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A centralized repository of information, or as we popularly like to call it - a knowledge base - is the key component of knowledge management systems. This means that the quality of the entire knowledge management system will greatly depend on the quality of this database. This, in turn, entirely depends on how it is created.
Knowledge base solutions found their purpose in the business world. As time passes, more and more companies around the world are recognizing their powerful benefits. Adopters experience increased customer satisfaction and retention rates. This practice also helps in ticket deflection, and inevitably, it cuts down expenses needed for the entire customer support department.
If you are interested in how to start your own knowledge base, you are at the right place. Here is a compiled list of the 4 most practical tips that will get you going in the right direction.
In order to get a better perspective on this, imagine the tension and possible frustration in those situations when information has to be quickly acquired by either an employee or a customer in distress. People consult knowledge bases and help documentation when they quickly need info about a company’s product, service, or procedure.
Customers don’t have the time to read essays. They want information, solutions, or advice. This is why it is of the utmost importance to keep the content as simple as possible. This will make it easy to read and neither customers nor employees will have any problems understanding the information presented.
In order to achieve this, you will have to simplify the way you generally express ideas and transform them into useable information. For instance, you can limit your paragraphs to two sentences only. Customers do not like walls of text. If there is a great deal of correlated information to pass on to the reader, make sure to provide it via bullets or lists.
In many cases, the complexity of an issue can be only efficiently met by addressing it through image help content. And, please, take notice that this doesn’t only apply to hardware products, but it is also a viable solution for software help guides. The logic behind it is pretty simple. Sometimes, the complexity of information can only be efficiently communicated to a viewer with an image. If this is the case when it comes to your company products or services, make sure to provide high quality images.
Illustrations are another viable solution for your knowledge base. They are powerful when passing on valuable information, because you can precisely decide what you want and, more importantly, where, so that each aspect of the idea can be viewed clearly. Science infographics are reaching their popularity, you might also consider making infographics a part of your knowledge base.
The most common pitfall when trying to build a knowledge base is going too big. Always remember the reason why you are you doing this. Deciding on the structure of your knowledge base and the document form is important and you should really address these two at the very start. But, instead of going too wide, you want to concentrate your efforts around hot spots regarding your customers’ and employees’ needs.
Use the information your HR and Customers Support Department already have to build the foundation of your knowledge base. With the right knowledge base software you can easily add permissions so that employee-only-content can’t be accessed by wider audiences.
This foundation will provide a condensate amount of useful tweaks for anyone who is in distress. Furthermore, by using this software tool, you will be able to go back to any entry at any time to either rewrite it or update it.
Once you have completed your knowledge base, you will probably want to push it online and there is no reason to worry about this step. With the right toolkit, this really isn’t anything complicated. In order to provide the best service possible, you will have to integrate your knowledge base to your website. This can be done by linking it to your FAQ or Online Help page on your official website. Some businesses even have an additional FAQ section added to their web site.
But, to be able to make the information easily reachable and accessible, you will have to take care of title tags. These title tags are indexed by major search engines. So, when a customer searches, for example., “How to change batteries on my new device?”, and your title tag is “How to Manage the Power of...” your online help documentation won’t be there in the search results.
This is why it’s of the utmost importance to do your keyword research. This will help you learn what are the most common help inquires of an average customer. Use this knowledge to write good headings, subheadings, and use those keywords when writing content.
One more piece of advice; make sure that your online knowledge base is also searchable. This will allow you to place a search box and help users find the information they’re looking for with ease. As you can see, building a good and powerful knowledge base requires of you to respect the structure and consistency. If you take all these tips into consideration when you are building your own knowledge base, you will end up with a user intuitive environment filled with useful and well-written help documentation. What’s more important, your business will have a tool so powerful that it will be able to serve both customers and employees 24/7. Since this field is still developing, make sure you keep up with the latest news and follow the lead experts on the social media.
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