Give your customers the ability to answer frequently asked questions, access how-to videos, or download forms, while at the same time increasing your business efficiency and decreasing employee costs. How? Easy, use knowledge base software. A well-designed knowledge base management system can act as a self-serve information resource for both customers and employees.
What is a knowledge base system?
Basically, a knowledge base management system is a place for storing information that can be organized, searched, shared, and used for multiple purposes.
For example, let's say your new online business is inundated with customer queries and support requests. In addition, your support teams often need to scramble to find the most up-to-date information and resources to solve the customer's problem.
Using knowledge base software, you can build an effective online resource allowing customers to access the information they need whenever they need it, therefore reducing the number of support calls. A constantly updated system would also allow all employees instant access to the same knowledge, eliminating the frustration of searching multiple places for information that may or may not be current.
How can knowledge base software decrease costs?
Allowing the customer 24/7 access to information and instructional videos is less costly for your business than finding, training, and paying employees to staff the phones 24 hours a day. It can also help reduce the learning curve for new employees by storing the information they need in a searchable database.
Add instructional videos and both the customer and new employee can quickly learn the benefits of your product or service, how to assemble a product, ways to return merchandise, or what other products or services might complement the selected item. This reduces employee time answering queries and reduces training costs as customer service representatives can educate themselves on a number of procedures.
What information should a knowledge base system contain?
A knowledge base system should contain as much relevant information as possible to be useful for the people accessing the system. Remember, the knowledge base system is intended to act as a resource for the reader, so defining who the reader might be is crucial. The language you use and the information you provide may differ depending on whether you are addressing a customer or a sales representative.
Consider organizing the information into different levels of complexity for certain topics. For example, your customers will likely be interested in the "how to" of a topic, while a support technician will also need to know the "why." Business or technology jargon may be appropriate for a technical representative, but not for the layman trying to find the answer to a basic question.
Don't forget to ask for feedback!
A knowledge base system can allow customers to rate your knowledge articles and leave comments. This means that the business can stay on top of what information consumers need. Encouraging feedback also makes the customer feel vested in your business, an important way to promote loyalty and increase customer satisfaction.
Just keep two things in mind when designing your knowledge base system: know your reader and make every key word searchable. Customers that can find answers to their questions quickly are going to be left with a favorable impression of your business. And that translates to an increase in customer loyalty and retention.
David Miller is an educational researcher who has vast experience in the field of teaching, Online testing and training. He is associated with prestigious universities and many leading educational research organizations. He’s also an ed-tech veteran, currently pursuing research in new Knowledge base software, and is a contributing author with ProProfs.