How to Create an Effective Knowledge Base for your Business
Knowledge base pages are vital to providing immediate, deep dive support for your customers..
If you’ve ever felt stumped while using a product, service, website, etc, then you’ve probably navigated to the companies knowledge base section, where you hoped to find a quick solution or workaround to the issue at hand. Creating these knowledge sections might seem low priority at first, but this is actually where most customers or users will look, when they’re confused by a specific section of your product / service. A poor knowledge base experience can have a detrimental effect on your clients relationship with your business, as well as your brand's reputation. That’s why today I want to talk a bit about what goes into an effective knowledge base, as well as some tips for how you can create a knowledge base quickly and easily, that is optimized for success.
1. Simplify the documentation process
If you’re like most product or service businesses, you frequently have changes to the product, service offerings, etc. It’s important to make sure that these changes are accurately noted in your knowledge base section, so that there are no disconnects between customer and business expectations. Some of these important topics include:
- Refund policies.
- Service level agreements.
- Privacy related questions.
- Account feature differences.
In order to simplify and automate the knowledge base content, I recommend using a system that is organized much like a Google Drive database, where topics and folders can easily be moved around / edited. You might explore the Kbee platform, which converts your Google Drive content into a fully published, explorable knowledge base for customers. The benefit here is that you can handle all of the updating within your Google Drive, and let their software push the content into your customer facing, knowledge base presentation. If you do choose to go with a software solution like Kbee, be mindful of the different types of plans they offer (Kbee starts free, then goes up based on which kinds of features you need) and evaluate how your business will scale. In general- remember that providing a high quality knowledge discovery experience for your customers is very, very important.
2. What kinds of questions should a knowledge base seek to answer?
Begin by considering the questions that your customers are always asking you (those that require consistent monitoring) or those that a quality assurance team (internal or external) would oversee in the future. Creating a knowledge base about these frequently asked questions (based on a holistic assessment of the types of questions that can arise), usually means stepping into the shoes of the customer- what sorts of questions would they have? You might consider implementing a feedback system (which I touch on later in this article) so that you can track new question topics as they emerge. Be on the lookout for circumstantial questions that may arise as a result of environmental factors. For example, lots of customers had questions in 2020 related to COVID-19. Here are some other topics to explore, when creating your knowledge base:
- How do you handle account and user privacy / security?
- Consider the negative experiences that users may come across- how would you address them proactively?
- If you have different account plans or types, what might customers ask about?
- What about the technical workflows that customers have to adopt, when using your product?
- You may also include questions about your team, business structure, etc.
3. Integrate a knowledge base AI that turns into chat
Thanks to technology, support channels and knowledge bases can now have live components that seek to answer customer questions in a more personable format. Leveraging AI can result in custom chat bots that ask visiting users questions and point them to the correct documentation or resource. Some companies take this a step further by creating video chat bots, that depict a real person talking to the end user, and guiding them on a path to their solution. Freaky? Perhaps, but it’s becoming more and more common, and it can help personalize the knowledge base experience.
For some people however, chat and documentation pages aren’t enough, and they wish to speak with an actual person. For these types of encounters, chatbots can have a feature that allows users to connect directly with an agent, for support. Of course, this is a higher level of requirement (staffing, etc) but my point is that there are chat tools out there that allow for this type of integration. If your business or organization is in the position to create this kind of support experience, I suggest some trial and error.
4. Provide multiple types of content in your knowledge base
If you’re familiar with the practice of education, you’ll know that people learn things in different ways. When creating a knowledge base, it’s important to consider the different personality types that will be looking for solutions. If your topics involve a complex answer (for example a coding question), you might consider adding a video that walks users through the solution, visually. Inversely, some topics can’t be addressed via video, so a well thought out written response might be the move. Take the time to provide your solution in various formats, to ensure maximum reception from users. You might even get creative and design interactive knowledge base pages that walk users through a series of Q&A, in order to properly diagnose their problem (sometimes people don’t know what they really want). Some examples of content types you might consider, are:
- Textual content.
- Video response / walkthrough content.
- Audio guide content.
- Live coding environment with copy + paste and sandbox editor to try it themselves.
- Direct chat feature with a member of your team.
5. Omitting knowledge base pages from web results pages
The final tip for creating knowledge pages, is more on the development / business side of things. In general, it’s not good practice to index your knowledge base pages on web search results, because you want to make sure your home / lead acquisition page is the one that people see first. Not to mention, if users are only able to find the knowledge base from your site, there may be a perception that your product / service requires a lot of support, which could be a turn off for early adopters. There are various ways to prevent web browser indexing of your pages, which ultimately will depend on how you host your knowledge base. If you use a tool like Kbee (mentioned earlier), they have a variety of features that include hiding knowledge base pages from search engines. In general, you’ll want to make sure this is configured correctly, before the pages are accessible to your audience (depending on traffic size, as well).
In conclusion, creating a knowledge base is vital to providing your customers and potential clients with answers that could make or break their decision to work with you. It’s really your first line of defense in the world of customer support, which makes it even more important to set up correctly. If you don’t already have a knowledge base set up, you can try a tool like Kbee and integrate your Google Drive documents directly into their platform, saving you time and technical overhead. If you enjoyed this Mod, you might like to read more about how High Risk Merchants Accept Payments! Please consider sharing this Mod using the social links below.