I am currently revising for the MB-230 exam. This exam is for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and covers all aspects of customer service. As I revise I plan to publish blog posts that collectively will become a complete revision guide for anyone embarking on the same journey as me. In this post I will review knowledge management.
The section of the skills measured statement that mentions knowledge management is shown below. As you can see we have quite a few concepts to cover connected with knowledge management. I will do my best to cover all of these in this post but please don’t forget that you should actually try these things out for yourself. Real hands on experience is very important!
A knowledge base is a collection of articles which is searchable and can be used to answer customer questions. The articles typically refer to products and services. In Microsoft Dynamics 365 you can search knowledge base articles and quickly associated them with cases, helping to resolve cases. Additionally those articles maybe emailed to customers or even accessed publicly from your customer service portal.
Search Knowledge Articles
Searching for knowledge articles may use the relevance search, so you might need to confirm this is enabled!
You can search for knowledge articles directly from the case form in the customer service hub. As shown below.
Tip: I suggest as part of your revision you experiment with the options available whilst searching!
Articles are initially searched based on the case title. But an agent could refine this search is if needed. The results are sorted by their relevance. The agent can change the sort order to be based on number of views or when the article was last modified. They can also filter articles by status, visibility and modified date.
Articles can be linked to cases. This is useful to show which articles have been used when resolving a case. You can see which articles have been used on the case relationships tab of the case form.
We also have a useful option to email a copy of the article to the customer.
And articles can be rated by agents. This might be useful later when we want to consider which articles are useful as they are and which need to be revised.
In addition to searching for articles directly from the case the agent can use the relevance search to find articles. In the screen shot below you can see that my search has returned both articles and cases which match with the keyword I entered into the relevance search.
You may find this article from Microsoft useful, as it describes the knowledge search ….
We maintain knowledge articles in the customer service hub. You can see below that when I access knowledge articles I can add new ones using the “+ New” option or directly from the + icon in the ribbon bar. (aka Quick create)
Below you can see that I have started to create an article. Notice that a business process flow is used to help with the authoring process.
Tip: Using the business process flow will help you understand the flow of status values on knowledge articles. As they start off as proposed, become approved and eventually get published.
You can use the “summary” tab to view other details about the article. Including its version. Each article has a major and minor version. I will explain these in greater detail below.
It will be import to understand the life cycle of an article. Articles start off in a draft mode. When we move them forward in the business process flow they can be approved or rejected. Draft articles can use the status reason field to show if they are “proposed”, “draft”, “needs review” or “in review”.
Rejected articles will revert to the draft status. Additionally you will see an entry is added to the articles time line containing the reason for rejection.
Approved articles can be published. Below you can see that published articles can be given an expiry date. (Expired articles may still show in search results but will clearly show as expired.)
A published article may have a new version created. (A described below.) Or it can be reverted back to draft mode. Also, an option does exist to directly update the published article if required.
Articles can have major and minor versions. A major or minor version can be created for an existing article. At that point the current published version remains and a copy is created with a new version number. After any changes have been completed the original version will be archived and the new version will replace it.
We can see information in the articles timeline which overtime will provide a useful history of changes in the status and versions on an article. As each time an article is revised a post is created that will help us understand when revisions have been applied.
Additionally the article’s “SUMMARY” tab will give us access to some Additional fields and other related information. Including, related versions, related translations, related categories, related articles, related products.
When you create a new article you can create it as a blank article or use a template. Using templates might be a great way to ensure your articles have a consistent layout!
Below you can see that within the Service Management area of the customer service hub I can use the article templates option to create a template.
I can now use the “+ New from Template” option when creating a new article. As I do this a dialog will open and I can select a template.
Cases to knowledge articles
Sometimes it might be useful to create a new article based on an existing case. Doing so will create a draft article that contains key details from the case. If you do this from a resolved case the content of the article will include the resolution comments from the case.
Below you can see that I have opened a resolved case. The “Convert To” option allows me to create a knowledge article.
Having clicked convert to knowledge article, a dialog appears that will allow me to create anm article.
Below you can see my article has been created in draft mode. It will probably need some edits before being ready to publish but hopefully this process could be useful to at least create the outline of an article that can be revised, approved and published.
Configure entities for knowledge management
We do typically think of knowledge management as being something that applies to cases. (As it does out of the box.) But we can actually enable any entity for knowledge management.
Below you can see that within the “Service Management” area of the customer service hub I have opened the settings option. Within the settings option I can enable additional entities for knowledge management.
The article below from Microsoft explains how to add the knowledge control to the forms of any entity you have enabled for knowledge management.
Categories and subjects
Each article has a subject and can also have categories. The subjects are mandatory and come from the subject tree. You can maintain the subject tree from with the service management area of the customer service hub. Out if the box you will have a default subject tree but this can be customized as required to reflect subjects relevant to your organisation.
You may find this article from Microsoft useful when considering maintaining the subject tree;
We also have categories that can be added to an article. Like subjects they can be maintained in the service management area of the customer service hub. And like subjects we can define a hierarchy of categories.
Unlike subjects, each article can have multiple categories. Below you can see that I have opened an article and navigated to the summary tab. In this tab, using the related information section I can add multiple categories to each article.
Tip: Categories can prove useful if you are using a customer service portal to show articles to your customers. As they can then be grouped by category.
Hopefully this post has given you a flavour of knowledge base articles and I hope I have covered most of the points significant to passing the MB 230 exam. I strongly suggest you experiment with this feature as part of your preparation. I am confident you will uncover even more cool features by getting some essential hands on experience.