Things that Should (and Shouldn’t) Be in Your Knowledge Base
By Garrett O'Brien
Jul 5, 2020
kid reaching a book in a bookshelf

How well does your knowledge base perform for your clients? The “knowledge base” is a critical element of every SaaS company, and most have some type of information portal or repository where people can find articles or help—after all, six in 10 consumers say they prefer a self-service tool for simple inquiries, according to an American Express survey. But it’s an often overlooked aspect of customer relations, and not every company has taken the time to optimize their knowledge base because they don’t realize what a critical tool it is for customer success.

If it’s time to revamp your knowledge base (or build it from scratch), here are some things to include, and a few things to stay away from.


What You Should Include in Your Knowledge Base

There are a lot of different types of content you can include in a knowledge base, and the exact right amount of each type depends a lot on your customers and your products. However, at a basic level most will include:

  • Welcome or introductory information
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
  • Glossaries and definitions
  • Process guides with step-by-step instructions
  • Product demonstrations
  • Instructional videos
  • Webinars and trainings (live or recorded)

Every knowledge base should also include some very simple information on how users interact with your software or services. For example, helping people quickly reset their password, providing some basic information on pricing and services, or answering a quick question about how to perform specific tasks within your software program.

These types of information are often simple enough that they shouldn’t require a call to customer service, and helping people find the information can save your team a lot of time and effort by avoiding unnecessary phone calls.

Another critical piece of a knowledge base is the “search” feature. While you can list some frequently asked questions, it’s critical that you have a robust and effective search capability on the site to help people find important information. Make sure every piece of information you and your team upload is tagged with keywords to facilitate searches.


What to Avoid in a Knowledge Base

While there are very few instances where providing more information is actually negative, there are some things to avoid in your knowledge base for an optimal user experience.

  • Don’t require customers to sift through a lot of information to find what they need
  • Avoid dumping all your articles, guides, and how-to videos without clear and logical organization
  • Include a variety of learning tools (videos, live or recorded trainings, webinars, written guides, and more) and not just a single option (like all FAQ, or all text-based brochures)
  • Don’t assume all the information anyone would ever need is there, ask your customers (with a quick yes/no survey) if your knowledge base provided what they need, and if it didn’t, add more resources

Knowledge base websites can be a valuable tool to help your customers in the onboarding process and beyond, but it must be designed in a way that meets customers’ needs. Find out more about how you can create a better onboarding experience overall with GuideCX software.

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