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  • Simon Kilgarriff
    How Does Your Knowledge Base’s Power Measure Up?26100%
    Entry posted March 13, 2018 by Simon KilgarriffPro, tagged Best Practices, Product / Product Release 

    They say knowledge is power. With power comes great responsibility, according to Spiderman’s uncle, and your Knowledge Base is no different. It has huge potential to create value for your customers and your organization, if you manage the responsibility well. Of course, that is where things get tricky—how do you know if you are managing your KB well and using its powers for good and not ill?

    Let’s take a look at where you can and should focus in determining you knowledge base’s performance.

    Your Knowledge Base is Tier 0

    It is easy to overlook the Knowledge Base as a key component to helping reduce costs and improve experience when there are other new, exciting components such as chatbots and AI are emerging.   

    Therefore, I always impress upon my customers early on that Knowledge Base is one of the most important things to get right. Why? Your Knowledge Base is effectively your “Tier 0” area for supporting and empowering your customers. Your Knowledge Base enables your customers get answers to their questions, when and where (syndicated widgets) they need it.

    If you look at your Knowledge Base as a member of your Support team, how many service requests is it resolving and deflecting every day? How does that compare to the average number of service requests your agents are closing every day? Your Knowledge Base is, or should be, your superhero agent who frees up your Tier 1, 2 and 3 agents for more complex inquiries!

    In short, your Knowledge Base should be high priority and area of strategic investment. It isn’t just about having a knowledge base and sitting back. It is about getting customers to self-serve, agents to offer answers in their responses and contribute their expertise back into the Knowledge Base, and agents updated through knowledge.  As you can imagine, this can be quite a culture change.

    The Dilemma of Measuring Knowledge Base Success

    In consulting engagements, I’m often asked what a successful Knowledge Base looks like. The questions range from, “What sort of reduction in emails might we see?” or “What kind of deflection can we expect to see?” or “How do we resource our knowledge base? How do we justify resourcing for our knowledge base?” There aren’t straight forward answers to these questions.

    Why are these questions hard to answer? Every Knowledge Base is unique—the number of answers, the quality of answers, whether you use knowledge syndication or not, whether you promote answer usage in incidents, chats or standard text, customizations…the list goes on!  Usage is also very different from a customer-facing, internal-only or HR Knowledge Base. Just a few examples:

    • HR is very transaction-based, so knowledge only goes so far as employees will likely need to submit a request. For example, if an employee wants to raise a grievance, then knowledge may help to understand the process, but ultimately, s/he needs to submit a service request to start the process off, so there is less chance to get people to self-serve.
    • Internal knowledge will have far fewer, if any, incidents created, so you would expect the self-serve rates would be high. But figures, such as answer hits, can vary. Some organizations might have low viewing stats since the staff churn is low and agents are knowledgeable.  Organizations with high agent churn may find the statistics are far higher since there are far more ‘green’ agents who need to view knowledge to solve requests.
    • Customer-facing knowledge is less likely to be transactional, so there is better chance of achieving high self-serve rates.  However, some organizations may require the customer to raise an incident in certain scenarios, which inevitably impacts the self-serve rates.

    It also depends on the website design too. How easy is it to search or view your Knowledge Base?  Do customers have to login to search your Knowledge Base? Knowledge can be consumed in many ways, and your metrics are going to vary accordingly. I would guess two Knowledge Bases from two organizations in the same industry might have very different statistics.

    Where Should You Start?

    I recommend setting a benchmark for your own Knowledge Base. Focus on improving your own figures, rather than trying to look at what others are doing or chasing industry benchmarks.

    Take a snapshot of various reports, and use them as a benchmark and look at trying to improve performance on those metrics. There are some useful out-of-the-box Knowledge Foundation reports that give a good assessment of your Knowledge Base’s performance:

    • Answers viewed by Answer (or by Category or by Product)
    • Answer Maintenance
    • Keyword Search
    • Site Effectiveness

    Keep measuring against the same metrics over periods of time; look at the behaviours they reveal and then improve where you can. Use the reports as a guide, so you get a picture as to what is going on, but remember no one report is the be-all and end-all.   

    You can go deeper and leverage the framework and reports from the ‘Deriving Business Intelligence through Service Cloud Value Analytics’ set of report recipes in the Analytics Cookbook.

    Check out some great articles (Knowledge Base answers, in fact!) including, “Tips and Best Practices for Maintaining Answers” and “Best Practices for Setting up Knowledge Base of Answers.”


    In summary, your Knowledge Base is uniquely yours. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.  Imagine what Spiderman would have missed out on if he spent all his time trying to be the Hulk!

    I’d love to hear how you have approached this challenge of analysing your Knowledge Base performance. What is a metric that you have focused on and positively influenced?

  • eleep
    Boost Your Career: Learn How to Deliver Legendary Service...100%
    Entry posted March 7, 2018 by eleepHero, tagged Industry News and Events, Modern Customer Experience, Product / Product Release 

    Back by popular demand, Pre-Conference Education makes its return to Modern Customer Experience 2018. This year, we’re bringing back Oracle Service Cloud training and expanding the program across the Oracle Customer Experience (CX) Cloud suite of applications.

    Want to learn more about KPIs and dashboards? Are you interested in creating dynamic interviews to build customer loyalty? Do you know what it takes to nurture a thriving Knowledge Management program? We’ve got all those sessions, and more!

    Whether you’re a customer or partner, we encourage you to take advantage of these in-depth, structured learning opportunities that will help advance your CX career and help you achieve legendary results for your organization.

    (Now through April 9thregister for only $1395 with the code CXBLOG to receive $500 off the onsite rate.)

