In recent months, we’ve written a lot about how technology is changing the modern service desk.
We’ve also discussed the results of the Service Desk Institute’s “A View From the Frontline” report, which captures the desires and frustrations of service desk professionals. From this, SDI called out one area in particular that has rapidly grown in demand:
“One innovation which was mentioned enough times to warrant a new category was knowledge capabilities. Knowledge management and effective knowledge bases have become generally more integral for support teams looking to implement or improve alternative support channels, such as […] self-service.”
Taking a closer look at the survey results, 12% of service desk professionals cited knowledge management as a key innovation they’d like to see in ITSM tools in the next 12 months. Meanwhile, 41% of respondents identified self-service as a key area for development.
At Sunrise, we see effective knowledge management in ITSM as an essential prerequisite for strong self-service functionality.
And at the heart of effective knowledge management lies intelligent searching.
What is Intelligent Searching?
Historically, knowledge management has been a problem. While many organizations have huge banks of knowledge articles available, finding the right articles is a challenge. Not only does this slow down service desk personnel, it also causes frustration for end-users using self-service portals.
Put simply, the main challenge with knowledge management is making it easy for service desk personnel and end-users to find relevant results in a timely manner without impacting performance.
Intelligent searching is a means of doing just that — giving service desk personnel and end-users instant access to the knowledge articles they need in an intuitive way. For obvious reasons, intelligent searching should be available from both the main service desk interface and the self-service portal, and shouldn’t require users to do anything more than they are already doing.
How does it work?
In Sunrise ITSM, new knowledge articles can either be manually added to the knowledge database or created automatically when an incident or problem is resolved. Either way, the new knowledge article is categorized within the system as a specific format (e.g., text, video, attachment, etc.) and then tagged with relevant keywords.
And this is what makes intelligent searching possible.
Intelligent Searching for Self-Service
So what makes intelligent searching… intelligent?
Here are two ways that it can make life easier for an end-user:
- It’s easier to search for knowledge articles… and actually find them.
This may sound obvious, but hear us out.
In the past, the search features built into knowledge management modules were based mainly on article titles. That meant for a user to find the right article, they needed to have some idea of what problem they were faced with. Naturally, many users didn’t have the first idea of what the cause of their problem was… only that it was affecting their ability to work in some way.
With intelligent searching, knowledge management articles are tagged with a variety of relevant terms. For instance, if the article relates to an issue with Microsoft Outlook, it could be tagged with ‘Outlook’, ‘Office’, ‘Email’, ‘Can’t send’, ‘Can’t receive’, and so on.
If sensible tagging procedures are followed, this approach makes it much easier for end-users to find the knowledge articles they need. Not only does this help them solve their problem much more quickly, it also reduces load on the service desk.
- Suggestions during incident logging
Many self-service portals enable end-users to log their own incidents. Naturally, however, many of these self-raised incidents could easily be resolved by the users themselves if they had access to the right knowledge articles.
With intelligent searching, users can be alerted to relevant knowledge articles while they are raising an incident. As soon as they start typing, the system looks for keywords that match their text and suggests them to the user.
Once again, with sensible tagging, this feature alone can contribute to a drastic reduction in self-service tickets.
Intelligent Searching for Service Desks
Of course, the benefits of intelligent searching aren’t limited to self-service. Service desk personnel can also see great benefits from it:
- It’s easier to find relevant knowledge articles
This one’s obvious. Just like end-users, service desk personnel with access to intelligent searching features are able to find the information they need much more quickly.
- Related incidents
When a service desk professional creates a new incident for a user, they will be automatically alerted to all other open incidents related to that user. They’ll also see existing problems related to the incident, even if they aren’t related to the user.
This additional context is hugely valuable for service desk personnel, potentially helping them to more effectively respond to new incidents and help users over the phone.
- In-context suggestions
Normally, once a service desk professional has raised a new incident, they’ll start the process of searching for relevant knowledge articles. With intelligent searching, those articles are provided as suggestions during the process of creating and categorizing a new ticket.
Not only does this save time for the service desk, it also ensures service desk professionals are able to provide the highest possible level of service to end-users while they are still on the phone.
The Future of Knowledge Management
Given the challenges with traditional knowledge management modules, we expect to see an even greater demand for intelligent searching in the next SDI report.
Thankfully, Sunrise ITSM customers don’t have to wait that long — we’ve already built these capabilities into our ITSM solution.
To see intelligent searching in action, check out our video: