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Chapter 18: Creating a Knowledge Base

CHAPTER 18: CREATING A KNOWLEDGE BASE


Objectives
The objectives are: Understand the purpose of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Knowledge Base, Knowledge Base concepts, and the lifecycle of Knowledge Base articles. Create Knowledge Base article templates. Create and submit Knowledge Base articles. Approve, reject, and publish Knowledge Base articles. Find information in the Knowledge Base.

Introduction
This lesson explores the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Knowledge Base, and discusses how organizations can browse, locate, and share information using this repository. The lesson starts by exploring key concepts governing the Knowledge Base and the lifecycle for Knowledge Base articles. It then covers the process for creating, editing, and deleting article templates, articles and article comments as well as other activities related to knowledge base management, such as publishing and unpublishing Knowledge Base articles.

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What is the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Knowledge Base?


The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Knowledge Base is a repository of your organization's structured information. This information is stored as articles, and is organized by subjects based on the subject tree hierarchy. It can contain many different types of articles, such as: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Common problems and their solutions Schematics Product user guides Data sheets Release schedules

The Knowledge Base should include anything that would provide customer service representatives (CSRs) with the information they need to answer questions about products or services (A type of work performed for a customer by one or more resources. Services are schedulable activities). CSRs can link an article to a case (A customer service issue or problem reported by a customer and the activities that customer service representatives use to resolve it.) to track what information was given to the customer. Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides the tools and templates to create, edit, and publish browser-based content about your organization's products and services. The Knowledge Base in Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides the following benefits: All information is stored in one location. The information is consistently formatted. The information is consistently available. The information is visible to everyone in the organization with the appropriate permissions. The Knowledge Base can be searched based on article number, title, full text, keywords, or subject.

Most businesses with a service department need a central area to store information to help solve customer issues or questions. The Knowledge Base tool provides internal users with information about the organization's products and services that they use to answer frequently asked customer questions. This information is in the form of articles and is organized by subjects.

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BEST PRACTICE: Considerations should be taken when deciding who has privileges to create, approve, reject, and publish Knowledge Base articles. The articles are a major resource for users to find information related to products, problems and resolutions, and company information. Additionally, article entry should be planned in advanced before entering data in the form to maintain consistency and accuracy.

Knowledge Base Concepts


Before discussing how to use the Knowledge Base tool, it is important to define some terms and understand some key concepts: Article - A type of structured content that is published to the Knowledge Base and available for searching by the user. Articles are based on article templates and are subject to an approval process. Article Template - A template used to create an article, describing the sections and formatting required for the article. Article Comment - Notes within the article used to capture comments on articles. These comments are side-notes to the main article and can be viewed when reading the article. They are not included with the article if it is e-mailed.

The Knowledge Base is similar to the other record types in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, but there are also some differences in how the Knowledge Base works and is managed. Knowledge Base articles are created by using templates. A template provides an article structure (sections) that determines how content is displayed. You can create and store an unlimited number of templates and articles. BEST PRACTICE: Organizations should take the time to design good Knowledge Base templates and limit the number of templates created to avoid confusion over which template to use when creating articles. Access to the Knowledge Base articles is governed by user privileges. Articles cannot be assigned or shared; users either have access to them or do not. Knowledge Base articles are visible to all users who have the appropriate security privileges. The contents of a Knowledge Base article can be emailed to any of the following: accounts, contacts, leads, queues, or users. Knowledge Base articles can also be attached to a case. The articles are searchable. They are organized by subject to enable easy searching.

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The Life Cycle of Knowledge Base Articles
Knowledge Base articles have a life cycle that ensures that only approved articles are visible and available for application users to browse and search. The approval process provides control over published content. The Knowledge Base article life cycle looks like this: 1. A new article is created as a draft article. Draft articles reside in the Knowledge Base Draft folder. 2. The draft article is saved and submitted for approval. Submitting a draft article moves the article from the Draft folder to the Unapproved folder to wait for review and approval or rejection. If the article is rejected, it moves back to the Draft folder and the article status changes back to Draft. A reject comment will then be added to the article that can be viewed by clicking the Comments tab. 3. When the article is approved, it moves from the Unapproved folder to the Published folder. The article is now visible to all users through Knowledge Base Article Search in the Articles area under Workplace. NOTE: Once a Knowledge Base article is published, it will take 15 minutes to be indexed by the server and be found by Full Text searches. Administrators can configure the interval at which new articles are indexed. Access to the Knowledge Base articles is governed by user privileges. Articles cannot be assigned or shared; users either have access to them or do not. Knowledge Base articles are visible to all users who have the appropriate security privileges. The contents of a Knowledge Base article can be emailed to any of the following: accounts, contacts, leads, queues, or users. Knowledge Base articles can also be attached to a case. The articles are searchable. They are organized by subject to enable easy searching.

Working with Article Templates


Because the Knowledge Base is a template-based system, at least one article template must be created before an article can be created. Only users with appropriate security privileges can create article templates. When creating article templates consider the following: Information Presentation - One key benefit of having Knowledge Base templates is that they enable the consistent presentation of information for Knowledge Base articles. Titled sections - Templates are made up of titled sections that indicate where text will be positioned when the article is created.

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Descriptions - Each titled section provides a description box where the template author can enter instructions for users creating articles. The instructions serve as a reminder for the type of information to enter in each section.

Procedure: Create an Article Template


1. In the Navigation Pane, click Settings, then click Templates, and then click Article Templates. 2. On the Actions toolbar, click New. 3. In the Article Template Properties dialog box, type the new article title and description, select a language, and then click OK. 4. Format the template using the Common Tasks menu pane: Add a section-Click Add A Section and enter text. Reposition a section-Use the arrows to move a selected section up or down. Remove a section-Select a section, click Remove Section, then click OK. Edit a section-Select a section, click Section Properties, and then change the text.

5. To format the text, click the arrow next to Modify and select the article title, headings, or body text for the sections. Use the options on the Modify toolbar to format the text, font, font size, and color. 6. Click Save and Close. NOTE: As soon as an article template is saved, it becomes active and is available for users to create articles.

Deactivating and Activating Article Templates


To make an article template unavailable for authoring new articles, you can deactivate it. The advantage of deactivating rather than deleting a template is that if you decide to use the template later, you can reactivate it. Deactivating a template removes it from the list of templates available to create new articles, but it is still listed in the Knowledge Base Template List View. NOTE: You cannot delete article templates as long as Knowledge Based articles created from them exist. This is because the article contains only the data of the article, and the structure is provided by the template. If you want to delete an article template, you must first delete all the articles that use it.

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Procedure: Deactivate or Activate an Article Template
1. In the Navigation Pane, click Settings, then click Templates, and then click Article Templates. 2. In the list of templates, select the template you want to deactivate or activate. 3. On the More Actions menu, click Deactivate or Activate. 4. In the confirmation message, click OK. NOTE: If your view is set to displayActive Article Templates, you will no longer view the template you deactivated. Select All Article Templates to see both active and inactive templates.

Demonstration: Working with Article Templates


This demonstration illustrates how to create an article template in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Scenario
The Service Manager with [user business] wants to create Knowledge Base templates in Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Frequently Asked Questions. The Service Manager will create templates since they provide a consistent structure and presentation for Knowledge Base articles. Goal Description The Service Manager will create an article template in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Steps
1. In the Navigation Pane, click Settings, then click Templates, and then click Article Templates. 2. On the Actions toolbar, click New. 3. In the Article Template Properties dialog box, enter the information from the provided table and click OK. Title [Title] Description [Description] Language English 4. In the Common Tasks area, click Add a Section.

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5. In the Title, enter the information provided in the table, and click OK. Title [Title for Question] 6. In the Common Tasks area, click Add a Section. 7. In the Title box, enter the following information from the provided table and click OK. Title [Title for Answer] 8. Click Save or Save and Close.

Creating and Submitting Articles


Articles in the Knowledge Base are a key resource for customer service representatives (CSRs) and provide the information that they need to answer customers commonly asked questions about a product or service. You can create new articles using a predefined template that provides structure and formatting. When you create the article, you include a title, subject, and keyword information. Changes to the knowledge base are not immediate. Microsoft Dynamics CRM automatically updates the catalog index every 15 minutes to reflect changes, including new, deleted, or edited articles. Remember that you can create workflows apply them articles, article comments, and article templates. For more information on how to create and apply a workflow, see Lesson 4, Customer Centered View.

Procedure: Create an Article


1. In the Navigation Pane, click Service, and then click Knowledge Base. 2. On the Actions toolbar, click New. 3. In the Select a Template dialog box, select the template to use, and then click OK. 4. Under Title, enter a title for the article. 5. Under Subject, enter a subject for the article. You can click the Lookup icon to search for a subject. 6. Under Keywords, type the keywords that are relevant to this article. Separate each keyword (A word associated with an article to identify the article in a search) with a comma.

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BEST PRACTICE: To increase the likelihood that the words users search with return the correct articles, include alternate spellings and terminology in the keywords, such as bike, bicycle, and trike. 7. To write the content for the article, click in a section of the form and begin typing. Use the editing tools on the Formatting toolbar to format the work. 8. Click Save and Close. NOTE: Web site addresses can be referenced in Knowledge Base articles. Referencing URLs can be useful if additional information is included on a web site.

NOTE: Although cases cannot be linked to the Knowledge Base, they can be used as a different type of Knowledge Base. The Description field in the Case form can be used in the Advanced Find tool to research Resolved Cases and how similar cases were resolved. For more information about cases refer to Lesson 17, Case Management.

Submitting an Article
Once the article is saved, it can be submitted for publishing. Any user who has appropriate privileges can submit a draft article for publishing. Once it is submitted, it moves to the Unapproved folder in the Knowledge Base Manager. From the Unapproved folder, a Knowledge Base editor can review, edit, reject, or approve the article. If an article is rejected, the Reject Article dialog displays so the editor can make comment as to why the article was rejected.

Procedure: Submit an article for approval


1. In the Navigation Pane, click Service, and then click Knowledge Base. 2. In the Knowledge Base, click the Draft folder. 3. In the article list, select the draft article to submit for approval. 4. On the Actions toolbar, click Submit. 5. In the confirmation message, click OK.

Demonstration: Create an Article


This demonstration illustrates how to create Knowledge Base articles in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

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Scenario
The Service Representative has received multiple calls from customers asking how to find a [product type] that is the best fit for them. The Service Representative wants to place this information into the [user's business name] Knowledge Base so that other CSRs can reference it. Goal Description The CSR must create a new article in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This article will include the customer question and relevant information to answer the question.

Steps
1. In the Navigation Pane, click Service, and then click Knowledge Base. 2. On the Actions toolbar, click New. 3. In the Select a Template dialog box, under Language, select the language the template will use. Under Internal Templates, select the Question & Answer template. Click OK. 4. Under Title, enter [title for article]. 5. Under Subject, enter the subject of this article. Click the Lookup icon to search for a subject. 6. Under Keywords, type the keywords that are relevant to this article separated by commas: [keyword1, keyword2, keyword3, keyword4]. 7. In the body of the article, enter: Question: [question for this article] Answer: [answer for this article] 8. Click Save and Close. NOTE: Microsoft Dynamics CRM automatically moves the article into the Draft folder in the Knowledge Base. 9. In the article list, select the article and then click Submit.

