In the world of architecture, a cornerstone is the first stone set in the foundation. It joins walls, bears weight, and is the basis for which the rest of the structure is built—both outward and upward. In many ways, the structural integrity of the building itself relies heavily on its cornerstones.

Cornerstone support content occupies the same central role, just for a different kind of structure. Within an organization, this grouping of content is the “setting stone” upon which broader strategies, goals, and objectives are built. Improving contact center efficiency, decreasing operational costs, or driving product adoption can all hinge on the quality and availability of cornerstone support content.

Yet, as important as this core grouping of content might be, many organizations don’t have a clear grasp of what exactly it is, who it’s for, or even where it’s located.

What is cornerstone support content?

You might have heard references to “cornerstone content” before, probably within the realm of marketing and search engine optimization (SEO): it’s the content around which websites are organized. They drive the most traffic, convert the most business, or deliver on some other important marketing KPI. Sometimes, this content is vaguely referred to as the “most important.”

Fair enough.

What we’re talking about is a bit different. Cornerstone support content is an organization’s flagship, foundational, or core group of help content, product documentation, FAQs, and knowledge base articles. These are typically published, disseminated, and maintained in support of customers engaging with self-service channels, as well as the internal agents and employees supporting them.

Complete Guide to Cornerstone Support Content

How and why your most important objectives rely on your most important content

3 questions to help you identify cornerstone support content

The way an organization determines its cornerstone support content is a bit different, too. Rather than focusing on the articles driving the most website traffic, or capturing the most keywords (as you might in the marketing and SEO world), you identify cornerstone support content by starting with top-level questions about your customers’ intents and goals.

From there, you can work to identify the relevant audiences for your content and determine whether or not this crowd has the core content they need to be successful.

To help you get there, here are three important questions to ask.

1. Which audience(s) does your content enable and what are those people trying to do?

You have new customers who need training in the form of FAQs, quick start guides, and even video tutorials so they can get up and running quickly.

You have product experts who already understand how to use your product, but need things like product documentation and technical how-to articles to take things to the next level.

Finally, you have customers from both groups that run into issues and obstacles that require troubleshooting guides.

On the other hand, you also have internal agents that need quick access to accurate, authoritative content in support of the customers they serve. This might include Tier 1 support agents searching for knowledge base content within the CRM interface, to use a common example.

2. Do you have the right content to serve those audiences?

Once you’ve asked yourself the tough questions, the rest might seem like a no-brainer.

Of course we have content to serve these audiences!

Often, organizations are surprised to find that they don’t. Or that their existing body of cornerstone support content is incomplete, siloed among different teams, and difficult to find.

Which leads us to question #3.

3. Where is the content actually located?

Now that you’ve determined what cornerstone support content you do or don’t have, the question remains: where is it? That is:

  • Who creates it?
  • Where and how is it managed?
  • What format is it delivered in?

It can be a wakeup call to find out that the cornerstone support content you rely on to achieve your organizational objectives isn’t overseen by anyone in particular. Or that supposedly “missing” content is actually buried in OneNote documents shared between agents on an ad-hoc basis.

The location of your cornerstone support content, including the system(s) it lives in and the people who manage them, matter.

What condition is your cornerstone support content in?

Okay, okay—that was not a test. Rather, these three questions are a diagnostic that you can use to identify your own cornerstone support content.

Again, it’s called cornerstone for a reason: often, it is the foundational piece around which the success of your organizational objectives ought to be built.

There might be a different grouping of cornerstone support content for the various objectives you are trying to achieve. Identifying that content starts with a close look at what your customers are trying to do and what they need to be successful.

Additional categories: Customer Support, Featured Posts, Knowledge Management