Why a Knowledge Base Is the Ultimate Self-Service Resource for Customer Support

Help Desk Software / October 2021

A knowledge base is a digital library containing product, service, and topical information. It is the ultimate self-service resource used by customers, employees, and support teams. Enabling them to quickly and easily find solutions to common issues. A knowledge base is a powerful feature found in Help Desk Software. It consists of FAQs, manuals, how-to guides, and troubleshooting information. With each resource providing a solution to a commonly asked question.

Why a Knowledge Base Is Important

A knowledge base is compiled with readily available information for customers and employees. It is a self-service resource that can be consistently updated to provide the right support. It typically consists of:

  • FAQs
  • Product and service manuals
  • Troubleshooting guides
  • Company policies
  • How-to videos and guides

In today’s on-demand lifestyle, 90% of customers expect an immediate response to their requests. This is why a knowledge base is essential for modern-day businesses. It provides customers, internal and external, with instant answers to questions. Helping to deliver a good customer experience and improve customer satisfaction. Deploying self-service resources can have several benefits, including:

Helping Customers Solve Issues

One reason for deploying a knowledge base is allowing customers to solve issues on their own. Not only does this ease the workload for support staff, but customers prefer it. 70% of customers would rather independently resolve their requests. Instead of contacting a business’s support team by channels such as phone and email. Giving customers what they want goes a long way to improving CSAT scores.

Customers prefer self-service help from a knowledge base
Source: Groovehq

Providing 24/7 Knowledge Base

A knowledge base is a self-service resource that is on-hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whereas support agents manning live chat or emails will not always be available. Having round-the-clock access to FAQs and manuals dramatically improves your support. It means customers don’t have to wait until a support agent is online. Instead, they can solve the issue themselves no matter what time in the day.

Improving Ticket Success Rate

With good resources, customers can find the answer they need straight away. As opposed to being put on hold or switched between support agents. This eliminates the need for a point of contact with support staff. Whilst increasing the chances of a first-time fix rate, which is key for customer retention.

Reducing Agent Workload With Self-Service

Allowing customers to find their own solutions results in less ticket automation. Meaning you can reduce costs whilst improving customer support at the same time. Over 50% of customers who phone to get support have already visited a company’s website. An informative document or resource guide could solve their issues whilst they’re on the website. Meaning the demand for phone support would be reduced.

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Deliver Consistent Support to Customers

A shared and digitised knowledge base can deliver consistent service. Whether that be to internal or external customers. Providing the same resources to all users reduces confusion when delivering support. Without one, inconsistencies can be a pain point for both support teams and customers.

Having a dedicated resource means there is one definitive answer to a query. As opposed to being told different resolves by multiple support agents. Having inconsistent answers to issues can severely damage customer satisfaction levels. Whilst giving the impression that a company lacks the expertise in their field. This is a common problem when businesses start to implement multichannel support. But, with a help desk tool, multichannel support is centralised. Along with FAQs, manuals, and other helpful resources.

Digital knowledge base tools allow you to keep resources consistent by:

  • Having one singular voice throughout
  • Providing visual aids such as images and videos
  • Automating resource updates
  • Linking to internal and external pages for more information

A Knowledge Base Offers 24/7 Self-Service

No matter what day of the week or time of the day, a knowledge base will always be accessible. It is available to your customers 24/7. Allowing end-users to access information immediately and on their own terms. There are several benefits to providing 24/7 support, such as:

  • Providing support to different time zones
  • Offering resources in different languages
  • Meeting customer expectations of on-demand support
  • Reducing ticket generation

Having on-demand resources with real-time information improves the customer service experience. It means customers aren’t waiting for the ‘next available representative’ to assist them. It also helps to reduce a customer’s wait time. Whilst improving customer satisfaction levels and reducing agent workload.

Provide Proactive Help with FAQs

Making the switch from reactive to proactive customer support is essential. Today’s customers want on-demand answers that anticipate their needs. A knowledge base allows you to anticipate those needs before they’re noticed by customers. As opposed to reactive support, which can leave customers frustrated. Benefits of a proactive knowledge base system include:

  • Reduced ticket resolution times
  • Increased agent productivity
  • Better customer retention rates
  • Improved customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores

An effective self-service resource that delivers proactive customer support is FAQs. FAQs are a straightforward and reliable source of information. They anticipate questions that a customer may have and provide an instant answer. FAQs can also be easily updated to include commonly recurring questions.

Examples of Managing and Building a Knowledge Base

There are various areas to consider when it comes to building and managing a knowledge base. It is a chance for businesses to review and organise their existing content. Whilst identifying customer support gaps. A good knowledge base should be easily accessible for customers and easy to navigate. It also needs to be kept up to date with relevant resources and information.

When building one, you’ll need to ensure it has some essential features. These help to improve the customer experience and reduce resolution times. Key features include:

  • Contact support team options
  • How-to guides with video and image elements
  • Detailed product/service manuals
  • FAQ sections
  • An easy to use ‘search’ function

A good knowledge base example 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.

An example of building a good knowledge base