What Is a Knowledge Base and Why You Need One? A Comprehensive Guide

Customers have high expectations when it comes to finding answers quickly. To meet these demands, a well-written and easily accessible knowledge base should be a central part of any support team's self-service strategy. In fact, studies show that 70% of customers prefer using a company's website to find answers on their own.


A knowledge base serves as a valuable resource by addressing common queries and providing guidance on product or service usage. Customers can rely on the knowledge base to troubleshoot issues independently, while support agents can quickly access it to provide solutions.


By leveraging a knowledge base, businesses can improve efficiency, reduce wait times, and ultimately enhance customer satisfaction. This makes knowledge bases an essential tool for customer support teams, especially as businesses continue to grow. By minimizing the effort required from support agents, reducing resolution time, and consistently delivering high-quality support, knowledge bases can have a significant positive impact on your organization.



Knowledge Base Definition

A knowledge base serves as a comprehensive platform that consolidates information about a company's products, services, and processes. Its content can range from simple FAQs to in-depth guides, instructional videos, and troubleshooting tips.


Typically, a well-organized knowledge base features articles categorized under broad topics, facilitating easy navigation. Additionally, it incorporates a robust search system that delivers the most relevant responses to customers' inquiries.


Beyond being a valuable self-service resource for customers, a knowledge base can also be implemented internally to promote knowledge sharing and collaboration within the workplace.


Benefits of Creating a Knowledge Base

There are numerous benefits to having a knowledge base, which can greatly enhance the customer experience. Here are 7 key advantages:


Self-Service Preference

Research indicates that a majority of individuals prefer finding answers on their own before seeking assistance. A knowledge base serves as the go-to resource for customers in search of solutions.


Reduction in Support Volumes

By providing a comprehensive knowledge base, the volume of support inquiries can decrease. This allows your support team to focus on more impactful and fulfilling tasks. Moreover, a knowledge base equips them with additional resources to share with customers.


Support for Different Learning Styles

A knowledge base can cater to various learning preferences by presenting information in different formats such as text, annotated images, videos, audio, and more. This ensures that customers receive the information they need in a way that best suits their learning style.


Availability 24/7

A knowledge base serves customers globally, regardless of time zones. It remains accessible at all times, without the need for breaks or time off like a support agent.


Contextual Delivery of Information

Customers do not need to start from the beginning and read through the entire knowledge base. With the right knowledge base software, you can provide the relevant information at the right moment, ensuring a targeted and efficient customer experience.


Generation of Insights

By using a knowledge base tool with reporting capabilities, you can gain valuable insights into customer behavior. Reports can highlight what customers are searching for, what they are finding, the search terms they use, and any gaps in your knowledge base. This information can be leveraged to improve your knowledge base content and even enhance your product or service.


Acquisition of New Customers

Knowledge base content also contributes to search engine optimization (SEO), increasing visibility in search results. In addition to assisting existing customers, a well-optimized knowledge base can attract new customers to your business.


Furthermore, examining user behavior and interests through knowledge base content can provide valuable insights. By identifying popular pages, you can pinpoint common areas of confusion and collaborate with your product or engineering teams to address these issues at the product level.


Build an Effective Knowledge Base: A How-To Guide

There are various approaches to creating a knowledge base. Some businesses opt to gradually build it by adding one resource at a time until they have a complete library. Others prefer to tackle everything simultaneously, including gathering questions, finding answers, creating content, and publishing it. Regardless of the approach, it is beneficial to follow a few best practices in designing a knowledge base.



Understand Target Audience

Understanding your audience is a vital step in creating a knowledge base that meets their specific needs. To achieve this, businesses should first consider the purpose of their knowledge base. If it is primarily intended for internal use, the audience will be employees, making it crucial to have a thorough understanding of their roles, departments, and knowledge requirements.


