Motivate your customer service team to contribute to your knowledge base! You can use the basic principles of human behaviour to understand how.
Customer Service Team Knowledge Gatekeeper
Appoint a knowledge gatekeeper who is in charge of pushing publish on any new content, in order to ensure that someone is leading on this process and standardizing content.
This knowledge gatekeeper is also the knowledge leader, and they will be in charge of flagging when particular content needs improving, or new articles are required.
Ideally, choose a person with a talent for tactfully motivating your customer service team to contribute to your knowledge base.
Give Them Credit to the Team
In the nicest way possible, people are self-focused. You should enable your employees to author their own articles.
Give your engineers credit for their contributions by having each person’s name at the bottom of their article. They will feel proud of their contributions and be able to take credit for them with colleagues.
Make it Really Easy for Your Team
Everyone knows that the human mind looks for shortcuts to complete tasks, and it makes perfect biological sense that we would not want to waste energy.
Your knowledge base should be insanely easy to update, and that means investing in the proper software for your knowledge base.
Most modern solutions are browser-based, meaning that users don’t even have to open separate applications to update your knowledge base.
Showcase the Benefits
As all advertisers know, you must show your customers the benefits of certain behaviours (in the case of advertising, buying a product). It’s no different in the workplace.
When you showcase the benefits of contributing, your staff will be more motivated to create content.
Highlight customer case studies when your self-service content made a difference, with real names and photos where possible. You can also share statistics about how much time your knowledge base has saved for your customer support team, or increased productivity.
You could even have a rating system for your articles. By letting customers rate your content, you will be collecting valuable feedback about its effectiveness, but also enabling staff to see how helpful their articles have been.
An Opportunity for Professional Development
Present contributing as an opportunity for professional development and to share expertise with the customer service team and customers.
If your contributors are engineers, its increasingly important for them to develop soft skills like customer service. Highlight how this will help their careers.
Also, if they’re involved in the creation of your self-service content, by immersing themselves in your product’s problem areas, this will help them to become better engineers. Communicate how this is a chance to be involved in the development of your products and services from the front line.
Make it Part of Their Service Job
If you’re really serious about motivating your customer service team to contribute, make it part of their actual job description.
Employees are already incredibly busy and find it hard to prioritize their existing tasks. If you officially sanction content creation as part of their role, it makes it easier for them to find the time to do it.
A knowledge base is nothing without great content, and this will need to come from your entire customer service team. Use these principles to motivate your staff to contribute, and watch as your knowledge base grows.
Catherine Heath has a thing for psychology, diversity, tech and startups , and is l earning to code. She gives valuable insight into the women in tech scene on her website, Away With Words, and shares tips for success and self-development. Connect with Catherine on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Catherine regularly blogs about knowledge base best practice for KnowledgeOwl.