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Why a knowledge base is the most important tool to reduce IT support issue time-to-resolution

Time to resolution is the measure of the average of the amount of time it takes for an IT helpdesk to resolve a client service issue, case, or ticket once it’s been opened. Sometimes called mean time to resolution (MTTR), its a very strong indicator of the effectiveness of your internal support strategy.

Quick Stat: Self-service reduces a client’s need for live assistance by 36%

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When a support issue arises and the clock is ticking, it’s not just the requestor who needs access to knowledge to achieve a speedy resolution. It turns out that a robust knowledge base can power efficiency (and thereby expedite resolution times) of a number of teams or populations in your company, and the first place they should naturally turn to is your central knowledge base.

Who uses an IT support knowledge base anyway?

We should probably take a step back and understand exactly who the consumers of knowledge are in an organization and why they need it for.

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IT Support Teams

Arguably, the population that should be most familiar with a knowledge base, is the IT support team. Helpdesk staff need to ensure that a knowledge base is comprehensive, accurate, expert-verified, up-to-date and and searchable if they plan to offer it as a self-service resource. When dealing with support issues, they’ll use it for their own research purposes and cut-and-paste excerpts or links for sharing through Slack channels or other correspondence. Administrators will also invest time and effort into patching gaps in the knowledge base, which will appear from time to time as the company scales or the tech platform evolves. The point is, the knowledge base is often the first place for IT support teams to turn to, or where they advise support seekers to turn to. Without a reliable knowledge base, IT support teams will end up doing more work and as a consequence, increase resolution times.

New Employees and Hiring Managers

New employees are sponges for knowledge. They have to start their learning journey somewhere getting familiarized and onboarded to a new tech stack will come with challenges and a knowledge base is a perfect resource for that. Invariably they’ll need a resource that they can trust for accuracy and is universally searchable. You can pair up new employees with an onboarding buddy, but that isn’t as scalable as a knowledge base would be. Hiring managers need to direct employees to a trustworthy resource that can accelerate success with minimal disruption. The most scalable solution is a searchable knowledge base, ideally with automation incorporated to help train and guide employees along a path of success, which is equivalent to faster time-to-resolution.

Employees utilizing self-service channels

Team members that have confidence in the self-service protocol will always turn to a knowledge base as the first point of reference when an issue emerges. Time-to-resolution can be practically eliminated with a comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date knowledge base source. This helps employees get back on task quickly and producing with IT troubles behind them.

Broad Dependency + Risk to Productivity = High Priority

With such a broad demographic of consumers, the knowledge base is most certainly critical to reducing time-to-resolution for all those impacted by IT support issues. By making a conscious effort to build a knowledge base that powers self-serve support and aids those that provide support, you will reap rewards of faster resolution times.