You want to help your customers as much as possible, but customers often prefer to help themselves. Rather than call a number or send off an email to get an answer from a support team, a growing number of consumers would rather take matters into their own hands. About 53 percent of online adults in the U.S. will abandon an online purchase if they can’t find an answer to their question fast enough. Younger generations frequently turn to the Internet for answers before picking up the phone: 89 percent of Millennials reported using a search engine to find an answer prior to calling customer support.
The statistics show an important trend: most people would rather find an answer themselves than have to ask someone else for it.
This is where the Knowledge Base comes in. Knowledge Bases are searchable libraries of information curated by an organization for a variety of different purposes. If your company uses a comprehensive Customer Support or Help Desk software like Issuetrak, it likely comes with a Knowledge Base built right in.
A Knowledge Base can be a repository for important forms, an FAQ page, a database for best practices, or all three. Providing your customers with a Knowledge Base allows you to put important information in easy reach, empowering customers and easing the workload of your customer support agents in the process.
If you’re stuck for ideas about what to include in your organization's Knowledge Base, we have some suggestions to get started:
Help Guides and Manuals
If your product requires any sort of configuration or technical know-how to operate, your customers may benefit from having a database of helpful how-to guides, product manuals, and other useful documents at their fingertips. Putting all of your documents in one place allows customers to review instructional material whenever they need it, reducing calls and emails to your customer support team.
Keep your customers in mind while writing these documents,making them as accessible, understandable, and comprehensive as possible. And, provide as much context as necessary to ensure readers will understand your words at face value.
If your support agents field a large number of repeat inquiries, it may benefit your team to provide customers with a database of Frequently Asked Questions. No matter what product or service your business offers, customers will appreciate having their most common questions and concerns addressed in a readily-accessible and easy-to-search location.
A well-crafted FAQ can also host useful information for prospective customers. Providing comprehensive answers to the most relevant and important questions about your organization allows them to take a closer look at your organization and its practices without having to spend excess time making a phone call or shooting off an email.
If you work for a software company, you know the importance of having up-to-date product documentation available for reference. As your application goes through edits and updates, customers will need access to a changelog, deployment details, and information about older versions of your product.
Keeping documentation organized in a searchable Knowledge Base allows both customers and developers alike to review product updates, keep track of system requirements, and more. Knowledge bases can be updated and edited instantaneously, allowing for immediate revisions of copy and a built-in archive for previous releases.
Internal Forms and Documents
While Knowledge Bases can serve as practical reference tools for customers, they can also serve internal uses. A Knowledge Base can provide a space for storing important internal documents such as employee handbooks, HR forms, instructional sheets and procedures, sales and customer support resources, and more.
Internal databases like these give employees the most important information they’ll need day-to-day, right at their fingertips. Collaboration and resource sharing becomes second nature when all team members have access to the same library and can cultivate its contents to meet their specific needs. Together teams can work together to build out and optimize their Knowledge Base to hold exactly what they need, when they need it -- every time.
About Ashlyn Frassinelli