Online customer knowledge bases allow customers to find answers to their questions, which reduce customer service requests and improve the customer experience. By compiling information on product and service features, issues, and common problems, as well as structuring it in the most user-friendly way, companies can offer their customers a powerful tool for self-service. However, if your customer knowledge base isn’t easy to use, it could cause more frustrations than it solves.
Here are a few crucial features to look for in customer knowledge base software.
Need for speed: Most customers (81%, according to HBR) want to take advantage of self-service options before reaching out to a live agent. And they don’t want to spend a lot of time looking for answers. A knowledge base that works quickly helps customers find solutions faster. And for mobile users, a speedy knowledge base search is even more important.
Effective keyword searches: Chances are, the first time customers visit your knowledge base, they will search for a specific topic. So your knowledge base needs to have an effective search engine that delivers fast results, even if you have thousands of articles online. Your knowledge base’s search engine should also be efficient and ease the customers’ burdens as much as possible. Customers may not want to type lengthy search strings; they may make typos, or they may not know the exact names of the products you offer. Allowing for partial keyword search helps provide better results, so customers can find what they need—even when they don’t know exactly what that is.
Organized by topic and product: While your killer search engine will help a lot of your customers find answers, it’s also important for your knowledge base library to be organized. There are a variety of methods to choose from, but companies using a knowledge base to support product and service offerings will see the most benefit from an organizational structure that mimics those priorities. The ability to organize articles by topic (especially popular topics or commonly asked questions), as well as by product line, will give users maximum flexibility in how they explore your knowledge base.
Voice-search compatibility: When it comes to organizing your knowledge base articles, keep in mind that voice search is on the rise. And when customers use voice search, they’re more likely to phrase their search in the form of a question. Make sure your knowledge base structure is aligned with voice-driven search so users who search for answers to actual questions will still find the information they need.
Building a customer knowledge base is a big investment, but done correctly—and with your customers in mind every step of the way—it can increase Web traffic and reduce customer service inquiries, allowing your team to focus on providing more personalized services to customers who still need the human touch.