    Here's what you need to know about pre-conference education:

    • What's covered? Expect to dive deep into Oracle Service Cloud and gain the product knowledge and best practices required to effectively manage transformation at your organization. These sessions are a great opportunity to network with Oracle product experts and your peers who are interested in the same topic. Check out the session catalog for details.
    • How long are the sessions? These structured learning opportunities are either 90-minute sessions or three-hour sessions divided into two parts–Part I in the morning followed by Part II in the afternoon.
    • What's the format? Some sessions are trainer-led, while others are hands-on workshops. Please note that the hands-on workshops have limited capacity, and are first-come, first-serve.
    • Who's presenting? We're sending our best experts from Oracle Product Management to lead each session. Additionally, Gold Partner  and MCX 2018 Gold Sponsor Helix Solutions is returning to deliver the popular "Customer Portal for Non-Developers" workshop again.
    • What's the cost? These sessions are FREE with your conference registration. That’s right, free. Just one more reason to attend MCX 2018.
    • Who can attend? Whether you’re an Oracle customer, partner, or if you’re just interested in learning more, you’re welcome to attend.
    • How do I reserve my spot? You don’t need to register to reserve your spot. The sessions are first-come, first-serve. However, please plan accordingly–the hands-on workshops fill up quickly!
    • Do I need to prepare? Yes and no. If you're interested in attending a hands-on workshop, you'll want to check your computer meets the requirements described in the session description. For the most part, it's just a matter of bringing your own Windows PC that meets system requirements outlined hereBut check the session description for details! Certain sessions require you to have a code editor (IDE),  Notepad++ and Cyberduck installed. Otherwise, just show ready to learn! 
    • Does this impact my travel plans? Yes, you’ll want to fly in early to take advantage of these learning opportunities. Pre-conference education begins on Tuesday, April 10th at 9:30 a.m. for Oracle Service Cloud attendees.

    Check out the Pre-Conference Education Session for your Oracle Service Cloud and the other CX products.

    Let us know if you have questions, and otherwise, we’ll see you in Chicago.

  • James W.
    How Costco Increased Agent Productivity with Simple Oracle...29100%Configuration-Details_How-Costco-Increased-Agent-Productivity-with-Simple-OSVC-Toolbox-Innovations.pdf
    Entry posted March 6, 2018 by James W.Journeyer, tagged Member Spotlight, Product / Product Release 

    I've been a software developer with Costco for almost 20 years! I actually started in the food court, moved to the tire center, and applied for a programmer trainee position. I took the aptitude test, and got into the training course, and came out as a developer! This transition marked the beginning of a career working on many different systems across multiple departments at Costco.

    Over the last five years, I've been part of a small IT team dedicated to supporting our Member Service Center. In May 2016, I started working on Oracle Service Cloud. We’re focused on offering web self-service, chat and capturing phone calls. We recently launched chat, which has been very popular with both our customers and agents and is accelerating our first call resolution rate!

    We have loved how we can configure and customize Oracle Service Cloud to meet our business needs. I wanted to share an example of how I used out of the box functionality in order to deal with a unique business challenge within Costco.

    The Challenge

    Many Oracle Service Cloud customers use web forms for email submissions and benefit from the native SPAM filtering functionality built into the system. However, Costco’s email configuration is a little unique, because we use a separate email-only domain and a 3rd party email host for our direct emails.

    While our email host has been great and has several SPAM avoidance options, the Oracle client doesn't provide SPAM feedback to our email host. Consequently, our email host can't get any "smarter" or learn what we consider to be SPAM. And we keep getting SPAM (e.g. vendors who want Costco to carry their products; “spray and pray” marketing emails; trashy spam that you’d see in your personal email).

    The problem was twofold: (1) we needed agents to get through emails faster and (2) we wanted to prevent future SPAM.

    The Solution

    I knew that our Oracle Service Cloud agent workspace—with all of its required fields—has a “minimum time required” to complete it correctly. For a customer email, all of these fields are valuable for solving customer issues and for creating great reporting. However, when agents are dealing with SPAM, they just need to get to the next email and not waste any time filling out required fields. And it’s even better if they don’t see another SPAM email from that Contact.

    To address this problem, I started by developing a “big click target” SPAM workspace. Now if an agent gets a SPAM email, they can just hit the SPAM button in the workspace ribbon and the incident disappears…POOF! No required fields. No more of the agent’s time wasted. This addressed the first problem of helping agents get through emails faster.

    Of course, if the agent made a mistake, they can go into Recent Items, re-open the incident, open the contact and change the AutoSPAM flag. As a side note, we did have some agents accidentally hit the SPAM workspace button, so we moved the button away from the Send & Exit button. Position matters!

    In order to prevent future SPAM email from a sender, I added a business rule that checks the AutoSPAM Contact field on incoming emails. If the AutoSPAM field is flagged “Yes,” it goes into an AutoSPAM queue. Future incoming emails from this email address will be reviewed by a supervisor to confirm it’s SPAM.

    In addition to solving the problem, our agents loved the ability to quickly process SPAM (“Wow, I’m done with that!”) and appreciated that we made their job easier. Can you tell that I love the configurability and customization options within Oracle Service Cloud? You can check out the step-by-step instructions with screenshots in the attached PDF.


    Even if you don’t have the same SPAM problem that we do, this concept has many different applications. You can take the top five disposition codes for incidents and make five buttons to set fields. Even auto-insert an answer. You don’t want to miss the right reason codes from a reporting perspective, but you also don’t have to bog agents down with repetitive clicks.

    By sharing this innovation, I hope to encourage and inspire you to learn about the different tools within the Oracle Service Cloud toolbox and how you can combine them to create simple yet effective solutions for your organization.