In the digital age, customers seek answers to their questions and solutions to their problems with greater independence and immediacy than ever before. With a desire for quick resolutions and minimal reliance on customer support agents, businesses are recognizing the need to empower their clientele with self-service support options. One of the most effective tools in achieving this is a well-structured and comprehensive knowledge base.
A knowledge base is more than just a repository of information; it’s a dynamic resource that serves as a valuable self-service hub for your customers. In this guide, we will explore the essential steps to create a knowledge base for self-service support that not only meets the needs of your customers but also enhances their overall experience with your brand.
Customers today expect quick and easy access to information and solutions. Your company can meet this need with a well-structured and navigable knowledge base. To discuss what a knowledge base is and how to create an effective one, we spoke to the team at supportyourapp.com/live-chat-outsourcing/.
What is a Knowledge Base?
A knowledge base is a centralized resource comprising various forms of content. You may include FAQs, tutorials, white papers, and blog posts. The idea is to give your customers an easy way to find the information they need without contacting your team.
Why Have a Knowledge Base?
Having this repository of information has the following benefits:
- Improves Customer Experience: Get this right, and your customers can access the information they need with minimal effort. They get the answers they need when needed, so they feel more satisfied with your service.
- Is Cost Effective: Self-support options reduce your need to intervene with support requests. Therefore, these bases save you time and money because your staff doesn’t need to answer simple questions.
- Provides Consistent Information: Having your policies written in black and white reduces the chances of miscommunications or misinterpretations. Your clients, therefore, receive a consistent message and support.
- Is Easy to Scale: A knowledge base is an asset that can grow as your company does. It takes a minimal investment to expand upon pages or add new information, and once you do this, the data is there no matter how many clients you add.
- Is a Valuable Resource for Employees: Your customers aren’t the only ones needing clarification. When your employees are unsure of the answers, they can refer to the knowledge base.
- Enhances Your Web Presence: Search engines want high-quality content to answer search queries. Your knowledge base can fulfill this requirement if you compose it carefully. It can, therefore, also drive more traffic to your site.
How to Build an Effective Knowledge Base
Should you bang out a webpage to have something there? Certainly not; you should spend some time planning and executing this project to reap the full benefits. Here’s how.
1. Define Your Objectives
Why are you setting up this page? Do you want to reduce support queries, improve customer satisfaction, or support decision-making? Your approach will be slightly different in each case, so you should determine your primary objectives at the outset. You can continually expand your base to incorporate the rest of the information later.
2. Know Your Audience
What information is your target audience looking for? Work out the most common issues they experience or questions they ask, and customize your content accordingly. Again, you can add more information later, so start with the most critical issues.
3. Choose the Right Platform
Your website is a good place to store the information, but will you need additional features? Say, for example, that you want to build a simple support chat function. You’ll need a CRM system to manage that. Consider what other capabilities may be useful here.
4. Create the Content
The type of content will depend on your target audience, but it’s wise to have a selection of media types. You could include:
- Blog articles for the casual reader,
- Videos for the rushed searcher
- White papers for people to link to
- Press releases
Consider who’ll use this resource and make your content interesting to them. Also, consider how complex your product is. Do you need to make a video tutorial about installing your software? Should you have screenshots that explain more about using it?
Always cater to the person likely to know the least about your product or service and assume they know nothing. While you don’t want to come across as patronizing, you need to realize that some people will battle with certain concepts.
5. Making Your Content More Effective
Here are some tips to improve your content:
- Create well-structured articles with clear titles, concise descriptions, and easy-to-follow steps. Make the pieces easy to skim by adding headings and bullet points and breaking up the text with visuals for more interest.
- Choose a consistent style across the entire resource, no matter what the type of content is. Ensure that it’s in keeping with your brand image and that it’s professional and friendly. Keep a close eye out for typos and grammatical errors.
- Prioritize FAQs: Where appropriate, start each section with FAQs. These are most likely to match the customer’s search terms and, if your answer is good enough, might land you a featured snippet on Google.
- Keep the language simple and avoid technical jargon that might confuse your readers.
- Update the content regularly, especially if you rely on statistics. Referring to a ten-year-old stat dates your content immediately and may make people wonder if you’re out of touch.
- Do use a mix of content styles to see what your audience responds to better.
- Consider incorporating user-generated content where it makes sense to do so. Seeing other customers using a product can be a powerful way to underpin its benefits without directly marketing it.
6. Navigation and Search Functionality
Considering all the information available, you could end up with pages and pages. Build in a robust search function and make it easy to navigate, or you’re wasting your time. Consider adding autocomplete suggestions to help users find the answers they need with minimal effort.
Ensure that users can easily find the information they need. Implement intuitive navigation menus and good search functionality with autocomplete suggestions to guide users to relevant articles.
7. Your Knowledge Base Structure
Do set your information out in a logical manner. Consider creating pillar articles that link to individual pages that discuss the issue in greater detail where necessary. Use title tags and labels to make the base easier to search.
8. Promote Accessibility
Now, make your knowledge base accessible to all users. Check how it shows up across different devices and behaves with screen readers for those with visual impairments.
9. User Feedback and Analytics
Invite your employees and customers to give feedback on the pages and articles. Enable comments and make it easy to report issues that people may encounter. Act on useful feedback.
10. SEO Optimization
Optimize your knowledge base for search engines to attract organic traffic. Use relevant keywords in your article titles, meta descriptions, and content. Don’t forget to optimize your pictures and tag them correctly as well.
11. Regularly Review and Update
Make it a point to review your base every six months or so. Alternatively, update it as you change your business to always have the most relevant information. One area that companies often need to remember is to keep their contact information current. It’s helpful to review this information whenever you check your details across various online directories.
12. Promote Your Knowledge Base
Creating a knowledge base is just the beginning. To maximize its impact, you need to promote it by:
- Explaining about it during onboarding and providing new users with an easy way to link to it.
- Remind existing users about it by referring to it in your email messages. You can do this subtly by pointing toward helpful articles or new additions.
- Sending out messages in your app, linking to sections relevant to the user.
- Integrating it into your website and linking to it through your “Contact Us” or support page.
- Sharing useful articles through social media, especially when they pertain to trending topics.
- Explaining more about the knowledge base during customer support interactions.
Publishing your knowledge base is the first step in an ongoing project to present the most relevant, useful information. You need to update these resources as your company and customer expectations change.
Regularly monitoring the site analytics is a helpful way to see which articles are helping the cause and which are hurting it. Weed out articles with high bounce rates and maximize the number of pages that attract decent view times and result in clickthroughs.
Wrapping it Up
Creating a well-structured knowledge base can be a lengthy process, but it’s worth the effort. It not only provides the customer with easy answers but also supports your employees and improves your web presence.