Self-help. It’s as easy as allowing end users to help themselves. It may be how-to guides, common fixes, workarounds for known issues, and even the use of YouTube videos for those that choose visual rather than written assistance. Be warned though; self-help prepared poorly can cause longer decision times and worse customer experience, at a higher cost to the company.
We are offering a customer-facing knowledge base. It’s the backbone of self-help, produced by a variety of people: internal technology specialist, service desk agent resolutions, third-parties, and maybe still end-users (say for unusual workarounds for new problems).
Knowledge management. Efficient knowledge management will support not only the customer-facing knowledge base but also service desk agent and other IT staff – as it’s impossible for service desk agent, in particular, to know everything about every corporate technology. Sadly, struggling to cause the right information when desired can be a real productivity killer wherever you work. And don’t expect knowledge management to be limited to the design and use of documented knowledge articles – sometimes the most excellent knowledge management knows who to speak to and how to get in touch with them.
They are empowering super users. In the 1990s, these were the community who used personal productivity products, such as MS Excel, more than most and who might offer advice to less-frequent users. The same standard can be applied today, this time leveraging business application super users and the power of the online community. However, as with self-help as a whole, make sure that being a superuser isn’t at the expense of the end user’s. Day job particularly if super users get extra recognition for, and praise from, being a superuser than they do in their actual role.