Sometimes people say there’s an 80:20 rule for knowledge.
That dramatically understates the reality.
The graph above shows a pretty typical pattern of knowledge reuse. Out of tens of thousands of knowledgebase articles, only about 7500 were viewed even once in a given month. Of these 7500, only about 300 articles represented 50% of the views. That’s about 4% of the active knowledgebase, and only 1% of the total knowledgebase.
These statistics make it pretty clear: a one-size-fits-all approach to knowledge simply doesn’t make sense.
For your big hitters—the “short head,” invest. Fix the product. Do multimedia how-tos. Create process wizards. Build smart content that can implement fixes for the customer. At the very least, make the knowledge as accurate and clear as you can. This content is used hundreds or thousands of times a month—the ROI is there.
For the long tail, ruthless efficiency is the name of the game. This is where KCS and its idea of “capture in the workflow” is so important. Long tail content is valuable, but not valuable enough to invest very much. So making it so customer-facing staff can capture knowledge with little or no impact to case closing time is crucial.
At first, you don’t know what’s going to be short head content. So create it efficiently in the workflow, and then let usage data, like the graph above, tell you where to invest.