self service concept

Quality Improvement Cycle for Knowledge Management & Web Self Service

Defined

A self-perpetuating system that ensures the knowledge and information being made available to users of a web self service system is continuously improved.

Why?

A web self service system is only as good as the information that it provides to its users.

When the knowledge provided is accurate and easily available to the web site users (24/7, all over the world) then the system will be acknowledged as useful and of benefit not only to the user but also to the image of the organisation. However, if information is inaccurate, not appropriate, out of date and difficult to locate then the system will be of little value to the web site user, they will look for an alternative and both the system and the organisation will be brought into disrepute.

Components

Knowledge Management Database

A searchable database that could include FAQ'S, Life Episodes, Technical Manuals, Product Literature, A-Z of Services and of course web pages.

Query Management and Escalation System

A system able to administer specific questions created on the web site via e-forms from customers. Route the question to the correct officer for resolution, reassign or escalate the question and manage the time and quality of the response.

Advanced Natural Language Search Engine

Easy to use for the web site user and able to return the most relevant results and any related information.

Taxonomy System Engine

A taxonomy system that can be easily implemented using a standard (e.g. IPSV) or bespoke taxonomy. The taxonomy system should include a 'clues database' these can be positive or negative e.g. the word 'golf' appearing in a sentence relating to parking transport, vehicle etc must be allocated to transport whereas the word 'golf' appearing in a sentence with club, green, ball etc must be allocated to sport and Leisure. The taxonomy system must be able to be rapidly edited by non technical staff to cater for the specific needs of the organisation and to be changed in light of experience.

Auto-classifier

An auto-classifier system that works with the taxonomy and search engines, this component automatically allocates questions posed by web site users to specific organisation officers for resolution. The classifier must be able to be easily edited by non technical staff in light of practical experience and include a database of organisation officers' details and substitutes for each subject/node of the taxonomy.

Customer Self Service / Scenario Builder/Scripting or Decision Tree Builder

Customer Self Service does exactly what it says on the tin! It provides the customer/staff with the ability to intuitively and quickly find information, book or pay for resources products or services on the corporate web site or intranet.
This is done promoting and offering exiting and new communications and transactions effectively via the efficient web channel and in doing so improve the customer/staff experience so they do not need the more expensive communication channels.

There are some questions that by their nature cannot be solved with one answer, when the answer to the first question leads to alternative second questions e.g. When enquiring of a Council 'Do I need Planning permission to build an extension?' the Council officer could ask 'are you located in a Conservation Area?' If the answer is 'Yes' then obviously planning permission is required, if 'No' then there would be further questions with regards to size etc. The development of this expert system which guides the customer through a friendly routine and provides all of the supporting information can be developed with its audit trail 'scripted' within the system for any number of 'scenarios' to answer questions on practically any subject online.

Screen shot gallery

Click a thumbnail below to view the light box of images

CHAT

The use of CHAT can improve customer relationships by giving live help when it is needed. This can stop customers moving from your organisation to search elsewhere for their information or products. It is a waste to use your 'live agents' answering simple enquiries that the web self service can do as efficiently. However, giving the customer the option to switch to 'live chat' from the web self service system when the customer chooses could save customer relationships whilst saving cost most of the time. Also the option could be 'switched off' over weekends or out of hours to be replaced with an on-line enquiry form. This has the benefit of reducing wasted time whilst providing a feeling of a personal service.

E-Forms or Web Forms

E-Forms are required to enable web site users to complete questions or applications on-line and the information entered to be routed and integrated with a variety of back office systems so as to provide information or complete transactions.

Management Reports

The system should provide a set of management reports that clearly indicate the performance of the system including the total number of questions made through each channel, the customer satisfaction levels and the performance levels achieved. The cost of responding the customers through each channel can also be indicated.

Integrations

Customers Relationship System (CRM) - When the system relays a web site customer to the Customer Service Desk access to the CRM and or the Scenario Builder would be beneficial.

GIS/Mapping Systems

The system can often provide far more useful and friendly as a graphic than as a list of directions.

Resource Booking System

The ability to book Rooms, Events, appointments, etc on-line is facility appreciated by web site users and a very cost effective method of obtaining goodwill.

Product/Asset Catalogue/Shopping Basket and Payment Engine

The ability to order and pay for products and services on line is also a very cost effective way of conducting business.

E-Mail Management

As many questions will come via emails it is beneficial to include email analysis and management in the web self system.

SMS/Text Messaging

As with e-Forms the volumes of questions received via Text Messages is increasing and the system should be able to cater for this media.

Third Party/Back office Systems

The system will need to be integrated with a variety of back office systems according to the needs of the organisation, many of these will be carried out by means of e-Forms providing the web site interface.

Content Management System

The web site would be best underpinned by a Content Management System (CMS) so that content can be quickly and easily updated. The CMS should facilitate the automatic reminders to authors of 'Review Dates' for content so the information is always current and accurate. The CMS should support multi media and be integrated to third party software and back office systems, to offer the presentation of content to the user in an interesting way e.g. the integration to a GIS/Mapping system would enable the locations of certain building events etc to be shown on a map which is far more effective than a list of route instructions. The playing of a video clip would be more informative than say a list of assembly instructions etc.

W3C XHTML icon W3C CSS icon Level A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 Browse Aloud logo