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The Advantages of a Knowledge Base for Your Business

 In an era of instant gratification, short attention spans, and widespread impatience, woe betide any business that leaves their customer frustrated when they need information. Indeed, some modern consumers are just as likely to take to social media to complain about your product as they are to wait for a response from a customer service or live chat rep.

So, how are businesses meant to respond to the problem of rising customer expectations? The best way is to listen to what customers want. 

A recent Q&A with Michael Rendelman, a senior specialist at Gartner’s Customer Service & Support division, suggests this might be a generational thing. Rendelman shared that 38% of Millennials or Gen Z consumers would give up on resolving an issue if there were no self-service option. 

However, as Rendleman highlights, the scariest part is what happens after. If they can’t find a self-service option, around half of Millennials and Gen Z consumers say they would not buy from the company and would say negative things about the product.

This data is disastrous for teams that ignore customer self-service software in favor of traditional channels. 

Thankfully, if you want to modernize your approach to customer success via self-service, tools like Usetiful can help you build a knowledge base portal. These centralized hubs provide instant access to the information that can resolve your user's problem, ensuring they get value from your product. 

So, let’s take a look at the broad range of advantages that a knowledge base can bring to your business.

Image by wayhomestudio on Freepik

How a knowledge base can improve your business

Still not convinced that you need a knowledge base? Let’s explore some of the most compelling reasons why they can make a big impact.

#1. Better customer support

The core promise of customer self-service software is that it augments your existing support and offers a channel that sections of your audience consider essential.

Here are a few key ways a knowledge base can boost your customer support.

  • Reduce costs: Providing live customer support is expensive. Cutting down the number of calls, emails, and support tickets you receive frees up your team to do more value-driven work.

  • 24-7 support: A well-organized and comprehensive knowledge base means that you can help customers around the clock and around the world. Users want their problems sorted when they arise, not when you are up for work.

  • Consistency: A knowledge base ensures the answers, tutorials, best practices, and other information you provide users is always consistent, well-researched, and on brand.

  • Quick problem resolution: If your user can solve their problems themselves, that means more time spent getting value from your product and less time being frustrated or spreading their discontent to friends or social media.

#2. Better onboarding

Good onboarding experiences help users get value from your product, which is crucial for retention and developing trust and loyalty. A knowledge base can form a central pillar of your user onboarding because it gives on-demand access to tutorials, FAQs, troubleshooting, guides, and any other content that you think will boost customer success and experience.

Now, of course, one point that we should note is that good onboarding experiences go beyond dumping a manual on your user's laps and telling them to figure out your product. That approach doesn’t chime with how modern users engage with applications. 

Instead, the best user experiences occur within the app, allowing your users to learn by doing. Short product tours or contextual help like tooltips provide support that keeps your user in their flow, but some problems require more comprehensive information. 

If your users run into a problem they need to solve, an in-app widget with a search function gives them a way to access the help they need quickly and accurately. Linking to a knowledge base article means they can quickly resolve their problem and get back to adopting your product.

#3. Employee onboarding

While we’ve generally been focused on knowledge bases for customer onboarding self-service, you can also use them as internal knowledge repositories that help onboard your employees. 

When you recruit new talent, there is a lot of information they need to absorb. However, when it comes to the tools in your software stack, you can add onboarding content and link that to company documents, best practices, troubleshooting guides, policies, and anything else your new hires need to know.

In a help center environment, these centralized information hubs can be a huge asset too. Some of your customers will still want help via chat or phone, and an internal knowledge base can help your customer support staff pull up the content they need to resolve customer problems.

#4. SEO

While it won’t replace an overall search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, Google and other search engines will index a public knowledge base and appear on the search engine results pages (SERPs).

When it comes to optimizing your knowledge base content for search, it’s important to follow Google’s helpful content guidelines. You can read them, or we can summarize them for you as written for humans, not search engines.

Don’t lose sight of what your knowledge base is here to do. Make your writing accessible, and don’t use unnecessary jargon. Most importantly, write in a way that makes scanning and location of essential information easy. 

Remember, if your users have run into a roadblock, they might be in a state of frustration. Don’t add the friction of a long, meandering essay or overly technical language on top. So, plan out your article and break it up with lots of headings, visuals, and step-by-step instructions.

#5. Knowledge preservation

Losing experienced staff is never good. They understand your business, your product, and your customers. Additionally, they have a lot of information gleaned from their years of service. A knowledge base is a way of getting all those crucial insights out of their heads and written down for the benefit of future employees.

Even if these more experienced leaders aren’t leaving, committing this information to a shared repository is a good way to improve company efficiency. When everyone gets around the table and shares their knowledge, these collaborations can lift everyone’s game.

#6. Competitive differentiation

There are three main ways that you can compete for customers: price, quality, or service. If you operate in a niche where many of your rivals offer a roughly similar product, and you can’t drop your prices, all that’s left for you to do is to compete on service.

A knowledge base demonstrates your commitment to helping users and achieving customer success. Offering multichannel customer support options means you can resolve issues in the way that your users want, leading to increased trust, loyalty, and, in the best case, user advocacy.

#7. Valuable feedback

A knowledge base portal that collects data and analytics can give you crucial insights into which areas or features of your product are causing your user’s frustration or issues. Collecting and analyzing this data can lead to adjustments within your product. 

For example, let’s say you have a knowledge base article about integrating your product with a popular CRM. If you notice that this article is being accessed frequently, it could be a sign that you need to make a quick product tour on the subject. This tour could be part of your onboarding checklist, linked to in-app search, or recommended to your user based on audience segmentation. 

Additionally, you can give this feedback to your product manager, and they can advocate for making this part of your product easier to use. 

Usetiful Knowledge Base: Your customer self-service solution

Usetiful is a feature-packed customer self-service software that helps with onboarding and retention. You can use it to create no-code product tours, tooltips, checklists, and banners. However, our tool also allows you to create visually appealing, branded knowledge bases.

There are two primary ways to implement your knowledge base with Usetiful. 

  1. Usetiful Assistant provides in-app support for your users. By installing our in-app widget, your users can get help where and when they need it, giving access to product tours, FAQs, tutorial videos, and knowledge base articles.

  2. The Usetiful Knowledge Base Portal creates an organized, customizable, and user-friendly help center with its own URL where your users can go when they need help.

The Usetiful Editor makes it easy to add and update knowledge base articles. What’s more, you can even segment your audience or even personalize content for particular users. All the articles are easy to organize and tag, and because users can search from within your app via the widget, you’ll reduce user queries and boost customer success in no time.

If you’re ready to give this new generation of users precisely what they want, try Usetiful for free today.

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