The Road to Award-Winning KCS: A Case Study from Vantiv


by Team HDI
October 31, 2017

Vantiv was a finalist for the
HDI 2017 Knowledge-Centered Service Award.

At Vantiv, we’re changing the face of payments—one happy customer at a time. Our vision is to be the leader in simplifying payments innovation, to enable commerce and help our customers and partners grow and thrive. How do we do it? By following our mission of creating seamless experiences and exceptional payment solutions across the commerce ecosystem.

VantivOur IT organization includes 1,394 employees who are part of our Technology Process Office (TPO), Infrastructure, Build, Development, Technical Service Center, End User Services, Service Desk, Service Run Optimization (SRO), and Mainframe teams. We handle 372,000 incidents per year including events and 128,000 service requests per year.

What was the situation before the launch of the knowledge management initiative?

Vantiv IT had a very primitive knowledge management program lacking in performance and ability to scale. KCS behaviors were not part of the workflow, and although agents could search for articles, there was no consistent KCS participation process driving reuse and creation from incidents and problems. In fact, articles were being automatically created once an incident closed, and agents didn't even know this was occurring. Therefore, the content was poor. There was no content standard or quality focus. Authors were creating their own templates, and therefore, no consistent, simplified article templates were being used which was making content difficult to find and difficult to understand. The article workflow did not allow for quick publishing of content as users were not given the opportunity to earn publishing rights; articles were published by the team SME when they had time. Articles that were submitted weren't easily findable by those who needed to find it as it was locked down to particular access groups so users quickly became frustrated that they were unable to find the content they needed, which led to a lack of confidence in the knowledge base itself. When searching, users would think they could access an article as it was being returned in search results; however, when they clicked on the article itself, the error “knowledge record not found” would return, only adding to their frustration. Users were also unable to edit/modify content as the licensing model did not allow for article modification, and so the content was not evolving. There was no closed loop notification process when articles were flagged for updating. Basically, the process was broken!

What was the knowledge management strategy?

As we really didn't have a KCS program, we needed to not only introduce the KCS best practices and knowledge management processes, but we had to train our agents to ensure they searched early/often and benefitted from existing content where available and shared their knowledge when appropriate when the issue was new vs. known. The overall strategy was to empower our users with knowledge for quick resolution of issues leading to customer satisfaction (both internal and external) as well as employee satisfaction through empowering agents with knowledge at their fingertips in one knowledge base and a simplified workflow. As the existing KB was locked down and content was not easy to access, it was imperative that the strategy support a more open knowledge base that aided in supporting shift left, which is a major initiative for Vantiv. As part of this strategy of providing all content in the workflow for our agents, we are working toward migrating outside content from Sharepoint, local drives, wikis, etc. into the Vantiv Knowledge Base to provide that one-stop shop for knowledge.

The strategy was to empower our users with knowledge for quick resolution of issues.
Tweet: The strategy was to empower our users with knowledge for quick resolution of issues. @ThinkHDI #KCS

How did your organization define and measure success for this initiative?

Using our “wave” rollout approach, our definition of success revolves around providing our agents with knowledge content to help them solve their incidents and problems quickly in a simplified incident and problem workflow. If they do not find existing content, the desired outcome is for them to share their knowledge via article creation so that others benefit from their knowledge. Adoption of KCS best practices is key in gaining KCS participation.

We measure success currently using our 2017 KCS objectives we defined for our users. The first is focused on KCS participation (reuse and creation in the workflow) to ensure adoption of KCS best practices in the workflow and that the output of that is quality. To measure that, we use our other objective set for 2017 focused on the Article Quality Index scores of content published.

Since the Solution Quality Index was launched in mid-March 2017, our average score is 91%. This represents a 91% increase over baseline as this is a new focus area. We have also experienced a large improvement in our overall KCS participation rate, which we define as incidents and/or problems closed where an article is either reused or created. We were below 1% prior to the launch of our program and in 2 quarters, we have driven a 2000% improvement in KCS participation. This increase began as of the launch of Wave 1 November 10, 2016. Since the KCS program launch, we've experienced a 148% increase in article creation outside of the workflow.

Explain how the success of this project or initiative affected business objectives.

Prior to the KCS program rollout, there were no business objectives set around KCS. Upon launch of our program, we developed business objectives focused on getting users participating in the workflow and creating quality articles. As our program grows, we will look at adding additional objectives focused on unassisted support for our internal support portal where we will focus on measuring self-service success and deflection for our internal service desk. KCS is also a focus within senior leadership meetings, and a program readout is provided around updates that include how our organization is doing toward achieving our KCS objectives. As our journey continues, we will continue to focus on KCS behaviors as we build ongoing business objectives.


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Tag(s): supportworld, KCS, knowledge management, incident management, problem management

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