Self-service is becoming increasingly popular, as it’s usually quick and convenient to use. In fact, it has become so popular that 88% of people now expect companies to have an online self-service portal. This just goes to show that companies need to start focusing on self-service, if they haven’t before, or expanding on existing services.
Self-service is an important part of the customer experience and customers are generally happier when they are able to help themselves. Long gone are the days when customers could only expect to get answers by connecting with a company over a phone call. Now, with the internet and technology, they have options.
While it’s essential to keep live agents so they can be available to assist with issues that technology can’t help resolve, self-service still empowers customers to try on their own first.
If you are trying to scale customer support for your company to enable self-service then having a knowledge center is a good place to start. A knowledge center is an all-in-one platform where customers can go for support and offers a variety of resources.
If you are not sure where to begin when it comes to creating a knowledge center then keep reading.
Why You Should Have a Knowledge Center
A self-service knowledge center is a central place where a customer can go to seek out answers and get help for themselves, without needing to interact with another person. Customer service departments usually abide by company hours or may only have a couple of extended hours. With a knowledge center, customers can lookup solutions and have access to help 24/7.
A knowledge center is a great benefit for customers, and a business as well.
When a company has an effective knowledge center then it can achieve positive results like reduction in overall operating costs, increased productivity for agents, and higher customer satisfaction rates. A knowledge center that lets people help themselves can free up agents from having to answer repetitive questions so they are able to focus on more complex issues.
Another way a company can benefit is from data collection. Knowledge centers continue to learn by collecting data from customer interactions and can help a business determine future practices and what kind of content they may need to add.
The list of benefits goes on, really.
What to Consider With a Knowledge Center
During the process of creating the knowledge center and adding the actual content and resources that will be made available, it’s vital to consider the customer experience. This means how well the knowledge center functions for your customer. The whole point is that customers can easily find what they are looking for and do not have to spend long periods of time hunting, and possibly ending up contacting a live agent anyway.
Design and Format
The actual layout and structure of the knowledge center is the basis of how successful it will be. If the knowledge center is not well thought out in terms of organization then customers will only be confused and abandon their efforts, which defeats the purpose. Many may not realize, but 55% of customers find web self-service portals difficult to use. Information has to be discoverable otherwise you may receive complaints or negative feedback.
Understand Your Customers
When establishing the content that will be available in the knowledge center, the customer should always be the first thought. Try to keep information easy to read and understand, especially if there are multiple steps included. Visuals are always good to add for extra context. Be sure to actually answer their questions and make the most popular topics the most accessible. The tone should also be in line with the brand’s voice, as consistency is important for customers.
Make Sure to Update
Keep track of the content in your knowledge center. Technology, products, services and processes are always changing and outdated information is useless to customers. Regularly add new information that is relevant and accurate and correct any previous errors that you may discover in time. This is actually an area where customer feedback can be incredibly useful, so they can let you know what information works for them and what doesn’t.
Have a Multilingual Option
Not everyone who accesses your knowledge center may be native English speakers and it’s good to be as inclusive of everyone as possible. Enable your articles to be translated into multiple languages, if your software supports that option. Providing this type of service allows all customers to have an equal experience and truly gives everyone the chance to utilize self-service.
What Your Knowledge Center Should Have
When it comes to the essential elements that should be included in your knowledge base, these are some of the main components to be aware of.
High-quality how-to-guides are vital and one of the biggest aspects of any self-service knowledge center. How-to guides or technical guides are going to be information-packed articles that explain, step-by-step, what to do in a particular situation or with a specific issue. These guides can include information such as troubleshooting instructions, explanations on how to set up accounts, or guidance on how to use a product/service.
The frequently-asked-questions are going to be one of the first places that customers go to with simple questions and queries. A knowledge center needs to have an FAQ section in an immediately visible place, such as on the home page. This cuts down on search time for customers and is an extra layer of convenience.
A good search engine allows customers to search and find the exact information they were wanting. The search engine will be located on the homepage and will include a Google-like search bar, where customers can search using select keywords. The fewer keywords that can be used to effectively find resources the better. How the content is grouped to be searched for, using categories and subcategories, will be up to you.
A contact support option should always be incorporated into your knowledge center. Sometimes a knowledge base can only go so far and a customer still needs to talk to an agent. Customers still require a personalized experience, especially when dealing with complicated problems, and agents can offer more details or explain things in a different way. A contact support option that’s available right there makes reaching out a quick and easy process.
Collecting customer feedback is vital for any business that wants to improve self-services. To judge how well your knowledge center is doing then there needs to be a way for customers to let you know. One way to do this is through simple, one-question surveys at the end of an article. It can be as easy as a star-rated system, where customers choose from 1 to 5 to indicate satisfaction. Customers want to tell you what they find useful and what type of content they want more of, as it benefits them in the end.
For a comprehensive knowledge base software, LiveVox offers a solution that has everything you need to get started. Easily create content with pre-made templates and have your knowledge center fully integrated into your CRM system.