Is your support team always facing overwhelming issues? With a high amount of support tickets, is it having a hard time coming up for air? Do you or your support team keep receiving the same support questions over and over again, no matter how many times you answer them? I believe that you and your support team are tired with the same questions or so-called general questions, such as how to install WordPress in cPanel control panel, etc.
If you are currently or recently facing these issues, you probably want to know how to solve it without affecting or decreasing the overall quality of your services.
Now a question may come to your mind: how to solve these problems? You can consider a knowledge base software. With a knowledge base software called customer portal, your customer can solve their own support issues.
Pre-set a time to deal with customers who are facing more serious enquiries. It can save you or your support team time, money and peace of mind. At the same time, it reduces the overall ticket volume drastically. Your support team now has more time to help customers who are facing serious issues on your product or services.
Let’s start with an ultimate guide to building a kickass knowledge base for your business to solve the customer issues and satisfy their support needs. First and foremost, you should understand precisely what a knowledge base is and why it’s important that you add one to your customer support arsenal.
Table of Contents
- What is a Knowledge Base?
- Why It is Important to Build a Knowledge Base?
- How to Create a Knowledge Base
- Tips to Choose Knowledge Base Topics
- Structuring the Knowledge Base
- Knowledge Base Templates and Examples
- Select the Right Knowledge Base Tools and Software
- Mistakes to Avoid When Building a Knowledge Base
What is a Knowledge Base?
A Knowledge Base is an online library with complete information or guides about a service, topic, product or department to solve customer’s general enquiries. It serves as a source of self-service to customers. It answers questions which customers can probably search for or help them find the right category to quickly solve their problems.
Normally, the data that will be included inside your knowledge base comes from a few contributors such as technical or customer support teams, which answer commonly asked customer enquiries or inform about what your customer must know. In the knowledge base, you can include some articles related to your legal statements, terms and conditions and how your products, services, hardware, or software operates. These can also include troubleshooting guides, FAQs, and any important updates or announcements that customers might need to be aware of.
Given below in picture 1 is Exabytes Knowledge Base where you can find out how our products are used and the different updates you can have to increase the features of them.
Picture 1: Exabytes.my (Malaysia) Support portal with a knowledge base.
Why It is Important to Build a Knowledge Base?
I believe that now you have a clear idea of what a knowledge base is and how it works. But you may be wondering why it’s so important to build a knowledge base for your business website. According to the studies of Freshdesk, 44% of customers already think that it takes them more effort than the brands they’re getting help from to solve support problems.
In other words, customers do not mind putting in a little effort using your knowledge base to search for the solution to their problems. Customers also mentioned that the two most satisfying aspects of a customer service experience are:
- Not having to repeat themselves or be directed to another agent (39%)
- Having their problem solved on first contact (24%)
When there is a knowledge base management system, customers will not have to keep repeating their issues or be passed around between agents. They prefer to get their problems solved the first time they access your customer service.
50% of the customers believe that it’s essential to resolve customer service issues on their own. Gartner believes that “in 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human.”
That’s why it is essential to build a knowledge base as a tool for customers to solve their problems by themselves.
How to Create a Knowledge Base
Before you learn how to create a knowledge base, make sure you have a helpdesk software. You can try our 21-day free trial on Exabytes Helpdesk software Today!
Here’s a guide to setting up your knowledge base in Exabytes Helpdesk software.
- Go to Solutions and Click “New Category”.
- Enter the category name and a short description for the category that you plan to create. Then, click “Save”.
- Once the category is created, you can edit it by clicking on the category that you have created & selecting the “Edit” button.
- To create a folder, Go to “Solutions” and click “New Folder” under the category that you want to create a folder in.
- Enter a name and short description for the folder that you would like to create.
- Set the visibility for each folder (You can choose to make folders visible to everyone or you can make it only visible to users or agents who are logged in)
- Once you’ve selected the desired settings, hit ‘Save’.
