Delivering consistently smooth and effective customer service can be a huge struggle. It is a frustrating experience to be buried in live chats and support tickets, particularly if you find yourself answering the same queries time and again. At times, it is way better to allow your customers to help themselves by providing them access to immediate knowledge without needing personal assistance.
A knowledge base is essentially a library of information about your service and product. If you do it right, it can help your customers to find answers to their product questions on their own, thereby scaling your customer support system while augmenting the customer experience. A well-planned and accessible knowledge base is the cornerstone of the self-service strategy of any company. After all, almost 70% of the customers prefer to use brand websites to find answers on their own. Implementing a robust knowledge base can contribute to streamlining the customer service process, and also enabling your support staff to do their job more competently.
Companies facing problems in keeping pace with reactive customer service can especially benefit from building a knowledge base.
Why should you have a knowledge base?
Before diving into how to create a knowledge base, let us take a look at what can it include? It might encompass multiple forms of content, such as:
● Frequently asked questions
● Introductory articles
● Step-by-step process guides
● Glossaries and definition lists
● Video demonstrations
In many ways, a knowledge base is the end product of collecting and organizing all information about your offerings in a manner that can be used and accessed with ease. A proper knowledge management process has to be used to collect this information, and subsequently create, manage and deliver it.
Having a good knowledge base shall allow you to stay two steps ahead of the issues of your customers. It is not always smart to wait for your customers to come to you with a problem. While many people do call, submit a ticket, or contact email support whenever they face a problem, a lot of individuals also prefer solving issues by themselves without getting into the hassle of contacting others. A good knowledge base shall empower your customers to find their answers, which would subsequently make them feel more accomplished and create a sense of appreciation for your brand to make the problem service process simple and hassle-free for them.
Having a knowledge base not just benefits your customers, but also your support agents.
● It makes them more productive:
Opting to shift basic support queries over to the knowledge base helps in freeing up your support staff for handling more complex and important problems.
● It makes them more content: Employees tend to be happier and more satisfied with their job when they spend time handling meaningful interactions.
Tips to create a solid knowledge base
● Know your audience: As you write and review your knowledge base content, you must ensure to do it from the perspective of the reader. This content has to be informative and well-organized, but also short, crisp, and user-friendly. Most customers will not have the patience to go through several pages of complicated content. They would rather want quick answers to their solutions. To make things more organized and simple, you can use acronyms within your industry and try to present solutions in the most straightforward manner possible.
● Use templates to standardize articles: Creating email templates can make it easier for your support staff to use professionally curated and written answers. Templates are also a great way of making sure that your knowledge base is consistent in both tone and language across diverse departments and for all the customer service agents.
● Organize your content: Even though the search function is pretty useful when it comes to enabling customers to find articles and content they need, further organizing and categorizing the content will be quite useful in making sure that they can find what they are looking for for for swiftly and intuitively. You need to organize your knowledge base content in a highly systematic and simplified manner.
● Admin and users: You can utilize user roles to create permissions that can restrict knowledge-based content from getting published into the live database by new customer service reps. Any knowledge base content published has to be firstly checked for accuracy.
● Quality assurance: A quality checker needs to review all content for completeness, accuracy, user-friendliness, and other factors, before any new knowledge base article is added to the database. Such tasks ideally have to be conducted by an experienced knowledge base manager.
● Create and use Macros: One of the most efficient means to streamline your customer service workflows would be to develop macros. They aid in answering customer service requests with a single, standard response. This shall help you to save effort and time when it comes to developing separate responses for customers having the same issues.
● Establish a reference system:
All articles added to your knowledge base should be assigned a unique ID that can help in quick reference. Numbers can be used for individual documents, while abbreviations for categories and sections.
● Capture customer feedback:
While having a knowledge base is invariably important, to understand how useful that content is, you will have to capture feedback from the customers. Setting up an auto-responder that asks whether or not the response was helpful once a ticket has been closed is an easy way to do so. If you find that your customers are not orderly satisfied by your knowledge base, you shall have to dig into the problem and take steps to ensure that it meets their expectations.
Your knowledge base is not meant to replace your customer support staff. It is rather meant to assist them, while simultaneously providing customers with the benefit of acquiring answers to their queries on their own. With a good knowledge base, you can save money and time on high-volume, simple and repetitive questions, as well as make your support staff and customers more satisfied.