"For the external knowledge I estimated that in the first year it would save about 50-100 phone calls during after hours support. This will save me at least 50 hours. - Robert Grozell, Project Manager"
The purpose is to reduce our incoming support phone calls and emails after hours by giving the customer a mobile accessible knowledge base. This will not only save our company money in the long run but will improve our employee morale as they will have to field less after hours calls.
A secondary purpose is to provide our current and future staff with a knowledge base to learn from. We currently have specialized people who can only perform certain tasks but if we have the knowledge base easily available online then any of our guys can assemble and test any of our components.
We heavily considered these two sites as well as helpjuice:
We also looked at these sites but they didn't warrant as much consideration:
We reviewed many different available options and helpjuice had the most options that we were looking for at a reasonable price. The mobile version of the site looked very clear and concise which was a big reason why we went with helpjuice. We looked at other companies using helpjuice already and found their sites very easy to use.
The ability to integrate an online chat assistant was a great feature. Being able to link documents and search by any word and bring up all of the related articles works great.
Also, the pricing structure for our company size was reasonable, especially when compared to some of the competitors sites. In the end our site will have hundreds of pages and to have a site of that size with another company would have made the price completely unreasonable.
I have a few features that I really like. Copying existing word documents and then formatting them is so easy, this is my favorite feature so far. I was able to migrate over our existing user manual in only a few hours.
Saving a file to a pdf afterwards is also one of the reasons we went with helpjuice. The ability to have multiple users working on the same files is very helpful. We were looking to add a knowledge tree for supporting our customers but having that and the document collaboration and it all being online just worked out perfectly for us.
We have a lot of support calls, especially through the night which we have to pay our technicians to respond to and they don't like being on support. Typically we are getting 5-10 calls per week after hours and they are usually for small problems that could be solved with an easily accessible knowledge base but each time a technician has to respond to a call we have to pay them for a minimum hour.
We expect that it will take some time for the site to become useful as a lot of our customers are not the most technologically savvy people but once it does become more used we are hoping to reduce our support calls by 20%.
We have not made our site available to our customers yet as it will take some time for us to input everything into the knowledge base. We are currently inputting the internal articles we need to train new hires first and then will add the external knowledge base to help our customers. We anticipate all of this being complete in 6 months.
Using the internal knowledge base we expect to drop our time to train a new employee from 6 months to 3 months. This will save us not only the extra training time but will also reduce the load on existing employees who are currently required to train the new hires. Now the new hire can read through the site and have it available on their phone if they have any questions.
For the external knowledge I estimated that in the first year it would save about 50-100 phone calls during after hours support. This will save me at least 50 hours. My expectation is that it will only grow from there as our customers hire younger, more technologically proficient workers. In the long run I can see the site saving us 100s of hours per year.