The help desk can be a labor-intensive job with many redundant tasks. IT professionals are challenged with answering the same questions from an endless stream of users, and essentially reinventing the wheel, all day every day. How many times does a request for a password reset come in? Shouldn’t there be a company-wide “how to” page to walk users through the process themselves? Not only does it save the technician time from hunting down someone who just submitted a ticket because they didn’t provide enough information, but the user is now out of the waiting game for a reply to their inquiry.
Wouldn’t it be nice to give users the confidence to do it themselves by having all the information they need readily available? Even better, wouldn’t it be nice to have a repository of information that never leaves the company?
An established knowledge base saves valuable time and energy so that it’s not wasted addressing the same questions and issues over and over again. It can contain all the information above — plus much more.
Creating a Knowledge Base
Think of a knowledge base as a library that stores all the information that users may need. From best practices for solving a known issue to external resources that can help users easily resolve issues on their own, it’s designed to be a hub that will ease an organization toward automation by getting rid of redundancies. It is an integral aspect of the self-service portal, effectively cutting off any redundant tickets and empowering users to solve issues themselves.
In addition to helping external users, service and support teams will benefit from a knowledge base, as well. With a knowledge base in place, there is a hub of best practices for workflows and issues, with the ability to identify potential trends that may indicate a larger issues. For example, if the most read knowledge base article is all for a particular issue, maybe it’s time for a patch to fix the problem in the software. If a team member figures out how to solve an issue, they can put it in the knowledge base for future reference.
As the base grows, it’s a good idea to 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.
Beyond the IT Service Desk
Another great way to use the knowledge base is to create a hub for enterprise-wide questions that are frequently asked (bonus points if you currently use an ITSM in a non-IT department!). After all, services aren’t just rendered on the technical side. Each department is providing a service to another.
Say you’re in accounting and you have employees that travel a lot. How many times have you had to remind people how to submit an expense report, or just submit a report, period? Create a knowledge base that’s specific to a department’s services, filtering any questions that are frequently asked to one place. This can include instructions on submitting a PTO request, helping employees ask for a new chair, and so much more. Wherever you use the knowledge base, the idea is to eliminate redundant questions, so time is freed up to address the important enterprise objectives.
About Laura Miller
Laura Miller is the Director of Sales in North America for Samanage. She works one-on-one with customers ranging from SMB to Fortune 500, providing them with a modern way to look at service management. Laura's ITIL experience and ITIL v3 Foundations certification provides her with a unique understanding of the service management industry. Her guilty pleasures are anything chocolate, ice coffee, and reality TV.
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