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Everything you need to know about knowledge base

What is a Knowledge Base?

A robust knowledge base allows you to store, share, and maintain information in a centralized repository. But that’s the capability which system provides you. Do you think, does your knowledge base software fit with your knowledge management strategy? Let’s dig deeper to find the solution.

A knowledge base is a single source of information that can be instantly beneficial for both your stakeholders that is; your support agents and customers. Support agents can refer to the knowledge base and answer the customer queries quickly instead of spending time asking colleagues for guidance or trying multiple options. Customers can search for answers to their questions in the knowledge base instead of contacting support and waiting on hold.

No matter how big or small your company is, no matter what industry you are in, you need a knowledge base. After all, searching for answers online is the new normal for most of your customers. A ready repository of the organization’s knowledge can be created, filtered, updated, and accessed by the creator. The assignment of duties and responsibilities can easily be defined by the admin of the knowledge base. Since the knowledge uploaded is delivered on all touch-points, it is checked and approved by admin and super admin respectively.

What is a knowledge base used for?

Knowledge bases can be aimed at internal as well external audiences and can serve various purposes. For example, a network operator may maintain FAQs and plan instructions in a customer-facing knowledge base and also have an internal knowledge base for their employees to understand the offering in detail.
In some cases, companies maintain educational knowledge bases that are relevant not just to their own customers but grabs the interest of anyone in their particular field. Such a knowledge base filled with information useful for anyone in the market for similar categories.

Benefits of Knowledge Base

Your knowledge base isn’t just helpful for customers, it’s also useful for your support staff. A well organized, clearly written, and designed knowledge base helps customers help themselves, acts as a learning tool for new joiners and a go to source of information for all departments.

Some of the benefits you can expect in day to day operations by maintaining your knowledge base include:

1. Lower risk of error as you keep on updating information & clear out outdated information

2. Save time for customers and customer support agents as you offer easy-to-understand product & process information.

3. Cut unnecessary workload by mitigating repeat queries on the service desk.

4. Improve customer satisfaction as you cater to their needs in a way they want.

5. Outgrow from the need for an extensive database by regularly maintaining your knowledge base.

How to create a knowledge base?

There are many tools for information storage and access. Some common ways for collating information into a knowledge base include:

Shared document systems

A local file server with MS Word or PDF documents, a Dropbox shared folder, or Google Drive, but the idea is to create a common point for making information accessible to many people. Basic challenges with this method are – duplication, file format, and accessibility to other systems.

Wikis and Intranets

Making information easily editable and findable by employees is the key benefit of a wiki tool. Intranet tools are often used for capturing internal knowledge and making it accessible to staff across the organization.

Dedicated knowledge base tools

Knowledge base software is a specialized tool for creating, curating, maintaining, and delivering information. Knowmax is an example of knowledge base software, built to deliver better self-service as well as create a central repository for information which can be accessed by support staff anytime.

How to create knowledge base articles

Building out that knowledge base articles and organizing it in various categories is a task itself. So the question is, it worth spending the effort? Yes! because an effective knowledge base can drastically improve your customer service.

And the good news is, you just have to share all your content and a robust system will organize them all in the actionable format

Let’s take a look at the following tips to create effective knowledge base articles.

1. Understand what you need to cover

Your customer service team who regularly talks to customers will be able to share the most commonly asked questions, and that’s a great place to begin. Once you document those items, move on to the next tier of common communication gaps, misunderstandings, challenges, and queries.

Do consider using a tag or custom field in your helpdesk software that allows anyone answering a customer query to flag that query for documenting in your knowledge base.

2. Collect existing information

You probably already have all the content you can add to your knowledge base. Start collecting information from FAQs, new release documentation, and other collaterals and materials that contain information customers could also use. Copy all of that information into one place so you can see what you have, what all you still need, and where you might have inconsistencies

3. Organize your information

Organizing and structuring of all the information is key to a successful knowledge base. Try to categorize information according to how customers are likely to need it and similarly, arrange and link information for easy findability for the customer service representatives.

4. Create new content

Writing an article or creating information in the form of FAQs takes significant effort. In this process you can find gaps in your current set of knowledge and make a repository which is easy to understand and guide customers to the next step for their concerns.

If your support team wants to create articles which contain text as well as video or want to create in the form of guided flows, then there is no need to write long articles. The system provides DIY (Do It Yourself) capability so that users can make it as per their convenience.

5. Maintain and improve your knowledge base

A cloud-based knowledge base should not act as a written once and fixed in place type of knowledge repository. Information becomes outdated or incomplete constantly, so you will need to revisit and update it regularly.

Once you build an effective system then over time, your team can extend your knowledge base, by updating existing content and adding new content or by adding new formats for existing content. Building an information resource that will save plenty of time for your customers and your team while decreasing average handling time.

Making your knowledge base accessible

A knowledge base isn’t useful if people cannot find the right information at the right time, understand the information and apply it to their concerns. Some simple tips can definitely increase the usability of your knowledge base.

Use the language your customers use.

You might use your own marketing terms or internal jargon to describe features or elements of your core service, but customers may never search for those terms or for that matter understand them. Review your support conversations and chat transcripts to understand how customers talk about your offerings, and telling you their needs so that you can include those terms in your knowledge base.

Omnichannel presence.

Rather than wait for customers to arrive at the front door of your knowledge base, make the information visible right where they need it.

Connect your knowledge base to your contact points.

Most of the time customers reach out for your help because they just don’t know your knowledge base is there. Link to your knowledge base prominently from the places they can trigger a support question, and enable self-service so they can help themselves.

Knowledge base system for enterprises & small business

Knowledge base software can greatly help you in creating and delivering useful information to customers. While choosing a right knowledge base system for your business, you should have following things in mind

Here are some key questions which will help you get an idea about how much automation you want for your business:

1. What is your team size? How many people will be authoring or updating content?

2. Can the knowledge base software display content across digital as well as assisted channels?

3. Can the system be easily customizable?

4. How does the search function work?

5. What kind of reporting and analytics does the knowledge base software include?

Get started on your new knowledge base

In a nutshell: Planning, designing, creating, curating and maintaining a knowledge base can feel daunting. However, every article you write might represent hundreds or thousands of future customer concerns answers without needing your help. Thus, Knowledge base is great for your customers. It will improve their satisfaction and your customer retention rate.

A great knowledge base can also be an incredible tool for training new staff and a great tool for on job training.  Additionally, it’s an excellent SEO resource that can grab attention of the potential customers. Building a knowledge base will pay off for years to come.

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