A beginner’s guide to Knowledge Base

Are you tired of typing out the same answers again and again to customer questions? Have you just been copy-pasting some answers to repetitive questions on emails? Do you want an easy way to share tutorials with customers so they can fix problems themselves? If you’ve been searching for a solution for these problems, you’re sure to have come across the term “Knowledge Base” or “Knowledge Management System” and are probably wondering what it means.

If you want to know how a “Knowledge Base Software” can help you communicate better and improve your relationships with your customers, you are in the right place. This page is going to answer the following questions:

What is a customer support software?

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 using a Knowledge Base software, and host them in your support portal so customers can get the answers they need without having to talk to your agents.

Over 53% of respondents in a Forrester survey said they are likely to abandon their purchase if they can’t find an answer to their question quickly. A comprehensive Knowledge Base can ensure that you don’t lose that 53% of customers at all.

So, what does a knowledge base software do?

A knowledge base software helps you document tutorials, DIY guides, and answers to frequently asked questions in one place. A well indexed Knowledge Base empowers customers to discover answers and fix easy problems by themselves allowing your business to focus on the tough problems.

So if you are a online retailer, let’s say selling sportswear, a help desk software will help you store all the queries coming in from multiple places. You can automatically categorize and prioritize them and respond as necessary.

Let’s say a customer emails you to ask when a particular brand of sneakers will be available. You say it will be available again only during the fall season, which is three months away. If the customer contacts you again on twitter in three months, your helpdesk software will provide you the context of the previous conversation so you know in advance what the customer is going to ask. You can use this knowledge to respond to queries accordingly or even be proactive with your answers. Your help desk software can also seamlessly merge these two conversation threads across Email and Twitter so it is easier for you to manage without having to switch between tools. But the customer will still get the response on the channel they want - which is Twitter in this case.

How can a Knowledge Base help my business?

Support more easily

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 tickets being deflected to the right answers in your Knowledge Base, more tickets will be resolved without an agent having to answer, reducing resolution times.

Improve customer happiness

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

Train new agents

A comprehensive Knowledge Management System can be used not just to answer customer questions but also to train any new agents who join your support team

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.

Who can use a knowledge base software?

Knowledge Base for small business

Small and growing businesses should typically focus on developing their product, services and customer experience better. Without adequate agents, a small sized business might become overwhelmed with too many tickets quickly. However, hiring too many agents early on can also be a huge drain on the finances. The best way to tackle both problems is to create and maintain a comprehensive Knowledge Base. With a well-stocked knowledge base, your customers can go find answers themselves, removing the need for extra agents to interact with them. With a well-structured Knowledge Base, you can still have a small, nimble support team to tackle tough issues while ensuring your customers still have a good experience and get the answers they need quickly.

Knowledge Base for enterprises

Enterprises typically cater to customers across countries, and languages. They need to have answers prepared for a wider variety of questions across a larger base of products. Agents may be hired rapidly to scale as per business requirements but will still need to be trained for day-to-day operations. Having an extensive independent Knowledge Base portal, structured to contain answers segregated by products across topics, with an FAQ section for quick reference will help enterprise businesses to easily deflect any routine incoming queries to their knowledge base so customers can fix problems themselves while still having agents on hand to deal with any problems that the knowledge base cannot handle. With a good knowledge base software, Enterprises can also customize the portal entirely to reflect their brand so the customer experience is never broken through the entire support cycle.

How do you choose the right knowledge base software?

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

A good cloud-powered knowledge base software, like the one you can get from Freshdesk for free, should have an intuitive UI so your agents can start publishing tutorials and articles immediately. Alternatively, you can use an on-premise knowledge base software, but that means you will also be responsible for maintenance, site performance and uptimes and so on. Check what you need and choose the right knowledge base software 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 mean feature-rich.

Choosing the right customer support software for your business

What are the essential features of a Knowledge Base?

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 Editors

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.

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

SEO Capabilities

Make sure the knowledge base software you use is optimised 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

Want to try a free knowledge base software?

Freshdesk is a cloud-based knowledge base helpdesk software which helps small sized businesses build relationships with their customers easily. Freshdesk also helps enterprise businesses to collaborate better across the globe, and enables more efficient businesses processes for better customer experiences. If you are looking for an intuitive, easy-to-use knowledge base software, we’re here.