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You've Implemented Salesforce Knowledge - What Now?

NOTE: This is the 2nd blog on Salesforce Knowledge and how to determine if it is right for your company. If you have not read part one, “Is Salesforce Knowledge Right For You,” please click here before continuing. Part two will focus on what to do now that you have decided to implement Salesforce Knowledge. Ashley Knott, Revolution Group’s Salesforce Services Consultant will discuss some items to consider once you’ve implemented Salesforce Knowledge articles.


Who are the users that will be accessing this data?

Article types, data categories and publication channels are more efficiently determined and set up if you first decide the internal and external users who need access to Knowledge. Salesforce Knowledge allows you to control which of your internal users can maintain and publish content in your knowledge base. So, when choosing these internal users, consider who will be writing, editing, and publishing articles and how you would like that process to flow. You can set up individual users or groups to perform specific actions within your Knowledge articles. Understanding the current roles and responsibilities for your content will help you best set up user access to Knowledge.


Who should have “read only” access to Knowledge and will they have a Salesforce license?

Salesforce Knowledge allows you to publish your articles to different channels and you can control which articles and fields are published to specific users. Salesforce offers four types of channels to which an article can be published – internal app, customer, partner and public knowledge base. Defining which users, internal and external, you want to have access to your articles, as well as, understanding the needs of your licensed and non-licensed users, will help define publication channels and visibility settings.


Do you want to expose Knowledge in a customer or partner portal or in a public facing knowledge base?

With Salesforce Knowledge, you can utilize communities to expose Knowledge articles to your partners or customers. Communities can be easily defined as groups of licensed or non-licensed users that have the same or similar needs regarding Knowledge articles. For example, communities can be created to include a group of internal and external users that need access to your company’s support documentation. Knowing this need, you could create a support community that encompasses all articles and users related to Support giving them easy access to the documentation.

Another Knowledge channel option is through a public facing knowledge base via the Public Knowledge base for Salesforce Knowledge App from the AppExchange.

Understanding the different publication channels will ensure proper setup of your Knowledge articles and help to define data categories and articles types.


Do you want to publish your content in multiple languages?

Salesforce Knowledge allows you to publish articles, internally and externally, in multiple languages. Determining if this feature is needed based on your audience will help your configuration of Knowledge.


Where is your content currently stored and how is it organized?

Understanding all sources of your current content will allow you to start determining how to add articles to Knowledge and what article types and data categories are needed. Insight into how your content is currently organized and what issues your users are having while utilizing the content will help to define your article types and data categories. It will also allow your company to improve the way your content is organized while reviewing what content is still relevant, what needs to be updated, and what needs to be archived.


What fields do you want displayed and how do you want them displayed?

Article types give you the flexibility to customize what fields you want displayed for each collection of content. Determining what data you want to be captured and where you want it displayed will help your users to quickly access information.


Do all users need to see all fields?

Using Permission Sets or Profiles, you can limit the visibility of the fields created on your article types, so not all users have to see the same fields. This is especially beneficial when you are producing articles for both internal and external audiences.


Which data categories do you need?

Data categories are assigned to individual Salesforce Knowledge articles allowing your users to search more efficiently and still allow administrators to control visibility. You can only create 5 data categories, and they are the same across all article types, but each data category can have 100 different values. Examples of data categories are products, lines of business, etc.


Will there be any data conversion?

Do you need to import articles from an existing knowledge base? Determining the structure and content of your current information will help structure your articles types and data categories for importing.


Would you like to present articles in different formats?

Each article type controls the look and feel of content collections and gives users consistent views that allow them to quickly get to information they need. Examples of articles types are FAQ, How to, Training, etc.


Which Knowledge template do you want to use for each article type – Tab or Table of Contents?

Salesforce Knowledge allows you to display your content in a tab view across the top of your page, or a Table of Contents view that allows you to quickly jump to different fields on your article types using links. Your company can choose different templates based on the channels they are using.


Does your content need to be reviewed periodically?

Determining the frequency and need for periodic article reviews will help to ensure the necessary fields are created on the related article types.


Do you need any approval workflow, review workflow, email alerts or outbound API messages sent when an article meets certain criteria?

Workflow rules allow you to automate tasks involved with maintaining your knowledge base. For example, you can send a notification to an article manager when a Knowledge article has not been updated for a certain period of time.


Will your agents use the service console view?

If your agents are utilizing the Service Cloud console, you can configure the Cases page layouts to show the Knowledge sidebar. The sidebar allows your agents to search Knowledge while they are typing information into the subject of the case.


What search features would you like to utilize?

In addition to data categories and article types, synonyms can be configured in your organization. Tags and promoted search words can be added to your Salesforce Knowledge article types that will help you search and access articles more efficiently and effectively.


What kind of metrics/reporting would you like to have?

Salesforce Knowledge allows you to run detailed reports on how efficient articles are and allows you to continually manage and improve content. You can create custom article reports or download and install the Knowledge Base Dashboards and Reports app from the AppExchange. Knowledge reporting will allow you to monitor article usage, searches, and ratings to proactively update and manage your content.


Watch our Tip & Trick on “Rating Knowledge Content’s Usefulness” to learn more about how you can use Knowledge to improve your Salesforce experience. If you need assistance in understanding features and functions to your Salesforce system, call our expert consultants at Revolution Group, 614-212-1111 or fill out the form below.