Customer Success | 6 MIN READ

Self-Service Knowledge Base for Customer Success

What looks like a self-service customer knowledge base for customer success? And how do we get to create one? Get started with this blog and find your answers.

Simran Mohanty
Simran Mohanty
Apr 27, 2021

Customer-Knowledge-Base

Customer Knowledge Base

You just woke up from a nightmare. You are rushing to the office and you see a sea of traffic in front of you. You reach your office 15 minutes late and find out that the elevator stopped working this morning. You sit down on your desk and now have to hear complaining customers yelling at the top of their voice, on the other side of the phone, for the next eight hours. 

That picture does not seem as pretty as it should look like, does it? Times like these can be super frustrating when you see yourself buried in support tickets and live chats. Finding yourself answering the same queries again and again after a rough day can be excruciating. 

Now, is when the question pops up in your head, ‘How can I address more customer queries in lesser time with an enhanced level of quality? Is there any way to scale up customer service?’ 

The answer is simple! Enter customer education, or as they say in customer term vocabulary, customer knowledge base. At its core, no matter the purpose, a knowledge base solely supports the customers to ascertain solutions and attain success in their efforts. Let us dig into the world of knowledge base to get started. 

What is Customer Knowledge Base? 

A knowledge base is a self-service customer success library that renders all the information about a particular product, feature, topic, or FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) in general. Aside from being a reservoir of help center articles, it also caters to user forums, white papers, video tutorials, glossaries, and how-to blogs.

Essentially, anything and everything that aids a customer to better understand your product that comes under the knowledge base. This way, they can simply extinguish one of their basic queries here and opt for a support executive in case of an urgent one. According to a study by Forrester, it is confirmed that 90% of the customers prefer getting an immediate response via a knowledge base over the other self-service channels for their queries. 

How to Create a Customer Knowledge Base? 

Although creating a knowledge base is no rocket science, making it overtly simplified or drafting it without a firm strategy will do more harm than good. For starters, the customer has to actually be able to trace solutions to their questions. This requires the right mix of design, expertise, architecture, and even content to assist the customer in the best way. Let us look at some of the ways of making that happen. 

Formatting – Structure and Design 

The top-performing companies use a dedicated, standard format that is consistent with their knowledge bases. Moreover, it looks pretty neat and easier for the customers to sail through the articles. Priority should be given to the ones which are the most popular, sifting them on the home page and making them prominent. Look at this example here from Evernote’s Knowledge Base that gives the users to navigate by the categories – Getting Started, Troubleshooting, Tips & Tutorials: 

Evernote’s Knowledge Base
Source: Evernote

Content – Descriptive and Simple 

It is time to start optimizing the content process and zero in on the writing aspect. Here, all you aspire for is to lure the readers in and give them a descriptive solution to their query. That begins with a sharp and strong headline, lucid instructions or body, links to informative resources, and seamless readability.

The whole purpose of the knowledge base is to let your customers find the answers to their queries without taking help from the support team. Therefore, your content should do all the talking and should be comprehensive at all times with simple language, relevant keywords, right spacing, and tonality too. You may also add a featured topics column for the top user concerns, where you can explore by topics. Peruse this example from Moz here: 

Source: Moz

Imagery – Visuals and Videos 

Not all your customers would like text-heavy pages, and neither do they have the time to go through them line by line. Some of them might be visual or auditory learners too. Give the customers what they would like to see. Be it an informative infographic, an interesting video, a relevant screenshot, or a feature overview. All of these will give a break from blocks of text and will allow the customers to stay on the page longer. Moz has a separate page on video series that helps the beginners with some of the How-to’s. Watch.

Source: Moz

Range – Anything and Everything 

Your knowledge base should be your customer’s Google on your site. Try to club in anything and everything that can possibly be a query of the user. By covering a multitude of topics, you lessen the number of calls your support team delves into. This freed time permits them to zoom in on the rather complicated or urgent issues first.

But then again, touching upon all the concerns should be your goal but not a priority. Focus on addressing the basic yet significant ones first and then you can expand your wings further. On that note, make it a point to categorize the whole lot as per their distinct features or functions just like the knowledge base at Decibel Insight:

Source: Decibel Insight

That’s a Wrap 

Though customer knowledge base is no daunting task, it doesn’t mean it won’t need substantial strategizing and planning. A well-maintained knowledge base will help in reducing costs, augmenting customer satisfaction score and rev up your ROI as well. Moreover, it lets you focus more on proactive issues like customer education and empowerment and not on some basic support affairs. This shift if done seamlessly can give rise to a huge organizational win. If you are on the route to start a knowledge base, try these aforementioned tips, to begin with – and you will surely find it easy to glide through. 

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Originally Published April 27th, 2021, Updated April 27th, 2021

Simran Mohanty

Simran Mohanty

Simran hails from the content marketing backdrop with extensive knowledge in blogs, articles, and technical whitepapers in the non-fictional domain. She uses her 'gift of the gab' to explore new possibilities on her way and to make an exquisite impact on her readers. In her spare time, she likes to read journals on artificial intelligence or play with her cute kittens. You can connect with her on LinkedIn here.

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