Knowledge bases help companies centralize their information assets and reduce their “knowledge deficit”.
This term was coined by the IDC in order to understand why fortune 500 companies were losing up to $12 billion without even knowing it.
They investigated the amount of money that was lost due to rework and inability to access or find knowledge resources.
Centralizing access to information is a key benefit but there are many other features that can help companies build a personal relationship with customers.
How can this be done and how do knowledge bases help customer support efforts? read on to find out:
First of all, let's take a close look at the benefits that can be obtained when developing a knowledge base:
Benefits of Knowledge Bases in Customer Support
- Reducing the number of support calls and tickets
- Customers can proactively search for answers to their questions easily
- Reduce waiting queues and client satisfaction
- Customers can be provided with FAQ sites, manuals, and other important documentation in order to help them find relevant information.
- Provide the customer with context sensitive help; this option allows the customer to view content and conduct search queries directly in the contents page without having to leave the site.
- Keep track of content usage and analytics
- Create a self-service experience for your customers- say goodbye to bulky printed manuals and customer support bottlenecks.
- 24/7 customer support and access anytime-anywhere
- You can incorporate important add-ons, such as Live chat, which can help boost customer service and assistance.
In case you are looking for the knowledge base that best suits your organization's customer support processes and culture, don't just look at the features. For example, there are open source options available but they might require customization efforts and additional resources for storage and maintenance. Other options like Proprofs offer cloud systems so that companies can focus on what really drives value and avoid additional costs. Besides, no installation will be required as access is simple since users only need to sign in.
You also need to consider content. Knowledge bases need great content in order to drive value and there´s one line that needs to be at the core of your strategy: Customers need to find quality content instead of quantity. Therefore, it is important to designate a team in order to create “value content” i.e which is easy to read, scan and understand.
In order to start, it's important to identify what content must be delivered according to objectives and the business strategy: “The first and most crucial step in creating a strategy is to know your customer. The primary questions to answer before moving to the next step are “Who is your customer?” and “What are their biggest pain points?” But in addition to those questions, you’ll need to gain an understanding of their content consumption behaviors and preferences in terms of format, device, timing.” Altimeter group
To Create Content You Can Look For
- Common and troublesome issues clients face
- Recurrent tickets and customer complaints
- Relevant topics and product updates
- Bottlenecks and time-consuming activities/customer requirements
- Client feedback and comments
- Expert staff insights and recommendations
- Analytics: where are your customers spending valuable time?
- Lessons learned and best practices
- Answers to tickets
- Customer staff insights and reports
- What your customer are saying across all the touchpoints you've got (social media, CRM platforms, sales systems, etc).
Here Are Some Additional Tips You Need to Consider in Order to Build Your Knowledge Base for Customer Support
- Whether it’s to answer a customer’s question prior to purchase or help a customer resolve an issue post-purchase the knowledge base should capture the fundamentals of a great experience: ease, effectiveness, and emotion (Forrester)
- 73 percent of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service, so make sure that content is easy to find and scannable so it won't be burdensome to read.
- Complement content with visual aids such as videos, graphics and tables.
- Get your experts involved in content generation. Since they have participated in the product´s development they should be held responsible for content generation and curation.
- Integrate with existing tools and software. Don't create multiple entry points, choose knowledge base software that allows integration with existing systems such as Zendesk, google, and salesforce.
- Integrate with add-ons such as google translate so that content can be accessed in many languages.
- Don't just create a repository; engage your customers and talk to them using the knowledge base to record interactions.
- Keep your customers informed with product or service updates which can be registered in the knowledge base.
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Using knowledge bases to empower the customer journey will be vital to guarantee success. Forrester research has already demonstrated that companies “will explore new channels such as messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WeChat, video chat, and remote control of devices to perform tasks on the customer’s behalf.
They will steer customers to low friction channels directing a caller to a chat interaction when queue wait times are long”. In this sense, knowledge bases can help integrate diverse tools to foster a community of learning with customers at the center stage.
Finally, it's important to bear in mind that “customer service organizations must build upon a foundation of operational efficiencies to deliver differentiated service experiences in line with customer expectations. Only this level of customer obsession will result in higher levels of loyalty and company revenue”. (Forrester)