Content Availability

A Critical Enabler for Digital Transformation Success

Companies, and their service organizations, are increasing their focus on digital transformation to maximize the availability and satisfaction of their product sand services in the current COVID-19 impacted economy.  Service organizations are finding that KCS is a critical enabler to their digital transformation.  A current focus for many service organizations is the success of their self-service channel. Content availability is a critical driver of that success. 

Time to Publish

A key step in content availability is publishing the content quickly after the issue is known. There have been many studies that have shown the customer demand for content is highest after the issue becomes first known and lessens considerably as time goes on.  HP Enterprise performed a Six-Sigma analysis on the drivers for their self-service success and found time to publish was one of the top success drivers. The Consortium for Service Innovation recommends that 90% of the content be published within 90 minutes of the case closure.  Companies such as Akamai have raised that bar and are publishing 90% of their content at case closure.  To enable this, companies that publish quickly have 90+ percent of their knowledge workers at the Publisher level.

At Quest, they met a goal of 90/0: 90% of what they know is published externally at or before case closure, and they are reaping the benefits.
Read the case study.

Content Visibility

While time to publish is critical, to have an impact on self-service success, the content must be visible to your customers.  Unfortunately, we have seen many companies where the majority of their content is internal-only.  Knowledge workers include some internal-only information in the article and therefore make the entire article internal-only.  To address this, most knowledge management tools today have field-level security in their article templates.  You can set the visibility at a field level, rather than just at the article level.  Including an internal-only field in the article template allows knowledge workers to include any internal-only information in the article, but still have the article and the majority of the content visible externally.  Companies that utilize this functionality report that their percentage of internal-only content is in the low single digits.

Publicly Searchable

While making content available to your customers is key to self-service success, to further drive success, your content should be available in Google search results.  Many companies have two types of customer visibility: customer-contract and customer-public.  Customers are not required to log-in to see customer-public content, and the content is therefore available in Google search results also.  Companies that have their content set to customer-public report that 90+ percent of the article hits to that content come from Google and other external search engines.   As more and more customers start their search from Google, customer-contract content is inconspicuously absent in customers’ search results.  To address this, companies such as SAP, Oracle, and Red Hat now make their customer-contract articles available in Google search results.  Leveraging article template fields, they make the Title, Environment, and Problem Description fields available to Google, while locking down the Cause and Solution fields.  Customers searching on their environment and issue will see the article in their search results.  They will need to login to the Support Portal to see the Cause and Solution fields.  An example of Red Hat’s implementation is here.

In-Product Content

Some companies are even further improving their self-service success by making their service content available within their products.  Ideally, customers do not need to leave what they are doing to resolve an issue. 

A major gaming company shared at last year’s Consortium for Service Innovation Member Summit their progress with embedded product support.  Their goal is to “Get the Player Back in the Game”.  This tagline resonated with the attendees as a goal for their service engagements – whether game-related or not. 

Placing a focus on improving the availability of your content will yield a tremendous return on the success of digital transformation in your service organization. 

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