What Makes a Knowledge Base Smart?

By Monica Kohn   |   April 29, 2019
What Makes a Knowledge Base Smart
Your knowledge base has tremendous power to improve user experience. It offers enhanced solutions for employee collaboration, customer support, and coordination between business units.

However, simply having a knowledge base tool does not provide all of those benefits. You must take steps to ensure an effective, intelligent, and easy-to-use knowledge base. Let’s take a look at several of these elements.

Simplicity Is Key

You need a streamlined design from the beginning to facilitate ease-of-use and relevant information. This will include selecting colors and organization of page layout in addition to quality of content. The design should emphasize the content and make it effortless to identify. This allows users to focus on the data without distractions.

Hierarchy of the Data

A smart knowledge base will have a logical hierarchy. Once your customer has landed on your help page, it is imperative that they find the right answers quickly. You have an array of methods to accomplish this, but the point is to offer several options for the user to find their solution.

For example, once inside the knowledge base, your customer should see an overview of topics. This means determining smart categories at the outset. As the quantity of articles expands, you can create additional or sub categories for easier classification. The result is a large collection of data that is easy to find.

Defining a highly organized hierarchy takes an investment in time, but it will pay off well as your knowledge base grows. Continuing updates will enable you to build a structure that your customers will value.

Research Prior to Adding Content

Prior to adding content into the knowledge base, do some research on desired topics. An excellent starting point is your customer support team, emails, live chat, and tickets. You want to identify the most common issues your customers have with services or products. Once you have those customer pain points, add them to the knowledge base.

In addition to using clear, concise language, consider adding a variety of media to help explain topics. How-to videos are extremely popular and helpful. In addition, you will offer information in formats that your customers can choose based upon their individual learning preferences. This may take additional time and effort, but your knowledge base will grow to answer countless customer support requests while improving customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Ease-Of-Search Is Key

Having a streamlined search functionality is crucial to customer satisfaction. This means naming and tagging articles correctly, which leads back to the importance of the content hierarchy. It is critical to name each item of content correctly prior to adding it to the knowledge base. The combination of tagging and naming will improve the ease-of-search and make it simpler for customers to resolve issues.

Of course, technology is making knowledge bases smarter as well. Artificial intelligence is improving access to answers. Still, beginning with your hierarchy and conducting research into common issues is a crucial step in creating a smart knowledge base.