In today’s digital world, your online business’ success is dependent on the customer experience you are delivering and your knowledge base is a key to providing great customer experience. Customers expect to get the right information at the right time without having to wait for a reply or even pick up the phone and speak to someone. Customers today want to be able to find information themselves and search for answers and get immediate answers.
In order to provide an efficient self-service option for your customers you must have an effective knowledge base that delivers the right information instantly and that is easy to access and use. That would not only provide your customers with great customer experience and service but would also allow you to more cost effectively manage and scale your customer support. Sounds great, right? But in order to successfully provide self-service customer support tools you should make sure your solution includes those four important elements.
So having an effective knowledge base can dramatically lift your site’s customer experience and generated revenue. But it wouldn’t provide much value unless your customers actually use it, would it? Therefore, your knowledge base should be easily accessed and intuitive to use.
First, you should wrap it in an engaging and inviting package that lets your customers know that they can search for information or answers here. Second, offering this self-service tool which provides easy access to your knowledge base on every page of your website means that more customers can get immediate answers and don’t have to click away from their current page to find the information they are after. This could be even more crucial when you have an eCommerce website. In that case, your customers will go to your product pages where they expect to get the most relevant and accurate information for the specific product they are looking at without having to wait for live help. So each product page should have a knowledge base that pertains specifically to that product and allows self-service.
Ease of finding information
After you got the customer to interact and use your knowledge base, it is extremely important that the way to finding their desired information is quick and easy. As mentioned above, the knowledge base answers should be provided immediately which means automatically and without any need for direct, human interaction as it usually means waiting for response.
Allowing customers to ask questions in their own free-text words and even native language is a must for increasing usability and usage rate. But this has no value if the knowledge base does not bring back the relevant answers. The search algorithm should be extremely accurate and automatically provide a few possible answers when a question is asked. An “auto-suggest” feature is another great practice to help accuracy and have people quickly find exactly what they are looking for.
Being proactive to making it easy on the customer is recommended. A great way to do it is by providing frequently asked questions by other customers. The emphasis here is on providing relevant and segmented lists to let’s say; different products, or categories such as shipping, payment, etc. This allows finding answers for most popular questions without even having to spend time on asking or searching for them and also eliminates confusion which is one of the major reasons to abandonment and dissatisfaction.
So we discussed above a few things to help us humans find information within our knowledge base but let us not forget that we also want that search engines will be able to find our knowledge base content and drive traffic to our website. That is why we should also make sure that our knowledge base is visible to search engines and built in a search engine friendly way.
Use of rich media
Comprehensive answers frequently need to cite references and include media such as images and videos. A short video might be the best way to show a person how to use a product. In a different case, an image could be sued to demonstrate something and a link is definitely the easiest way to direct your customers to a certain part of the website. The value of rich media within your knowledge base is great. Your answers should incorporate any needed media or links so the customer can easily understand what you are trying to show or say.
In some cases, the right answer should be in a form of a flow which is based on options your customer chooses and as result provides the next step answer. Don’t forget to learn how your knowledge base can support those, especially if you are a service provider or need to provide support for consumer electronics products for example.
Easy to manage and grow the KB
The bigger knowledge base gets the better customer service you should provide. The problem however, in most cases is building your knowledge base and being able to manage it once it gets really big. Be sure you are able to import your existing knowledge base and FAQ items. One of the main purposes of having self-service knowledge base is automating a portion of your customer service and reducing the support costs. So it defeats the purpose if managing and adding content to your knowledge base take a lot of time and resources.
Therefore, even though your knowledge base should be sophisticated, maintenance should be as simple as possible. To increase efficiency your system should be able to learn new questions and answers from your other customer service channels. Connect the knowledge base to your multi-channel ticketing software and customer service widgets to allow customers to ask and suggest new questions. Then, automatically add the question and the answer to the knowledge base once it was answered by a human so that from now on your knowledge base provides that answer automatically.
Include an easy-to-use dashboard with management options including the abilities to add, delete, approve, and edit knowledge-base content as well as segment and categorize as appropriate.
The importance of responsive customer service with an effective and efficient knowledge base is one of the major influencers on customer experience and has a great impact on purchasing decision as well. But without the proper implementation and capabilities, the benefits will be lost.