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5 Keys to Pairing ITSM and Knowledge-Centered Service

Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS®) can and should be part of your IT Service Management (ITSM) processes as a complementary strategy to self-service. Knowledge-Centered Services (KCS), formerly known as Knowledge Support Centered Services or Knowledge Center Support, is a service method that focuses on knowledge – the implementation of organizations.

Implementing KCS as part of your overall ITSM process can be a great way to build up your knowledge base and invest in a self-service strategy that saves your organization time, resources, and money. However, launching a KCS style guide initiative can seem like an overwhelming endeavor.

Here are five things you should focus on to help get your KCS initiatives off the ground.

1. Knowledge-Centered Service Knowledge Base and ITSM Tool Integration

To fully adopt a KCS style guide, your teams must be able to easily and quickly use the knowledge base. Ideally, your knowledge base will be integrated with your ITSM software so your organization can follow KCS style guide best practices alongside their service management processes. The easier it is for your team to follow the KCS style guide as a part of their everyday work, the more likely you are to succeed in driving self-service adoption.

And when you have successful self-service you can realize the following benefits:

  • Lower inbound call volume.
  • Increased customer satisfaction.
  • Provide your customers with the answers they need now, without a wait.
  • By crowdsourcing knowledge through KCS, you can better maintain accurate content in your knowledge base.

So before you start, ensure your ITSM software provides the proper support for an easily navigated, well-designed, portal with a knowledge base. A quality portal should:

  • Be easy to navigate and searchable. Within your knowledge base and portal, organize content into easily accessible categories and use clear and concise article titles.
  • Include links to valuable resources, such as how-to guides, frequently asked questions and contact information.
  • Enable customers to submit feedback about their experience using the portal. This can help you improve the usability of the portal and ensure that customers are getting the information they need.

2. Start Small

Once you have your ITSM tool sorted and knowledge base foundation in place, pilot your KCS style guide with a small group.

You should look to start in an area where a KCS style guide will make the most impact. For example, starting at your Service Desk with a handful of Service Desk Analysts is a great way to get off the ground quickly. Those in customer service roles will immediately understand the benefit of using the Knowledge-Centered Service style guide because they will be the first to quickly reap the rewards.

Also, starting with a small, motivated group allows you to work out the kinks in things like your style guide and life cycle processes. Starting with a larger group often ends in chaos when trying to iron out the process wrinkles. This, in turn, can cause mass discouragement.

3. Don’t Try to Boil the Ocean

In addition to starting with a small team, you should also start slowly. Don’t dump all of your existing knowledge in and try to retrofit it into your new knowledge base.

Start following KCS style guide practices with your small pilot team and truly create knowledge on an on-demand basis.

During this time, you should be designing and redesigning your style guide and article templates; refining your life cycle process; identifying good knowledge coaches; celebrating wins, and analyzing any losses.

 A knowledge base is a living entity that will always be changing and adapting. Don’t ever think, “We are finally done creating our knowledge base.” The KCS style guide is there to help build this new foundational structure for the future; you don’t need to build it all at once.

4. Get Trained in Knowledge-Centered Service

There are a lot of free and paid resources out there to guide your organization as you learn the KCS style guide. Invest in training and certifying your core KCS style guide management team on KCS v.6. Your champions need to feel empowered and confident that they fully understand the process and can guide the rest of the organization. With an empowered group, the path that will be blazed for the rest of the organization will be clearer and better defined.

In addition to getting trained, you want to make sure you have realistic KPIs in place so you can measure your organization’s progress. For example, the following KPIs can be helpful:

Case Resolution 

  • Looking at both time to resolution and first contact resolution (FCR)

Optimizing Your Use of Resources 

  • Ramp-up time for new resources and student technicians
  • Employee retention
  • Employee satisfaction

Self-Service Adoption 

  • IT Self-Service portal usage and traffic 
  • Call volume to the IT Service Management team 

Organizational Learning / Knowledge Transfer 

  • IT Ticket quantity and volume 
  • Call volume
  • IT Self-service Portal usage 

5. Stay Motivated with KCS

The work of building your knowledge base is never over, it’s an iterative process. You should always be looking at ways to improve, better capture knowledge and increase customer usage. Stay motivated by reaching out to peer institutions and sharing wins as well as losses. Get involved with your knowledge creators and discover what drives them to contribute. Celebrate your organizational success by promoting winning key metrics. Keep up to date with the Consortium for Service Innovation as they update KCS best practices.

By keeping these five pillars in mind, you will put your organization on a path to having a successful KCS style guide program that resolves issues faster, optimizes resources and promotes self-service as the primary method for customers when they begin looking for help. Laying a strong foundation is important in any structure, and a KCS style guide is no exception.

TeamDynamix can offer some of the best resources when it comes to ITSMPPM or ESM. For more on KCS and knowledge base best practices, here are a few recommended resources:

KCS® is a service mark of the Consortium for Service Innovation™.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April 2020 and has been updated with new information.