***You can create knowledge base articles in each folder. For example, you can create a folder which explains everything about Bulk SMS Marketing Solutions.
I believe now you know how to create a simple knowledge base and the next question will be “How should I choose knowledge base topics?”
Tips to Choose Knowledge Base Topics
It is far easier to select the topic for your knowledge base than it sounds. Here are several tips for you to choose the best and suitable knowledge base topics:
- Search for the trends in the questions you or your team usually receive.
I believe that your team will always receive the same questions such as how to make the payment after purchase, how to point my domain name etc. Hence, include all these questions to create a knowledge base to guide your customers about their problems.
- Search through all the old tickets and record the number of queries related to particular problems.
You can find out that a large percentage of queries are related to recurring issues such as how to reset the passwords, how a specific product’s features works etc. Record down and prepare the contents to provide the solutions or suggestions on solving these issues.
- Gain insights into Google Analytics
Once you have selected the topics and created some articles, make sure you gain insights about them in Google Analytics to ensure that the topics are related to what customers are looking for or searching for.
How to Analyze Site Search Data in Google Analytics?
- Go to your Google Analytics.
- Select “Behavior” and click “Site Search”.
- Click “Overview” to look at the common search terms that people are searching for.
- You can compare the specific time periods and sort out the results by “Absolute Change” to check out the trends that have risen over time.
Restructure your knowledge base in a way that it is easy for readers to digest the information.
Break it apart into smaller pieces. Try writing one article today. That’s it. Before you know it, you’ll build momentum.
Structuring the Knowledge Base
It is important to structure your knowledge documentation so that your customers are able to find what they need quickly. Most of the knowledge bases are structured with a basic homepage for all their support-based articles.
This example from Evernote’s knowledge base landing page demonstrates that clearly:
In their knowledge base, their customers are able to search for specific issues. They can search by top articles or navigate all the company’s support content by categories.
Discoverability is the main key for a good knowledge base. Sift all the most popular articles on your knowledge base and make them prominent on your homepage so that customers can find it, like Evernote. You can also offer a community program which allows users to share tips, tricks, and information about the products or services.
Sort all the articles and group similar topics together. You can group the articles with “Getting Started” (related to the guideline on your products), “Troubleshooting”, etc. This makes it simple for customers to narrow down the topic or solutions that they are searching for. Improve your search functions on your site so that customers can find their problems more easily and faster.
Knowledge Base Templates and Examples
Most of the knowledge base software out there is pretty user-friendly and easy for you to create the knowledge base quickly. One of the essential elements that should be in the knowledge base is a visible search box.
With a search box, your users will easily find what they need in seconds instead of scrolling a lot to search the topic they are looking for. Add a search bar at the top of your knowledge base like our Exabytes Knowledge Base.
This search bar will act as a “search engine” for your knowledge base to find out what customers are looking for. Instead of having to sift through different categories and select the topic that they are looking for, make it simple by allowing your customers to type in a few keywords and search what they are looking for.
Never forget to integrate your knowledge base with any live chat options you might offer. It is easy for customers to connect with your customer support agents on the same screen when they can’t find what they need in the knowledge base.
The easiest way will be using cross-link articles that are related to making your knowledge base more effective to enhance overall user experience. It is a pretty straightforward process and there is no need for any complex skills to do internal linking within the articles you have written.
Here is one of the examples of How Adobe does it within their knowledge base articles:
This is the way to boost your SEO when you incorporate keywords and tags in the knowledge base articles. It is because you help your visitors to find out what they need and increase the user experience on your website.
Select the Right Knowledge Base Tools and Software
Choosing a helpdesk and knowledge base management software will be a tricky process if you don’t know exactly what kind of tools you need.
4 features that should be there on Knowledge Base Tools and Software
- Search box
It is important to have a search box for your user to search the topic or contents in your knowledge base. Users only need to type a few keywords to search for the relevant topic or contents they desire.
