The second technique of the ‘Capture Practice’ is Capture The Customer’s Context.
With KCS we seek to understand the customer’s experience before solving it. This understanding requires information about both:
- The perceived issue defined by the customers words, and,
- The environment in which the problem is occurring
By capturing the customer’s perception of the situation in the first interaction, we dramatically improve the find-ability and relevance of the KCS article to other customers who might have the same or similar perception of this issue in the future. This reinforces the concept that context is as important as content.
Framing The Customer’s Situation
The objective of capturing KCS article elements is to frame the customer’s situation, to capture their need, perception, experience and relevant aspects of their environment as input to the problem solving process. The objective is to use this input to improve the KCS article set. We use the framing information to either:
- Create a new KCS article if one doesn’t already exist, or
- To improve an existing article by reflecting another customer’s experience.
Even if the customer’s perception of the situation proves to be wrong preserving it will improve the find-ability of this article for other customers.
The support analyst’s job is to capture with precision and accuracy the relevant environment factors, the resolution, the cause in the article and not to correct the customers description of the problem. However analysts may capture additional technical details to more precisely characterize the problem. Technical accuracy in the customer’s problem statement is not required, but of course technical accuracy is critical in the environment, resolution and cause statements.
Capturing Customer Online Search Activity
Some of today’s knowledge tools enable the capture of the customer’s online search activity before they contact the service desk for help. Having the words and the phrases that the customer just used to search with is very helpful, this is because it’s actually in their context. The customer’s search terms can be used to create a problem statement in a new KCS article if one doesn’t already exist, or can be used to modify an existing article and improve its find-ability.
In the case of incidents submitted by our self service model, good things can happen if we capture the customer self-service activities, for example capturing:
- Search strings,
- Articles viewed, and in some situations,
- Product and version information.
First of all this guarantees that we are capturing the customers context and secondly making this information available to the support analyst helps the customer feel like the effort spent pursuing for a resolution via self-service was not a waste of time. This information can help expedite the problem solving process because we can review what the customer has already done.
Improving Self Service Knowledge As Natural Part Of The Incident Process
Customer submission of issues via self-service also helps us create or modify existing articles. If we need to create a new article for the customer’s issues, then the search words and phrases that the customer just used to look for a resolution are valuable content for the new article.
If as the KCS practices suggest, we have captured the information that the customer just used on the web into a work-in-progress or framed article, as we were working on the issue, then we should already have created a new article and simply need to review the environment statements and update the resolution field. And, because the problem statement came from the customer’s search activity, they are already in the customer’s context. If in working on this issue, we eventually find an article in the knowledge base, we should improve that article so customers can find it. If the existing article was available to the customer, but not findable, then we should use the customer’s experience and their context to improve the find-ability of that article.
What if the existing article was not available to the customer? Well, then there’s a few questions we need to ask:
- Can we publish it?
- Are we licensed to publish?
- Are we confident in the resolution in this article?
- Is this article compliant with the content standard?
We will cover these questions later on when we discuss content health, article states and transitions.
As shown in KCS Version 5.3 Knowledge-Centered Support Practices Guide (2012) S2 [10.1-8]. KCS v5.3 was written and edited by KCS v5.3 was written and edited by Melissa George, David Kay, Greg Oxton, Rick Joslin, Jennifer MacIntosh, and Kelly Murray.
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