Approving, Publishing, and Rejecting an Article


Once the contents of the article are verified for grammar, spelling, and accuracy, it can be approved. Approving an article is the process of publishing it to the Knowledge Base. Published articles move from the Unapproved folder to the Published folder. They are marked read-only and cannot be edited. Published articles are available in the Knowledge Base for browsing or searching. Comments can be added to the published article at any time by users with appropriate security privileges.

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Rejecting an Article
By default, every time an article is rejected through the review process, the following actions are performed: A new comment is created, with the title, Article Submittal Rejected. The article moves back to the Draft folder. The status of the article changes to Draft.

Procedure: Approve and Publish, or Reject an Article


1. In the Navigation Pane, click Service, and then click Knowledge Base. 2. In the Knowledge Base, click the Unapproved folder. 3. In the list, select and open the article you want to review. 4. After you have reviewed the article, on the Actions toolbar, click: Approve to approve the article, and then click Close. Microsoft Dynamics CRM moves the approved article into the Published folder in the Knowledge Base area. Reject to reject the article. If you reject the article, in the Provide a Reason dialog box, under Comment Title, enter a title and then, in the box, explain to the author the reason you are rejecting the article. Click OK. 5. Click Save and Close.

Changing and Removing Articles


From time to time, it will be necessary to update articles. During article updates, the article is not available in the Knowledge Base. After making changes, approve and republish the article to make it available again. NOTE: Changes to the knowledge base are not immediate. Microsoft Dynamics CRM automatically updates the catalog index every 15 minutes to reflect changes, including new, deleted, or edited articles.

Procedure: Edit an article


1. In the Navigation Pane, click Service, and then click Knowledge Base. 2. In the Knowledge Base, click the folder that contains the article to edit.

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3. In the list, select and open the article to change. If the article is in the Published folder, select the article and, on the Actions toolbar, click Unpublish. In the confirmation message, click OK. Then, go to the Unapproved folder and select and open the article in the list. 4. Edit the article as needed. When you are finished, click Save and Close.

Unpublishing and Deleting Articles


If an article is obsolete or incorrect, Unpublish it temporarily, make any changes, and then republish it. When you unpublish an article, it is removed from the Knowledge Base and cannot be browsed or searched. The article moves back to the Unapproved folder, where it can be edited, rejected, or deleted. Draft and Unapproved articles can be deleted from Microsoft Dynamics CRM. To delete a published article, first unpublish the article and then delete it from the Unapproved folder.

Procedure: Unpublish an article


1. In the Navigation Pane, click Service, and then click Knowledge Base. 2. In the Knowledge Base, click the Published folder. 3. Select but do not open the article that you want to unpublish. 4. On the Actions toolbar, click Unpublish. 5. In the confirmation message, click OK. NOTE: Microsoft Dynamics CRM moves the article from the Published folder to the Unapproved folder. You can revise and resubmit the article for approval and publication or delete the article.

Finding Information in the Knowledge Base


There are several ways to search for information in the Knowledge Base. You can select from one of the following methods: Full Text Search - Searches the complete text of Knowledge Base articles matches based on the value you enter. Keyword Search - Limits the search to the keywords entered for the article. Title - Limits the search to the titles of articles. Article Number Search - Limits the search to the system-generated article number that is assigned when an article is created. Use this search method when you know the article number. Subject Browse - Allows you to browse articles through the hierarchical subject tree.

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Procedure: Use Full Text Search to Find Articles
1. In the Navigation Pane, click Workplace, click My Work, and then click Articles. 2. Under Search For, type a word or phrase. 3. Optional: Under In Subject, type part of the subject, and then click the Lookup icon to select the subject. 4. Under Options, select Exact Words to narrow the search to only the specific words entered under Search For or select Like Words to broaden the search to related text. 5. Click Search.

Procedure: Use Browse to Find Articles


1. In the Navigation Pane, click Workplace, click My Work, and then click Articles. 2. Click the Full Text Search box and select Subject Browse from the drop-down list. 3. Click a subject to see a list of published Knowledge Base articles for that subject. BEST PRACTICE: Because the Knowledge Base uses subjects to organize the articles, during the initial implementation, take the time you need to create a thorough and relevant subject list. Make sure to build a logical, consistent subject catalog that is easy to browse for products, cases, and Knowledge Base articles.

