Think about modern customer service — are long waiting times and sluggish responses acceptable?
In the not-so-distant past, customer service involved people having to wait for a reply over email, submit help desk tickets or have a tedious talk with a customer service rep on the phone.
But the modern customer is supremely impatient. In fact, 90% of customers rate immediate assistance when reaching out to a company’s support team as “important” or “very important”.
So if your customers want answers or assistance, they want it at lightning speeds. And if you think about it, the fastest way to satisfy this need is to enable self-service.
I’ve been using Cloudways since January 2016 for this blog. I happily recommend Cloudways to my readers because I am a proud customer.
That’s where a company knowledge base enters the picture.
A company knowledge base is essentially a centralized hub of readily retrievable information — such as detailed FAQs, getting started guides, tutorials, product documentation, feature updates, return policies, and so on — about your business, its products/services, and industry-relevant topics.
Why Build a Company Knowledge Base?
A self-service company knowledge base enables your customers to find answers to their questions on their terms.
Once built, customers can easily and quickly extract information and not require additional input from your end. It can serve as their go-to resource to learn anything and everything they want about your company and its offerings.
A knowledge base lets you cut costs on customer support and improve its efficiency.
That’s because a knowledge base decreases the number of tickets your support team has to handle, which means you can have a smaller customer service team and save costs on hiring.
Furthermore, your support team gets the bandwidth to tackle only the most complex customer issues, and thus, you get the most ROI from them.
Not to mention a comprehensive company knowledge base packed with high-quality useful content helps search engine crawlers to better understand and rank your website, thus improving your SEO.
From the employee perspective, a knowledge base helps reduce onboarding time as they can find all the information they need (such as design guidelines, coding best practices, etc.) and get up to speed more quickly.
Plus, with an internal knowledge base, you can promote content collaboration from employees in different teams, so everyone feels more involved and motivated to work together.
Long story short, building a company knowledge base has tremendous benefits from both the customer and employee perspectives.
Key Features of a Great Knowledge Base Tool
Before we take a look at some of the top knowledge base software options available today, let’s go over some of the key capabilities you need to look for when deciding on a knowledge base tool.
- Content search: Users should have the ability to search for specific content on the knowledge base to instantly find answers to their queries.
- Easily category creation: If you have a lot of subjects and content formats, content contributors can find it tricky to keep everything organized. A categorization system is vital to help keep the knowledge base content organized.
- User feedback framework: To understand the effectiveness and continually improve your knowledge base, getting user feedback is essential. For example, to learn if an article was useful or not, even a simple thumbs-up/down system goes a long way.
- Localization: The tool should have the ability to translate all content into multiple languages and have custom homepages for each language.
- Actionable analytics: A built-in advanced analytics gives insights on user engagement and satisfaction for individual pieces of content along with other key metrics. This will further help to optimize your knowledge base and create more valuable content.
Top Knowledge Base Tools to Consider
Now that you know which features to look for, here are a few great options to consider when building your knowledge base.
HelpCrunch is an intuitive knowledge base tool that allows you to create and brush content with a WYSIWYG text editor. You can manually specify title tag, meta description, and target keywords for your articles so that they’re better indexed by search engines. As the multilingual knowledge base is coming really soon, you will also be able to provide helpful content to international audiences!.
- Knowledge base is integrated into the chat widget that improves customer communication.
- Manually customizable SEO settings for each article and the whole base.
- Simple and intuitive design.
- No role-based access control.
- Not so good for internal knowledge management.
- Lacks steady integrations with social media channels.
Document360 is one of the most comprehensive knowledge base software trusted by many leading brands such as Microsoft and even Harvard University. The cloud-based tool features a gorgeous minimal and clean interface ideal for making both public and private knowledge bases.
It also includes an easy-to-use markdown editor and WYSIWYG text editor, intelligent search engine, advanced analytics, branding, SEO, and collaboration features. And with the new Smart Bars feature, you can display custom bars with info messages like offers, promos, alerts, etc. in your Knowledge base. You can’t go wrong with this tool.
- Extremely easy to use.
- Provides detailed reports with search analytics.
- Great collaboration features.
- Allows you to create a private internal knowledge base.
- Supports markdown for easier content writing and editing.
- Easy SEO settings.
- Many integrations with a variety of tools.
- Can be a bit pricey for small businesses.
ProProfs Knowledge Base is another great option to build your company knowledge base. It has a great text editor similar to Microsoft Word and you can customize your knowledge base with your brand logo and color scheme. Its pricing plan is such that it’s suitable for small businesses and large enterprises alike.
- A rich and user-friendly text editor.
- A variety of themes to choose the look and feel of your knowledge base.
- Has a few helpful integrations.
- The tool’s interface can feel outdated.
- It can quickly get costly when expanding your knowledge base.
Over to You
By minimizing the time spent trying to hunt information that doesn’t need real-time input from your end, a well-designed knowledge base greatly enhances your customer experience and also improves your teams’ productivity.
Sure, building a company knowledge base does require some upfront investment of time, effort, and money, but with the right tool — take your pick — all that investment would continue to pay dividends in the long run.