UFFA Is Every Support Professional’s Responsibility

UFFAHDIDog178571003Marines say “Oohrah,” the army says “Hooah,” Navy Seals say “Hooyah,” and technical support professionals say “UFFA.” These are the spirit cries that unite individuals and motivate them to focus on the team. Spirit cries rally the troops, and we need to rally support professionals to win the battle of providing exceptional customer service.

UFFA, which stands for “Use it, Flag it or Fix it, Add it,” is the responsibility of every support professional in the knowledge management process. It comes from the Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS) methodology where knowledge management is based on collaboration and a shared ownership of the knowledge base. Let’s break it down:

Use it. For every incident, support professionals must first seek to understand what the organization knows before seeking to solve the customer’s issue. Once they understand the issue, they are to search the knowledge base. If they find a resolution to address the customer’s issue, then they are to “use it,” which promotes consistency of service and high-quality support at a lower cost. When they use a knowledge article, the article is to be linked to the incident record. This saves time for analysts, as the incident documentation is completed for them and they don’t need to develop a resolution for a known issue.

Flag it or Fix it. Sometimes when support analysts review a knowledge document, they may find an error in the document or identify a way to improve the quality of the knowledge. In this case, they are responsible for ensuring the knowledge article is improved. If they have the authority to make the modification, then they are to “fix it.” If not, then they are to “flag it” for another authorized support analyst to fix.

Add it. If they did not find a knowledge article to resolve the issue, then they continue with the task of diagnosing the issue and developing a resolution. After they verify the resolution by satisfying the customer’s issue, support analysts are responsible for contributing the new knowledge to the knowledge base.

This simplistic view of an incident management process shows how the UFFA activities are integrated:

simpleincidentprocess

The four activities must be integrated into the incident management process. Support analysts who follow the integrated process will be enhancing the knowledge base with every incident.

Support professionals need to rally to improve customer service by committing to UFFA, because the knowledge of the team is stronger than the knowledge of the individual. Unite your support organization by adopting UFFA as your way of life.

About the Author
Rick Joslin is the executive director of certification & training for HDI. He is also certified Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS) instructor and has guided organizations through the implementation of KCS. Rick has served as VP of Customer Care, VP of RightAnswers.com, and VP of Knowledge Engineering for ServiceWare. He is the author of the HDI Focus Book on Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Management Maturity Model, and the “Knowledge Management” chapter in the HDI Service and Support Handbook. Rick is a regular speaker at industry events, a member of the Consortium for Service Innovation, and an evangelist for KCS.

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