It’s easier than ever to access information. And customers want to be able to access answers to their own questions. In fact, they expect it. According to Forester, 70% of customers prefer to use a company’s website to get answers to their questions rather than use phone or email.

A knowledge base (KB) gives customers the information they want and need about your company, products, services, etc. If your company doesn’t have one yet, it’s time to create one. But don’t worry. It’s actually easier than you think. Most of the information you need to create a knowledge base already exists in emails, Slack or Teams channels, social media accounts, service tickets, comments, and the brains of your team members.

What is a knowledge base?

A knowledge base is an easily accessible and searchable online library of information about a specific topic, service, or product. Knowledge bases can include how-to guides, step-by-step instructions, videos, FAQs, glossaries and definitions, just to name a few. They’re a great resource to sync to your ticketing or web chat system for automated support.

An effective knowledge base starts with team members putting themselves in the customers’ shoes. How can you relay information in the simplest and most effective way possible? Whatever the answer for your company, structure information in that way. Resist the urge to add unnecessary fluff to your knowledge base.

Why do you need a knowledge base in your contact center?

The main goal of a knowledge base is to help customers access topic, product, or service information themselves. Why is this important for your contact center? Because you can use a knowledge base to reduce inbound call volume and free up customer support resources. 

When your customers can freely access information via a self-service online resource, they don’t need to connect with a customer support agent directly. When your customers do need additional support, your agents can also use the knowledge base to assist them.

Top six knowledge base benefits

Deliver self-service information that customers want

We covered this one a bit, but it’s worth mentioning again. A study by Coleman Parkers concluded that 91% of people would use an online knowledge base if it were available and tailored to their needs. In other words, build your knowledge base with customers in mind and they will come. Not only will they use it, but in doing so, they’ll develop a stronger relationship with your company. 

Decrease incoming support volume 

Your customers want to find answers themselves. And when they can, it reduces the need for them to contact call centers or submit inquiries to your customer service agents. Research supports this. 45% of organizations that offer online self-service options saw an increase in website traffic and a reduction in phone inquiries.

Offer consistent customer support

Once your company builds its knowledge base, it’s always on. Unlike agent-operated support centers, your customers can get answers whenever they want with a self-service knowledge base. It’s an incredibly useful, 24/7 resource. 

Address customer issues proactively

Customers want more than a company who solves their problems after the fact. They want to work with companies that anticipate their needs and address them before they become a major inconvenience.

Include step-by-step instructions or videos on how to use your product in your knowledge base. Customers often submit service inquiries due to lack of product know-how. Be proactive and address this content first. Your customers and agents will thank you. 

Become a thought leader in your niche

With a knowledge base, your company can provide free and easily accessible information to customers. Consumers will know who to turn to for information in your company’s area of expertise. Additionally, a well-built knowledge base strengthens domain authority and boosts SEO. Your company will show up higher on internet search engines and reach more customers. 

READ MORE: What is a Knowledge Base? How Knowledge Management Systems Encourage Self Service

Create an internal resource 

A knowledge base isn’t just helpful to leads and customers. It’s a useful resource for your employees as well. Agents can quickly search information to help customers faster and direct customers to additional support when their exchange is coming to an end.

Train employees faster with your company’s knowledge base. Since it’s first and foremost a customer-facing resource, new agents and staff can easily learn about the company and products during their onboarding process.

How to choose the right knowledge base topics 

Look at your customer data. What questions are your customer service agents receiving? Repeat questions are helpful topics to address in your knowledge base first.

Where are your customers getting stuck? An effective way to determine this is by using a tool like HotJar to see where your customers are experiencing difficulties online. You can also run a simple user experience test to see if people struggle to complete a specific action or task. 

How to build an effective knowledge base

Determine your knowledge base goal

Companies create knowledge bases with different goals in mind. Some goals focus on providing transparency; some focus on onboarding new users. Think about how your company’s knowledge base can best serve customers and complement existing sales and marketing efforts.

Organize content in the best way possible

Create content pillars that make sense for your company. Brainstorm categories that your company’s specific topics can fall under. Then place your topics into these categories, so your customers can easily explore the interface. 

Examples of content pillars:

  • Getting started
  • Product X how-to
  • Product Y how-to
  • Mastering product Z
  • Add ons
  • Product news

The most important piece of a knowledge base is an optimized search feature. Make it easy for your customers to find a specific answer or piece of content.

Create content as a team

Your company’s sales team, marketing team, and support team all have value to offer. Create a collaborative and cross-functional process for building your knowledge base to ensure your company publishes the best and most accurate information.

Prioritize user experience

A knowledge base is an easily accessible and searchable online library of information about a specific topic, service, or product. The key here is easily accessible and searchable. If you create a knowledge base with poor design, customers won’t want to use it. And more so, it creates a negative impression of your company.

Quick knowledge base best practices

Know your audience

A knowledge base helps your company be proactive to customer questions and issues. To address the right topics, it’s important to know your audience. Map out your customer journey to optimize your knowledge base. 

Update your knowledge base often

Your products, services, and aspects of your company change. Remember to update your knowledge base accordingly to keep this resource fresh and accurate.

Share it!

Your company spent time and resources to build an incredible resource. Share it often with your internal and external audiences. Knowledge base articles make great email and social media content.