Quick Tips to Build a Smart Knowledge Base

September 18, 2017 Robin Singh

Hierarchy

A knowledge base has the power to greatly improve your user experience. It's practically the best solution for customer support, employee collaboration, and coordination with other business processes.

However, having this tool in place does not mean that you are going to grasp all of its benefits. To make an effective, smart, and easy-to-use knowledge base, it's important to take several steps. Let’s take a look at a couple of things that will allow you to make an intelligent knowledge base.


Simple Design is the Key

Simple Design

Whether it’s for your employees or your customers, simplicity is the first goal you want to achieve with your knowledge base. This can be challenging, but with the right approach from the start, you will be able to scale the information easily.

You need a clean design to dominate your whole knowledge base and you must work on it right away. This includes the colours that you are going to use, and the organization of the page layout. The point is to use a design that emphasizes  the content of a knowledge base. If the content becomes the focus, it will make it easier for people to find the right piece of information, while allowing them to focus on the content for longer periods of time, without any distractions.


Hierarchy at the Core

Behind every smart and effective knowledge base, there is a perfectly planned hierarchy. Once the customer is on your help page, they must be able to easily locate the piece of information they are looking for. There are plenty of ways to tackle this issue, the point is to provide several ways for the customer find what they are looking for.

For instance, once the customer has entered the knowledge base, they should have an overview of all of the categories available. For that to happen, from the moment you start building the knowledge base, create a set of categories that will address particular issues customers experience. As the quantity of information grows over time, it will become easier to classify them. The result is going to be a huge collection of material  that is easy to find.

Defining a well-organized hierarchy is not something that you can easily perform as it requires time. Invest your time from the start, and as the knowledge base grows, change the hierarchy to better support the growth of information. Continuous work and regular updates will allow you to create a structure your customers will truly appreciate.


Research Before Adding Content

Research

Before you start adding content to your knowledge base, it's important to do your research. This will allow you to write the right pieces of content that actually help your customers achieve success.

A good starting point is to actively work with your Customer Support team, be it live chat, email, or tickets. The goal of this research is to find the most common issues that customers have with your products or services. Once you identify these customer pain points, it's time to start adding them to the knowledge base. Performing this action repeatedly will allow you to add content that will reduce the amount of customer requests received by the Customer Support team.

This will also help with customer satisfaction, as you will enable users to find a solution to their problem without investing any time in contacting Customer Support.


Search is Important

Having a search functionality is one of the best ways to make it easier for your customers to find what they are looking for.

To make the search feature effective, it's essential to tag and name your articles in the knowledge base correctly. Therefore, to set up the right hierarchy, it is important to carefully name every piece of content that you add to the knowledge base. The combination of these two is going to make it easy for the visitor to solve any issue. Consider choosing a knowledge management software that comes with a built-in search feature.


Use the Right Language

Keep it simple

A knowledge base is a place where you want to explain things clearly to your employees and your customers. Therefore, forget about using complex terms that would make someone open up a dictionary. Keep it simple and formal. It is the most effective way to deliver information to your audience.

Apart from keeping the language simple, consider using different media of information delivery. Add video and audio material to your knowledge base, as some solutions are much easier to explain this way. Using this approach, you will cover your bases for all types of visitors, with their individual learning preferences.

Including various media will take some extra time, but the long-term benefits outweigh the investment. Ultimately, your knowledge base will fend off thousands of customer support requests, while increasing customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, success.


To Conclude

Following the aforementioned tips will allow you to create a smart knowledge base. A knowledge base tool is a great place to start and a piece of software you should implement in your business practice, but it won’t magically make your problems disappear. Organizing the content in the best way solely depends on you and your team, and it’s a lengthy process. Put in the time to set yourself up for success, as it will greatly pay off over time.

 

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About the Author

Robin Singh

Robin is a Technical Support Executive. He is an expert in knowledge management and various Knowledge base tools. Currently, he is a resident knowledge management expert at ProProfs. In his free time, Robin enjoys reading and traveling.

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