What Is a Knowledge Base and Why Your Business Needs One
Updated: Dec 26, 2019
In today’s fast paced world, people expect information quickly and conveniently. If you, as a business can’t offer that, someone else will. And it would be a shame, as good customer service doesn’t only foster retention, but also client acquisition. Actually, the reputation of having great customer service is one of the key factors that people take into consideration when they have to choose between several brands. While there may be many ways to provide excellent customer service, there’s one tool that's proven to help drastically improve all your metrics at once: an efficient knowledge base to incorporate into your help desk.
This article will cover the following crucial elements: what is a knowledge base, the reasons your business should be using one, how to actually create one, and the essential tips to keep in mind when writing knowledge base articles.
What is a knowledge base?
Think of your knowledge base as an extensive online library about your service or product. Your customers can use it as a self-service tool to find the answers to their questions. Which means that a good knowledge base should enable most of your users to solve their issues on their own, without the help of an agent. On top of helping you (and your team) dealing with support tickets, this will have a direct impact on your revenue. When your users feel they can navigate your product or enjoy your service without having to contact customer support, but rather by following step-by-step guides, they’re more likely stick to your brand. In addition, being able to master a process that looked complex at first can boost their confidence and make them appreciate your offer even more. The data in your knowledge base software usually includes a variety of helpful content in the form of FAQs, ‘how to’ articles, videos - or any other educational alternatives to long calls or lengthy email explanations. In summary: it’s a place where information regarding your product or service is organized and stored, shared and searched for by your customers.
Your customers only? Not necessarily. Your knowledge base can be used as an internal or external resource (or a combination of both). While the external database can be accessed by anyone in order to educate your customers, your investors, or any audience that doesn’t directly belong to your company, the internal base is shared for your company’s purposes only, and will mostly be used to educate your own employees or team. Internal or external, the great advantage about a knowledge base software is that you’re absolutely in control of all the information that you share. You can of course give readers the opportunity to comment and even contribute - but ultimately, you’re the owner of the data provided about your products or services.
Why you should use a knowledge base
Now that we’ve covered what a knowledge base is, let’s explore some (of the many) reasons why you should be utilizing one for your business. By implementing a knowledge base software, you can expect to see the following benefits:
Provide seamless customer support to your customers: One of the best ways to build loyalty and trust between you and your customers is by offering a smooth support experience. Your customers don’t need to be impressed; most of the time, they just need to feel like their requests are being heard and fulfilled. As your knowledge base is accessible 24/7, customers will be satisfied as they can find the answer to their questions at a convenient time for them, without interacting with customer representatives. No more waiting on hold listening to the same song over and over again. Providing your customers with a hub of knowledge is the key factor to growing satisfaction, and thus, conversion.
Reduce volume of support tickets/calls: Thanks to the help of your insightful knowledge base, customers can independently find solutions to their issues. This gives your customers the feeling that your company is efficient and thoughtful.
Increase efficiency and productivity within your support team: Since your team is not inundated with unanswered requests, they can be much more productive and accurate when attending to customers who actually require detailed help.
Use it as another resource: Similar to that of a blog, your knowledge base can also help build your image as an expert within your field. It’s an excellent way for you to also keep your customers updated on any new features or updates to your current services or products.
Drive traffic to your website: One of the foundations of SEO is producing quality, up-to-date and relevant content. Since that’s exactly what your knowledge base is comprised of, you will benefit from a well deserved boost in Google’s ranking. Remember: the more traffic to your website, the higher the potential for leads and conversions.
An internal tool for training: The onboarding process of new employees is an extensive process, one that should be carefully thought through. Considering your knowledge base houses all your most valuable information in organized categories, it’s the perfect tool to use when training new employees. Talk about efficiency.
Create transparency throughout your company: Often, you’ll find that people within your company require the same information for different reasons, depending on their department. Using a knowledge base software internally will ensure everyone has the same information - and therefore the correct information.
It’s easy to maintain: It’s inevitable that information changes or needs to be updated. Having your knowledge base online makes it easy to maintain by continuously updating information and adding new articles in order to grow your database.
