How to create a Knowledge Base for Self Service customer support

Your support team needs a knowledge base to complement the user experience. Find out how to build it here!

How to create a Knowledge Base for Self Service customer support

Every company wants its customers to be always satisfied and loyal to its brand or product, one of the pillars to achieve this objective is certainly customer service support, a tool to make the consumer experience as pleasant as possible. In the beginning, the staff of small SaaS companies spend a good part of their time helping the new users that arrive, trying to retain every customer they can get, as they grow and expand their active user base, the situation starts to change.

The number of customer representatives becomes insufficient and the quality of service decreases, frustrating consumers and pushing them to another competitor with better support.

A considerable part of all the questions and requirements that appear in customer support are repetitive and would not need a human being on the other side of the screen to solve the problem, just a simple small article, with quick instructions and some images or videos to facilitate user's understanding of how to proceed.

According to a study carried out by Forrester, revealed that the majority of consumers, 90% to be exact, prefer knowledge bases to any other self-service channel, because they want an almost immediate response to their request, regardless of the complexity of the response.

No surprise at this point, a well-structured knowledge base, with frequently asked and answered questions, can improve customer satisfaction and reduce the demand for professionals working in user support channels.

Knowledge base

Basically, it is a dedicated space, an online repository with informational documents for FAQs, containing information about the SaaS product, and a troubleshooting guide. It can also be defined as a self-service customer library.

It is usually a session of your website that can be accessed at any time by users, many platforms even insert a chatbox where the user enters his question, before being forwarded to a professional to assist, prints on the chat screen some of the topics that most look like the question asked.

The knowledge base can be divided into a few themes, and each theme can have different tags to facilitate the organization of all the information existing in this library.

Defining needs

Before starting the construction of articles and tutorials in your knowledge base, analyzing your users' real needs must be done first. Just putting in as much information as possible without understanding what consumers want will only waste your team's time and fill unusable space. Search:

What are the most frequently asked questions in your service channels?
What are the features of your product that are most popular with users?
Is there a possibility that repetitive questions will reveal a poor user experience that won't be covered by a tutorial alone?
Should the interface be rethought first?

Core elements

Many software offers incredible solutions to build the knowledge base, such as Document360 or CRISP, if you choose to use a ready-made product, think about how you will divide and segment your online library to make self-service as easy as possible for users.

A feature widely used by companies is to leave a frequently asked questions section right at the beginning of the knowledge base, so most users will already find their problem solution printed on the screen. Inserting a search bar also adds agility, making it easier to find more specific topics that aren't always the most sought after.

Anything goes if it's well thought out, widgets such as Changelogfy's can also be used to expand the knowledge base by informing users directly in your product of all product updates and changes, such as adding new features, fixing bugs, and satisfaction surveys via constant user feedback.

Writing structure

The formatting of the writing matters a lot in this type of tool, a knowledge base is different from a blog or digital magazine. Each article needs to have a title that will be as close as possible to what the user will type when searching for the information, for example, if a user wants to be unable to import a .CSV file in the platform settings, in the search bar the chances of the consumer to type “how to import .csv file” is raised. Hardly a user is going to type “import in the .CSV file settings”, understand?

Titles need to be intuitive search terms, in the description itself, it should clearly convey information about which problem solution is offered, avoid typos, and always review. Pages must be consistent, all content must have the same look, tone, and feel, and the user wants to have the same experience across the entire knowledge base, including perceiving a unique persona.

Don't make the topics and tutorials boring, just leave the essentials that the user needs, short and straight paragraphs make the reading easier, if there is other information to complement the article, insert links to add more value to the user without turning a help article into a huge blog article, highlight the most important words using bold and italics, colors that are part of your brand visual identity.

Adding visuals to make this experience as pleasant as possible is the rule, bullets, and lists, use images and videos to increase user understanding, GIFs, and even CTAs (Call to Action) to get in touch with an agent if you don't have your issue resolved.

Update always

An important advantage of SaaS products is the fact that they are constantly updated with ease, there is always a new feature added, a bug fix, a menu option that has been moved to another location, and the product is never 100% the same for a long time, and this feature needs to be taken into account in your knowledge base. Each product change made also requires a change to be made in the online library so as not to confuse or create problems with users, it is not uncommon for a product change to happen by changing access to a specific resource and when the user seeks to know how. access, the article has not been updated for months, existing only to annoy the user rather than help him.

So, always revisit your knowledge base to keep it up to date and avoid creating problems instead of solving them.

Analyze the performance

Set a deadline to analyze how your knowledge base is performing, whether this feature is really fulfilling its role in helping users in self-service or just taking up space on your server. intertwine with other equally important metrics such as whether the number of help requests in your customer service support dropped after implementation.

The resource is certainly one of the most valuable to improve user service and improve the experience you have within your SaaS platform or tool, invest in this resource wisely and you will have good results.