Have you ever noticed that sometimes customers struggle to use basic features of a product they’ve purchased? While it could be due to unclear presentation of information or complex software, it’s important to provide your customers with the necessary knowledge to ensure they have the best experience using your product or service.
To help with this, we’ll be discussing knowledge bases and how they can be used in a customer education project. At Poly, we’ve emphasized the importance of providing customers with the knowledge they need, so we want to help you start or improve your own company’s customer education efforts.
This article will cover what knowledge bases are, the benefits of having one, and how to use it for customer education. Additionally, we’ll provide tips and a step-by-step guide to creating your own knowledge base.
What are knowledge bases?
A knowledge base is a platform that provides all the necessary information and tutorials on how to use a specific product or service. This information can come in various formats, including FAQs, instruction manuals, and a summary of common issues and how to solve them. People also refer to knowledge bases as bases of knowledge or BoK.
The purpose of a knowledge base is to help customers get the most out of a product or service without needing to contact customer support for every issue they encounter.
When creating a knowledge base, it’s essential to design it according to your company’s needs, ensuring that the tools and help links provided make sense within the context of your product or service.
It’s also important to consider what type of instructional materials would best suit your customers. For example, would they benefit from an explanatory video or a simple instruction manual? Providing too many options can sometimes be confusing, so it’s crucial to offer a clear and straightforward path. Additionally, the design of the knowledge base should be simple and intuitive.
A knowledge base should be a helpful resource for your customers, not another source of frustration. The process of organizing important information in a knowledge base is known as knowledge management.
Benefits of using a knowledge base.
Using a knowledge base can provide numerous benefits for your business and customers. By understanding your customers’ needs, you can create a well-structured and intuitive knowledge base to meet their demands. This can help reduce the volume of customer support request messages by up to 30% as we have seen before, as customers can find answers to their basic questions in the manuals provided.
Moreover, a knowledge base can allow your service team to focus on more complex issues, which require technical expertise or troubleshooting. This way, your team can provide better support and resolve issues more efficiently.
Customers can also benefit from a knowledge base, as it enables them to learn how to use your products and services effectively. For instance, if you are using a financial system that contains numerous functions, you can use the knowledge base to learn the specific function you need, saving you time and effort.
A well-planned knowledge base saves customers time and enhances their experience with your business. It also highlights the different functionalities of your products and services, providing an added advantage.
Good practices within the knowledge base.
To create a well-structured knowledge base, it is important to follow good practices. These simple but essential tips will help you create an incredible knowledge base.
Understanding your audience is crucial when creating a knowledge base. Knowing where they are in the learning process and how to help them reach the next level is key. Your goal should be to provide your audience with the right tools, which can only be achieved if you know who they are.
The content structure is also important. A good knowledge base has a hierarchical organization of content and writing. While traditional knowledge bases use articles and screenshots, if you need more than three screens to explain a concept, it’s best to make it a video. Additionally, some companies mix knowledge bases with education, teaching abstract concepts that don’t quite fit. Instructional design planning is important to teach your customers in the best way possible.
It’s important to keep your knowledge base up-to-date. With each release, upgrade your bases. By being proactive, you show your customers that you care about their experience and that you’re always providing the most relevant information.
Make it easy to find your knowledge base by including a link in your website footer, using an easy-to-remember link such as support.domain.com, and even sending reminders to your customers. Additionally, placing direct links to the most common questions customers ask can be helpful.
Finally, it’s important to measure your efforts to see if they’re successful. This will give you a solid basis for making decisions. Collect feedback to improve and address any difficulties your customers may be having. By following these practices, you’ll create a successful knowledge base that benefits both your customers and your company.
How can a knowledge base benefit customer education?
Now that you have a good understanding of what a knowledge base is, let’s explore how it can aid in educating your customers.
If your company already has a customer education program in place, you may have already considered implementing a knowledge base. The purpose of this is to enhance the customer experience and provide a foundation for their education.
The knowledge base serves as a library of content that houses all the information on how to use your products. This is the perfect tool for customer education as it provides a wealth of information to assist customers in using your products effectively.
Having a strong knowledge base is essential when educating your customers because it provides a platform with all the necessary information, frequently asked questions, and detailed explanations of your products and services.
How to create your first knowledge base.
If you want to create your first knowledge base, the first step is to understand how you plan on using the platform. Will there be multiple pages, or will it be a platform of its own? Once you have defined the structure, you can move on to the second step.
Gather as much information as possible about your customers and potential customers. Find out where they are struggling or what they are researching so that you can provide answers to their main questions when creating content.
Next, organize the information you have gathered within the structure you have defined. Consider the best way to present the content visually and make it accessible. Once you have done this, you can share it on different social networks and open channels to collect feedback. Be prepared to address any bugs or difficulties that may arise.
Your knowledge base is never truly complete. Your company should always be on the lookout for creating new content and updating the pages as other queries arise or problems are resolved. The final step is to ensure that everything is up to date and keep the knowledge base active.