10 Questions to Ask Before Implementing Salesforce Knowledge - dummies

10 Questions to Ask Before Implementing Salesforce Knowledge

By Jon Paz, T. J. Kelley

Salesforce Knowledge provides the framework for a knowledge base that can enable your organization to quickly create and easily manage information that you want to share with internal or external users. Regardless of whether your organization has already decided to leverage Salesforce Knowledge, important questions and decisions need to be evaluated prior to embarking on an implantation. Here are ten basic questions that you should review before implementing Salesforce Knowledge.

  1. How much control does your organization need over the article lifecycle?

    Maybe you want to empower your support teams to create, edit, review, and publish articles for repurpose to solve customer’s issues, but you’re worried about giving too much freedom in the publishing process. Salesforce Knowledge provides flexible solutions for managing your organization’s articles.

    You can select article managers and even create an approval process specific for articles. You may require an approval process for specific article types that require legal or management review prior to publication.

  2. Would your organization like to present articles to agents in various formats?

    There are plenty of options out there to house your organizational support articles, but none can match the power and quality of Salesforce Knowledge or the depth of customization allowed when creating articles. You can create custom article‐type templates to render the information to users in various formats. You can also create article‐type layouts and various article types to organize your support articles.

  3. Does your organization need to target particular audiences with certain types of articles?

    If subsets of your organizational knowledge are intended only for specific groups or audiences, you can leverage Data categories to ensure the right groups have the right information. Data categories are a set of criteria organized into a hierarchy of groups. Articles are categorized according to the groups that you define (for example, product categories, regional categories, and so on). After you’ve defined data categories and assigned them to articles, they make it easy for users to find the articles they need.

  4. Will your organization need to access detailed reports and metrics about support articles?

    If your organization wants to not only supply customer support agents with top‐notch knowledge articles, but also run detailed reports about how the support articles are being used in an effort to continually maintain and improve the knowledge base, then Salesforce Knowledge is definitely the tool to use.

    With Salesforce Knowledge, you can create custom article reports or download and install the Knowledge Base Dashboards and Reports app from the AppExchange. With these tools, you can view article usage, ratings, and search statistics by channel or role to proactively manage your organization’s content.

  5. Does your organization leverage multiple channels for support?

    If you want to share your support articles with more than just internal support teams, Salesforce Knowledge is an excellent option. You can share your articles through four different channels, in addition to your own website.

    Internal users can access articles directly in Salesforce, while Customer and Partner users can access articles via Customer and Partner Communities, respectively. Finally, your articles can also be made available to the general public with a Public Knowledge Base by leveraging the Public Knowledge Base for Salesforce Knowledge app from the AppExchange.

  6. Do your agents need to be able to rate articles?

    Salesforce Knowledge comes with an article rating system to ensure that your organization can identify popular, useful articles and continue to maintain them, while weeding out the unhelpful articles. The rating system allows users to rate articles on a scale from 1 to 5; it weights the ratings based on how recently users have submitted their votes.

    The article rating system, combined with Salesforce Knowledge analytics, empowers your organization to stay ahead of the game when it comes to managing outdated content and understanding what type of information and formats agents or customers find most helpful.

  7. Should your agents be able to find, create, and send articles?

    Salesforce Knowledge allows your agents to easily find the articles they need with a one‐click search feature. Additionally, you can empower your agents to contribute to the knowledge base by enabling them to create a draft article as they’re closing out a case.

    Finally, many tools may leave your agents copying and pasting paragraphs to share with customers, or even typing manually into an email, but with Salesforce Knowledge your agents will be able to send PDFs of support articles to your customers directly from the case records.

  8. Do your agents need to collaborate on support articles using chatter?

    With Salesforce, collaboration via Chatter is the name of the game. Whether sales reps are collaborating on a deal or agents are collaborating on a case, the speed and ease of Chatter allows for real‐time collaboration from anywhere on any device. Salesforce Knowledge doesn’t miss a beat — agents can collaborate and share ideas directly on article records in the system to correct or improve content.

  9. Do your agents need robust search functionality to locate articles?

    In addition to having data categories and article types to leverage as search criteria for an enhanced search experience, Salesforce Knowledge allows users to search for articles by language or status and view results by ratings or views. Your organization can also leverage an auto‐complete function when searching to have suggested article titles appear as users type in the search bar. Additionally, the article search functionality incorporates stemming and you can optionally define search synonym groups.

    Stemming is the process of reducing a word to its root form. For example, if you ran a search for the word fix, stemming would return matches for fix, fixing, and fixed. Synonym groups allow your organization to define words that you want to be treated as equivalents in article searches.

  10. Do your agents use the Service Console view?

    Hopefully your support agents are already leveraging the awe‐inspiring power of the Service Console to make their lives efficient and your customers’ experience smooth, fast, and convenient. If they are, the Salesforce Knowledge sidebar will appear whenever they select a case record.

    As agents type in the subject of a case, the sidebar displays suggested articles that have been updated within the last 30 days. From the Knowledge sidebar, agents can filter down or expand article results, attach articles to cases, or remove articles. They can hide the sidebar with one click as soon as they’re finished looking for articles.