4 Write knowledge base articles
Why Do You Need a Customer Service Knowledge Base?
Speed and knowledge both play a crucial role when it comes to customersatisfaction.Your customers don’t just want fast and accurate information. They demand it.In our recent customer service benchmark report, we found that the averageresponse time is 12 hours and 10 minutes.And according to the Harvard Business Review: * 65% of customers want their problem resolved the first time * 62% of customers think that having knowledgeable employees is the third most important aspect needed for a company to provide good customer service. * 50% of consumers give a brand only one week to respond to a question before they stop doing business with them.And one of the best ways to deliver a timely and high quality service is touse a customer service knowledge base.Most customer service agents will have their own knowledge base in the form ofa Word document or notepad file. And while this save them writing eachresponse manually, the information might be inaccurate and outdated.By using a dedicated knowledge base, customer service teams can find accurateand up to date information to respond to customers quickly. And that, is thename of the game (as shown in the chart below):Many businesses are overwhelmed by the idea of creating a new knowledge baseand instead, choose to stick with their less efficient system. However, a goodcustomer service knowledge base not only improves customer relationships butwill also reduce the time new staff spends on training and help you cut downresponse times.
The Benefits of Using a Knowledge Base
Organizations that adopt a knowledge based approach to customer service canrealize benefits that include: * Improved efficiency: Enforcing a knowledge base program with easy to use processes drives employee behavior to support and use the knowledge base database. * Improved content quality and consistency: Focusing on improving the knowledge base quality will improve the content quality and information across multiple service channels. * Increased customer trust and loyalty Providing consistent information across all channels builds trust from customers in the brand and company, which ultimately improves customer loyalty. * Reduced resources and costs: A knowledge base can help customers resolve issues using self-service methods, which leads to reduced call and email volume.When combined, these operational improvements can have a positive effect -making it possible for organizations to optimize the customer experience.
The Framework for Creating an Effective Knowledge Base Article
When creating a new knowledge base entry, customer service agents should firstsearch the knowledge base to see if an article with a similar topic currentlyexists. If no article is found, then a new article should be created.If a similar article does exist, then the existing one should be updated bythe customer service agent along with a note that includes why the article hasbeen updated, and when.
3. Integrate your knowledge base with the website
As your knowledge base evolves and grows, you will find that much of thecontent can be placed on the website in order to allow customers to find theanswers to their questions themselves.You can either upload the content manually or, if the knowledge base tool canintegrate automatically, you can have a living, breathing customer servicecontent bank that answers the majority of customer service questions allwithout having to respond to common questions.A study by Pew Research Center, 59% of online adults use search engines tofind information on the web during a typical work day, so not only will thiscut down on your customer support queries, but this kind of content is greatfor generating new website traffic.
