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What is a knowledge base

What is a Knowledge Base?

Is your Customer Experience self-service? It should be

Nobody waits for salespeople to get back to them anymore. They want to find the answers themselves without delay. With 60% of customers switching to online shopping, the marketplace for most businesses has changed drastically. In today’s ruthless markets, if you can’t provide a seamless self-service and contactless experiences, there are cracks in your sales funnel.
A customer experience knowledge base finds and eliminates these cracks to make sure potential customers aren’t dropping out of your funnel. When applied to your employees, it drastically reduces resource wastage and streamlines employee processes. So, what is it?

What exactly is a knowledge base?

A knowledge base is a centralised database of procedures that reproduces previously learned information to solve problems.
Knowledge bases gather the solutions to typical customer and employee problems and puts them at their fingertips. When the next person experiences the same problem, they have a prebuilt, self-service solution ready to go.
If you examine a normal day at the office, you’ll notice there are patterns. Maybe it’s as obvious as getting the same sort of query over and over. Maybe you feel frustration over needing to rethink how to handle each issue for new employees every. single. time. Have you ever heard yourself say: “Haven’t we dealt with this problem before? Or How did we do that before?”
Even with customers, are they asking the same questions all the time? For every customer who takes the time to ask you, 2 or 3 don’t and are choosing to go elsewhere.

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What does a knowledge base look like?

A knowledge base is the collection, storage and organization of information that will be important to future stakeholders. It can take any form but the you have probably seen are:

  • Frequently asked questions 
  • Search tabs
  • How-to guides
  • Explainer videos
  • Glossaries, definitions or image banks 
  • Chat-bots
  • Blogs
  • Automated drip campaigns
  • Landing pages

At first it seems time consuming to prepare a knowledge base. But, if you stand back and think about it, which one is compounding over time: Answering the same questions repeatedly or creating a system that answers them automatically? That’s without even looking at the fallout from the absence of a knowledge base.

Why you need knowledge management

By taking a step back and looking at the way your work gets done, you’ll start seeing the need for systems in your environment. The biggest issues for any business without a system of knowledge management is repetition, human resource wastage, loss of sales and omission.

Improving Your Customer Experience

The most common response you get when talking about knowledge bases is “Sure, we can just answer questions when they arise”. You can. If they arise. 

Customers are online and 53% of them abandon their carts if they can’t find an answer on their own. To them, the company doesn’t value their time enough to sort out the query conveniently. Over 60% expect an answer within 10 minutes of a query arising so we can definitely say that the CX is becoming the most important thing in online sales. Take a look at your site analytics, how many hits and leads do you get versus the number of conversions?

 

Part of the issue is that the customer shops from a few different places. They are comparing your funnel to the best experience they have had. If it doesn’t match that standard, it isn’t as enjoyable.

A knowledge base plugs the holes in your sales funnel. This is what’s available by introducing a CX knowledge base: 

  • 24-hour customer service
  • Immediate conflict and query resolution  
  • Service consistency
  • Reduced lag times
  • Recommendable service
  • Elimination of human interaction
  • Knowledge capturing

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Optimising Employee and Management Time

In process terms, when you find yourself repeating the same task, that’s a case for automation. In knowledge terms, when you are answering the same questions again and again, that’s a case for documentation.

If you don’t have a knowledge base, you’re probably not just repeating yourself, you’re also at risk of mistakes of omission—something gets left out, someone hasn’t been informed. The next thing you find yourself doing is putting out fires instead of those other, more productive activities like creating, building, or selling.

In practical terms a knowledge base impacts businesses and employees in so many ways. Just think about the costs you can reduce by having readily accessible information:

  • Customer service salary – less time lost answering customer queries
  • Training and onboarding – automating part of onboarding delivery
  • Employee inefficiency – productivity is vastly improved
  • Sunk time on repetition – new problems only have to be resolved once
  • Management requests – management spend less time on low value problem solving 
  • Workflow interruptions – fewer people are impacted and interrupted by queries
  • Answers are standardized – information isn’t accidentally left out 

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Where do you start with your knowledge base?

Developing a knowledge base is not quite as challenging as it may seem. Yes, you’re effectively uploading relevant parts of your brain but it isn’t nightmarish. 

1. Decide if you need a knowledge base

Would you save substantial employee time and convert more leads if you had a base? How many customers are dropping off from their buyer journey? Have your customer service lines changed recently?

Take a look at your customer satisfaction stats and how productive your current sales funnel is. Ask management and employees how much time they spend answering repeat questions. If the potential savings and benefits are enough to persuade, then a knowledge base is the efficient option. 

2. Gather the Content

The scary part. Look, you don’t need to do it all yourself. Decide which bases you want. Have someone oversee the content gathering and organization and ask multiple people to contribute. 

Leveraging the team early makes a huge difference. If everyone can access the same document, it will come together quickly. Most of all, listen intently to the end-users.

3. Design the base

How are you going to deliver the message? What does the issue demand? If the standard medium that customers or employees use for information is an FAQ,SOP or a blog, then keep things in line with expectation. This makes it easy for the user to navigate. 

4. Align to your company branding

Your branding is who you are and a big part of why people come to your company. Make sure everything sounds like it’s your company staying it. Consistency keeps the trust between you and customers. 

5. Implement the right tools to manage it

You’re going to be keeping the knowledge base updated so make sure you use a tool that simplifies that. In addition, make sure your tool has analytics functions. The more you can glean from problem areas for customers and employees, the better an EX or CX you can create. 

 

Final Thoughts

Digital customers are just getting started. The customer experience trends today are almost certainly going to be the baseline demands tomorrow. 

We’re seeing the agility of CX and EX become far more important. Companies who have streamlined online experiences and those that were quickest to shift to remote work, for example, have made huge inroads into their markets. On the flip side, those who are stuck in the traditions are starting to fall behind. Have a quick think about your market. Who has become more popular and what is their CX like?

The rate of change is alarming to many but you have to ask yourself, are you ready for the new reality? Is your CX seamless? Schedule a Diagnostic Session now. 

Comments:

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