Creating and Managing Your Knowledge Base

Posted on: November 22, 2018

|

Topics: Business Intelligence, Business Intelligence Solutions, Business Technology, CRM, Customer Relationship Management, Digital Transformation

Are you thinking about investing in chatbots or live chat technology and need to create answers?

Do you want to scale your customer service?

If the answer to any of those questions is “yes,” then you need a knowledge base.

A knowledge base is a library of information about your product, service, or business. It can help customers find answers to problems on their own or help a chatbot or automated customer service technology find the answer for them.

When done right, an optimized knowledge base allows you to scale your customer service — saving time and money — while improving the customer experience.

  • According to Forrester, 70% of customers prefer to use a company’s website to get answers.
  • A Gartner study projects that by 2020, 85% of all customer-company relationships will be managed with no human interaction.
  • And according to Destination CRM, about 45% of businesses offering self-service report increased site traffic and decreased phone calls.

So, how do you get started? Here’s what you need to know.

  1. Conduct Thorough Research

Creating a knowledge base requires structure and planning. It can’t just be done through guesswork. You want to identify your customers’ questions and pain points.

What trends have you experienced in your customer service? You might find that your current team is getting the same frequently asked questions.

You can also look to your digital media platforms. If you are running Google Analytics on your website, you can see what pages people visit most frequently, search queries, contact rates, and more. If you have a social media presence, you might look at what questions people ask the most, or what posts are the most popular.

You may also do customer surveys, or research on your current user experience. If there is a bottleneck or common trouble spot, that will be an area to explore further.

The amount of research needed will vary depending on your business and the product or service you offer.

  1. Decide on the Format

What format will your knowledge base use? You will need to have a strong content plan to ensure it makes sense.

It can help to know the end goal of your knowledge base. Are you building a database that will live on your website? Are you collecting information for a chatbot? Are you providing this guide to an outside live chat representative? Building a help guide to accompany your solutions and service offerings?

The purpose of your knowledge base will affect how it is arranged.

In general, you will want to define:

  • How content is grouped.
  • How individual pieces relate to each other.
  • Whether content groupings are mutually exclusive or exhaustive.
  • How you expect your plans to change over time.
  1. Outline a Technology Plan

Depending on the format your knowledge base takes, there will be technology to consider.

If you are building a knowledge base for a chatbot, you will need to consider the chatbot technology you use.

If it is going to live on your website as a help or FAQ section, you will need to consider the development required to make it a reality.

It is also important to consult with your IT department to understand what technological dimensions your knowledge base will require, along with:

  • Security and compliance considerations.
  • Ability to share, analyze, and export data.
  • Ability to integrate systems and connect platforms.

You might also consider developing a beta testing period for your knowledge base before launching it to the public.

  1. Develop a Maintenance Plan

Once the initial knowledge base is created, the work is not over. You will need to define how you will adapt your database over time.

This includes:

  • You will need to assess and analyze how your knowledge base is performing and adapt as necessary. This will take more time in the initial months following the launch to work out any kinks.
  • Key metrics. What KPIs will you track? Good choices might include the time to conflict resolution, decrease in customer wait times, increase in customer satisfaction levels, and decrease in support requests that escalate into phone calls.
  • Adding new information. How frequently will you update the knowledge base? How will you determine what information needs to be included?
  • Assigning a point person. Who is responsible for maintenance going forward? Is it one person, a taskforce, a department, etc. You will need to define who is in charge of what tasks. For example, if a new article needs to be written who will be writing it?

You will want to decide the whos, whens, and hows of your knowledge base now.

  1. Build the Right Team

When you are ready to create your knowledge base, you will need to work with professionals in different areas, including technical writing, programming, user experience, security, and system integration.

Depending on the format your knowledge base takes, this could be more complex. You may also need to work with people who understand your particular use. For instance, if you are developing a knowledge base for chatbot technology, you will want to work with someone who understands how your chatbot technology works.

You can do this all in-house, or you might consider bringing in outside assistance. At TGO Consulting, our team has many years of experience with support systems and knowledge management.

Knowledge management is increasingly important and it’s only going to become more so. Get started today to save time and money and improve the customer experience.

Call TGO Consulting at (905) 470 6830 or visit www.tgo.ca.