By Jesse Drake
The speed and ease with which someone can find an answer is key to good customer service, and what Google is for random questions, UIT's Knowledge Base is for questions about the University of Utah's central IT resources. But a knowledge base is helpful only if the articles are accurate and relevant.
The UIT Knowledge Base (KB) is a self-serve online library that contains hundreds of step-by-step instructions and general information for the university community on a variety of UIT service topics – from accessing the UConnect wireless network to setting up a Skype for Business meeting.
"The KB is often the first place our users go for just-in-time, self-service help, so we need to keep the information up-to-date," said Cassandra Van Buren, associate director of the UIT Strategic Communication group.
"The more we can help users with online information, the less often they need to take time to call or email the Help Desk - it's quicker and more efficient, especially for routine questions."
To keep the KB accurate and up-to-date, every January the StratComm group begins an annual comprehensive review, asking subject matter experts (SMEs) from UIT and other campus organizations to carefully review the articles that fall under their purview. While SMEs can request edits, new articles, and article retirements at any time, having a systematic review process ensures the accuracy and relevance of each and every article. During the annual review cycle, SMEs review and provide edits for all their assigned articles, including determining which additional UIT KB articles users may find useful in the "Related Articles" section on each page.
To continually gather user feedback, comment boxes at the bottom of articles give users a quick and easy way to suggest improvements to article content. StratComm takes the feedback to the cognizant SME team, which vets the suggestion and gives any needed edits to StratComm for publication.
"We truly appreciate the collaborative partnership we have with other UIT teams and colleagues across campus, as well as users who give us suggestions throughout the year," Van Buren added. "Without their expertise and suggestions, we could not maintain this important resource for faculty, staff, and students."
The KB is a component of the university’s IT Service Portal powered by ServiceNow, the service management platform used by both UIT and Information Technology Services (ITS). The online Service Catalog, which ties in closely to the KB, is a one-stop shop for ordering central IT services. The service portal also gives users a way to report UIT service issues and view their open and past incident tickets and service requests.
Have an idea for a new KB article that you think the campus community would appreciate? Contact the StratComm team and let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.