What is a knowledge base software?

Let’s say you are an online retailer selling sportswear on your website. You probably get a lot of queries from customers - questions regarding size issues, what materials the clothes are made of, shipping costs, and so on. Instead of answering the same questions again and again, you can compile answers for these frequently asked questions by publishing a knowledge base or creating a self-service portal.

A knowledge base software helps you document tutorials, DIY guides, and answers to frequently asked questions in one place. 

According to research conducted by Satista, 88% of customers expect companies to offer an online self-service portal. A knowledge base software can help businesses meet this customer expectation and create an excellent self-service experience.

How can a knowledge base help my business?

A knowledge base software can help small and large businesses alike. Startups and small businesses can focus on developing their product, services and customer experience  by publishing a well-stocked knowledge base that customers can use to find answers whenever they run into issues. On the other hand, having an extensive self-service portal can help enterprises cater to customers across countries and languages without hiring more agents. Here’s a detailed look at the benefits of using a knowledge base software:

Deflect repetitive questions

A good knowledge base management software will stop you from answering the same questions again and again and just direct the customers automatically to the right tutorial or guide.

Reduce average resolution times

With support tickets being instantly deflected to the right answers in your knowledge base, agents will have more time to answer a fewer number of requests, thus bringing down resolution times.

Deliver 24/7 customer support

A knowledge base helps customers find instant resolutions regardless of the time or day, and is the best investment you can make to deliver around-the-clock support if your team operates within fixed business hours.

Increase customer happiness

With wait times vastly reduced thanks to a comprehensive knowledge base, your customers will be happier that they get answers so quickly.

Improve your search engine discoverability

A good knowledge base software will have extensive search engine optimization capabilities, so people googling questions related to your field will automatically discover you.

Internal knowledge base: The best way to enable agent self-help

In addition to deflecting customer questions, a comprehensive knowledge management system can also be used to offer assistance to your customer support team. 

An internal wiki or private knowledge base can come in handy when agents need to check product information, policies or troubleshooting workflows. It is also an excellent resource for training and onboarding new support agents who join your support team.

Pro tip: You can create an internal knowledge base on Freshdesk by setting the visibility of solution article folders to agents alone.

How do you choose the right knowledge base software?

While choosing a knowledge base software, there are three key aspects you need to assess before evaluating at a feature or functionality level.

Style of Support

How do customers try to reach you? Do they prefer email and support portal or social media? Do you want a minimal self-service portal that hosts only answers to your frequently asked questions or do you want a fully customizable solution capable of hosting videos and other guides? Choose the style of self-service you want to provide to your customers.

Usability

User experience is an important aspect of a good cloud-powered knowledge base software. For instance, Freshdesk’s knowledge base has a user-friendly interface that helps agents publish tutorials and articles with little to no effort. Alternatively, you can use an on-premise or an open source knowledge base software, but that means you will also be responsible for maintenance, site performance, uptimes, and so on. Check what you need and choose the right knowledge base system accordingly.

Price

See what others in your field are using, compare features and then decide which knowledge base software will help you deliver a good self-service experience. As with most other software, higher prices do not automatically mean a better knowledge base and a complicated UI does not necessarily imply feature-rich.

Your ideal helpdesk Venn

Now, let’s take a look at the essential features you need to for effective knowledge base management: 

Why Freshdesk is the best knowledge base tool

Freshdesk combines the functionalities of a ticketing system, a knowledge management solution, and more, to boost agent productivity and improve customer experience.

Rich text editors

As basic as this feature might seem, Freshdesk is one of the few knowledge base software providers which gives a rich text editor for free. But it is an absolute must-have if you want to make your support life easier. Rich text editors will have wider variety of formatting options allowing you to structure your content and answers better, better support for embedding images to show rather than tell, and will be easier to create and use than a software with just plain text editor.

rich text editor

Seamless article creation process

Freshdesk streamlines the process of creating a knowledge base solution article by enabling technical writers and agents to: 

  • Create help documents in the form of articles, videos, images, or attached files right from a single panel.
  • Save time by creating templates for different types of solution articles such as how-to's, user guide, and FAQs with pre-filled or formatted content.
  • Collaborate with team members for article reviews and feedback.
  • Convert ticket responses into solution articles in only a few clicks.
Effortless solution article creation process

Versions and translations

Not all customers will use the same version of your product. And some customers might prefer accessing your information in a different language. Good knowledge base software, such as the one in Freshdesk, allow you to maintain different versions of a solution article and host the same article in multiple languages so customers can access the one they want.

knowledge base versions and translations

Efficient content management

With Freshdesk, you can effortlessly update knowledge base articles across multiple products and languages. You can save time by making changes to multiple categories, folders, or articles at one go using automations instead of repeating the same processes over and over again. Freshdesk also enables you to monitor your overall knowledge base performance, drill down on each article, improve the content based on customer feedback, and gauge each writer's performance.

Knowledge base software analytics and reporting

SEO capabilities

Make sure the knowledge base software you use is optimized for SEO. The knowledge base software you use should have the capability to embed meta tags and titles that improve search engine discoverability. This will help you rank better when people search for answers and drive traffic to your knowledge base.

SEO Capabilities in Freshdesk's knowledge base software

Branding and customization

Freshdesk enables you to personalize your knowledge base portal to match your branding by adding your logo, favicon, and brand colors. Freshdesk also offers free themes that you can use to design your customer portal. You can even design your support portal with Liquid, Javascript and complete CSS customizations.

Knowledge base portal branding and customization

Storage space

Some knowledge base software providers, like Freshdesk, give you virtually unlimited space to host your tutorials in, charging you for the number of users and portals you have. Others charge you based on the amount of space you use as well. If you plan on having lots of video tutorials or image-heavy guides, make sure you have adequate storage space to host it all.

storage space in knowledge base software

Deploy a range of self-service options with Freshdesk

Proactive help widget

Offer immediate help when customers are showing visible signs of frustration by displaying FAQs or a contact form.

Community forum

Enable customers to help one another by fostering an active community using user forums or discussion boards.

AI-enabled chatbot

Launch AI-enabled bots that can engage in real-time conversations, recommend the best articles, and offer automated resolutions.