Business Practices | | Published August 07, 2013

3 Tips on Building a Knowledge Base & How to Write FAQs

Knowledge is a wonderful thing. It is empowering and satisfying to be able to search for an answer yourself. Using the best knowledge base software makes providing valuable information and self service to customers a cinch.

An easy to use and robust web based knowledge base software enables you to share information with your employees, customers and partners allowing you to increase productivity and customer satisfaction while reducing man hours and the help desk workload.

3 Simple Tips on Building a Knowledge Base

Having a solid and thorough knowledge base like the one you can build through TeamSupport self-service software can be a true game changer for your company. Instead of taking time out of your day to answer the same questions over and over again, you can concentrate on the real head scratchers; the more complex customer service issues that require more care and attention. It will also help to allow your team to focus on to improving service and take the business to the next level instead of scrambling to answer hundreds of support tickets.

Of course when starting out you don’t necessarily know what your frequently answered questions will be in order to add them to a FAQ in the first place. Even long time business owners and CSRs may have a little trouble identifying the questions they actually get asked the most. So how do you go about building up a knowledge base to add to your company wiki?

Balance is Key

Your knowledge base should not take a huge chunk of valuable time. If you’re spending hours upon hours on the wiki and neglecting your business then the entire purpose of the knowledge base has gone out the window. You want a healthy balance of adding material and letting what you have speak for itself.

So in the beginning a good idea is to data collect. Your initial reaction may be to add every question to your FAQ, but that might not be the healthiest option. Instead, take notes of all the various questions you get. Simply paying attention to conversations will help you notice a pattern. Maintain this schedule for a while before updating your knowledge base to ensure that you are adding the most common ones and not just the flukes.

Keep it Short, Sweet, and Up to Date

We’ve all stumbled across a knowledge base that’s woefully out of date or impossible to read. It doesn’t matter if it is for a multi-national company or for the “Land of the Lost” reboot from the 1990s. A bad FAQ can leave you more confused than when you found it. Worse, it can give you information that actively works against you.

The first thing to remember is you have to continually update your FAQ. While that sounds like it contradicts the “don’t let it get out of hand” rule just established, if you have a good system down, you’ll hardly spend any time updating it. Knowledge base software allows for you to easily tag and add already existing data. With a good system in place, it will take just a few minutes a week to review and fix info.

Try to also remember to keep everything short and sweet. While some step-by-step instructions will naturally be longer, squash everything else down as much as you can. Nobody wants to read a 10 page instructional on signing into your account. Get it all out there and be done with it.

Use Every Day Language

Most knowledge base software is searchable, including Team Support’s. This means when a customer has a problem they’re going to use the language most associated with what they need. For an example, to even find your knowledge base in the first place, most customers would search for “FAQ” or “wiki” rather than “knowledge base software” simply because those terms are more common.

So when writing out your questions and answers, be sure to use simple, common language. Not only will it help with the search engine, it will also prevent further confusion among your customers. If they can’t understand what you’re saying on your FAQ they will email you, defeating the purpose of a FAQ, or worse, they may just reconsider using your company altogether.

TeamSupport is a web based help desk solution with a knowledge base, wiki and other self service tools. Visit our site today to find out how our customer support software can help your customer service team deliver a collaborative and satisfying customer service experience.