What contents you should add in your knowledge base?Estimated Reading Time: 8 Minutes
Table of Contents
- The need for Knowledge Base
- Knowledge Base Types
- How to Produce the Best Knowledge Base Content
- Create a content strategy
- Reader Specific Contents
- Content Should Provide Valuable Solution
- Visual Representation
- Easily Accessible Contents
- Update, Adapt & Improve Contents
The need for Knowledge Base
To keep customer loyalty, your company must deliver a delightful experience, otherwise, your customers will quickly shift to your competitors. Excellent customer service is a cornerstone of any business, and businesses should understand how to scale their service efforts as their customer base grows. With more customers to manage, it's trickier to maintain high-quality service standards. Even the most efficient contact center solutions struggle under the pressure of continuously rising customer demand. Therefore, the organizations are focusing on the self-service concept, and a good knowledge base solution such as PHPKB eases friction for both agents and your customers.
A knowledge base is a self-service repository that stores easily retrievable information about your organization's product and services. A knowledge repository is a collection of your company’s internal or external knowledge, structured in such a way that it can help employees or customers find answers to their questions or doubts.
By giving customers self-service content, you give them the resources needed to find their own solutions, increasing their satisfaction levels. Similarly, by setting up a knowledge base internally for your agents, you reduce their customer support time as they don't have to look for the desired information (generally scattered) here and there, it is available at a centralized location where they can search easily.
Knowledge Base Types
Internal Knowledge Base
An internal knowledge base is set up for internal use of the organization, mainly it serves employees of the company. The knowledge base doesn't extend access to the end-users and visitors of your platform. The internal knowledge base can contain content useful for your employees and stakeholders. Below are some use cases for internal knowledge base:
- Company Processes & Policies
- Coding Practices for Employees
- Email Guidelines
- Content Creation Guidelines for Writers
- Old Ticket Resolutions
- Centralized Content Repository for Call Center Agents
External Knowledge Base
An external knowledge base aims at serving directly your customers. It is usually available to everyone and can be easily found online. It generally contains information relevant to end-users such as:
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Pre-sales Questions
- How-to Guides
- Support Solutions
- Return Policies
How to Produce the Best Knowledge Base Content
Knowledge base contents are entirely company-specific; no two knowledge bases will be the same. However, there are few guidelines to produce optimized content for your knowledge base.
Create a content strategy
Your first step to producing superior knowledge base content is to plan it as thoroughly as you can. Below is the list of areas that you can look into for your content.
Customer Support Experiences
Customer support can offer a wealth of information and insights for your knowledge base. They can tell you what questions crop up time and time again. Creating knowledge base articles to answer these questions can free up a lot of your customer support team’s time to help customers in other ways. Frustrated customers may post about their issues on social media, for instance. Incorporate these insights into a recent article.
Developments in your industry products might require knowledge base articles to support them. Suppose if your company is also launching a mobile app, a few support articles would definitely ease the usage for naive users.
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ pages explain topics that don’t require too much depth or technical support. They cover topics explained in 1 or 2 paragraphs. These are answers to questions that are asked regularly or that you expect your users to ask at some point.
Tutorials & How-to Guides
FAQ sections give a brief introduction to questions; however, sometimes a detailed explanation is desired for few user questions. For them, you can check the tutorials and how-to-guides of your company and can convert them into knowledge base articles. How-to guides are short tutorials, explain a single step or action. Tutorials are longer, more in-depth, and can cover a wider range of processes within the same post. Both how-to guides and tutorials should be supported with screenshots, visual representations, or even short step-by-step videos.
A reference document outlines the steps necessary to complete a task or process. A business is essentially a group of interrelated processes, and if these processes aren’t in writing, breakdowns can occur. Companies have repeatable processes that are fundamental to their successful operation, thus documentation serves as a crucial guide for employees and managers to reference. Reference documentation can contain documents that outline past procedures, actions, or strategies as they relate to a particular activity. For example, an employee could create a reference document in the knowledge base to outline the procedures undertaken during an infrequent activity to avoid missing steps the next time that the activity is performed. This will not only benefit that employee but other employees can also refer to that document in the knowledge base whenever they need it.
Finally, you can find insights for knowledge base articles in your Google Analytics setup. All you need to do is check out your internal site search analytics.
Just go to Behavior > Site Search > Overview to see the common terms people are searching for and can write articles for them in the knowledge base.
With a framework for your knowledge base in mind, you can now think about writing content.
Reader Specific Contents
Your knowledge base content should be formatted for its target reader. You should find who will be your target audience and what they expect. The answers to these questions will help you correctly position each piece of content. Doing so shows your customers you understand their needs and care about helping them. Writing content from the perspective of the reader is also vital in another way. It prevents writer bias from damaging your content. Writer bias occurs when your knowledge of a subject negatively affects the content that you're writing. You assume that your readers share your understanding of a topic, so you don't explain things as clearly as you need to. This narrows your audience down to more advanced users who probably don't need as much help from your knowledge base content.
Content Should Provide Valuable Solution
Each piece of content in your knowledge base must offer an actual solution to its readers and should not be a product marketing platform. You need to ensure that you always answer the question or issue the customer is experiencing. By doing so, you show that you understand each customer's problem and are giving them the means to solve it. Another superb way to ensure your content applies to readers is by giving it a real-world context such as case studies. This shows customers how to achieve success using your product or service.
Some companies take a sloppy approach to knowledge base content because, since it isn't sales or marketing material, they think it deserves less attention. Take extreme care in the style and appearance of its content. Explore the different content formats that'll appeal to different consumers:
- Video Tutorials
- Step-by-Step How-To Guides
- Glossaries of Words and Phrases
- Visual elements such as screenshots, graphs
Many of your customers may prefer learning from visual cues to text and all these elements not only show but also tell. The best practices for formatting marketing pages also apply to support content. Action-oriented headlines help readers find the most relevant information on your pages. Step-by-step lists and bullet points help customers scan your pieces more efficiently.
Easily Accessible Contents
Your customers want answers to their questions as swiftly as possible. To ensure this, you can add a global search bar to let users search for articles by topic or keywords. Consider the searchability of your content; your customers should find the right articles when searching on your site as well as searching in search engines. Make sure that your knowledge base articles are SEO friendly and should rank highest for your company-specific search terms. PHPKB software has an AI-based knowledge base search algorithm and is fully SEO optimized to let your customer reach you from anywhere.
Update, Adapt & Improve Contents
Knowledge base content creation is an ongoing process. The job is not complete just by writing the contents once, as your products might get obsolete or you get updated so you must also update your knowledge base accordingly. Customers hate looking for a support article and finding an answer that's out of date. You should keep checking up on your knowledge base and replace or edit pieces that need more current information. It's also important to collect customer feedback so you can improve your published content.
The best knowledge base content empowers and informs. And, while there's no perfect knowledge base page, you must tailor your guides and other pieces to suit your customers. By following the above steps you can be ensured that your content will truly deliver.