Key principles for creating useful self-service content, by Gerry McGovern
Content management professionals are being asked to manage 1000s of pages, and it’s too much. The problem is that we’re using 1970s models of management for a 2010 world. The new models of content management will reward consumption rather than production.
Picking a seat on a plane is great for self service, because you have control. But reading an x-ray takes 7 years of education, and so that is a poor choice for self-service. To decide if something is a good choice for a self-service it should be:
- Fast to do, and high repetition (repeating the task often).
- Low complexity and high demand for control.
- High staffing cost, but low self-service costs.
When setting up self-service:
- How will you know if they’re successful?
- What percentage of people get to where you want them to?
- Are you streamlining the experience, so that people can get to content without being distracted?
- Are you helping people, so that they get to what they need quickly?
- No one cares about the journey when they’re looking for information!
- Price – people expect a discount when they’re doing it “themselves”
- Continuous improvement – if people are using something, you have to find out how they’re using it
- Context is important, or you won’t know why they’re doing the things they’re doing
- If customers are spending longer on your homepage, does that mean they’re reading something or they don’t know what to do?
- Can you improve the amount of user success over time?
Essentially, self service success is based on the success of the customer.