2. Map out your knowledge base structure
The most optimal knowledge base structure is category-section-article withcategory being the most general level and article – the most detailed. It isuniversal and can fit the requirements of any business.NotionWhile we recommend that you stick to the category-section-article structure,it is totally up to you to organize content within each of these structurallevels. There is, however, one rule that fits all – think like your customer.Step into your customer’s shoes and try to imagine how they would want yourhelp center to be organized.The choice is yours, the main thing is to make the structure intuitive andclear for the user. When they first navigate to your knowledge base site, theyshould see immediately what they need to click next to get an answer to theirquestion.Start with defining the categories and sections. Set up the categories thatwill be the top level units of your knowledge base and represent the logicalsubdivision of the entire content. Categories should lead the user to thecontent they are searching for and clearly indicate what’s inside. Forexample, you can have such categories as “Getting started”, “My account”,“Troubleshooting”.Once you are done with the categories, add sections. Sections group yourknowledge base content into logical chunks within a category. For example,under the “Getting started” category, your user will expect such sections as“Pricing plans” or “Install the app”.With your sections in place, you can start filling your knowledge base withactual content in the form of articles.NOTE!To make it even more skimmable, your knowledge base must have a searchfeature. Depending on the complexity of your knowledge base, you can choosedifferent search functions: * Full-text search allowing to search for strings * Autosuggestion completing the search strings as you type * Advanced search where you can select the category or section to search in, define your search string as a complete word only, search by date or relevance
4. Write knowledge base articles
Ideally, an article should represent a single use case explaining how toachieve a particular goal. If you are working on the “Getting started”category and the “Install the app” section, you might consider adding sucharticles as “Install on Windows”, “Install on Mac”, etc.Make your content as complete and explicit as possible. A good practice is toadd screenshots or videos when explaining a sequence of actions required toachieve the user’s goal. Developer content might require code samples. Mostediting tools allow adding various types of content, from multimedia to codesamples.It’s also useful to highlight particularly important parts of your text aswarnings or special info boxes. By doing so, you take all the guesswork outand stress what really matters.If you use HelpCrunch for building your knowledge base, writing an article isas easy as it could possibly get. It has a WYSIWYG editor where you just typeand format your text as you want it to appear, insert images and videos andimmediately see the result.You can keep your new articles as drafts for the time being. It would makemore sense to upload and configure at least a dozen of them before going live.But more on that later as we have more work to do here.
9. Integrate it into your customer support processes
If you integrate the knowledge base with the help desk software (and sometools, like HelpCrunch, include both and allow setting up integrations betweenthe knowledge base and the customer support environment, you might notice somereduction in support tickets.The reason is quite simple – when the customer turns to support but manages toresolve their issue on their own, they no longer need to create a ticket.An optimal practice is to provide links to your knowledge base right from theSupport or Contact Us page. This way, you are giving your customer the optionto search the KB before contacting the support.If you implemented live chat as one of the channels, it is even a better ideato integrate it with your knowledge base, too. This way, the customer openinga new chat will be offered a choice of articles related to their inquiry.Again, such an integration will reduce the number of support tickets and,consequently, the load on your service agents. Moreover, since customers dotend to prefer self-service over contacting a person, the level ofsatisfaction may also increase.
10. Track and optimize article performance with reports
If you want to know how well your knowledge base is doing (and you do want toknow that, don’t you?), include the reporting feature. It will show whicharticles received positive customer ratings and which – negative, how manytimes the articles were viewed, whether they helped to resolve customerrequests, etc.Of course, for the reports to work, make sure you add the review or feedbackfeature to your KB for the customers to be able to rate the article and statewhether it helped them or not. This data is then processed and returned in areport.Atlassian, the famous producer of such project management tools as Jira andConfluence, has this build-in feedback forms in each article. If some articleisn’t really helpful, people can write it out in detail:Use the reporting feature of your knowledge base software to the maximum.Invest some time in analysing the reports for each article and on theperformance of your knowledge base in general. From the reports, you can getmultiple insights: * The articles that got the most positive reactions * The articles that got the most negative reactions * The queries that customers typed in to search for information in the knowledge base, and didn’t find any relevant articles * The keywords that led to your KB content through search on the global search enginesDepending on the knowledge base software you are using and the features itoffers, you can also track lots of other metrics – how many times an articlewas shared, how many times it was commented by users, which articles were themost/least popular over a certain period of time.You may want to back up your knowledge base from time to time or regularly toprevent loss of data. It’s also highly recommended that you back-up or usedata recovery software for your knowledge base before upgrading to a differentversion, or you just may lose your data in case something goes wrong.However, the main thing is not only to gather the metrics but to use theirresults to improve and optimize the knowledge base performance. Here’s whatyou can do to make your KB more effective: * Revise the articles that received too many negative ratings * Add new articles based on the keywords your customers use * Remove or rewrite articles that are hardly ever viewed * Adjust the SEO settings for better indexing
12. Promote your knowledge base content
It’s time to make your knowledge base available to your customers and promoteits use. There is more than one way to do it: * If you have a practice of issuing release notes for your product, mention the knowledge base there, too. * Post a banner on your website containing the link to the knowledge base * If relevant, include the links to the knowledge base in your product * If you have implemented integration between your knowledge base and the help desk tool or live chat, start showing links to the knowledge base in the chat or support tickets.Use all possible ways to promote your knowledge base. The more activelycustomers use it, the more effective your customer self-service will be.
