KCS & Guru Answers: Best Practices for creating new cards

  • 25 September 2023
  • 7 replies
  • 144 views

Userlevel 1

Hello, 

Our team loves the new Guru Answers feature, which is great! I’m always for making knowledge access easier. However, I’m concerned that this feature may negatively impact our KCS program in the long run. 

I am looking for best practices on how we can ensure that our agents are creating cards based on specific problems, instead of solely relying on the response of the AI.

I know this is an enablement/training problem on our end. Therefore, I would love to hear how other organizations are tackling this problem. 

 

Example scenario: 

The answer to a customer question is found deep within a card that was not created to capture the resolution of that specific problem. 

Normally an agent would create a new card to capture the specific problem so we can start gathering data on how common that problem is. 

With the AI, I’ve seen a pattern where the agents will find the correct answer but do not split out the information or create new cards to ensure it is findable, reusable, and we can collect the data necessary to determine demand. 


7 replies

Userlevel 2

This is a great question -- I am looking forward to some of the ideas shared here 👀

Userlevel 1

Hi Dian!  ❤️

I agree that this is a training/coaching challenge, and I think it’s also part of a greater issue of tech evolving faster than our ability to figure out what to do with it. It is a hard sell to ask people not to rely on something that makes their jobs easier just because we haven’t decided how to use it appropriately. 

Since we can’t really solve for the latter (at least not quickly), the best way to solve for a coaching and training issue is to remind people why it’s in their best interest to follow KCS practices. Encourage them to use the Answers feature as an additional means of research that informs the cards they create, not a shortcut to avoid creating a card. Most of the time telling the right story, showing your work, and reinforcing that message by communicating and celebrating the wins that happen when they do things the right way are the best methods to achieve alignment.

Biggest thing to remember, in my opinion, is that you and the CCAs all want the same things. When you ask them to do something that seems counterintuitive, it’s helpful to remind them (and yourself!) of that. 

Userlevel 4
Badge +4

Hi @Dianmarie De Jesus - Steph pointed me to this post. I apologize in advance for the lengthly reply here, but I thought it would be a helpful perspective in this AI + KCS conversation for you, and for Guru product development folks. It may even give you an idea on how to tackle your problem, perhaps? 

 

On the rise of AI

Myself and a few other tech writers in the industry (and probably a lot of folks here!) all share the same concerns that AI is not going to replace writers entirely. But it is going to make crappy drafts even easier to produce. And that’s ok as long as we’re keeping a close eye on those drafts and use our expertise to polish and refine them into proper documentation. 

 

On KCS

Hot take: I don’t think KCS works for everyone and it’s not supposed to. Scandalous, I know. Because that’s what I’ve learned from my years of research and practical experience. Myself and our Support department that uses Guru don’t follow KCS perfectly - I like to say we use a modified version of it that works better for us.

 

For context, we ran into the very same issues as you’re seeing before I took over documentation (back on Confluence) where everyone was creating wiki pages for anything ‘useful’, or not at all. The end result? A Wild West of incomplete pages, duplicate or missing content, inconsistent writing and formatting styles, the list goes on. AI is only going to increase the proliferation of creating documentation because it makes creating content so much easier, and that’s the downfall.

 

Speaking in KCS terms, I knew that the Solve loop really needed dedicated oversight, and that maintaining knowledge quality required training and time, which frankly our support agents just did not have (no matter how much I wished for it). When I took over documentation around 7 years ago, I knew the fastest way to get people to trust documentation was to go back to dedicated ownership and this is the same approach I’ve taken in Guru years later up to now: 

 

Step 1 🚫

I took away the ability to author and publish content from everyone except myself and a few subject matter experts. So the Capture flow in the Solve loop no longer was available to everyone. Now I could ensure every piece of new or updated content went through my tech writing eyes first before it got published.

 

Step 2 ♻️

In return, I focused all my efforts on training and reinforcing our support agents to Reuse content by sharing our existing documentation and to Improve content by flagging anything missing or outdated via Guru comments. This gave agents a simpler task to focus on top of their chaotic and hectic responsibilities of helping customers. Because if it’s simple and easy to do, there’s a greater chance of adoption. 📈

 

Step 3 💬

I boosted step 2 by having the Evolve loop via leadership and training, focus hard on reinforcing the promotion of sharing documentation with customers and leaving feedback in Guru via comments as part of the agents’ frontline responsibilities. I also run my own quarterly audits for the content health piece in the Evolve loop as well (that’s another story for another time), so the content is always reinforcing/supporting the Solve loop in a symbiotic exchange. 

 

Summary - If training/enablement isn’t working, focus on fixing the Capture flow

For what it’s worth, the Capture flow really depends on the tool you’re using and whether or not it has granular permissions / approval workflows for content. This helps act as a barrier to prevent anyone from publishing content immediately without it being reviewed first. Right now, all new content that is drafted up by anyone comes to me as a Google doc first for me to edit/collaborate on, before it goes into Guru.

I know Guru is looking into authoring workflows so I’m optimistic that this will improve the Capture flow 🤞. It will be significantly easier to edit/curate the creation of cards by anyone if it has to go through a review/approval process by you first, since at that point you can weed out cards that are copied without splitting out / properly editing the information in your example scenario. Just an idea for you to consider. 

 

CC’ing @Laura Desmond-Black as well since I know this might be a relevant area of research for ya while you’re looking into authoring workflows!

 

Userlevel 2

@Jacob Morris curious for your thoughts here on KCS documentation practices + Answers 😃

Userlevel 1

Hey @Cecilia M Ellison 👋 😊

Great to hear from you! This makes complete sense. You're absolutely right that it's not easy to ask people to slow down or change their habits, especially when they've found something that makes their job easier. Tying it back to the benefits of KCS seems like a great bet. Reminding both CCAs and ourselves that we share common objectives can help build the necessary trust and cooperation to overcome these challenges. Great insights as always.

Hi Dian!  ❤️

I agree that this is a training/coaching challenge, and I think it’s also part of a greater issue of tech evolving faster than our ability to figure out what to do with it. It is a hard sell to ask people not to rely on something that makes their jobs easier just because we haven’t decided how to use it appropriately. 

Since we can’t really solve for the latter (at least not quickly), the best way to solve for a coaching and training issue is to remind people why it’s in their best interest to follow KCS practices. Encourage them to use the Answers feature as an additional means of research that informs the cards they create, not a shortcut to avoid creating a card. Most of the time telling the right story, showing your work, and reinforcing that message by communicating and celebrating the wins that happen when they do things the right way are the best methods to achieve alignment.

Biggest thing to remember, in my opinion, is that you and the CCAs all want the same things. When you ask them to do something that seems counterintuitive, it’s helpful to remind them (and yourself!) of that. 

 

Userlevel 3

Thanks for tagging me @brookethebatman 😄, this is a great convo! I’m also hopeful the workflows project can ease some of the challenges that exist today with trying to do the capture step in Guru 🤞🏻

Userlevel 1

Thank you @brookethebatman! This is incredibly helpful. I am always interested to learn how other companies make KCS work for them. In my research I’m coming across more and more orgs that have modified parts of the methodology to meet the team where they’re at. 

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