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5 Steps to Enhance Your Knowledgebase and Improve Customer Service

The traditional method of customer service (calling and requesting help) is still necessary within the call center, but many customers want to be able to research on their own and solve their problems without having to contact a company. Methods of self-service utilized by contact centers include review websites, IVR, and social media. It is now more important than ever that your company delivers the best customer service possible, and that includes self-service.

In his article “5 Easy Steps to Enhance Your Knowledgebase for Improved Customer Service”, Baker Johnson says that with any methods of self-service you offer your customers, it’s critical that you have a knowledgebase. Johnson defines knowledgebase as, “A ‘living’ repository of information that is constantly updated and makes it easy for people to find what they are searching for.” Examples of a knowledgebase include FAQs, how-to articles, and visual content. But while it is important to have a knowledgebase for your customers, it’s equally as important that your knowledgebase also serves your contact center agents. The reason it’s important for your agents is it can serve as a reference for them when they want to resolve inquiries quickly to deliver the best customer experience possible. Johnson offers five steps to enhance your knowledgebase for improved customer service.

1) Expand beyond FAQs
FAQs are helpful, and potentially a requirement. However, FAQs can’t be your only source of knowledgebase. People learn in a variety of ways, so mix it up by adding articles and tutorials and also by adding features for visual learners such as infographics and videos. Consult your call center managers and agents, customer surveys, and CRM to discover what are the most common questions your customers ask. You can make your knowledgebase cover as many topics as you want, but at the very least be sure to include the most common customer inquiries.

2) Optimize the information and the organization
Don’t make the information difficult to find. The key is to never assume the user is an expert on your company or terminology (even if they’re an agent) and to write your search function as though the user is brand new to your company. Build the knowledgebase to recognize vague phrases and synonyms so that the user can find an answer even if they didn’t type in the exact word they’re searching for. Johnson gives the example of a system not being able to find the answer to “sound isn’t working” because the system only recognizes the word “audio” without having “sound” as a synonym.

In addition to having a high-quality search function for your knowledgebase, it’s also crucial that the knowledgebase is updated frequently to make sure new topics are being addressed. Customers are always looking for new information, so the more up-to-date your knowledgebase is, the happier your self-service customers will be. Finally, make sure to test the search engine often to ensure the best user experience.

3) Presentation is important
You ever stare at a page filled with only text and find yourself drifting off with boredom? Yeah, that happens to most people. Include images, illustrations, and charts on your content as much as possible in order to make it easier for your customers to find what they’re looking for quickly. In addition to images, the information you provide should be delivered at a ninth grade reading level and concise. You want your information to be descriptive, but not long for the sake of being long.

4) Use your reporting capabilities
This is Johnson’s briefest step, but one of the most important. Reports can show you a variety of helpful information that ultimately tells you what you should add to your knowledgebase. They show what customers are looking for, what they can’t find, and what popular topics need more information.

5) Optimize for mobile platforms and all devices
Mobile devices have essentially replaced computers for many people, so make sure your knowledgebase is formatted to look great on mobile platforms. The user experience is very different between desktop computers and mobile platforms, so edit the back-end of your website to ensure that it appears more simplified and less cluttered on mobile platforms.

This blog post was based on an article that originally appeared on ICMI. To read the original article, please click here.

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