Just about every single product company has a knowledge base that customers can tap into for help, tutorials, and tips for success. And customers are used to seeing (and using them) by now. Unsurprisingly, 66% of consumers prefer self-service tools over human contact. People would rather find help on their own than call a customer service representative or wait for their ticket to be answered.
If your knowledge base is hard to navigate, people won’t use it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. A successful knowledge base can help customers solve their queries themselves without relying on your in-house support team. With an estimated cost of customers switching over to another brand due to bad customer service is a whopping $1.6 trillion. Hence, it’s more important now than ever to provide a knowledge base that customers love.
Here’s how to build a knowledge base that your customers will actually want to use, saving you both time and money.
1. Don’t treat your knowledge base as a one-off project
Customers believe that the two most desirable elements of good customer service are
- Not being passed off to another agent or having to repeat a problem to a new agent
- Having a problem solved during their first time reaching out
And as mentioned earlier, 75% of customers consider knowledge base to be a convenient method of support. A knowledge base filled with content is never finished. It can’t be perfected immediately. Most knowledge bases go wrong because they are done during the initial setup of the product and website. You develop a product, and in the process, you iron out concrete steps for troubleshooting, tips, and support. But it takes a bit more persistence to build a knowledge base that lasts. 70% of customers expect to find a self-service feature on a company’s website, and 50% of customers want to be able to solve problems on their own. And a knowledge base is something that you can’t afford to go without.
Your knowledge base should be perfected over time as you update the contents based on feedback collected in other support sectors. The National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources project (NeCTAR) used Freshdesk knowledge base to reduce tickets and need for support staff by 50%. Nick Golovachenko, Support Manager at NeCTAR, says that by changing their approach, the number of tickets in their system dropped dramatically.We were getting about 400 tickets a month in our previous system, but since we set up our knowledge base, this number has dropped to about 150-200 tickets a month. —Nick Golovachenko, Support Manager at NeCTAR Click To Tweet
Now, NeCTAR can link knowledge base articles within support tickets as well. They can also edit articles to add information based on customer conversations and surveys. Before, NeCTAR wasn’t always closing the loop or collecting knowledge based on the types of problems customers were running into. With their new knowledge base, support agents can simply tweak and “tune up” knowledge base content as they go.
They even offer sections for “Quick Links” and “Popular Articles.”
At Freshdesk, we survey after each knowledge base article to keep them fresh. Instead of writing your knowledge bases and leaving them in the dust, create a feedback loop like NeCTAR. Implement new information into old knowledge base articles to keep them updated and useful to the user experience. Make it even easier for your customers by interlinking your articles.
2. Make it easy to use by interlinking everything
The one problem with most knowledge bases is that they aren’t easy to use. Categories aren’t separated well, or articles aren’t interlinked, causing you to search five more times to find a single answer. Freshdesk client eFax clearly divides their knowledge base content into specific segments where users will need help. Through constant refining and data collection, eFax lists out their most common questions to make the process faster for users.Within each support document, related topics are available to shorten the process and help users find information without continually searching the site and getting frustrated. Each topic is broken down into detailed steps that leave nothing to chance. Even the smallest of details are listed to ensure that users are fully satisfied and able to solve the problem themselves.
Not only does the organization make it easy for customers to find information, but it can also helps make the knowledge base easy to search by making content easy for search engines like Google to read. If you want to build a knowledge base that your customers will actually use, ensure that it’s easy to use, interlink every related topic and break down content into sections based on your product and use cases.
If you aren’t already using a knowledge base, you’re missing out. Most product companies have them, and customers love them as an alternative to human contact. Who wants to wait on hold or by their inbox for a customer service representative when you can find the help you need on your own instead?
But if your knowledge base is hard to use, you’re wasting your time. You need to make it as simple to navigate as possible. Don’t think of it as something that you can create and never touch again. Once you create a knowledge base, continually update it with new, relevant information. Interlink related content, separate articles into categories, and organize answers into lists. This makes it easier for customers to find what they need quickly, but it also helps to boost the SEO of your knowledge base.
Get started building your optimized, well-organized knowledge base today!