KCS Metrics for Senior Leadership

We had our first KCS Academy Virtual Roundtable event earlier this month.   It featured six discussion topics, each facilitated by a Consortium for Service Innovation staff member or another KCS expert, and tapped into the collective wisdom of the group to answer questions and share best practices and lessons learned. I facilitated sessions on Measuring Success of Your KCS Program and we had some very rich discussions. 

One question that was brought up was how to present your KCS metrics to senior leadership.  In this case, the participant’s senior leadership did not want to see all 35 of their KCS operational metrics and asked that it be narrowed down to just a handful.  Many others in the Roundtable group stated that this was a problem for them also, and noted that their senior leadership did not see the connection of the KCS metrics to the goals of the organization.

This is a common senior leadership request that we address in the KCS v6 Practices Guide about Creating a Strategic Framework.  The Strategic Framework helps leaders see the link between the KCS practices and benefits to the organization’s top-level goals. This is a key success factor in deploying KCS, sustaining the benefits, and promoting understanding and confidence across the organization. Leading with the KCS metrics will typically not get your senior leadership’s attention. Leading with the business impact will!

The KCS-enabled value metrics you present to your senior leadership will depend on where you are in your KCS journey.  For those just getting started, you will want to show the KCS impact on traditional case metrics—Time to Resolution, First Time Fix, and Escalations.  More mature KCS implementations will want to focus on the KCS impact on the digital transformation of their service organization—moving issues from cases to self-service and automated/proactive channels. 

These metrics should not just be point in time metrics, but also should be trended. We find showing these metrics overall and by domains to be extremely valuable, as those areas doing well with their business outcome metrics are most often the ones doing well in their core KCS metrics. This again helps leadership understand the value of KCS to the business. 

There are many KCS metrics to choose from, but there are four metrics that are core to the health of your KCS program:

Are the teams engaged with KCS?

The Performance Adherence Review (PAR) metric is foundational.  If your knowledge workers are not linking accurately and creating and modifying content when appropriate, you will not reap the benefits of KCS.  PAR is a great overall metric to present.  The components of PAR (link rate, link accuracy percentage, create rate, etc.) allow you to drill down and take corrective action as needed.

Are teams creating consumable content in the customer context? 

The Article Quality Index, sometimes called the Content Standard Checklist, metric is critical to ensure your knowledge workers are creating unique (non-duplicate) content that conforms to your content standard.  Without this metric and corresponding coaching, we have seen implementations that quickly fill with duplicate and non-consumable content in the knowledge base.

Are teams creating content in a timely fashion?

Keep an eye on the Time to Publish metric. Creating and publishing content immediately upon learning about the issue is essential for helping knowledge workers quickly handle known problems and enabling customer/requestor success with self-service.  The KCS v6 Adoption Guide suggests that 90% of what is known internally, and usable by the customer, should be published to self-service at the time we know it (at or before case closure). Consortium Members report that aiming for this goal dramatically improves customer success with self-service.

Are teams making content available to the customer/requestor?

How much of your content is visible to your customers? Ensuring the vast majority of your content is available to your customer/requestor is absolutely critical to your self-service success!  Members who have deployed the proper training and supporting tools are reporting that over 90% of the knowledge articles are visible to their customer/requestor.  I drilled down on this and the time to publish metric in a previous post on Content Availability.

There are many additional metrics that are useful for maximizing the success of your KCS program.  The key is to know how they relate to and support each other.  In summary, we recommend that you identify and cascade your KCS metrics and KCS-enabled metrics in the following manner:

  1. KCS-enabled business outcome metrics
  2. Core KCS metrics
  3. Supporting KCS metrics

I would love to hear in the comments section about the KCS-enabled business outcome metrics and core KCS metrics that you present to your senior leadership.

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