How a Knowledge Base Can Improve Your Help Desk Processes
A Knowledge Base is a powerful tool, it provides end-users with valuable assistance and your support agents with streamlined information regarding your products or services.
In this article, you’ll learn about the benefits a Knowledge Base can offer you and your team as well as five specific ways it can help improve your overall help desk processes. Here’s what we’ll cover:
What is a Self-Service Knowledge Base?
A self-service Knowledge Base is a centralised repository that contains useful and explanatory content regarding your products or services.
It organises information in a way that’s browseable and searchable, allowing end-users to find the information they need without having to contact your support team.
When it comes to gaining knowledge about a product or service, most customers prefer a self-service approach as opposed to going back-and-forth with a support agent on the phone. In fact, 91% of customers say they would prefer to use a knowledge base, providing that it met their needs.
This is why many businesses today are putting a focus on improving their self-service with additions such as a Knowledge Base.
Typical Content Found in a Knowledge Base
Identifying how end-users and support teams are going to benefit from the use of a Knowledge Base is the easy part. Building it and determining its contents is where it gets tricky.
As well as aiming to support your customer’s needs, a Knowledge Base also needs to be an essential resource for support agents and internal employees. This requires a lot of time and research to understand what information is needed in order to benefit all end-users.
The content found in most self-service tools can vary depending on the product or service that is being offered, which is one factor that you and your team should take into account when starting to build a Knowledge Base. For example, if you’re receiving the same enquiry from multiple end-users, then a fix for this problem should feature prominently.
You then need to decide the best way that you can display the answer. This content can come in many different forms, such as:
- Long-form text articles
- Product documentation
- End-user forums
5 Ways a Knowledge Base Improves Your Help Desk Processes
1. Reduces the influx of support tickets
By building a centralised Knowledge Base, you’re enabling end-users to independently find a solution to their problem. This means customers are able to resolve their issues through one of your long-form text articles or FAQ sheets, avoiding the need to create a support ticket.
By not having to contact a support agent, your ticket deflection rate increases. A reduced ticket inflow also means that your support agents can focus their time on more complex enquiries and give personal attention to your most valued customers.
This personalisation from your support agents is essential to be being able to offer outstanding customer service. Only 36% of consumers feel like individuals when they contact customer service, with 64% saying they feel like a ticket number.
2. Provides valuable information to customers on-demand
A Knowledge Base allows your end-users to access the information they need immediately on their own terms. This means they’re not waiting for the ‘next available representative’ to assist them, which can be a huge time saver.
As well as that, end-users – ideally your customers – will benefit from access to a whole library of in-depth information. This applied not only to the topic they immediately need assistance with but also through related articles and tutorials that can provide increased value. This detailed information helps them to have a better overall experience of your product or service.
An example of a well flourished and functioning knowledge base that focuses on the importance of self-service is Hootsuite. The social media scheduling platform has made a wealth of information available not just to its paying clients, but to prospective clients too.
As you can see, at the top of the knowledge base is a status report so clients can see if Hootsuite’s dashboard is functional. Their help articles are browseable, as well as searchable, and you can easily reach other resources from the such as Hootsuite Academy (free online training) and various webinars.
3. Helps your team to predict future support content
Many help desk software solutions allow you categorise support tickets and articles through the use of tags or keywords. These are useful for understanding the type of content your customers are reading. With this, you’re able to identify any future support topics as well as analysing the performance of existing content.
For example, support agents can identify the articles that are being read the most through the number of views. If certain tags are appearing regularly in ticket requests, this can indicate that your knowledge base articles aren’t providing the right fix. You can then ensure they’re updated, added to, and made more prominent so that they’re easier to find.
A simple feature that helps you to measure the success of your Knowledge Base is the ability for customers to provide feedback. For example, a paragraph at the bottom of a help article followed by a happy, sad and indifferent emoticon; ‘Did you get the information you needed today?’. Direct feedback like this can help you evaluate the success of your knowledge base in the future.
4. Aids the productivity and efficiency of your support agents
A good knowledge base is worth its weight in gold to not only your customers and internal employees but to your support agents, too.
Once familiar with the content, your agents can copy and paste relevant answers while manning various multi-channel support lines such as a live chat function. Or, they can simply include a link to the right article in the knowledge base for customers to read.
Being able to offer this type of instant support is beneficial in a number of ways, such as avoiding repetition. This means your agents won’t have to painstakingly type out the same answers to the same questions time and time again.
Customers are also more likely to receive a faster response time to their enquiry. In fact, 88% of customers expect a response to their initial enquiry from a business within 60 minutes. While 30% expect a reply within 15 minutes or less.
5. Creates a valuable company-wide resource
Customers aren’t the only users to benefit from the introduction of a knowledge base; all internal employees will find it useful, too – even if they don’t directly work within the support team.
Take your sales and marketing team, for example. By having fingertip access to centralised information about the latest product launches or upgrades, such as prices and features, they’re also able to reap the rewards of valuable content.
An important role that a company-wide Knowledge Base will play is to ensure all of your employees are on the same page and that there are no mixed messages – especially when interacting with customers.
Bonus: Improve your digital presence
A Knowledge Base that forms part of your website can also be found by search engines. This is possible through the use of long-form articles that have been optimised with relevant keywords.
Not only can this can improve your search engine rankings and pull more traffic/users to your website, but it will also increase online engagement with your business.
Summary: Improve Your Support Processes with a Help Desk Knowledge Base
A Knowledge Base reduces ticket inflow by allowing customers to access self-service. It helps you to understand the areas where additional support is needed and enables your agents to become more productive and efficient. It also acts as a valuable content resource that will engage and educate prospective and existing customers, as well as internal employees.
Ideally, your help desk system should integrate with your knowledge base to ensure seamless service and keep conversations and customer history organised. Integration is a powerful feature and means you can get even better insights regarding support requests. While also making use of AI and automation, like being able to link relevant articles into chatbot responses.
To learn more about the features and benefits of help desk software, read our Help Desk Buyer’s Guide.