and trouble by finding and leveraging vendor sources for knowledge.
Beyond these best practices, we might want to think a bit more openly about how we can power Knowledge for our customer. It’s time to go beyond traditional knowledge management – Knowledge should be more than just a Word document.
PS - If you found this post interesting, check out the related webinar recording and presentation deck available for free download!
About the Author: Don Casson is CEO of Evergreen Systems, an IT consulting firm helping medium to enterprise public and private sector organizations to dramatically transform their IT operations. Don is a frequent writer, blogger and presenter, and has delivered over 60 webinars on topics in Service Management, including IT and shared services.