13 Tips to Write Knowledge Base Articles That Help Your Customers
Updated: Dec 28, 2019
If we told you there’s one thing you could do to significantly increase your customer satisfaction and reduce your support requests, would you listen? Even better: What if you already had all the tools to make it happen?
While free and relatively easy to implement, writing support articles is actually one of the most effective ways to help your customers. These articles offer knowledge and clarification on your product or service - a product encyclopedia if you will. They’re easily searchable on the web and can be accessed by your customers at any time for reference. All you need to do is have access to a computer, an efficient and intuitive knowledge base software, and the willingness to write about your product or service. Here are a few tips you should keep in mind when beginning to write knowledge base articles that genuinely help your customers:
Get to know your users
Before diving into writing support articles, you first need to know who you’re talking to. Take a look at your business and the people who are buying your products and services. What are they like? Are they experts or novices? Do they often reach out for support and guidance or do they seem to know everything there is to know about the product?
A great way to analyze your customers is via your support channels. Review emails, phone calls, social media, and any other mediums customers use to express themselves. In other words: Meet your customers to meet their needs. From here, gather the major pain points experienced by your customers when using your products. This is a great starting point for the articles and should be the first topics you write about after the basics. Remember that customers who’ve reached your knowledge base articles are probably confused by some aspect of the product. That article you’ve written could end up being the life preserver that keeps them using it.
Know your products in and out
Become the number one resource when it comes to your product (or service). Write content that is not only helpful but insightful. You can do this by navigating through your product as if it were the first time you were using it, taking note of anything that may seem confusing to first-time users as they appear. You should know the product so well that writing about it becomes second nature to you. Plus, the more you know, the easier it will be for you to give correct and simple instructions. So take the time to play around with your product and really get to the nitty-gritty ins and outs, which will steer how you go about writing directions.
Keep a friendly tone
Reading knowledge base articles should feel like reading an instruction manual from a friend. A friend will do their best to keep the conversation as light and as conversational as possible, knowing that it will persuade you to keep reading the whole way through. They will also avoid using overly technical words or jargon they know will confuse you. But steer clear from using slang, you want to be friendly but not unprofessional.
Do not assume customer knowledge
This may be the trickiest tip we give you. Why? Because assuming that your customer knows at least the basics of the product is much easier than having to explain all the details from the top. But you need to, and most importantly, you should. Even if it takes a little bit longer, save yourself the customer service trouble of devising a knowledge base article that only creates more doubts and questions in your users’ mind. Be mindful of the novice users that will likely be reading, and explain even the smallest of details.
Keep it structured
What does every piece of content that is highly appealing and easy to read have in common? They’re all well structured, which means that they don’t overwhelm the reader with an abundance of useless or unrelated information. Someone reading your support article should know exactly what they’re getting into based on what they can read from the introduction, headings, subheadings, bullets, numbers and bold fonts. Categorize the information into chunks so that it is more easily digestible to your consumers. Finally, make sure to add line breaks and spacing between ideas when needed to let your text “breathe”.