Building a Powerful Customer Service Knowledge Base: 10 Tips

Estimated Reading Time: 7 Minutes

According to research by HubSpot, 68% of the consumers will pay more for products and services from a company with a proven record of good customer service. The research also states that 92% of customers will switch to another company after three or fewer bad experiences.

The above statistics imply that it is incredibly crucial for brands to offer exceptional customer service. Customers need fast and accurate information for their queries. Thus, speed and knowledge are both crucial when it comes to customer service.

Need for a customer service knowledge base

One of the best ways to provide top-notch service is to employ a customer service knowledge base.

Customer Service Knowledge Base Illustration

Many companies have the customer service support staff make their own notes or word document for answering customer queries. The limitation of such a technique is that it is not 100% accurate, and the resolution depends on the executive’s understanding of the issue. The responses might also be outdated and inconsistent. So, for example, if a customer talks to agent 1, he might reply with a particular answer. If the call gets disconnected and he connects to an agent 2, he might reply differently. This can cause frustration and mistrust in the customer’s mind.

The best solution to eliminate this disparity, confusion, and inconsistency while serving customers is by employing a customer service knowledge base. Implementing a dedicated customer service knowledge base equips your support staff to resolve customer issues with incredible speed, accuracy, and consistency. They all have access to the same set of professionally written articles that are consistent in their tone, look, and feel.

Preparing for a Customer Service Knowledge Base

Did you know that according to Microsoft research, a mammoth 90% of Americans use customer service to decide whether or not to do business with a company?

That implies the importance of processes to create, manage and maintain the knowledge base articles, which requires sufficient planning. Many companies are often overwhelmed with the idea of employing a brand-new knowledge base and instead opt for a non-effective, short-term solution.

But with a suitable knowledge base in place, companies can streamline the information for support staff and improve customer relationships simultaneously.

Benefits of a customer service knowledge base

  • Availability of consistent, relevant, and quality content across multiple service channels
  • Increased efficiency of customer support staff
  • Enables customers to utilize self-service
  • Improves customer loyalty and trust in the brand
  • Optimizes overall customer experience by reducing call and email volume, thus decreasing resource costs.

This article will take you through ten best practices you can employ to achieve phenomenal results from your customer service knowledge base.

Best Practices for creating a service-based knowledge base

1. Determine your audience

When creating articles for your customer service knowledge base, it is essential to know that your articles are for self-service or company employees. Even if the articles are for self-service, you will benefit from bifurcating the audience further, whether they are B2B professionals or direct customers or agents.

For example, direct customers might not be exceptionally well acquainted with technical terms such as CRM – customer relationship management, but B2B professionals are well aware of it.

2. Assign admin & user roles

It is crucial to define user roles so that not everyone can directly publish articles into the live knowledge base. Assign the role of an admin to someone who can review the articles and publish them. You can also assign other roles like users or contributors to other employees who can add content for review.

3. Decide a publishing process that includes quality assurance

Enable a QA process for publishing and adding new articles to the knowledge base with the following steps:

  • Create
  • Draft
  • Review
  • Approve
  • Publish

A quality checker will review the drafted articles for accuracy, consistency, and quality. A dedicated knowledge base manager or admin can also do this job.

4. Standardize all articles with templates

Templates make it easy for customer support professionals to quickly access and scan through the article. It ensures consistent language, tone, and quality throughout the knowledge base, thus improving its overall quality.

You can also implement email templates for customer support executives so that no matter who responds to your customers, they get the same feel.

5. Create Top-Quality Articles

Here are some quick tips for creating top-quality articles for the knowledge base:

  • Always include the relevant keywords in the title of the article. This helps the article show up in the relevant search results. For example, The title ‘Email Response per Client’ is better than ‘Email Report #1’ because it consists of keywords like ‘client’ and ‘email response’ that the user could search for.
  • The article should be written in simple terms and should not be jargon-heavy. It should be precise and descriptive at the same time. Remember that it should be understandable to a reader who has never used your product or service earlier.
  • Do not ignore the importance of proofreading. Proofreading helps eliminate spelling errors and typos. Spelling errors might cause the article to be skipped during a specific search query. For example: If your article is titled ‘Upgading the CRM solution’ and the user searches for ‘Upgrading the CRM solution,’ your article might not get listed even though it is relevant.
  • Ensure that the article is linked to other helpful resources on your knowledge base or your website. It could be linked to a FAQ section, a video tutorial, or a more descriptive article.
  • Formatting plays an essential role in making the article readable. Use different bullet points for instructions, lists, and other pointers. You can also use different colors to highlight important information.
  • Use relevant media like videos and images to make the article more descriptive. Screenshots are helpful for ‘how-to’ articles, and video tutorials can help users not adept at reading.

6. Utilize a reference system

It will be easier to search for and access articles when they have a unique ID. You can use abbreviations for sections and categories. For example, CS001 can be a unique id that refers to customer service document number one.

7. Organize your content

The search function of the knowledge base will allow your customer support staff to find relevant articles; however, it is still essential to organize your content effectively. Create categories and subcategories to organize your growing knowledge base. For example, all the articles based on topics like email response time, email pending, or email per user can be included under the main category - Reporting and subcategory – Email Reporting for better accessibility and navigation.

8. Use Macros for responses

Macros allow you to respond to customer service requests with a single and standard response. This ensures consistency and standardization. It also saves the time, effort, and hassle of creating a distinct response for every customer facing the same issue.

9. Integrate your knowledge base with the website

A lot of your knowledge base content can be made available on the website for customers to find the answers to their queries all by themselves. This can be done by uploading the content manually or by integrating the knowledge base tool on the website

If the knowledge base is integrated into the website, it can result in a dynamic, accessible, growing, and valuable content resource for your customers, which they can use for self-service without depending on anyone else.

10. Gather customer feedback

To consistently assess and improve the utility of your articles, it is crucial to gather feedback from customers. You can use an input form for the same. Another way to gather their feedback is by setting up an auto-responder that allows the customer to rate the degree of helpfulness or utility based on their experience.

This process will eventually allow you to segregate the most helpful articles and others that need improvement or revision.

Conclusion

Quick and quality customer service plays a significant role in retaining and gaining new customers. Providing quality customer experience has become a focal point for businesses worldwide.

A seamless, high-quality knowledge base like PHPKB can help you increase the quality of your customer service. It also works as a self-service database enabling customers to find solutions themselves, thus saving time and costs. A knowledge base also serves as a valuable aid for your customer support staff and helps them resolve customer queries in time, thus improving customer satisfaction.

You are just one step away from creating a world-class customer service knowledge base platform for your business. Visit us to know more about the features of PHPKB, or take a free demo of our knowledge base software.

Building a Powerful Customer Service Knowledge Base: 10 Tips