Building an Effective Knowledge Base: 5 Things to Know

By Doron Gower   |   November 7, 2017
Building an Effective Knowledge Base 5 Things to Know
Now that we are in the summer this year, we can step back and take an assessment of 2018 customer experience trends and how they are impacting the marketplace. The industry has faced new challenges and developed a wealth of new approaches to overcome those challenges.

 

Building an effective knowledge base is crucial to the success of your self-service tools. Doing so will free up your customer service staff to tackle the truly sticky problems and keep clients happy. You can begin by following some proven methods to create an effective knowledge base.

1. Address the Most Frequently Asked Questions First

The advantage to an online knowledge base is that it decreases support queries and the time it takes to resolve them. It makes no sense to answer a question that is asked once per month; however, if a question comes in several times per day, that’s the question to address in the knowledge base first. Gather your support team and data from the help desk to create a list of the most asked questions.

2. Use Natural Language From the Help Tickets

Your tickets represent an excellent source of how customers are wording their queries. This is likely to be the same when searching the knowledge base. Include natural language from recent tickets and expand to fill in the gaps. Text from several tickets addressing the same issue can also be used.

3. Use a Consistent Format for Creating Pages
If you are building your own knowledge base and you are not a natural writer, it will help to develop a consistent format not only for coherence in content but also to help you write pages more quickly. Following a formula speeds the process. Start with defining the problem, describe the steps to take for resolution and then describe the expected result. The user should know what the solution actually looks like.

4. Link the Articles to the Help Desk and Forum

It may happen that a customer finds a page in the knowledge base that addresses their problem. They follow the directions to no avail. It is critical to make it easy for that customer to jump over to a forum or to the help desk to get them the correct resolution quickly. Add links to the end of the page and large buttons on the sidebars.

5. Make Improvements to the Search Function

Testing and streamlining the search function of the knowledge base is a key method to ensuring its effectiveness. If your customer cannot find the right resolution using their language, they will quickly submit a help ticket. Utilize a tag map with the varying tags and categories to determine the best method of organization for the data. This will make the process of actually tagging the pages smoother. Again, think in natural language that your customer might use since that is how they will conduct their search. Ensure the page title has the specific keywords and details that the average customer would understand. In addition, double check the search function itself to ensure proper operation.

If you keep your consumer in mind when developing your knowledge base, you should have an effective resource that will give your customer service staff the time to help with the difficult issues. Your customers will be much more satisfied.