Are you struggling to keep up with the increasing volume of support tickets clogging mailboxes and ticketing tools? Do you find yourself juggling with truckloads of manuals, flowcharts and other documentation at your organization?
Don’t worry, you are not alone. Most organizations give utmost importance to streamlining their customer while paying little or no attention to “self-service.” The result: customer support teams get over occupied in resolving customer questions and get no time to share or document knowledge already locked in their heads. Creating a knowledge base can end all such problems once and for all.
New to knowledge base? Don’t worry. Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough of a knowledge base platform and the never-ending benefits it provides for customer support teams.
What is a knowledge base?
Knowledge base is a repository of data and information stored in the form of documents, wikis, articles, manuals and other forms that can be stored and retrieved easily as and when required. Modern knowledge base software has ease out the creation and sharing part no less than a cakewalk. Every organization, whether small or big, can create their internal or external knowledge base to serve as ready references for customers.
Importance of Knowledge Base
A knowledge base is indispensable for any organization because of the following reasons.
Self-help for customers
You can drastically reduce the load on your customer support staff with the help of a well-documented knowledge base that is openly accessible to your customers. Whenever a user is facing trouble on your website or with your products, they can simply refer to your help and troubleshoot guide before jumping on to raising a ticket.
If your documentation is comprehensive and up to date with the changes, the chances of their query getting resolved on their own are quite high. Hence, a knowledge base can significantly reduce the number of tickets raised. This further translates into a lesser number of customer support staff necessary, i.e. lesser overheads and higher profits. Besides, happy customers are loyal customers.
Guidelines for employees
You can create an internal knowledge base for your employees and update it with the complete organizational documentation including operations manual, sales manuals, sales scripts, corporate policies, mission statement, company values and so on.
This makes the onboarding process for new recruits a breeze as they can simply refer to these important documents with just a few clicks. Moreover, experienced employees and even senior management can continuously upgrade their knowledge.
Improve your products
Knowledge base enhances the customer experience by not only acting as a helpful guideline but also by improving the products or services that your company offers. You can see the most frequently accessed articles in the knowledge base through Google Analytics. These are the major pain-points of your customers. Put your efforts in alleviating these issues and you have improved your offerings!
How to build a simple knowledge base
It is clear now that an exhaustive knowledge base is critical for every organization. But simply putting several disjointed articles or documents on a portal won’t help your cause.
Here are the steps that you need to take in order to create a helpful knowledge base.
Identify your needs
The first step is to become completely clear in mind with the aim of your knowledge base. You need to identify whether the knowledge base that you are creating is for internal use or external or both. Then identify the right type of documentation that would suit your requirements best.
You can make a troubleshoot guide, an FAQ section, online documentation, wikis and so on for customer knowledge base. If you are building an organizational knowledge base, you can put manuals, flowcharts, standard operating procedures etc.
Select the right online knowledge base platform
Once you are clear about your needs, it’s time to choose the perfect software that fulfils your requirements perfectly. Make sure your tool is cloud-server based so that it is accessible from any device and location.
You should also be able to seamlessly contact their support staff in case your need help. Besides, creating a knowledge base requires a team effort. So the right tool would have great collaborative features. And finally, check whether the tool you are going for can be integrated with other tools that your organization is using currently.
Start small and maintain persistence
Creating an exhaustive knowledge base can be intimidating when you look at all the documentation that needs to be done. Don’t fret about doing everything at once. Start with just one article, build some momentum and keep on publishing.
The vital thing is to be persistent in your efforts. Trying to cover a lot of stuff in on document is both exhausting and unhelpful as the reader might get demotivated to read a huge chunk.
Give your content a structure
Unstructured content would not be able to serve the intended purpose of your activity. Try to look at the bigger picture and divide it into smaller and smaller sections until you come up with a list of topics to include.
Provide a table of contents to the users for assisting them in navigating through your internal or external knowledge base.
Ensure proper internal linking
Everyone is familiar with Wikipedia. It is such an important resource and is also a good guideline for building your own knowledge base. Note how every small article contains links to other content pieces. It helps in keeping the length of the content shorter and readable by providing links for certain terms that are topics in themselves. The reader can click on the link, read it to understand the term and then come back to the original piece again.
Make sure you include such links, but for the right purpose and when utterly necessary.
Provide robust search functionality
Navigating through the entire knowledge base for a specific query is not feasible for users. You must ensure that the online knowledge base tool that you are using provides a robust search option for your repository.
Integrate with other tools
Every organization uses specialist tools for their everyday work. Typically, you would be using tools for helpdesk, live chat, analytics, and community building (like Disqus). Integrate these tools with your knowledge base to skyrocket the benefits that you get from it by creating a seamless functionality for your organization.
Monitor and update continuously
Creating a knowledge base is not a one-time activity. You need to continuously upgrade the content based on the feedback you are getting from various sources. For example, Google analytics would help you out in identifying what users are searching more. Through Disqus, you can gauge what users need more help with and even get direct inputs from users. Identify the most frequently asked questions on your live chat software and common support tickets. Then improve your systems to alleviate the problems and include them in your knowledge base.
Creating and maintaining a great knowledge base is not a luxury anymore for organizations of any size. It is an invaluable resource for providing awesome customer service, document management and internal knowledge sharing. Online knowledge base tools can help you with this task. Follow the steps mentioned in this article to get started.