Utilizing an external knowledge base is becoming increasingly popular for support teams and help centers. These customer facing solutions are containing content such as product manuals, technical specifications, and FAQs which customers can access online to find answers quickly.
This differs from an internal knowledge base which is commonly used by organizations for storing records about their customer interactions and training materials for employees. You can compare the differences between internal and external knowledge base in our recent guide to internal knowledge base.
The benefits of external knowledge bases are manifold: they provide customers with quick answers, 24/7 access, organized content, and most importantly, allow customer service teams to focus on more pressing issues.
All this makes an external knowledge base an efficient tool that should be considered in the operations of any support team or help center.
Researching Resources: Finding the Right Knowledge Base Software
When looking for external knowledge base software, it’s important to consider factors such as usability, scalability, and cost. Popular external knowledge bases like KnowledgeBase, Zendesk, and Helpjuice offer various features that fit different needs and budgets.
KnowledgeBase is an indispensable product that seamlessly integrates with LiveChat. Not only does it provide valuable self-service knowledge upfront, but it also makes sharing resources on chat and in emails ticket a breeze.
What's even better is that knowledge can be easily searched for right in the customer service app!
Now your reps won't waste time jumping back and forth between tabs because they have up to date knowledge readily available to provide accurate answers to customer inquiries - no delay necessary!
Price: 14 day free trial and then $59 per month.
For many businesses, customer service is a priority--Zendesk can help! With their platform that boasts features such as creating knowledge bases, which can be internal or external and access restricted if desired, they have you covered.
You can use their rich formatting and templates to make the most of your support page. Even better, they provide a draft saving option so you never lose your hard work!
While some of their more advanced capabilities might only come with the enterprise plan, there's still enough in the entry plans for small and mid-sized businesses to get good value from Zendesk.
Price: $49-$99 per user.
Helpjuice is quickly becoming the preferred knowledge base platform of larger teams due to its extremely customizable and cooperative nature.
Not only can you make the interface reflect your team's branding by changing fonts, colors, and layout, but it also allows for seamless remote communication so that all tasks are assigned, comments are given, and changes are requested quickly and without hassle.
Managers will love how easy it is to keep track of revisions and content history - Helpjuice makes sure all of your team's hard work doesn't get lost in translation!
Price: $120-$499 depending on the plan.
If you're looking for even longer list of possible solutions, you should definitely check out this list of 6 best knowledge base software platforms.
Integrating a Knowledge Base into Your Existing System
Once you have found the external knowledge base that best suits your needs, it's time to integrate it into your existing system.
The process is fairly simple: all you need to do is add a few lines of code in whichever language you are using and connect the external knowledge base with your own database.
This will allow your customer service team to quickly search and find answers to customer queries in the external knowledge base.
However, if you are using a system like KnowledgeBase, you don't need to worry about the integration process - it will be taken care of for you!
For example, integrating KnowledgeBase with LiveChat gives customers self-service options right there in the chat window and reduces their wait times for support.
With these key features right at your customer's fingertips, they experience an enhanced support system that conveniently provides them access to valuable knowledge resources right away.
Learn more about building a live chat knowledge base.
Potential Challenges and Best Practices for Overcoming Them
Although a knowledge base is definitely a great resource, it may come with its own set of challenges that need to be addressed.
Keep Your Articles Up to Date
For example, customer facing knowledge base requires regular maintenance and updating.
If you don't keep the knowledge base up to date, customer service reps can get stuck providing inaccurate answers or become confused when trying to access older articles. Even worse, they might even provide inaccurate information.
To avoid this, make sure that all external knowledge base articles are updated regularly and are in sync with any changes made to your internal systems.
It can also be helpful to assign tasks to certain members of your team who will be responsible for maintaining the external knowledge base and making sure it is up-to-date at all times.
Another challenge you may face is the searchability of external knowledge base articles. If your external knowledge base can't be searched properly, then it won't benefit customers who are looking for specific answers to their queries.
To improve the searchability of a knowledge bases, use natural language processing tools that understand the context of customer queries and are able to search knowledge bases using the same language customers use.
This will help them quickly find valuable content they may be looking for without having to wade through an overwhelming list of results.
Organize Your Resources
Creating a helpful knowledge base for customers is essential if you want them to get the right information quickly and easily.
To organize the knowledge base, start by structuring relevant articles into categories that make sense. These categories should be distinct yet connected to each other, so that customers can easily move between related topics.
Try to include helpful articles on various topics within each category in order to provide comprehensive information regarding your products/services.
Finally, make sure that the content is clear and concise so customers understand what they're reading without wading through excessive amounts of text. All this taken together should result in an organized and efficient knowledge base!
Create a Workflow
It is important to remind customer service reps to utilize external knowledge base articles as part of their daily routine. They should be aware that external knowledge bases are a great resource for providing customers with answers quickly and efficiently - something customers will appreciate!
Using knowledge base content as part of a consistent workflow will help ensure customer inquiries are addressed in a timely manner. You can further motivate your team to engage with external knowledge base by providing rewards for their efforts, such as recognition and incentives.
By making an external knowledge base part of your service team’s workflow you not only increase customer satisfaction but also save time and money in the long run. One example of a positive impact is improving customer response time with knowledge base articles.
Continuously Improving Your External Knowledge Base
To ensure you're getting the most out of the external knowledge base, it's important to continually analyze their usage and make improvements over time.
You can do this by tracking how often customers are accessing external knowledge base resources, as well as what kind of queries they are asking. This will give you an understanding of which external knowledge base topics need to be addressed more effectively.
You should also look for any external knowledge base articles that are not being used and consider removing them. This will help you make sure your external knowledge base remains up-to-date and relevant to customers.
It is also important to continually review external knowledge base content and see if there are any opportunities for improvement - such as additional formatting, updated images, new videos, or other enhanced content.
By taking the time to review your external knowledge base, you can ensure they remain an effective and beneficial resource for customers. Not sure how to approach reporting and analytics? Make sure to read our article on important knowledge base metrics you need to track.
External knowledge base can become an invaluable tool in helping your teams provide efficient customer service and address their pain points.
By following the tips outlined in this article, you can get the most out of the external knowledge base and ensure they are an asset to your customer service operations.
If done correctly, external knowledge base content should help improve customer response times and reduce support costs. With careful management and continual improvement, external knowledge base can become a powerful resource for your team.
Ready to give your customers the knowledge they need for effortless self-service? Take advantage of KnowledgeBase's lightning-fast customer support and try it out with a 14-day free trial - no credit card required!
Your customers will thank you as they find the answers to their questions quickly and easily. Get KnowledgeBase today and start giving your customers the great service they deserve.