How to keep momentum going with your knowledge base

Catherine Heath | March 3, 2021

Many companies start their knowledge base with the best of intentions, but without proper care and attention, it can easily lose momentum. 

Your customers will not be impressed with a knowledge base that has out-of-date or missing information, and will see it as an indication that you don’t value their business. It’s almost worse to have a disappointing knowledge base than it is to have none at all. 

Customers see this as a waste of their time and money, and they’ll just have to fire off an email to customer support which they could have done anyway. 

To keep momentum going in your knowledge base, you need to remember your purpose, actively plan your strategy, publish new content regularly and assess your progress.

Light the fire

Firstly, you must keep the fire lit if you want your knowledge base to be a success. That means remembering the reason why you started it in the first place, and how important it is to help your customers. 

If nothing else, your knowledge base is an important tool for customer retention, and a returning customer is far more valuable than a new customer

It’s much more cost-effective to retain an existing customer than it is to acquire new customers, and a knowledge base is all part of customer support for your existing customers. 

Customers who receive exceptional support are four times more loyal than other customers, so use that as motivation to provide amazing support content. Loyal customers are less likely to be lured away by your competitors, and much more likely to promote your brand through word-of-mouth advertising. 

Having a knowledge base is all about giving customers what they want. 3 out of 4 customers prefer to solve their customer service issues on their own without the help of a live agent. Customers don’t want to have to contact customer support if there’s an alternative options.  

A robust knowledge base means you’re meeting customer expectations. 90% of customers expect a business to provide a self-service portal. 

Come up with a strategy

Have you laid out your strategy for your knowledge base

This means knowing the aim of your knowledge base. This is most likely going to be providing your customers with useful documentation to enable them to use your products effectively. Your strategy is to reduce the burden on your support team by providing effective self-service content to help customers help themselves. You might also be aiming to reduce customer churn by solving customer problems quickly and efficiently. 

It also means knowing where you would like to be in three months, six months, a year. This is what really gives your knowledge base momentum. 

Engage in regular activity

Regular posting to your knowledge base keeps the fire stoked. It’s easier to keep a great resource going than it is to start it up again repeatedly. This can be challenging when customer support is very busy and may not set the time aside to produce content. 

Consistency needs to be balanced with the rest of your team’s demands, and that’s why it’s best to nominate someone as a knowledge leader in your company. They will be in charge of keeping the knowledge base updated and stocked with regular new content. 

Set time aside each week to review which content needs to be produced, and then assign a writer to each piece. Even though this requires a time investment, you’ll earn the time back through the many customers who you will have helped with your content who then didn’t have to contact support. 

Every month, or however often makes sense for your team, review your knowledge base for any content that needs updating or removing. If your product has regular release cycles then you’ll need to align your content production with each release. It takes time to produce all the new content that will help customers learn all the new features, and make sure your knowledge base is kept up to date.  

Share your knowledge base

You’ll definitely lose momentum with your knowledge base if none of your customers are actually using it. Make sure you share your knowledge base in as many places as possible to increase traffic to your content. 

Link to your knowledge base prominently from your main website. Add in a link to your autoresponder that customers receive every time they email support. Your knowledge base may just help them solve their problem in less time than it takes your team to respond to the email. 

Get your customer support agents to link to your knowledge base in the footer of their emails, and ask them to promote relevant knowledge base content every time they help someone.

If you publish a blog post referencing a particular feature of your product, consider linking to the documentation rather than the product page for a more in-depth explanation.  

Over time, customers will gradually come to regard your knowledge base as the first port of call when they have a problem ,

Set relevant targets and measure success

If you have targets, it will be easier to keep momentum going as you’ll be motivated to hit that target. Measuring the effectiveness of your knowledge base means you can make improvements to your content and ensure that it is fulfilling your customers’ needs. 

Pick a target that makes sense for you, like producing up to five new articles a month, reducing support inquiries by 5%, or increasing your customer satisfaction score with your knowledge base. 

You can ask your customers to rate the effectiveness of your knowledge base article using a simple thumbs up thumbs down survey at the bottom of every article. 

You can check the search results in the analytics dashboard of your knowledge base software to find searches that didn’t return any results, which will give you ideas for new content to create.

Seek feedback from customers

If you regularly solicit feedback from your customers, this will keep the momentum going with your knowledge base because you’ll be getting a real sense of how effective it is. Feedback is motivating and positive feedback boosts morale for your support team. 

It’s going to be much easier to lose motivation with your knowledge base if you aren’t speaking with the people who actually benefit from the work you’re doing. It’s important to reach out to your customers to find out if your knowledge base is actually helping them. 

Use a simple NPS or CSAT survey to ask them what they would improve, what they like, and for any other comments. Collect feedback from your customers and then review it regularly to find out any improvements they would make and content that isn’t working for them. 

If you take action on some customer feedback, be sure to close the loop and let the customer know that they’ve been listened to. 

Your turn!

It’s important to keep coming back to why you started your knowledge base in the first place, which is to help your customers get the most out of your products. You have to make the effort to place maintaining your knowledge base at the front and center in order for customers to keep deriving value from your content. 

While prioritizing alone can provide a lot of momentum, creating a sound strategy to guide you, posting regularly, sharing your content, continually assessing your progress, and seeking feedback from your customers will keep you going for the long haul. 

KnowledgeOwl is the provider of fantastic knowledge base software to suit your customer self-service needs. Sign up today for a free trial. 

About the author
Catherine Heath
Catherine Heath

Catherine is the Community Builder for KnowledgeOwl. She is also a freelance writer based in Manchester. She writes blogs, social media, copy, and designs owl-based images. 

You can find out more about Catherine on her personal websites Away With Words and Catherine Heath Studios.

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