Select the tools which you are able to optimize and are responsive on any devices such as a computer, mobile or tablet. Your user may search for the solution through their mobile devices instead of using a computer.
- Easily to Manage
Sometimes, it will be a tiring task for your team when the software requires certain technical skills. Find software like Freshdesk which is easier to create contents, categorize the contents, etc. It is also able to control content visibility, making it simple to keep knowledge bases for agents and customers separate.
- Free vs Paid
You can find out many FREE knowledge bases outside but there is a limitation on the features available. Try to do a comparison, within the knowledge base software, of the features and select the most suitable for your needs and affordability.
Looking for tools that are able to build the knowledge base and at the same time act as your helpdesk software? Try this helpdesk software with 21-day free trial Today!
Mistakes to Avoid When Building a Knowledge Base
Everyone makes mistakes. There are 4 mistakes you should avoid making when creating the knowledge base.
Not Making Recycled Content
I believe that it is a tiring task to repeatedly explain the same thing over and over because your contents or topic are too specific. Ask your support agent to write a content that’s easy to recycle and link it when your agent responds to the tickets. Explain the feature of your products in detail in your knowledge base articles and link those specific articles every time when the topic comes up.
If the feature ever changes, you will only need to update on one article instead of creating new articles in your knowledge base. It will be a more convenient way for your customers to find the topic they desire. You also need to make your content able to scroll easily. A simple way to do this will be to write in Markdown.
As Jess Byrne of Zapier said that they write in Markdown at Zapier, using asterisks for italics and brackets for links. Markdown makes it easy to write in plain terms and turns it into a rich text or HTML when needed.
You can write in HTML, but I believe that your customer will find difficulties to read through and rich text is unreliable. Thus, don’t be afraid to use visual aids to generate your content for easier understanding your knowledge base.
Failing to Use Visual Aids and Multimedia
The studies show that 65% of the population are visual learners. And visual aids help to improve learning by a staggering 400%. This is the reason why you should not present your contents only in text form in all your knowledge base articles or blog. Include video tutorials, GIFs, pictures and diagrams that are easily understood by your customers.
You can put some screenshot in the articles that guide user steps by steps to install WordPress through Plesk control panel. Try some apps such as Skitch or Preview to add additional instructions to your images or draw attention to specific elements. Let’s try to use visual aids and multimedia today in your knowledge base!
Never Updating the Knowledge Base
You may assume that once you’ve created the knowledge base articles about your product or service, it would not be necessary to keep updating them for a long time. While the fact is that your knowledge base should always be reviewed and updated as your company, product, and features will change, update or improve.
When your customer finds the information which is outdated, they won’t be very pleased to read the articles, especially the ones related to step by step guides to use or configure your products. That’s why your support team should always update the information with every new product release, process change, or new features that you want to introduce.
Don’t forget to keep updating your knowledge base! Always use your knowledge base when you are responding to your customer tickets in Helpdesk.
Always Forgetting to Use It for Customer Onboarding
The last mistake that I want to point out is to never forget using your knowledge base for customer onboarding. Remember, your knowledge base is not only useful for your existing customers but also it is helpful to guide new customers as well. You should include it in the welcome email when they join you. At least they have a get started guide on the products or services that they just purchased.
Give users a short explainer video or useful links to relevant articles so that you can keep your ticket volume low. For example, SEMrush also includes links and information about all of their features in their welcome email.
A knowledge base is essential for your business if you want to take your customer support to the next level. It is a central hub for the information that allows your customer to find answers by themselves. Remember to structure your knowledge base, select the right knowledge base tools and avoid certain mistakes when building your knowledge base.
I believe that now you have an idea about how to build an awesome knowledge base. Get started today to save your team from the growing pile of support tickets they deal with every day and improve the quality of customer services by implementing self-service support.
Source: Micheal, A Guide to Building a Kickass Knowledge Base