How to Build Knowledge Base Content Strategy for Top-Notch Customer Experience

knowledge base content strategy and tips 2020

Whether you already have a knowledge base for customer support or you are thinking of creating one, the big question that you are likely to face is: 

How should we create content that clicks with customers? What kind of content would actually help customers solve problems? 

That’s where a knowledge base content strategy comes to your aid. 

Since content forms the heart and soul of a knowledge base, it must be top-notch. 

Relevant and up-to-date information with the right set of visuals and a dash of personalization is all that customers need from your self-service customer support system. And a knowledge base content strategy can help you achieve this and much more. 

In this blog, we will explore some impeccable tips and tricks to build a perfect knowledge base content strategy and even look at a few examples for some inspiration. 

But before we dive deep into the topic, let’s first understand what exactly a knowledge base should contain. 

Here we go!

What Should Your Knowledge Base Include?

A knowledge base is a one-stop point where customers expect to receive lightning-fast answers to their questions. These high expectations can be fulfilled only if your knowledge base covers all basic and complex topics from end to end. 

If you are wondering what exactly you should cover in your knowledge base, here is your answer: 

  • How-to articles & tutorials
  • Getting started videos
  • Product troubleshooting tips & tricks
  • Product and service-related FAQs
  • Step-by-step instructions
  • Glossary section
  • Contact options, and much more. 

Depending on the kind of products and services you deal with and the kind of questions you receive the most from customers, you can add more topics to your knowledge base. 

Let’s now learn about the tips and tricks to build a compelling knowledge base content strategy. 

5 Easy Tips to Build Your Knowledge Base Content Strategy 

Today’s customers like to take matters into their own hands every time a problem arises. They want to give every problem a shot before contacting you via phone, email, or tickets. 

While self-service is a highly-preferred medium of support, many customers feel they don’t get the help they need. Here’s why. 

In a survey conducted by Microsoft, half of the respondents revealed that they find too little information on online self-service portals. 

Another report by Statista reveals various reasons self-service turns problematic for customers. 

Report by Statista reveals various reasons self-service turns problematic for customers.

Well, here’s the good news. 

A carefully-crafted knowledge base content plan and strategy can turn your self-service portal into a rich information resource customers would love to use. It gives you a roadmap to build effective content that assists your customers every time they need a helping hand. 

Here are five practical tips for building a robust self-service content strategy to take your knowledge base from ordinary to exceptional. 

1. Build Personas to Know Your Customers 

Knowing your customers is the stepping stone to building an awesome strategy for knowledge base content management.

But how do you get into your customers’ heads and understand their unique preferences and expectations? 

By creating customer personas. 

Customer personas are semi-fictional and super-specific illustrations of your customers. They give you all basic information about your customers and their attitude, behavior, concerns, and a lot more. 

Here’s an example of a customer persona. 

To create accurate personas, you must be well-versed with your customers:

  • Demographics
  • Past experiences with your organization
  • Their expectations from your brand
  • Their knowledge of your product or service

Marketing, sales, and support – these are the go-to teams that can give you reliable insights into who your customers are, what are their pain points, and what they expect from your company. Consult with these teams and gain every shred of information you can to create personas. 

When you have the personas, it’s easy to understand customers to the core. This understanding of their pain points and challenges gives a good headstart to your knowledge base content curation process. 

You can pick topics that would interest customers the most and are well aligned with their pain points. 

Read More: How to Build Customer Personas: The Complete Guide

1. Take Note of Customer Complaints Raised Across Support Channels 

If someone or something disappoints you once, you give it a chance to improve. 

But what do you do if you get continuous disappointment? 

You will want to Leave!

Even customers work similarly. 

Take any day and you will get countless complaints from customers for something or the other. Despite that, you can turn the tables in your favor if you give heed to those complaints and use them to build a rich self-service resource that aids problem-solving. 

Go through each support channel – help desk, live chat, phone calls, social media, and look at the questions customers ask, the concerns they have the most, and the challenges they face often. 

Go into the specifics and find out: 

  • Questions raised around product features
  • Suggestions shared for product or process improvement
  • Bugs reported in products, etc. 

You now have an ocean of information that can be used to build meaningful self-help articles. This way, every piece of your knowledge base content will provide real solutions to customers’ problems.

2. Define the Knowledge Base Architecture 

By now you will probably have a list of topics ready to be added to your knowledge base. 

But wait. 

How are you going to fit all article topics together under one roof? 

Well, that requires a little bit of effort in putting together a good structure for your knowledge base. 

When you build your knowledge base content strategy, remember to lay down a format in which the articles should be written, categorized, and structured together. Don’t go too overboard with the format. Keep it simple and fuss-free by creating specific categories that flow logically from basic to advanced. 

