How to build an effective knowledge base

What is a knowledge base?

Every business owner or entrepreneur wants to see their business grow. And while a growing business could mean increasing revenue, it can be challenging for the company to continue providing one-on-one support to every client that has a problem. In fact, it can be frustrating for your employees to keep handling the same basic customer issues every other time. Creating or using a knowledge base of information on customer issues can help you understand methods of solving them.

knowledge base

Obviously, you wouldn’t want your client relations to deteriorate. The solution is to work on improving the way you respond to client problems as your company grows. Thankfully, you can equip your employees and customers to resolve any problems― and specifically the basic after-sales issues― they might be having on their own using a knowledge base. Here are a few stats about knowledge bases:

  • Nearly 7 in 10 customers would rather visit your website to quickly find information that could help them resolve any product-related issues they may have than make a call or send an email (Forester)
  • 89 percent of today’s customers turn to the internet to search for answers to product-related problems before reaching out to a customer support agent via a phone call (Salesforce)
  • 51 percent of online shoppers would rather receive technical support and help through a company’s self-help customer service portal than reach out to a support agent on phone (Econsultancy)
  • 57 percent of all the phone calls a company receives come from consumers who had already tried to look for product or service information from the company’s website (Harvard business review)

From these stats, it’s clear that every business today needs a comprehensive client service self-help library where people can find accurate and up-to-date information. A knowledge base is simply a collection of documentation (in the form of tutorials, guides, FAQs, user forums, etc.) on a particular topic, subject, products or services.

By creating one, your support agents can direct their attention towards more complex problems. The result will be client issues being addressed in a proactive manner, reduced workload for your team, and increased retention rates. Win-win.

Define the need it will fulfil

You wouldn’t launch a product before taking the time to understand the gap or need it’s going to fulfil. Are you looking to support both your customers and company employees? Or do you want your self-help library to only serve your customers? You must be clear on who you’re targeting and why you need to create this solution for them.

To make sure your customers know what to expect from your online library from the onset, you need to define it to them. Plus, you must set clear goals that you want the self-help library to achieve. Eventually, you want to create content that not only answers your audiences’ questions but also keeps them interested.

Be clear on the vital elements you want to include

Once you’re clear about the specific need or purpose you’re seeking to fulfil, the next step is to decide on the vital elements your online self-help library will have. You should at least have the following core elements: the FAQ section for basic customer queries, a search bar quick and easy navigation, and a contact support option for personalized client service. If you’re using a pre-designed self-help customer support platform, then your work will be to add your content as these elements will already be there.

Come up with a comprehensive structure

You want to structure your self-help content so it’s consistent in format, tone, and style. It’s important that you come up with a simple template that your team can use whenever they’re writing articles and guides.

A simple article format you can implement may contain: the specific customer problem or topic, a step-by-step or how-to guide describing the process of resolving the issue, the results the customer should expect, and similar articles or resources the customer may find useful.

Avoid distractions and only focus on communicating clearly throughout your self-help content.

Take the time to list topics

Choosing the topics to focus on isn’t complicated as you might think. You probably already know some of the most common issues or problems customers raise when they contact your support team. Your help desk requests and customer support tickets can be a good place to start. Check the trends in your customer questions and concerns then create topics around them.

Take the time to find out what customers are searching for most on your business site as well. You should be able to see some trends and gain further insights into what people need help with. Also think about every single concern or question a potential customer would have about your business, product, or service.

Enrich your content with helpful visuals

There’s no better way to increase engagement, establish trustworthiness, and give your brand identity than using helpful visuals in your client support self-help content. Customers are increasingly preferring visual content over text content which means including them in your content can improve customer satisfaction. If you’re wondering how to do you screen record and how it will help, consider researching further; there are plenty of screen recording tools and graphic creators that can enrich your content. Illustrate tutorials, provide images, and offer videos when helpful.

Constantly measure and make improvements

One of the features of an effective self-help library is that it needs to be accurate and up-to-date. The only way to accomplish this is by setting up analytics and capturing customer feedback so you can measure and see what to improve. Your focus should be on the impact of your knowledge base as far as customer satisfaction is concerned. Of course, you also need to check the volume of customer support tickets to see if they’re decreasing.

Examine what your customers are searching for and what they’re engaging with most. This will help you identify the topics that need to be added to the knowledge base and which content needs to be improved.