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Showing posts from 2019

Knowledge Base Content Maintenance

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You’ve invested in a knowledge management program, maybe Knowledge Centered Support (KCS), to improve the availability of self-support content for your customers. It’s going reasonably well, but one day you realize that the amount of written content has begun to pile up. Before you reach this point, I highly encourage you to start a content maintenance program as part of your overall content governance. If you're past this point, well, better late than never.
Why do you need a maintenance program? You may think of content governance as defining roles and ownership for creating content with appropriate processes and editorial guidelines, which it is, but you need to include ongoing maintenance, too. Without a maintenance program, you likely have one or more of these issues going on.

Your support agents and customers are running into irrelevant articles, having to skip listings in search results and/or even clicking and reading those articles that are no longer relevant. Worse, if th…

Add a watermark to Office files, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

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Only Microsoft Word has a built-in watermark feature, but Excel and PowerPoint have a reasonable workaround to adding watermarks on those files, as well.

For each of the instructions, I'm using Office 2016 for Windows.

Word Word is very easy -- just 3 quick steps. Go to the Design ribbon in your Word document.Click on the Watermark icon of text found near the right end of the ribbon in the Page Background section.Select a watermark you prefer or Custom Watermark... from the menu.
If you select the custom option, you have multiple options beyond just custom text.Enter watermark text (or alternatively a picture).Change the font used.Change the font size or use auto for auto-scaling.Text color.A layout of diagonal or horizontal. When you need to remove the watermark, repeat steps 1 and 2, and then select Remove Watermark found at the bottom of the menu. Excel The workaround for a watermark in Excel is done by using an image file.  Find or create an image with the watermark of your choos…

Flush left and right on the same line of a Word document

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If you've ever used a Microsoft Word template, you often find the same line that has both left flush and right flush text. I had a recent need to do this and set out to figure out how to accomplish this trick.

It ended up not being so difficult - it can be done with Tabs.
Have the line you're working on set to left flush.Enter the text that you want to be left-flush. (Leave the cursor at the end of the text.)Select the Home Ribbon (Home tab).In the Paragraph section of the Home Ribbon, click the lower-right corner where you see the half-square and arrow.
This will open the Paragraph properties dialog box.Click the Tabs... button located in the lower-left of the dialog box.
This will open the Tabs properties dialog box.There are 2 settings to make in this dialog box.Enter 6.5" for the Tab stop position. This assumes you're using 8.5" width paper and have 1" borders on the left and right sides. 6.5" was determined by this simple formula:
Paper width - left …

Your site search isn't as important as you think

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Many times I've heard from colleagues who want to make our help website search the top priority and I think they’re really missing more important priorities that are much more effective in assisting customers in finding relevant content (and site features/functions).

Step back for a moment and consider your site search compared to a Google search. (For that matter even compare to Bing and Yahoo search.) The technology is fundamentally different. Google indexes every page its crawler can access. Your site search has a finite amount of content to index. Google looks at what pages are the most popular both from links to (the pages) and click-throughs (and so much more). At best your search engine knows page popularity, which will become a problem for new content and may likely become a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Most people will search with 1 to 3 keywords -- only sometimes using a phrase. Google has a rich history of search results related to those words and what’s been clic…

Finding the right candidate is difficult at best

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I’ve been on both sides of the interview table throughout my career. Having been hired and passed upon as well as hiring (and firing) great employees, I’ve had plenty of time to practice the skills in hiring and interviewing. In short, it’s extremely difficult to get to know someone from just a few hours (at most) of dialog. In most cases, I think the interviewers are doing it wrong and they’re missing out on great people. In this article, I’ll share some of my own experiences and best practices from interviewing and being interviewed.

I honestly believe 85% of the work belongs on the interviewer side. If you’re looking for the best candidate based on how well they can interview, you’re missing out. If you want to find the best employees, you need to do the work!

Think about the times you’ve started dating someone new. Most of us have experienced that person who was on their best behavior for a period of time, but that charade can only go on for so long. As an interviewer, you want t…

Measure the success of your help knowledge base content

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Let me start first by talking a bit about scope and strategy. The discussion on measuring your help knowledge base often gets caught up in the measure of call deflection on your website and the strategy of your knowledge base -- whether the knowledge base is primarily for your agents or customer help website. Regarding call deflection, it’s extremely likely that not all customers on your help website would contact you if they are unsuccessful with self-resolving, which is why how to measure or what to measure using call deflection is frequently debated.

While your agents and customers have different needs from a knowledge base, it must serve both audiences! The fundamental issue is that agents and customers have different needs.
In most cases, your agents know exactly the issue and what to do to solve it, they just need to find the right article to share with the customer. These leads them to often try searching based on a solution.Your customers, on the other hand, are visiting your …

How do you find a good boss, not just a job?

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Recently a friend of mine asked me “I always wonder how to find a Boss rather than a job. Any pointers or experiences, kindly share. Let us assume I am on the interview and I don't know the Boss, the interviewer may be someone else.“

I thought that was a great question! I’m sure there are plenty of experts who have greater insight than myself, but this is what I offered.

Ask the interviewers about how they like working at the company and with their boss. Also ask, what do they like most and may about their boss.Hopefully, you will eventually talk to the boss and you can ask him/her how they define success and what he/she likes most about their boss. Whatever he/she likes most is likely a strong trait of their own.Remember you're interviewing them, too. Don't be afraid to dig deeper for more insight. I’m sure there’s much more. A few more things have come to mind since this exchange.

Prepare ahead of time and know what kind of a boss you like to work for. Think about the bos…