Customer support is hard.
It’s hard for your support team, since they’re stuck dealing with problems all day. It’s hard for your customers, because the last thing they want to do is spend time contacting your support team. And it’s hard for your business, because if you can’t create a great support experience you’ll have a tough time growing.
If the daily grind of customer service is wearing you and your team down, you’re not alone! But what if I told you there was a way to ease the burden on your team while also increasing customer satisfaction?
A knowledge base can do exactly that!
What is a knowledge base?
A knowledge base is like an online storehouse.
It’s where a customer can go to find out anything they want to know about your product or company. It’s a one-stop shop that enables customers to help themselves. It’s an on-demand, always available resource to help your customers be more successful with your product.
Great knowledge bases contain knowledge in a variety of formats, from text to video to GIFs and Scribes. All that knowledge can be presented and organized in different ways, from frequently asked questions to how-to guides to troubleshooting tips and more.
Your knowledge base will never be totally comprehensive, but the more robust your it is, the better the odds your customers will find what they’re looking for. Ride-sharing app Lyft is a great example of a user-friendly knowledge base.
Knowledge bases go by many different names. On the front end, your knowledge base might be called a help center, a support center, an FAQ page, or something else along those lines.
Knowledge base vs. FAQ page
Speaking of FAQ pages, there are some big overlaps between a knowledge base and a typical FAQ page.
Think of a knowledge base as an FAQ page on steroids.
Your knowledge base should definitely include answers to frequently asked questions, but it can also include so much more. While simple FAQ pages can work well in some industries, customers prefer being able to solve their own problems. As that desire for self-service has grown, so has the capabilities of the typical knowledge base.
There are a few other key differences between knowledge bases and FAQ pages worth noting:
- Content - FAQ pages just contain answers to common questions. Your knowledge base should include a range of other resources to help customers be successful, like onboarding guides or troubleshooting tips.
- Usability - FAQ pages are typically single pages with a list of FAQs, like this example. Since a knowledge base is more comprehensive, they typically include search bars and easy navigation—Dropbox does this really well.
- Organization - While FAQs may be grouped by common themes, organization is far more important in a knowledge base. Your knowledge base should include organization around things like products or similar topics. Menus or some other form of structure quickly allow users to see everything related to a given topic.
Benefits of a knowledge base
A good knowledge base provides benefits to both you and your customers. Let’s take a look at a few.
The vast majority of customers in today’s world prefer not to interact with a customer service agent if they have a question or issue. In fact, Salesforce reports that 89% of millennials use a search engine to get their questions answered before calling customer service.
A well-organized knowledge base is the perfect solution to make customers like this happy. All they’ll have to do is get to your website, search for what they need, and they’re all set. And since most knowledge bases are also SEO-friendly, your customers may even be able to find what they need just by searching on Google.
The moral of the story is that whenever you can make life easy for your customers, it’s probably a wise choice to do so.
No more “please call back during normal business hours”.
Your knowledge base is available to customers every hour of every day, which means they don’t have to wait around for your support team to help them. They can get help immediately, then get back to using your product to the fullest.
Less repeat questions
If your support team is constantly getting the same questions from customers, a knowledge base will help.
Imagine the satisfaction of a customer who clicks the “Help” link on your website and, as soon as the page loads, sees their specific question answered clearly and simply. Boom. You’ve just set yourself apart as a company that pays attention to your customers.
Enabling customers to find answers in your knowledge base also means less work for your support team. That means you’ll be able to redirect that time and money into other areas that drive more results for your business.
Easier internal onboarding
While we’ve focused on how a knowledge base improves your customer service, it also helps out your internal teams.
You know those first weeks when a new hire comes on board? You’ll no longer have to scramble to create training from scratch.
If you’ve created a comprehensive knowledge base and kept it updated, it can serve as the basis of their training. They’ll also be able to use it as a resource when they have questions and a tool to learn about your products.
Building a knowledge base for customer service
Aching to start reaping all these benefits? Herea re a few tips to get you started building a knowledge base that will transform your customer service!
Talk to your customer support team, your social media people, and anyone else you can think of who has a pulse on the questions your customers are asking. Use their insights to start drafting content for your knowledge base, then build out from there.
Keep it organized
Build a framework for your knowledge base that makes things as simple as possible for customers. Thoughtful categories and easy-to-navigate lists are key here, as well as the all-important search bar. To ensure your search is effective, make sure your knowledge base articles use the same words that your customers are likely to use.
Include customer onboarding content
Customer onboarding is an important period where they’re eager to learn and use your product.
It’s a great idea to have a clear section customers can use to find answers to questions they’ll have when getting started with your product. Scribe makes it easy to quickly create how-to guides showing each step along the way.
Use clear titles
Always make it as easy as possible for your customers to find what they’re looking for.
An article called “How to install our software” is going to be much easier to find than one called “What you need to do to start using our software”. Use specific and clear language. If you’re unsure how your customers talk about your products, your support team will be a great resource to help you learn more.
Building a knowledge base might seem like a lot of work, but you don’t have to do it overnight. Start by building out some core content you know will be useful, then add to it over time. While it can take some work, the benefits of having one far outweigh the cost.
All signs point toward the knowledge base being a critical part of the future of customer support. And with Scribe here to help you create content for your knowledge base, you can get moving in no time.