KBS for a Product Manager

May 2, 2007

Many software companies sooner or later come to the conclusion that they need to have some kind of product/support knowledge management system (Q&A management system). The questions from your customers related to your products should be answered in a best possible way (by your experts) and this Q&A knowledge had better be saved and organized in a way that is easy for search and access by internal and external users. A good knowledge base system (KBS) allowing customer access can help you accomplish a number of things:

  • Properly route a question to an expert for a comprehensive answer
  • Capture all relevant comments added in the process of answer discovery
  • Identify your experts for each category of knowledge (using rating)
  • Automatically detect the frequently asked questions and enable publishing of FAQ’s.
  • Allow your customers and your internal users to search the database, rate the relevancy of the search results, and suggest new categories

Without going into more details about possible KBS capabilities I think it is pretty clear that having a KBS in place is pretty useful for accumulating product knowledge and increasing efficiency of your support teams.

Also another benefit of having such a KBS in place is that it is a valuable source of customer feedback. You do not have to solicit the feedback from your customers, run email campaigns with questionnaires, bother people with calls; when they have an important enough question they will file it in your KBS, and if they see that the system actually reacts to their questions they will engage more and give you more feedback. You, as a product manager, could be monitoring the system to understand better what your customers expect from your products.

  • Current FAQ’s and popular categories of questions may tell you which parts of your product/services need improvements or more focus from your development, QA or documentation teams.
  • Unanswered questions may indicate insufficient support knowledge or unexpected usage of your product by some customers. You company may have to develop expertise in some areas. Such questions may also give you ideas for new products.
  • Knowing your experts within each knowledge category can help you in the requirements creation process. These are the people you may want to consult with, in the future.
  • Knowing most active customers filing questions in your KBS and their problems will help you identify your potential champions and find ways to make them happy with the product

What do you think?

2 Responses to “KBS for a Product Manager”

  1. Craig Brown Says:

    Great e-book. It targets technology forms – what is important for success, but could be appled to other service buiness as well.

    If you are in a start up you should definitely read this.

  2. yoxel Says:

    Hi Craig,

    Thanks for your comment.

    Check out our demo accounts at http://yoxel.com to see our knowledge base system in work šŸ™‚

    -Alexey


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