When building premium levels of support the focus is typically on assisted support features: longer support hours, faster response times, assigned support engineers, etc. But does it make sense to also include additional self-service features such as access to premium knowledge base articles? Let’s see the pros and cons.
Yes! There’s no reason why self-service features should not be included in a premium offering. For instance high-end, consulting-like white papers or access to the same knowledge base support engineers can access (before articles are sanitized and reviewed) would be appealing to premium customers. The other, obvious benefit is that the cost of delivering those extra features is very small, unlike that of typical assisted support add-ons.
No! There’s a technical issue with providing levels of access to the knowledge base, in that many tools only provide a public/private access dichotomy so providing customers with different access levels will require customizing the tool, which may be cost-prohibitive. But the larger issue is that providing self-service materials helps to cut down on requests for assisted support, so the temptation will always be to make the self-service information available to all customers. Many of my clients who initially embraced the idea of a graduated knowledge base (and made the necessary tool investment) later decided to publish all materials for all customers’ consumption.
So in most cases I would choose something else than graduated knowledge base access for premium support. We’ll see other self-service ideas in future posts.