How To Create An Effective Knowledge Base

Customers are well aware of how difficult it is to reach an agent who will resolve their issues. It means having to wait for several minutes in a queue. Most of the time they find themselves being transferred to another support agent over and over again. For customers, this could become a frustrating experience for them. This could have an impact on the quality of your customer support experience.  

Over the years, we have seen a new breed of customers. They now put a premium on customer experience. In fact, 90% of customers use customer service and experience as a factor when deciding whether or not to buy from a business. More than anything, customers nowadays want to resolve their problems on their own. This is where self-support tools like a knowledge base come in. In this article, you will learn the basics of creating an effective knowledge base.  

  1. What Is A Knowledge Base 
  2. Why You Should Create A Knowledge Base
    • Customers Prefer Self-Service 
    • It Educates and Supports Your Own Team 
    • It Helps You Build Better Products 
    • Enables 24/7 Customer Service 
    • Reduces Workload of Agents  

      3. Why You Should Create A Knowledge Base

    • Decide on the core elements of your knowledge base 
    • Develop your structure
    • Choose your content 
    • Write your articles 
    • Publish Your knowledge base
    • Gather feedback 
    • Update regularly  

What Is A Knowledge Base?

A knowledge base is a platform for customers to solve their problems independently without help from external sources or agents. It is an online library filled with guides, tutorials, and answers to common customer questions about your products or services. It is a self-service portal that is easily accessible to both customers and internal employees alike. 

According to 91% of customers, they would use an online knowledge base if it were accessible and tailored to their needs. In addition, 55% of customers say they will stay loyal to a brand if it offers easy access to information and support. They help reduce customer effort to improve customer loyalty. A knowledge base empowers customers to find their own solutions by making it as easy for them as possible. A good knowledge base will not only benefit your customers but also your customer support agents by:

  • Improving their productivity. A knowledge base will free your support staff from having to handle basic support queries so they can handle the really important issues. 
  • Making them happier. Employees are happier when they are able to spend more time on meaningful interactions

A knowledge base may include troubleshooting guides, FAQs, product tutorials, and other essential detail that will be useful to your customers.  Creating a knowledge base is different from writing a blog post or novel. 

Why Should You Create A Knowledge Base? 

A knowledge base is essential for any business because it can help in the delivery of better customer experience and lightens the load of your support staff. Here are several reasons why creating a knowledge base is important for your business. 

1. Customers Prefer Self-Service 

Studies have shown that 75% of customers prefer an online self-service option rather than using a call center. In addition, 91% say they will use a single online knowledge base if it were accessible to them and it is tailored to their needs. The word “if” is worth paying attention to in the statistics. 

If you are already frustrated with a product or service, would you still call the customer service and go through a series of recorded menus, pressing buttons, and hoping for a short hold time? Surely, you would not want to go through the process again and look for the answers to your questions yourself. 

2. It Educates and Supports Your Own Team 

If you are offering a complex product or service, it is possible that your own support team has questions they can’t answer themselves. A knowledge base will also be helpful to your team to find the right answer to their questions. Also, it can help them provide a uniform experience to customers. Since they are referring to one document, they can deliver a more consistent answer to questions. 

The most important benefit of a knowledge base to your support team is that it can help them with load management. Having a knowledge base helps reduce the number of tickets your support team will get. It is more cost-effective to set up and maintain compared to hiring additional members for your support team. 

3. It Helps You Build Better Products 

In creating a knowledge base, you are able to understand the customers better. As you write down the steps, procedures, and answer to common questions, you can easily note down their problems and pain points that every customer experiences.  This way, you are able to devise ways on how you can improve your products and offer better services in the future. 

Creating a knowledge base gives you an insight into your customers. You are literally putting yourself into your customer’s shoes. Through customer feedback, you will be able to go back to the drawing board and make the necessary improvement to your product to make it more appealing to your customer. 

4. Enable 24/7 Customer Service 

The patience of customers is growing thinner and thinner year in and year out. According to Help Scout, 31.2% of customers expect a response from customer service in less than an hour. Some customers expect immediate help regardless of the time. However, finding agents to fill the graveyard shift can be expensive. 

A knowledge base offers a cost-effective solution allowing customers to solve problems on their own 24/7, 365 days a year without you having to hire additional agents to handle customer problems anytime of the day. 

5. Reduces Workload of Agents  

A knowledge base is associated with a reduction in ticket volume. Since customers are already using your knowledge base, the likelihood of customers raising tickets for common issues will gradually reduce. Low ticket volumes mean a reduction of workload for agents. This means they can focus on more serious issues that require attention. 

With the number of tickets down, agents no longer have to answer similar questions repeatedly. Your customer service team can now focus on solving complex issues. In addition, your team can use the knowledge base to answer questions faster. They do not need to scramble for information anymore while putting the customer on hold. 

Steps In Creating A Knowledge Base  

Learning how to create a good knowledge base contributes to creating a positive customer experience. A good knowledge base offers various benefits for both your team and customers. Here now are the steps in developing an effective knowledge base. 

1. Decide on the core elements of your knowledge base

Your knowledge base will consist of three core elements: 

FAQ Section:

In this section, customers can find the answer to basic questions about your product or service. Spare them the trouble and have one readily available.  

Contact Support Option:

Sometimes your FAQ section is not enough that customers will still need to contact support. You can include it on the actual article or page so the customer does not have to look for it once they realize they need personalized support. 