How to create your own knowledge base
There are a couple of key components to pay attention to. Any complete and useful knowledge base software should include a help center, a search box feature, and a support widget that can be linked to your website. Here at Wix, we built and use our very own help desk, Wix Answers, in order to provide support to our 150 million users every single day. Because the amount of data is huge and the intensity is so high, we’ve designed this all-in-one customer support solution in a way that is easy to set up, intuitive to use, and requires no technical knowledge or skills whatsoever from our agents. With it comes a knowledge base, a built in call center, and a ticketing system that all work seamlessly together.
The most exciting part? Wix Answers is now yours for the taking, which means that any business (no matter the size or activity) can use it and enjoy all of its features. You can be up and running in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is pick from one of our templates and customize the design so that it aligns with your brand’s look and feel. Then, add your first articles to your knowledge base and you’re all set.
A quick guide to getting started with Wix Answers
Sign up to Wix Answers
Enter your business’ name.
Pick your primary language. Note that Wix Answers can support articles in multiple languages, if your clients come from all over the world.
Choose your Wix Answers URL.
Welcome to your knowledge base. Now you can start to customize your help center, add articles to your knowledge base and configure your support channels. And just like that, you’re good to go!
Tips for writing a great knowledge base article
Have a clear structure in mind: Keep things easy to follow by dividing your articles into sections or categories. To be even more organized, Wix Answers lets you design the priority, labels, status (draft or published), type (article, known issue or feature request), as well as the owner for each and every article of your knowledge base. Finally, make sure the articles link correctly to each other depending on the subject, in order to ease the navigation of your customers.
Collect data from the right people: Depending on the goal of your knowledge base, you might want to talk to your HR, legal, or marketing departments to ensure you have the most relevant and up-to-date content to include. We can’t stress this enough: proofread every article. There’s nothing more embarrassing than avoidable typos.
Find your voice: Every brand has a different voice, and you want to make sure you find yours before writing your first article. Even if it serves a different purpose than your blog or your social media accounts, it’s recommended that the tone of your knowledge base remains consistent with what you have already created. At Wix for example, we make sure to write in a professional way, yet using a friendly tone to make sure that our users don’t have the impression our articles were written by a robot (and they weren’t). We know that talking with our users in an eye level manner is the best way to convey a message about our product.
Keep it concise: Make sure you keep your customer in mind with every article that you write. It’s best to stick to short and clear text. Only address one problem per article so that your customers don’t get confused. In order to predict your customers needs, you can link to other relevant posts within the article they are currently reading.
Explain everything: Try not to assume your customers know everything you’re talking about. Take the time to explain technical terms or effects in a welcoming manner as you write how to solve a particular problem. For example, don’t use abbreviations but rather explain the term in full. Also, the titles of your articles should be really straightforward: don’t use anything fancy or too eccentric sounding, and rather go for headlines shaped as questions or guidelines (“How to…”, “What is…”, “Setting up…”, etc.). On top of facilitating the browsing of your knowledge base for your readers, this effort of clarification will have a positive impact on your SEO. For more details, check out our tips for writing a professional knowledge base articles.
Make sure it’s easy to browse: Remember that people don’t have time to read paragraphs and paragraphs of text. Make sure your customers can scan your article and still find the information helpful. Recommended ways to ensure this is to use headings, numbers, bullet points, and small paragraphs of text.
Incorporate images, videos and CTAs: It’s imperative to cater to all different types of users: some learn better with words, others with images, etc. The video trend goes far beyond customer support. Videos are literally everywhere! And your knowledge base should be no exception. Last tip: add in CTAs (calls to action) linking to your website, in order to provide shortcuts to the relevant location of products that are mentioned in the article.
Update it regularly: You want your customers to feel supported in the long run, so proactively think about their next questions, and try as much as possible to tackle them in each article. And whenever you release a new product or service, make sure you update your knowledge base accordingly, with relevant guides and answers to all the questions you can anticipate.
Ah, you’ve made it till the end. As you can see, creating a knowledge base is not rocket science but the benefits are huge.
So, are you ready to create your own knowledge base? Get started with Wix Answers now.