All of the hardware, apps, and features of your system come with an astounding learning curve, both for help desk employees and users. Establishing a knowledge base is crucial so that valuable time and energy isn’t wasted addressing the same questions and issues over and over again.
The help desk software you use needs to be capable of housing a robust knowledge base, and it should be accessible to all the people who can benefit from it.
Good organization makes data accessible, further reducing calls to the help desk, and assuring help desk workers have instant access to what they need.
Additionally, the knowledge base must allow for regular additions and allow for old, outdated content to be removed to prevent confusion. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the right software and establishing a functional knowledge base for your help desk and users.
The Knowledge Base Should Be Available to End Users
The help desk used to be a labor-intensive job with many redundant tasks. These IT professionals were challenged with answering the same questions from an endless stream of users, and essentially reinventing the wheel, all day every day. However, with help desk software that is cloud-based, you can make the FAQs, users manuals, product instructions, and other common information available to end users, as well as third-party vendors and other stakeholders — freeing your help desk staff for better productivity.
The Knowledge Base Must Be Organized Wisely
How the information is configured in the knowledge base is the most important consideration, because users often search for information much differently than IT professionals do. The software should allow you to set up the knowledge base with a number of broad categories, which easily break down into subcategories. Establish a system of key terms and tags for the content, which reflects how any user might search for a specific piece of information. Broader categories eliminates the need for sub-sub categories, which can complicate the knowledge base.
All Stakeholders Should Have a Say in How the Knowledge Base is Set Up
Before setting up the knowledge base, it’s important to spend time finding out how users, vendors, and other stakeholders search for specific information. Learn what they need in terms of functionality, usability, and structure, as well as what content they are likely to need. For the IT help desk, provide a variety of helpful tools like code snippets, templates, and macros to make their redundant work quicker and easier. Make sure the knowledge base includes all of the known issues and fixes for those issues, as well as troubleshooting guides and other instructional materials for every level of technical expertise.
Offer a Variety of Content in the Knowledge Base
The more your help desk software allows for self-service, the fewer demands you place on the IT staffers’ time. Provide content that includes FAQs, instructional videos, and other instructional and helpful content. Supplement the knowledge base content with forum groups, where users, vendors, and others can find questions not yet answered by the database.
Resist the urge to make the knowledge base available until it is robust enough to provide all the basic answers, but don’t wait until it’s “complete,” because it never will be. A knowledge base, by nature, is constantly evolving as new applications, hardware, and features are added to the system. Make sure the software you choose is capable of evolving and growing as your knowledge base expands.
Offering a variety of content has another advantage outside your organization — this valuable content is useful in drawing web traffic in search of answers that aren’t readily available elsewhere. This is like a free marketing tool for your organization without spending an extra dime on advertising.
Designate a Content Curator to Manage the Knowledge Base
A content curator is charged with assessing what content to put into the knowledge base and when to remove content that is expired. Use tags to determine what content is most needed, so you can focus your efforts on further development of the knowledge base. Also, include an area to promote new content, so that regular users can see what’s been added. The best practice is to disallow comments on the content produced, but to open forum groups for commentary, questions, and discussion.
By allowing access to users outside your help desk, you can empower users to find the help they need without opening a new ticket for every redundant issue. The right help desk software should be online, so that it benefits users while boosting web traffic and giving your organization more visibility. The ideal solution is a cloud solution with a focus on quality service. Samanage offers help desk solutions that are easy to set up, simple to integrate with other applications, and provides a high level of security so that your valuable data is never compromised.
About Tye Graham
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