Adding and Deleting Article Comments


Use comments to collect corrections and additions to articles. Generally, all customer service representatives can add comments to published or unapproved articles. After comments are incorporated into the revised article, they should be deleted.

Procedure: Add or Delete a Comment


1. In the Navigation Pane, click Service, and then click Knowledge Base. 2. In the Knowledge Base, click the folder that contains the article on which you want to comment. 3. In the list, select and open the article. 4. To add a comment, on the Comments tab, click New Article Comment. In the Comment on this Article dialog box, under Comment Title, enter a title for the comment. In the box, type a comment. Click OK.

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5. Optional: To delete a comment, select the comment, on the Comments tab, click Delete. In the confirmation message, click OK. NOTE: You cannot recover deleted comments. 6. Click Save and Close.

Summary
Knowledge Base articles are a key resource for customer service representatives and provide the information that they need to answer your customer's commonly asked questions. Knowledge Base articles are created through a standard process that ensures quality control checks. They are stored in the Knowledge Base database, which enables internal users to browse the information by subject, or search by article number, keyword, title, and full text. Knowledge Base article templates provide a system for structuring the information entered into the Knowledge Base. Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides a process for drafting, submitting, reviewing, and publishing Knowledge Base articles. Users with manager-level security privileges can approve, reject, edit, add comments to, and unpublish articles that are submitted for review.

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Test Your Knowledge


Edit an Article
1. Before you can edit a published Knowledge Base article, which step must be done? ( ) Approve the article ( ) Reject the article ( ) Unpublish the article ( ) Submit the article

Live Cycle
2. Which of the following is not a stage in the life cycle of a Knowledge Base article? ( ) Draft ( ) On Hold ( ) Published ( ) Unapproved

Knowledge Base Status


3. Which of the following is not a status of a Knowledge Base article? (Select all that apply.) ( ) Published ( ) Rejected ( ) Indexed ( ) Draft

Search
4. What method is not a valid way to search for a Knowledge Base article? ( ) Full Text Search ( ) Abbreviated Text ( ) Title Search ( ) Article Number

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Publishing
5. How is a Knowledge Base article published? ( ) Through the Article Queues tab, approve a Draft article ( ) Through the Article Queues tab, approve an Unapproved article ( ) Through the Workplace, pull up the Knowledge Base menu ( ) Through the Home Page, go to the Settings Menu

Reject an Article
6. When a article is rejected from being published the article is sent to which folder? ( ) Draft ( ) Unapproved ( ) Published ( ) Approved

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Lab 18.1 - Creating, Submitting, and Publishing Knowledge Base Articles


In this Lab you create, submit, and publish a Knowledge Base article. As you perform the instructions, use the information in the Scenario and Goal Description to complete the lab. See the Introduction to Training lesson for information about the two levels of lab instruction and the lab solution in Appendix B. Scenario The Service Representative creates a new case for [customer name] regarding the [product issue], then creates an activity to contact Quality Control regarding any defects with the [product name]. Quality Control informs the Service Representative that there is a flaw with the [product name], and they ask him to create a Knowledge Base article. The Service Representative is required to create a Knowledge Base Article using the Solution to a Problem article template. The Service Representative wants to inform customers that [company name] has decided to offer a free replacement for all defective [produce name]. To qualify for this offer the customer is required to provide [company name] with their account information, and a time and date they would like to have the defective [product] collected and replaced with a new model.

Challenge Yourself!
Using the information in the Scenario create and publish the new Knowledge Base Article. NOTE: Because this task cannot be performed in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Client for Outlook, log into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Web Application.

Need a Little Help?


