Some experts might say this is a ‘knowledge economy’ that we’re living in. Having a collection of well-organized and well-written information is bound to give you a competitive edge over others in the market.
However, creating a Knowledge Base can often be problematic, considering inter-departmental silos often hinder collaboration. In fact, the Fortune 500 companies have suffered a lot of $31.5 billion due to sub-par knowledge-sharing practices.
The loss is due to duplicating work, a loss in productivity, and an alarming number of employees leaving their companies.
Meanwhile, a knowledge base is also helpful in dealing with customers, considering 6 out of 10 consumers prefer to use a self-service tool for straightforward concerns.
Thus, the importance of a knowledge base is pretty evident. In this article, we explore this imperativeness in detail and share our tips on creating an effective knowledge base to hone your customer experience and boost employee productivity.
What is a Knowledge Base?
To put it simply, a knowledge base is a collection of documents that contains sufficient information for people to find the solutions themselves rather than asking someone for help.
In most cases, knowledge base refers to the data or information. But in some instances, it may also refer to the software used to store and publish this information.
A knowledge base contains the following types of content:
Product or service introductory articles
Frequently asked questions
Some knowledge bases are created to teach machines, while others are made for people to learn from. A knowledge base may serve an external or internal audience, depending on its purpose.
For instance, a company making laptops may have an external knowledge base containing usage instructions and specifications for customers.
On the other hand, they’ll also have an internal knowledge base for their employees, containing work-related information and organizational policies. In such cases, these knowledge bases do not only serve as a guide for the company but also for everyone else in the same field.
What Makes a Knowledge Base Important?
Did you know 40% of the customers want to get help online in less than five minutes while 31% want it instantly? Irrespective of how huge your customer support team is, doing this for every customer can be virtually impossible.
Instead, a knowledge base can help take off some of the burdens from your customer support staff while satisfying the customers at the same time.
Since, according to Econsultancy, 51% of the customers want technical support from a knowledge base, you’ll at least surely keep half of your customership happy. Here are some benefits of having a knowledge base:
A knowledge base allows you to create documents to share information with your employees or customers. For instance, HelpSpace has Docs features that lets you create everything from blog posts or instructional articles for customers.
Documents also help fill the gaps in your customer service. Instead of your customer support team having to type similar replies countless times, they can simply direct the customers to the documents.
For example, if a customer wants to know how they can change their password on your website or what your special pricing plans look like, they can read a document to find all this information.
Along with saving your customer support team a lot of time, this will also satisfy the customers since they don’t have to wait for hours to get a response.
Allow Different Learning Styles
Not everyone is a fan of reading long paragraphs your customer support team sends them. Fortunately, a knowledge base lets you offer multiple learning styles to your employees and customers.
For instance, along with text, you can also add audio clips, videos, or other media formats to make the learning process a breeze.
24/7 Customer Support
As a small or new business, you might not have the resources required to offer 24/7 support. So, do you leave your customers with no help? No.
Instead, a knowledge base can provide your customers self-service facility, letting them resolve their queries regardless of the timezone they are in.
Share Knowledge with Team
A McKinsey report showed that employees spend around 9.3 hours a week or 1.8 hours a day looking for information. If you stretch this duration across the year, it will come up to a lot of days in wasted time.
On the other hand, having a knowledge base allows your employees to find information quickly. HelpSpace also has a quick search function that lets your team search for certain topics using keywords.
Plus, employees do not even have to leave the chatbox to look for information since the search function is built-in.
Did you know knowledge workers spend 90% of their time repurposing existing content and only 10% of it in creating new information? Owing to this, productivity and performance in a workplace are significantly affected.
However, a knowledge base can eradicate this problem by allowing employees to reproduce documents and processes.
Speed Up Support
According to Arise, 37% of the customers expect to get a response in an hour, while 16% of them want it instantly. If you fail to deliver, you’re likely to lose customers since 58% of the US consumers are likely to switch companies if they get poor customer service.
And if you think you get the customer back with a one-time good service, you’re mistaken. On average, you need to offer 12 positive customer experiences to compensate for one bad one.
Judging from this, it’s easy to see why you need to speed up your support provision. A knowledge base can help you in this regard, too, since it will allow your customers to benefit from self-service.
Plus, instead of taking an hour to search for information, your support team will be able to locate the relevant document immediately and send it to the customer.
At the beginning of this article, we discuss how this current time is a knowledge economy. If you want to be successful in this era, it’s important to organize and manage your knowledge properly.
Having said that, nothing works as efficiently as a knowledge base to curate and gather information for your employees and customers.
Photo by Gabriel Sollmann on Unsplash