Knowledge bases can significantly reduce your customer support costs … and luckily it’s easier than you think to build one.
You know knowledge bases. You want customer service, maybe from a big megabrand like Google or Apple. You click on “Support,” hoping to find a phone number or chat support. But first, you’re asked to type your question into a search bar. Maybe the answer to your question is filed away, in a helpful digital encyclopedia called a “knowledge base!”
Personally, I find knowledge bases annoying. When I type a question into one, the results that come back often have nothing to do with my question. Maybe I just ask difficult questions.
But the numbers don’t lie. Some studies show that knowledge bases reduce the volume of human customer support by 30%. Some studies call it closer to 60%. That must have been a good knowledge base.
That reduced customer service volume means one thing — money. Lower expenditures on customer service personnel. Less of the CEO’s own valuable time answering customer emails — time the CEO could be using to grow the business.
So what do you need to do now — anticipate every question your customer might have, every glitch your digital experience might suffer, and write an essay about it for the knowledge base? Then add all those pages manually to the website?
Breathe easy. It’s simpler than you think. Specialized software solutions exist to help you put together a knowledge base quickly. Dedicated knowledge-base creation software solutions include:
Other customer-service software suites include knowledge-base builders. This would be more recommended. You may already have the functionality and never knew it. Examples include:
- Help Scout
The cost of these software solutions vary, but compare that to the cost savings of chopping 30-60% off your customer service bill.
When considering a knowledge-base builder, keep in mind the seven essential ingredients of a great knowledge base:
1. Search Function
That search bar is the hub of your knowledge base. Don’t neglect the importance of search — Google is constantly updating its own search algorithm to serve its users better with relevant responses to search queries. The more you can follow their lead in your knowledge base, the more your customer service costs will drop.
A user-friendly dashboard should enable you to add and edit content for your knowledge base without the help of a professional web developer or coder.
Categorizing entries makes your knowledge base easier for both your customers to navigate, and for you to manage it.
4. Mobile Optimization
More than half of all web traffic happens on mobile browsers, so your knowledge base can’t just look good on the desktop. It has to look good on a phone screen or tablet too.
5. Web Widget
A popup web widget enables customers to search the knowledge base without ever leaving the home page or services pages, drastically increasing its effectiveness.
6. Contact Information
You can’t keep customers away forever — at least, not if you want them to keep buying from you. Have pity on them. If a little time in your knowledge base doesn’t answer their question, give them a contact form, phone number, or direct chat window.
Anything you can track, you can improve. Back-end analytics and reporting will help you identify the best-performing pages in the knowledge base, as well as helping you identify areas for improvement.
When it comes to reducing costs AND helping customers help themselves, a knowledge base is an easy win/win.