Follow these steps to create an article and publishing it:

Step by Step
1. Use the information provided in this table to create a Knowledge Base article using the Solution to a Problem template. Title [product name Defect] Subject [subject] Keywords [keywords1, keyword2, keyword3, keyword4] Problem [product name] is defective

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Solution Customer must provide a time and date that they would like to have the defective [product] collected and replaced Additional Comments Ask for [product] barcode information. If you need help, see the previous procedure Create an Article

2. Click Save and Close. 3. Select the created article in the Draft folder and click Submit. In the Confirm Submittal dialog box, click OK. 4. Select the article from the Unapproved folder and click Approve. In the Approve Confirmation dialog box, click OK. 5. Select the Published folder and note that your article appears. (If you need help, refer to the procedure Approve, publish, or reject an article).

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Lab 18.2 - Reviewing, approving and rejecting Knowledge Base Articles


In this lab, you review, approve, and reject Knowledge Base articles. As you perform the instructions, use the information in the Scenario and Goal Description to complete the lab. Refer to the Introduction to Training lesson for information about the two levels of lab instruction and the lab solution in Appendix B. Scenario The Customer Service Manager wants to determine if any new Knowledge Base articles have been submitted. The customer service representative has submitted multiple Knowledge Base articles for approval. The Customer Service Manager reviews and approves the [article title 1], and [article title2] articles, and rejects the article titled: [article title 3] as this article is lacking the detail needed. Review Knowledge Base articles and approve or reject each of them.

Challenge Yourself!
Using the information in the Scenario approve and reject the Knowledge Base articles. NOTE: Because this task cannot be performed in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Client for Outlook, log into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Web Application.

Need a Little Help?


Follow the steps to create articles and approve and publish them.

Step by Step
1. Log onto the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Web Application as Ben Burton. The Username is Ben and the password is Pa$$w0rd. 2. Create two articles, using the procedure in the previous lab. Give one the title [article 1], and one the title [article 2]. Submit both the articles. 3. Log off, and then log on as Stefan Delmarco, the CSR Manager. The username is Stefan and the password is Pa$$w0rd. 4. Navigate to the Unapproved folder in the Knowledge Base. 5. Review the Knowledge Base article titled: [article 1] in the Unapproved folder. Click Approve for publishing.

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6. Review the Knowledge Base article titled: [article 2] in the Unapproved folder. Reject this article for publishing, and provide a reason for the rejection If you need help, refer to the procedure Approve, publish, or reject an article. 7. Log off, and then log on as Ben Burton. The username is Ben and the password is Pa$$w0rd. 8. Click the Draft folder and view the rejected article. Note that the rejection reason is displayed in the comments tab. 9. Click the Published folder and view the approved article.

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Quick Interaction: Lessons Learned


Take a moment and write down three key points you have learned from this chapter: 1.

2.

3.

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Solutions
Test Your Knowledge
Edit an Article
1. Before you can edit a published Knowledge Base article, which step must be done? ( ) Approve the article ( ) Reject the article () Unpublish the article ( ) Submit the article

Live Cycle
2. Which of the following is not a stage in the life cycle of a Knowledge Base article? ( ) Draft () On Hold ( ) Published ( ) Unapproved

Knowledge Base Status


3. Which of the following is not a status of a Knowledge Base article? (Select all that apply.) ( ) Published () Rejected () Indexed ( ) Draft

Search
4. What method is not a valid way to search for a Knowledge Base article? ( ) Full Text Search () Abbreviated Text ( ) Title Search ( ) Article Number

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Publishing
5. How is a Knowledge Base article published? ( ) Through the Article Queues tab, approve a Draft article () Through the Article Queues tab, approve an Unapproved article ( ) Through the Workplace, pull up the Knowledge Base menu ( ) Through the Home Page, go to the Settings Menu

Reject an Article
6. When a article is rejected from being published the article is sent to which folder? () Draft ( ) Unapproved ( ) Published ( ) Approved

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