On the other hand, for an external knowledge base, the audience may consist of customers, clients, or partners. Their needs will revolve around product information, troubleshooting assistance, and relevant industry insights. By identifying and understanding the specific needs of your audience, you can ensure that your knowledge base provides the right content to effectively address their requirements.


Prioritize Content

To create an effective knowledge base, it is important to prioritize the information you include. Start by analyzing customer or employee support data to identify frequently asked questions and common pain points. Reviewing support ticket histories and customer feedback will help you pinpoint the topics and issues that arise most often.


Additionally, consider including information that is essential for daily operations, compliance, or product usage. By prioritizing content based on what your audience needs the most, you streamline problem-solving and enhance user satisfaction. This ensures that your knowledge base addresses real-world issues and becomes a valuable resource that aligns with your audience's needs.


Select the Right Knowledge Base Software

When choosing knowledge base software, it is crucial to prioritize ease of use to enable teams to create and publish content without extensive training. Additionally, scalability is important as the software should be able to accommodate the needs of growing teams and increasing content volume.


Integration capabilities should be considered as well. Seamless integrations enhance knowledge base accessibility and expand its capabilities by incorporating tools like AI-powered search and ChatGPT chatbots. HelpLook, a zero-code, ready-to-use tool, empowers you to effortlessly create self-service knowledge bases, blogs, and help desks. It also supports document-based AI search and provides enhanced user experiences.



Choosing Knowledge Base Contributors

Selecting the right contributors for your knowledge base is a crucial step in creating a comprehensive and successful resource. Consider subject matter experts within your organization who possess extensive knowledge in areas such as product development, customer service, or compliance.


Assigning roles and responsibilities to contributors from relevant departments ensures that your knowledge base is well-rounded and authoritative. Forming cross-functional teams that include representatives from customer support, IT, marketing, and other key departments brings diverse perspectives and expertise to the content creation process.


Create Editorial Guidelines

Setting up editorial guidelines is essential for maintaining consistency and clarity in your knowledge base. A comprehensive style guide should outline writing conventions, including tone, language, and formatting standards, to ensure cohesion throughout the content.


In addition, develop a process document that clearly outlines the workflow for content creation, review, and publication. This document will help contributors understand their roles and responsibilities in the knowledge base creation process.


Organize and Enhance Content Structure

To create an effective knowledge base, it's essential to structure and optimize your content for easy navigation and search engine optimization (SEO). Here are some key considerations:


  1. Organize your content into categories and subcategories with accurate titles to enhance content organization.
  2. Use descriptive headings and subheadings to break down complex topics and facilitate easy scanning for users.
  3. Conduct keyword research to understand what your audience is searching for and strategically incorporate those keywords into your content.
  4. Maintain a consistent and concise URL structure that accurately represents the content, making it more search-engine friendly.


What to Include in Your Knowledge Base

A knowledge base serves as a comprehensive resource for your customers, providing them with everything they need to succeed with your products and services. Consider incorporating these content types into your knowledge base:


  • In-depth articles
  • Step-by-step guides
  • Video demonstrations
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • News and updates
  • Troubleshooting tips
  • Community forum


When determining the content to include in your knowledge base, prioritize the information that truly matters to your customers. Identify patterns, analyze common challenges they encounter, and then decide on the content to include and the format to present it in.


Ensure that when customers access your knowledge base, they immediately recognize it as the go-to place for finding answers to all their questions.


Get Started on Your New Knowledge Base

Creating a new knowledge base may seem overwhelming, but it can greatly benefit your business. It reduces the need for direct assistance, addresses customer queries, trains new staff, and improves SEO.


If you're looking to enhance your knowledge management processes, HelpLook's user-friendly software is the solution. It manages explicit and procedural knowledge, facilitates collaboration for SEO improvement, and supports overall business knowledge management.


Don't hesitate to start your free trial or book a demo today. Building a comprehensive knowledge base with HelpLook will yield long-term benefits for your business.

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Last modified: 2023-12-26Powered by