Answering the same customer doubts, repeatedly, is frustrating, and it is an utter waste of resources. A self-service knowledge base is a simple, affordable solution to this concern.
When you make an efficient knowledge base a fundamental part of customer support, you ensure that your agents are not buried under a massive inbound volume of queries. The keyword here is efficient.
Only when you compile a knowledge base extensively and with diligence does it add value to customers. Although the task can prove to be complicated, with some best practices, maintaining an informative knowledge base becomes easier.
What Are the Best Practices for Maintaining A Customer Knowledge Base?
Most e-commerce businesses are aware of help desk software and the broader knowledge management software that help maintain a knowledge base. But an informative self-service base takes more effort such as frequently updating articles.
It is then that your customers get their queries answered easily and swiftly. Moreover, it empowers the support staff to resolve tickets with faster speed and consistency. Here are the best practices necessary to build a perfect knowledge base.
Openly And Easily Accessible For All
When a customer faces an issue, it should be easy for them to look for answers. Cryptic categories and overlong drop-down lists are not what your user wants. They demand solutions with one click, be it reading a how-to article or getting in touch with the right support person.
Therefore, your knowledge base should be promptly accessible and not shut behind a paywall. Secondly, it should be as easy as slicing melted butter to get to the right article. And finally, the base should be open to all, including your employees and customer support reps.
Fluid And Self-Explanatory Articles
An extensive knowledge base may have hundreds of useful articles, guides, and tutorials, but if customers can’t find what they need, it is still worthless. To circumvent this problem, make navigation fluid and chronological.
Also, make sure that your documents are not large chunks of text. They don’t help retain information and make the eyes glaze over. Every piece in the knowledge base should be self-explanatory in just a glance. For this, divide your articles into smaller blocks of information and employ bullet points and lists.
An Ever-Evolving Base
For e-commerce businesses, the content of the knowledge base needs to be updated frequently because your products or services or features tend to change with time.
It implies developing a knowledge base is not a one and done thing. You need to revisit it regularly and incorporate all new use cases. Remember, stumbling upon outdated information leads a customer to a sour experience.
A good practice for knowledge base evolution is to encourage your customer service team to contribute to its growth. Even if support is outsourced, ask the agents to add popular customer queries to a Google document continuously. Then it becomes easy to create self-service articles around them.
Include Images, Videos, Infographics, etc.
Each person learns differently; some like to read, others choose to watch, and a few prefer to listen. Support your knowledge base documents with images, videos, audios, and infographics so that every customer finds what they look for in the format they prefer. On top of it, add as many links as needed to other helpful resources in each article.
Educate Your Customers
Even a flawless knowledge base has no value if customers don’t use it, and they will do so only if they are aware of it. Give your customers the option of self-service before they file a support ticket. Furthermore, ask your customer service agents to promote the knowledge base.
A Part of the Customer Service Strategy
In today’s world, both customers and employees are digital-first. If you want to retain customers to grow sales and improve employee productivity, you need to make the knowledge base a part of the customer service strategy.
One such strategy is building and organizing content. To ensure consistency between articles and speed up creation, develop macros and templates that contributors can use to upload data.
Top 4 Features of An Effective Knowledge Base
1. It Should be SEO-Optimized
The first step a customer takes to solve doubts is a Google search. A knowledge base embedded with the right keywords ensures that your articles pop up at the top of those search results.
Plus, 54% of companies report increased web traffic after launching online self-service. A rise in traffic means a higher chance of continued browsing through your online store, which, in turn, leads to more sales.
2. It Must Have Relevant Internal Links
Every document in the knowledge base should have as many internal links as feasible for two reasons. One, it ensures that the customer gains a thorough answer to their queries. Two, it compels visitors to spend more time on your website. More browsing time means your site is ranked higher on Google’s algorithm.
3. It Allows Customers to Share Feedback
Customer experience is a two-way street. By asking your customer for feedback, you improve their experience. It is why every knowledge base article should end with a question asking the visitor to weigh whether it was helpful or not.
Feedback is also a great tool to assess the performance of your documents. It gives insight into where the knowledge base requires improvement.
4. It Should Focus on Formatting
If you use Content Management Systems for the knowledge base, utilize categories, labels, navigation, and search terms for better formatting. It simplifies the structure of the knowledge base and makes it easier for the customer to use it.
Forrester estimates that a live chat can cost a company anywhere between $6 to $12 for each interaction. An automated interaction, on the other hand, costs merely 25 cents.
In plainer terms, an easily accessible, searchable, and readable knowledge base has tons of economic value. If that doesn’t push you towards building a kick-ass self-service platform, then this should: companies with self-service options enjoy 71% greater improvement in customer satisfaction rates compared to those who don’t.