November 28, 2018 | By

Making Self-Service Tools Smart: How to Take the Fear Out of Content Creation

Now that Prompt ai has been in market for a bit, it’s been awesome to connect with customers and discuss what their excited about, their successes so far and how they envision AI changing the way their organizations are approaching employee support.  During these conversations, one of the most common questions I get is around content creation.  With any AI powered-product, there is a fear that creating the knowledge for the AI to learn off is too heavy a burden.  It can feel like a catch-22 for many SMBs.  IT can’t provide self-service without developing underlying content, however, IT needs employees to use self-service where appropriate to free them up time for larger projects like…you guessed it…. developing knowledge content.

While I’d love to tell you that Prompt ai is a zero-effort approach to creating a self-service knowledge library, but that’s not true of any solution.  However, we worked really hard to make it as easy and accessible to SMBs as possible.  Here are a few tips for getting started (without the overwhelming feeling of an Everest-like mountain of work ahead).

Start with a Specific Use Case

This is how you can try to make that mountain, feel attainable. Think of events or scenarios where a solution like Prompt ai can become your subject matter expert and storehouse for questions and answers related to that specific event or scenario. Examples of these types of situations would be when rolling out new software or hardware (e.g., Office 365 or a new phone system), to onboard new hires, or to support an IT initiative like getting your company to be more security conscious.

In addition to getting employees comfortable with self-service, this approach helps avoid overwhelming your helpdesk with trying to address a broad universe of queries, and it gets the team comfortable with the workflow and effort required to develop and maintain a solution library.

Don’t Over Think It

Once a few use cases have been tackled and are successfully deflecting some support tickets, the team can start to focus on building up some broader, generic support questions. This is typically the point where IT gets bogged down and spins its wheels figuring out what to start writing first. Don’t overthink it.   You and your team already know what the most common (and annoying) questions are which come into the ticket queue. Get the support team together over a working lunch and brainstorm the topics which employees can help themselves solve. To get the most out of a meeting like this, have the team come prepared with 3 to 5 topics each. Getting a list like this on paper will provide direction and make getting started feel much less overwhelming.

Use What You’ve Got

Another way to also jumpstart a broader knowledge library is to leverage what you already have. I know that I started the blog by establishing that most SMBs don’t have self-service content, but what most IT teams don’t realize is that they likely already have a trove of content that only needs a tiny amount of TLC to be self-service ready. So where is it?   Try looking at your closed support tickets as a starting point.  Many incident resolutions include sending instructions back to employees via the ticketing system. Harvest these resolutions to grow your content library. While this isn’t a new idea – KCS was built on this concept – you don’t need to be as rigorous in the approach. Continuing to use ongoing resolutions, however, does make strengthening your self-service much easier.

The second place to look for already written solutions is in your and your team’s past employee conversations. Most IT employees have sent one-off solutions to colleagues in other departments or developed a separate document as a favor for a close co-worker. Now would be the time to dig through past emails or chats to find these pieces of gold. After a little polishing, they’ll be ready for broader consumption.

Use What’s Out There

Source some generic content for those topics which you shouldn’t need to write, like “How to update templates in PowerPoint” or “Ways to share a file in SharePoint.” There are some different approaches to sourcing this type of content, and, in fact, it’s something we’re actively investigating for Prompt ai. Stay tuned for more on that.

These are just a few tips to jumpstart your self-service success.  Of course, once you get the content figured out, you need to make sure employees are actually using it – that’s where Prompt ai comes in. If you want to learn more about how we’re making content easily accessible and giving IT the insights needed to make knowledge manage smart, drop us a line.

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