Your best bet here is to build a structure that has some high-level categories with a couple of sub-categories, each comprising 6 to 10 topics. Regardless of the length and breadth of your knowledge base topics, you must ensure that they have short paragraphs, simple language, bullet points, and a fair amount of breathing space. 

The ultimate aim of your overall knowledge base architecture and article structure should be to help customers navigate easily and discover the information they need with minimal effort. 

The below-given knowledge base content example by LEAP demonstrates all the points discussed above. 

3. Create & Follow a Style Guide 

When a team with different people work together to write knowledge base content, you might get faster results, but there is something very crucial the articles will lack – consistency. 

Consistency gives knowledge base articles a unified tone and voice, keeping all confusion and misinterpretations away. With a detailed and brand-specific style guide in place, you can keep the writing quality and style intact across the entire knowledge base. 

Besides, a comprehensive style guide makes the writing process much easier for your team by giving them a set of rules to follow at every point. 

A style guide lists down all essential components of good writing, along with some practical guidelines such as: 

  • Grammar and punctuation rules
  • Paragraph and sentence format and length 
  • Rules related to the use of media in articles
  • Rules regarding article formatting
  • Accepted jargon that you are allowed to use
  • Tips on how to write interactive content, and a lot more. 

Styling can bring a world of a difference in how your content reads and how engaging it is for customers. 

That’s precisely why creating a style guide should be your top priority when you are in the process of formulating the knowledge base content strategy. 

There is a thing about knowledge base content – maintaining it is a never-ending process. 

The content for your customer-facing knowledge base can get obsolete real soon if not updated and maintained from time to time. And stale content ends up creating more problems for customers than solving them. 

Your self-help content strategy should consider the fact that a knowledge base cannot be a static resource. The team of writers and editors will have to continuously make new additions to articles, remove dated content, and improve articles that do not provide the right solutions. 

But how do you keep track of each article’s performance, quality, and relevance – all at the same time? 

By embracing the right knowledge base software

Modern knowledge base tools make content improvement easier with their built-in reporting system. Their robust reports help you unlock deep insights into how customers use your knowledge base and whether they are finding the right answers. 

You can easily identify improvement areas and take immediate action with performance metrics like failed searches and poorly rated articles. The key to achieving self-service success is to continuously update, adapt, and improve. 

For more information on how reports work, watch this video. 

Read More: Effective Tips to Promote Your Self-Service Platform Among Customers

Get Your Dose of Inspiration From These Knowledge Base Content Examples 

While we are now abreast with the theoretical aspects of knowledge base content, let’s now watch this theory in action. 

Here are some excellent examples of companies with top-notch knowledge base content. Look at what they are doing differently to keep their self-service content well-organized, searchable, and relevant for customers. 

1. WhatsApp

WhatsApp -help center

WhatsApp’s neat and comprehensive help center is Goals. No over-the-top designing or styling. As you open the help center, you are greeted with a simple home page, a big search bar, and all useful articles packed together in one place. The color scheme matches well with WhatsApp’s branding, and its articles have a consistent voice and tone.

2. Fitbit

Fitbit - Knowledge base content

Another amazing knowledge base content example that deserves your attention is Fitbit. The fitness product brand has done a great job of creating a beautifully structured knowledge base that hosts a variety of articles across all its products. 

What makes this help center even more useful is the support option right in the middle of the home page, a corner dedicated to expert advice along with the “Let’s Talk” option. 

3. Unleashed

unleashed - helpcenter

Unleashed has set the right example of knowledge base content that’s easy to navigate and read. Its help center powered by ProProfs is done beautifully in terms of content quality, structure, and branding. The home page has a prominent search bar followed by crucial sections such as Getting Started and Managing Accounts. 

After that, there are more sections on FAQs and advanced features that customers can explore. Besides, there is also the Contact Support, visit our Website, and Online Community links so that customers can get all the help they need right under one roof. 

Start Planning a Solid Knowledge Base Content Strategy 

Customers visit a company’s help center hoping that their problems will be solved at the earliest. Only two things can happen here. Either they will be delighted with the self-service experience or disappointed. 

If you are wondering how to build trust in your knowledge base content, a solid strategy is all you need to get started. The first step to building a strategy is knowing your customers inside out. 

Create customer personas and identify who your customers really are and what they expect from you. Find out what they complain about the most and what challenges they face regularly. Accordingly, decide the topics you should include in your knowledge base. Once you have a list of the topics, define the knowledge base’s structure and create a style guide. 

Follow the strategy and knowledge base content best practices to deliver delightful self-service experiences!

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About the author

Brayn is a knowledge management expert. He has been published in CustomerThink, PointVisible and Apruve. As a customer support specialist at ProProfs, Brayn has been instrumental in building a robust knowledge base and documents that help support executives keep every customer delighted. You can catch up with Brayn on Twitter and LinkedIn.