1. Customer satisfaction rate
Goal: depends on the industry and customer service channels * for live chat — no less than 90% * for email — 61%It’s true that making a client happy and satisfied is kind of everyone’s job.But it’s your customer service department that deals with customers on a dailybasis. Gauging its performance directly depends on tracking customersatisfaction KPI.There’s no better way to measure satisfaction than directly asking peoplewhether they liked their experience with your business/team / live chatoperator. The first rule of the customer satisfaction club is to never annoypeople with long and extensive customer satisfaction surveys. No one has gottime for them.If you want to know how people feel about your customer service, just add asimple question at the end of a chat conversation and 2-3 answer options tochoose from. This will give you all the insight you need.For instance, you can turn on the ‘chat rating’ option in HelpCrunch. Thisway, every chat conversation will end with a simple survey. For customers, ittakes just one click to choose one of the three options — poor, average, orgreat. Customer satisfaction will be measured from 0 to 100% based on theserates, and you will get a full overview of customer perception and client’sthoughts about your service.If you need more data, you can always use some other proven customersatisfaction metrics: * Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a customer loyalty and satisfaction measurement taken from asking customers how likely they are to recommend your product or service to others on a scale of 0-10. * Customer Effort Score (CES) is a single-item metric that measures how much effort a customer has to exert to get an issue resolved, a request fulfilled, a product purchased/returned, or a question answered.Customer satisfaction is a fundamental customer service KPI that helps youtest the waters and see how people feel about your business in general, notjust its customer service.However, it’s important to remember that the support team is not solelyresponsible for this metric. If your developers don’t react to reported bugsquickly enough or your marketing campaigns are way too aggressive andannoying, this will quickly show in your satisfaction reports.So, if you see that the numbers are lower than you’d expect, it’s a clear cueto analyze the situation right away. Who rated their customer serviceexperience as ‘poor’? Did they leave any feedback? What caused such a negativereaction? Is it time to talk to the dev team?
7. Number of knowledge base articles
Goal: 2-3 articles per month from one personMore than 80% of customers use the company’s FAQs and self-service portals,which makes it the most popular customer service channel. Creating a knowledgebase and updating it with fresh articles, information, and screenshots shouldalso be a part of the support team’s routine.The goal is to answer as many questions as possible before people even ask.There are always lots of ideas to write about. Use common questions from yoursupport experience, track niche communities and Quora, and don’t forget aboutyour gut’s feelings.HelpCrunch also provides the ‘failed searches’ report, where you can instantlysee the searches people did in your knowledge base but found nothing. This wayyou’ll always have fresh ideas for new articles.Don’t push it for the sake of it, though. If you feel like you’ve coveredevery topic users are interested in, there’s no point in writing redundantstuff. But it’ll probably take you a while to get there.Maintaining a knowledge base and keeping it fresh is a common-sense KPI forcustomer service representatives. Not only does it save a lot of time, but italso makes them more trained to answer all kinds of tricky questions.
Customer service performance review
Follow every step from the customer service checklist and implement thesecustomer service KPIs to cover all the bases. Maybe your team is great atanswering questions but can’t collect enough reviews. Maybe you have a strongteam of operators who can sell, but they’re not great at making existingcustomers satisfied.Take support representatives’ skills into account and make performance reviewsa big part of your strategy. Reward the people who are great at what they’redoing. Train those who can do better. And sign up for HelpCrunch to automatemost of the processes and deliver top-notch customer support.Post Views: 23,026