knowledgebase-narrowmarginTraining your internal customers to come to JIRA Service Desk to report issues and request help goes a long way toward making sure your IT team isn’t interrupted with drive-by questions all day.

But if you haven’t created a knowledge base yet, you should. After all, the most efficient way to help people is to help them help themselves.

Our engineering teams have been hard at work (as always) and recently shipped a couple improvements for our knowledge base feature to Cloud customers. So I thought this would be a good time to get back to basics and show you how to create a knowledge base using JIRA Service Desk and its new BFF, Confluence. If you don’t have Confluence yet, keep reading anyway – you’ll see why in a moment. (And Server customers, don’t fret: these updates are coming to you in the next release, so get ready!)

Full release notes for JIRA Service Desk Cloud 3.1

Alright: let’s start deflecting some tickets, shall we?

Step 1: create a knowledge base with one click

Start your knowledge base initiative right from JIRA Service Desk. With one click in the configuration menu (that little “cog” icon in the top-right corner), you can create a new knowledge base space in Confluence where your agents can add self-help documentation.

We know many of you would love to try self-service with Confluence but have been held back because of pricing. Well, Confluence knowledge base is now free to JIRA Service Desk customers – now there’s no excuse for holding back on self-service.

how to create a knowledge base: set up

Step 2: add knowledge base articles in Confluence

Your service desk agents probably already know what the most frequently asked questions are, so start by answering those with self-help documentation. I also recommend searching through JIRA Service Desk to find the most commonly raised requests and/or issue types. Let the data you already have be your guide.

Remember not to overwhelm your internal customers with exhaustive detail in your knowledge base articles. “Just enough” is the new black.

When you’re not sure whether you’ve provided the right amount of information, ask a colleague from outside the IT team to step through the article and see if they’re able to complete the task without getting blocked by missing info (or confused by too much).

Step 3: recommend knowledge base articles in your service portal

Ok, this isn’t really a step, because JIRA Service Desk does this for you.

Once you have your knowledge base connected, customers will automatically see recommended articles as they type their requests into JIRA Service Desk. No need to re-train them to go into Confluence looking for knowledge base articles. They just head to your service desk portal like they do now, and start typing.

how to create a knowledge base: customer portal

Step 4: view knowledge articles in JIRA Service Desk

Once customers find a relevant solution, they can read it right from JIRA Service Desk. The process is fast and intuitive for customers, and deflects common requests before they are even submitted. Boom.

how to create a knowledge base: suggest articles

Help customers help themselves faster with Smart Graph

Sure, this is alll very exciting, but even with the best knowledge base, not every request can solve itself.

As you grow, the number of services your team provides increases – so does your collection of service portals and knowledge bases. It can become hard for customers to figure out where they should even start looking to get help.

We built in the ability to search for request types across JIRA Service Desk – and we didn’t stop there.
Search works great if there’s a direct keyword mapping. If you’re searching for “desktop”, “laptop”, or even “computer” the customer portal will have a good chance of surfacing the right request type since those words probably appear somewhere in the request form name and description.

But that’s not always the case. What if you had trouble with your computer mouse? Perhaps if you searched for “external mouse for computer” we would end up with the right request type, but that’s not how people search. Your customers probably start with the keyword “mouse”, which might result in the disappointing experience seen here.

how to create a knowledge base: smart search

That’s why we built Smart Graph: technology built on machine learning. Smart Graph’s algorithm learns to associate popular keywords from past requests. As customers create more requests, the search algorithm gets, well… smarter.

how to create a knowledge base: smart search

Smart Graph lets customers to find the correct request type – faster than ever – regardless of how many service desk portals you may have. As more tickets come in, and as you add new requests to your service desk, new links form and the associations grow. These associations make our search algorithm evolve and get even smarter over time, so you can more easily scale your teams and provide legendary, customized service for your customers.

If you missed Atlassian Summit this year, take a moment and watch Didier Moratti, General Manager of JIRA Service Desk, discuss the power of Smart Graph:

For more about Smart Graph and how it applies machine learning, look for a post later this month from our product manager. We’ll also be back next month with knowledge base tips from JIRA Service Desk customers like Spotify and The Daily Telegraph. Stay tuned!

If your IT isn’t using JIRA Service Desk yet, I hope that what I’ve shown today will tempt you into taking a look. It’s your team’s one-stop-shop for service requests, incident management, SLAs, and  of course, knowledge management.

Take a tour of JIRA Service Desk


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About Nikki Nguyen

They may have taken me out of IT, but they will never take the IT out of me. I'm now a recovering systems administrator evangelizing the way teams work by using JIRA Service Desk. I've found a new love in combining technology with great customer service. Tweet me @NikkiHNguyen

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