Knowledge Manager Roundtable: What are you doing to improve self-service?

13 Kommentare

  • Andrei Kamarouski

    Jennifer, you made my day with "Hello" problem! :) 
    P.S. I see this problem all the time in many Help Centers. 

  • Jennifer Eolin

    HA! Thank you!! I do like a good giggle along with good info...

    Back to business --> I should note that our metrics show that the new Chat Hours article is now our second top read article and we rarely have a "hello" (in any language) that doesn't go unanswered! 


  • Viachaslau Skorbezh

    We faced the same "hello" problem and made a Hello article ;)

  • Jacob J Christensen

    Great stuff guys!

    We have used two metrics to gauge the health of our self-service content, as well as the progress we have made on it.

    Ticket deflection (using the Self Service Score) has continued to improve while we have updated, rearranged, consolidated and added to the existing content.
    Improving discoverability (lowering the percentage of searches with zero results) on the other hand is a much slower process for us, we're improving but not at the rate we would like.

    The discoverability issue for us is somewhat related to the Hello problem Jennifer mentions, online shoppers are mistaking our web widget for the site search (on our commerce sites) and are using it to search for products and brand names. To deal with this, we have created an article to help visitors discover the many ways of finding the right products on our sites, and this has helped. Whenever we see a new repeat search term we add a label for that on the article.

  • Jennifer Rowe

    Thanks for sharing, Jacob! It seems like a "hello" type article can help with a lot of different cases where uses might come up empty. If your article is public, it'd be nice to see a link, just as another example. Thanks!

  • Justin Fenech

    Question for Andrei Kamarouski: Do you have an example of how to structure your help center according to the KCS guidelines? 

    I have a single help center with 3 different (but similar) products and it is quite difficult to structure the content to display relevant results. Search is also a nightmare for this situation unless I put the products name in every singe article title. 


  • Andrei Kamarouski

    Hi Justin. 
    I love your question! 

    KCS doesn't tell you explicitly how to organize your content in KB. To achieve the best result here I have paired KCS with another great methodology known as Customer Journey Mapping (CJM). It allows you to organize the content (and ticketing workflows too!) following the real world customer experiences and interactions flows with your company along the whole customer lifecycle and specific journeys inside it. This approach is customer-centric in its core and serves as a common ground for all – your agents and your customers. (Because often businesses are organizing it not so clear for people outside of the company.)

    As a reference from my practice, I have attached the screen for 2-level journey description for E-commerce case. The categories in KB may be Products, Orders, Payments, Delivery etc.

    Real world example of KB with KCS and CJM applied (I have co-managed the whole implementation) is the Help Center of the largest telecom brand in Belarus ( They have a similar case – there are many similar products (like Voice, Wireless, Broadband etc). These products are placed at the 1st level (categories) along with other journey stages (Payments, Account etc). Inside each product's category you will find the same journey logic again, i.e. Wireless has Joining, Setup, Usage and Cancelling sections with relevant articles. 

    I don't know exactly your domain and company specifics but you probably should use KCS guidelines to indicate which of your product(s) is covered in the article (like Zendesk does it with plans in its articles) – using article title, text or labels (or all of them). People find solutions using search (via search box or widget) and manual navigation (digging into categories and sections forth and back) – and the content should be transparent for both use cases. 

    P.S. I was going to write community post about this approach I am using to set up the whole support environment for all Zendesk products (organize ticket fields and forms, macros, KB content, reporting). Now I am pretty sure it can be valuable for many. :) 

  • Justin Fenech

    Thanks, Andrei. That is some wonderful insight. It has given me something to think about moving forward.

    I would definitely encourage you to write that article, I am sure many users will find it helpful. 


  • Great solutions, guys! Very inspiring.

    We also would like to share some of our experiences with Zendesk help center:

    • 4th level of content. Some companies face the problem with the default help center organization if they have more than 3 levels of products/services structure. As you know, Zendesk Guide doesn't let you do this because it has only 3 levels of content: categories - sections - articles. We solve this problem by adding the 4th level of content. This Zendesk customization allows you to group categories into groups and create an additional level above categories and thus make information easier to digest. You can see how the 4th level of content functions on this help center: 


    Lotus Themes


  • Kourtney Stuthard

    Question for Ben Garris and Sarah Boyd - You mention that you are using a third party for your search platform. What are you using? Can you elaborate on its capabilities?  

  • Sarah Boyd

    Kourtney, we are using Inbenta. They use AI, natural language processing, and machine learning with their search platform. We also combine our search results to include both Help Center articles and forum discussions as our online Community is very support oriented and a lot of answers can be found there as well. One of my favorite features from Inbenta is their Learn feature. It allows you to type in any phrase you want and tie that phrase to a specific article and it will list it as the first article when that phrase is searched. Since we use KCS, we have a lot of articles in our Help Center, so this is a key feature for us. By using their reporting, we're able to determine what users are searching for, what articles they're clicking on, what searches do not result in any clicks, and how many contacts have deflected tickets. 

  • Andrei Kamarouski

    Hi Justin, 
    I promised to write about my approach – done! :) 
    P.S. Sorry, I was thinking to finish it earlier.

  • Jennifer Rowe

    Andrei, you rock! Thanks for getting back to this and sharing your experience!


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