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Tips and Best Practices for maintaining answers
Answer ID 1447   |   Last Review Date 07/22/2019

What are some tips for helping us maintain the content of our answers?

Environment:

Answers, Maintaining your knowledge base
Oracle B2C Service, All versions

Resolution:

Maintaining current content in your knowledge base can be challenging, depending on the size of your published knowledge base, the release cycle of your products, and resources allocated for maintaining your answers. When using published answers in Oracle B2C Service, it is important to develop a review process so that you can proactively determine which answers need updating and modifying the content in a timely manner.

With regard to actually performing the review and editing your answers, that comes down to allocating proper resources - both staff and time - to perform the task. Due to the visibility of the answers to your customers, maintaining your answer content should be given adequate priority in the overall strategy of providing good quality customer service.

With regard to a general review process for answer content, please review the options listed below:


Determine Product or Sub-product of the Month

You might want to determine a "product or sub-product of the month". This means that all answers assigned to that product or sub-product will be reviewed within that calendar month. For example, product 1 might have 52 answers assigned to it, and you or your staff will review all of those answers during the month of July. Product 2 might have 34 answers and product 3 might have 27 answers. You could plan to review those answers during the month of August, and so on.

This approach allows each part of your knowledge base to be reviewed in a certain time frame (say over six months or so). In addition, you know when each answer is either scheduled for review or was last reviewed. As a part of the review process, consider using the TC_AR_DATE_ENABLE feature that allows you to set a review date, at which time the answer will automatically change to the Review status. If you do not want the answer to change automatically to Review, consider adding a custom answer field for the month and year when the answer is to be reviewed next. Then, when the answer is reviewed, the staff member would open the answer and update the next review date.

Note: You may or may not want to enable the date fields through the TC_AR_DATE_ENABLE configuration setting. When a date is set in this field, the status of the answer changes to Review on the date indicated. If you do not have the resources to review it then, you may not want the actual status of the answer to change. A custom field could capture the intended date of review, but would not actually change the status.


Review Prior to New Release of Product

Another review option is that if a new release of the product is scheduled, you can plan to review the answers for that product to coincide with the release date of the new version. If the content of the answer will change with the new release, you can prepare the new solution for the question in advance and store that information in the Notes field or other custom field that is set up as a Text Area type. Then, when the product is released, you can simply copy the contents of the Notes field into the Answer field to update the content in a more timely manner. You might want to create a custom field so that you can easily indicate which answers have solutions copied so that you can find them most easily when the product is released.

 

Determine Editing Status

In order to flag answers quickly with regard to the editing work that needs to be done, consider adding custom statuses or a custom field that allows you to specify the action(s) that still need to be performed.

For example, you could add custom statuses such as: Major Edits, Minor Edits, Verify on Release, Research New Content, Solution Copied, and Complete as a way of defining work that needs to be performed on each answer. That way, if you determine an issue with an answer, you can set the status to be "major edit" or "minor edit", which flags it immediately. This allows you to quickly find answers at a later time that need review or updating.

You can create a custom report to count how many answers are assigned to each status. You can also create a custom report to allow you to search for answers based on their review status. You can configure your custom statuses to be a public status type so that those answers are still published to your site, even though the content may need to be updated. The custom statuses or custom field allow you to classify your answers "behind the scenes".

Note: If you are already using custom statuses for some other reason, use a custom answer field, i.e. Review Status or Content Status, that includes menu items to capture the same information.

 

Use Last Updated Field

Another field that can be helpful in reviewing content of answers is the Last Date Updated field. You might want to create a custom view that sorts the answers by the Last Date Updated field (in ascending order). This shows which of the answers have been published the longest and have not had edits made to them, which would make them viable for review. When the answer is reviewed, then, you could open and save the answer to reset the Updated field to the current date.


For additional information, refer to the 'Answer Management' section in online documentation for the version your site is currently running. To access Oracle B2C Service manuals and documentation online, refer to the Documentation for Oracle B2C Service Products.

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