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Zendesk help center

An unused knowledge base is money left behind

It’s surprisingly common for small teams to be using a customer service platform and have no idea that there’s a knowledge base attached. I see this with Intercom and Zendesk customers, in particular. Business owners and team leads get into the habit of being the go-to person, that they don’t think to establish a centralised repository for what they know. It isn’t just more convenient to be able to let new team members get on with things without needing as much help, an unused knowledge base is money left on the table.

A knowledge base saves money

  • Improved operational efficiencies—when customer service staff have a knowledge base to refer to, they can answer questions and solve problems more quickly. When much of that knowledge is made available to customers through self-service, team members have more capacity for tougher problems and new projects.
  • Just-in-time training—the knowledge base can be an effective training tool for new people, so that can be confident and proficient more quickly, reducing the costs of onboarding new hires.
  • Identify high-impact improvements—by analysing knowledge article reuse, recurring issues can be identified and permanently resolved.
  • Reduce duplicate effort—when team members use the knowledge base as their first go-to, they recognise similar issues more quickly and can reuse that work, rather than starting over.

Self-service makes money

Your knowledge base is not a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have. 70% of customers expect a company’s website to have a self-service channel. Many customers prefer self-service to other forms of help, and certainly to having to make a phone call. When we provide self-service to customers, and assuming they can find what they need, they’re quickly on their way to being productive and more engaged with your service. Customer-facing knowledge isn’t just a source of reactive problem-solving. People still like browsing, and new customers are inclined to browse a well-configured help centre to see what other features they have that they’re not using yet. So there’s a direct link between a having a help centre and customer success; and even expansion into other paid feature sets, if you identify premium feature help content and make it publicly visible.


As you can see, an unused knowledge base feature is a missed opportunity. If you’ve got a help desk tool with a, so far, neglected knowledge base or self-service function, this Guide to Zendesk Guide may be helpful.


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