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Microsoft CRM offers a collection of default Templates (see Figure 16-1), or you can make your own. Those included with the program are Procedures, Question & Answer, Solution to a Problem, and Standard KB Article.
Knowledge Base Templates
Knowledge Base Templates window displays a list of all current article Templates.
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Chapter 16: Using the Knowledge Base 193
To create a Template, follow these steps:
1. From the Home Page, choose Settings1^1Template Manager.
The Home: Template Manager screen appears.
2. Click the Knowledge Base Templates option.
The Home: Template Manager screen appears and shows all available Knowledge Base Templates (refer to Figure 16-1).
You’ll create a new Template. Normally, you would create a new article from a pre-existing Template. In fact, the preloaded template called Procedures would work fine for this topic, but I want you to go through the Template creation process to become familiar with it and understand its potential. Later in this chapter, you create a new article based on a pre-existing Template.
3. Click the New Article Template button in the menu bar.
The Article Template Properties dialog window appears.
4. Enter a title in the Title field.
5. Click OK.
The Article Template: New window appears, as shown in Figure 16-2. Here is where you design the body of your Template.
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194 Part III: Customer Service
6. On the Common Tasks panel, on the right side of the Article Template: New window, click Add a Section.
The Add a New Section dialog window appears.
7. Enter a title in the Title field and some descriptive text in the Instructions field.
You may click Add a Section from the Common Tasks panel as often as you like. Add a title and instructions for each new section you add to the Template.
8. Click OK at the bottom of the Add a New Section dialog window each time you add a new section.
The instructions you entered do not appear in the Article Template: New window. Instead, you see the standard placeholder text that Microsoft CRM places in all instruction fields. But don’t be alarmed: Your instructions will appear, as you entered them, whenever a new article based on your Template is created.
9. For each title, add a bit of text advising the article’s eventual author what each section is for.
10. Click the Save and Close icon in the upper-left corner of the Article Template: New window.
The Article Template: New window closes, and the new Template is saved.
Creating a Knowledge Base Article
Articles can be created by anyone with the appropriate rights. These rights are typically set when Microsoft CRM Users are initially added to the system. In a normal situation, senior technicians are designated as editors. Their job is to review new articles, making sure that all the facts are accurate and all the procedures are sound. Then the editors approve them for use in the Knowledge Base. So, the Knowledge Base is a collection of approved articles that may be accessed by Users who are looking for information.
The Knowledge Base Manager (Microsoft calls it the KB Manager) is the staging area for all articles. Here is where articles are stored, where they move through the publish process, and where they are located when people use the KB Manager’s search functions. You use the KB Manager window to create, submit, and publish (if you have editing rights) articles. To access the KB Manager, choose GoToOServiceOKB Manager. The KB Manager window, as shown in Figure 16-3, reveals articles in various stages of acceptance to the Knowledge Base. These stages are as follows:
Chapter 16: Using the Knowledge Base 195
Click the appropriate folder to view articles at that stage of approval.
Draft: Contains articles that have been composed (but not submitted for approval) by a User with editors’ rights. Drafts are works in progress. You can open your own drafts for revisions, updates, and rewrites. Drafts are visible only to their respective authors and can’t be searched for in the Knowledge Base.
^ Unapproved: Contains articles that have been submitted to a User who has been assigned the Task of reviewing and approving articles. Users can edit unapproved articles, but these unapproved articles can’t be searched for in the Knowledge Base.