Customer expectations are higher than ever, which means your contact center has to take support to the next level to even be able to compete. Companies that excel at meeting and exceeding these expectations drive revenues 4% to 8% higher than their competitors. But that’s a lot of pressure on your agents to meet demand.
The problem: over half of consumers say that the “main reason they cannot resolve an issue on their own is because there is too little information online.” Your customers want to help themselves, but they can’t. Learn how to build a knowledge base containing a roadmap to your products, services, and website for your customers.
The Value of a Customer Knowledge Base
A knowledge base is a collection of documents that answers frequently asked questions (FAQs), offers how-to guides, troubleshoots instructions, and details processes and procedures. Its purpose is to make life easier for your customers by helping them find solutions to their own problems without having to contact you for help.
But a knowledge base isn’t just convenient for your customers; it’s also invaluable for your business. It can function both internally and externally by keeping all pertinent data and information about your company housed in a centralized, accessible location. The result?
Improve the Customer Experience
With a knowledge base, customers can solve their own issues and leave your contact center agents to help only those individuals who really need it. When well-structured, clearly written, and cleanly designed, a knowledge base is a learning tool that can close any knowledge gaps preventing customers from achieving their goals.
A successful knowledge base will improve the customer experience by:
- Providing self-service opportunities, which most customers prefer.
- Supporting different learning styles with information presented in text, images, video, and audio formats.
- Providing 24/7 customer support for the most common issues.
Decrease Contact Center Burden
A knowledge base is also a cost-effective way to reduce the time and effort your contact center has to expend to help customers. Not only will it decrease the number of customers who need to contact you, but with a well-stocked knowledge base, your contact center agents will also be better prepared to answer questions and direct customers to the solutions they need.
Better Processes, Procedures, and Services
Writing a detailed knowledge base forces your contact center team to take an in-depth look at your processes, procedures, services, and products. After all, when you have to explain, in detail, how something works, you’ll quickly reveal areas where your approach could use improvement. Basically, if you can’t write a simple help article about how to make a payment, then it’s far too complicated in the first place.
How to Build a Knowledge Base Successfully
There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Building a knowledge base is a lot of work. And while there are platforms that can help—such as HubSpot’s Knowledge Base Solution—your contact center is still the main department responsible for developing your robust knowledge base.
Not only do you have to gather all the useful information your customers could need, but you have to put that content into a format and structure that is easy to search and delivers the right piece of information at just the right time.
How do you get started?
Step 1: Gain Insight from Data Analytics
The purpose behind a knowledge base is to answer queries. So, the question is: what questions are your customers and agents asking? This is where you need data insight. Only by analyzing customer feedback and the discussions your contact center agents are having with your customers can you create articles that are actually valuable.
For example, customers don’t always ask, “How can I reset my password?” Instead, they might ask, “How can I unblock my account” or “My login information won’t work.” By writing your FAQ articles using the same words as your customers—which you’ll only know using data—you’ll increase the likelihood that your customers will actually get the help they need.
Step 2: Get Organized
Once you know what type of information your customers and agents need most based on your data research, it’s essential to organize it all in a logical manner. This means setting up your knowledge base in a way that makes sense to the people who will be using it. Often this means developing a hierarchy.
Break down your knowledge base into categories that go from broad to more in-depth. For example, you might create high-level topics such as: getting started, FAQs, product news, features, integrations, and community. Then, from there, you can create sub-topics such as: onboarding, API, HubSpot integrations, etc.
The way you organize your content is 100% dependent on the best structure, look and feel for your needs.
Step 3: Create Lots of Content
There’s almost no such thing as too much content for your knowledge base. Offering more than 550 articles for 3,627 unique features may be just perfect. Write, record, and draw as much content as necessary to answer pressing questions and provide pertinent information.
And don’t forget that your customer service and support agents are not alone in creating content. It should be a cross-team collaboration to develop content for your customers’ most common problems and issues. For example, technical issues should be addressed by your IT team while your sales team can tackle pricing questions.
Step 4: Format Your Content
Not all of your knowledge base should be written. Presentation and format matter. Create how-to videos, record podcasts, include screenshots, write step-by-step procedural manuals, and more. Format your content in whatever way makes the most sense for disseminating the information you need.
And when formatting, don’t forget to keep it user-friendly. Nobody wants to use a knowledge base that is frustrating to navigate or forces users to search everywhere for the piece of information they need. Instead:
- Tag your knowledge base articles to enable search functionality
- Include internal and external links to other knowledge base documents for further information.
- Include hierarchal links that allow users to take advantage of your organization.
Step 5: Review and Adjust Over and Over Again
Finally, recognize that you’ll never be done with your knowledge base. You’ll need to constantly review the data and insight coming into your contact center and update your knowledge base accordingly to answer the latest questions and concerns. Continue adding and editing your knowledge base over time to keep it valuable.
How to Build a Knowledge Base with AI Text Analytics
As we already explained, gathering insightful data is the first step to building any good knowledge base, and AI text analytics is the answer. In just a few clicks and a few minutes, you can dig deep into ALL of your customer text interactions to see exactly what questions they’re asking you and how they’re asking them. This is the insight you need to make an effective knowledge base.
You’ll learn if your customers are asking questions about the difference between your paid plans and free trial or if they’re struggling to get your free trial to work. Or, if your customers are asking about error messages, you’ll learn what the most common error messages are and where the confusion is coming from.
With AI text analytics, you can dig deep into every text conversation and pull out the information you need most. For example, you can list all interactions associated with the term “errors” to get an idea about what specific problem is occurring. From there, you can develop a knowledge base article, video, or podcast to offer a solution.
The beauty of using AI text analytics to build your knowledge base is that it basically writes itself with customer feedback. You get to trust your customers and volume trends to provide the facts. This will help you create a much more specific, actionable, and evidence-based knowledge base.