Search Function

LIke Google’s search bar, the search function can be seen before the full knowledge base articles. Some customers will consider your knowledge base as a homepage by simply looking around to get to know more about your product or service. However, visitors are looking for a very specific topic so make it accessible for them. 

These are the basic elements but you can include other elements depending on your unique needs. For example, you can add video tutorials, top articles, and others. The important thing is to figure out the structure and components of your knowledge base section before writing the content. 

2. Develop your structure 

If you don’t come up with a structure for your knowledge base, customers won’t be able to find the information they need quickly or even not at all. Your knowledge base must have a home page for easy navigation. It’s a common practice to put popular knowledge base topics on the home page. With this type of structure, you can turn your knowledge base into a customer support “search engine.” 

Make sure to include a live chat option in the knowledge base structure. If not live chat, you can also install a help widget or a chatbot. This way, your customer can easily connect with a customer service representative if they cannot find the information they need in your knowledge base. 

3. Choose your content 

When it comes to content, you can choose between text-based or video content. With knowledge base content, you have to keep in mind that it is different from writing blog content. You need to write with a strong and clear headline. Your content should also provide lucid and helpful instructions and provide visitors with new information or ideas. 

Text-based content is more likely to rank on search engines while videos can rank on YouTube, the second largest search engine after Google. Text is ideal for customers searching for solutions while videos are perfect for creating tutorials and for replacing complicated diagrams or large lists of writing steps. It is best to have both types of content in your knowledge base. Customers learn in different ways – some prefer reading while others opt to watch videos. 

4. Write your articles 

Your articles will make or break your knowledge base. When writing the articles, the rule is to keep it simple and straightforward. Keep them short but provide as much information as needed. Write the content clearly so that customers will walk away with valuable information. In addition, you should mind your language and avoid jargon as much as possible. Keep in mind that some of your visitors may not be tech-savvy. Always assume that your reader is a complete beginner. 

Write your knowledge base articles in a way that will convey your message and engage your readers. For your articles to be effective, you can follow these rules: 

  • Opt for informative titles. Your title should accurately describe what your article is about. Choose a topic that is straightforward but is less obvious for more complex topics. It all depends on what you know about your customers and their queries. 
  • Be clear and concise. If you have a full understanding of the topic at hand, you can write it clearly.  Be mindful of your target audience. If you are writing a technical article for non-technical people, make sure that you briefly explain every technical term being referred to, 
  • Avoid jargon. The objective of your knowledge base is to make sure that page visitors understand what you are saying. You can use common terms like customer experience but avoid using others unless you explain them. 
  • Use visual aids. Visuals can help enrich support content and increase customer engagement. Customers find videos more engaging than text-based solutions with only 10% of customers able to retain text content as opposed to 65% with visual elements and 95% with video. A knowledge base without visuals is dull and drab. If your visuals are not accessible to customers, make sure to have a text backup. 
  • Speak to your reader. Use the active instead of the passive voice as it is more engaging. Instead of “The password needs to be set” say “You need to set a password.” Talk to your readers like you would a customer on the phone. Think about your customers and what they might be interested in.  

5. Edit & Publish your knowledge base

Now that you are done with your content and articles, it’s time to make your knowledge base public. But before you do that, give your draft one last look. Review the content for any errors. Although you should be doing it while writing the articles, you might have overlooked some portions so it pays to do some final editing. 

Once you publish, make your knowledge base discoverable in both your website and through popular search engines. You can always link your knowledge base to other forms of support as well. The more places your knowledge base is linked, the better it will be visible to your customers. 

6. Gather Feedback 

When creating a knowledge base, you are hoping that everything will work perfectly. However, something will always happen and will not turn out as you expected. This is where feedback will come in. By getting feedback, you will know which part of your knowledge base is effective and which part needs improvement. Make it as easy as possible for customers to send their feedback. You can have them rate the usefulness of the articles or make them comment at the bottom of the page. 

Customer feedback will help you improve your knowledge base. You can use different tools for collecting feedback such as analytics from your CRM or support platforms. It is important for you to act on the feedback or risk listing your customers to competitors. According to studies, 79% of customers who shared complaints about poor customer experience online had their complaints ignored. Avoid committing that mistake and give importance to customer feedback. 

7. Update Regularly 

Your knowledge base should not be left stagnant. It should scale with your business. If you add more products or introduce new services, then you need to incorporate it into your knowledge base. Over time, neglecting your knowledge base will make it obsolete and customers will notice it. Just as you train your customer service team on product and service updates, so should your knowledge base be updated as regularly as possible. 

How do you know when it is time to update? Measure the effectiveness of your knowledge base. This will bring to light the areas that are doing well and need to be improved. There are many tools available that will provide you with helpful insights for measuring the performance of your knowledge base. It should not be static and should be improved as the customer’s needs change and your company grows. 

Customer Support Outsourcing with airisX 

Companies come to us to optimize existing customer support channels and/or to leverage new ones. airisX focuses on incorporating existing processes into your desired channels and helps you scale to other ones as your requirements grow.

Your customers still want to “talk to a human”. We offer voice support in multiple languages and have experience providing voice support for ecommerce brands, marketing firms, app startups, etc. Book a call with us and we will help you customize our offerings based on your needs. 


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