If you’re thinking about using your ticket tracker software to create a knowledge base, you are on the road to saving valuable time and resources by adding self-service to your support options.
A well-constructed knowledge base will help your audience stay on top of daily work issues, share insights, and improve their own efficiency and productivity. Typical knowledge base content varies from organization to organization, but can be intended for internal or external audiences and might include data on specific customers or technologies, resolutions to common problems, shortcuts, how-to articles, or tech tips.
Not all knowledge bases are created equal, however. Ease of use is a top priority for users, and the key to a user-friendly experience is how you organize the information. The faster and more intuitive it is for people to find the answers they’re looking for, the more traffic you will attract.
Following these six principles will help you set up the knowledge base easily and accessible:
Analyze and Categorize
Start by separating your information into broad categories under fairly general topics or headlines, adding sub-categories as necessary. Just make sure you don’t go overboard with the number of options. Confusion and knowledge bases are an uncomfortable mix. Your categories might include common or known issues, frequently asked questions, or tech tips. The best way to identify the most appropriate category types is to analyze your trouble tickets, as this will pinpoint regularly occurring pain points and issues.
Keep it manageable
Quality wins over quantity. It’s important to build some flexibility into your categories, but you don’t want to overload the knowledge base with less meaningful information. Beware, also, of any category containing too slim a collection of data: unless it’s a very high priority issue, this probably indicates that the content belongs in a subset of another category.
Make it obvious
Unless you want to lose your users from the outset, there is no point in being anything but blindingly obvious when you select category names. They need to be self-explanatory and simple. Users need an instant ‘Aha’ when they are searching for the location of the answer they’re looking for. Need help? Look for top keyword searches when naming your categories
One item, one place
Don’t assign a single item to multiple categories in your issue tracking software knowledge base. A good practice is to place each article in just one category – this will help simplify user navigation and make for a more digestible experience. You don’t want searches to take the user out of their selected category unless theirs is a truly all-encompassing inquiry.
Consistency is key
When organizing your help desk knowledge base, make sure your categories have similar levels of depth. As the knowledge base grows, make it a practice to review the categories and subsets on a regular basis, and flag, remove or reassign items if the category is becoming overloaded.
Keep quick reference material at the forefront
The most popular material on the knowledge base is likely to be quick and easy reference information, such as FAQs, “getting started” documents or “how to” steps. Keeping a small set of helpful content easily available at the top of your knowledge base demonstrates that you understand your audiences’ priorities, and that you value their time and energy.
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