Improving customer support is very important to all businesses. For online stores, there are several possibilities to do so. One of those is by creating a knowledge base. What is it and how do you set it up?
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- What is a knowledge base?
- Benefits of having a knowledge base
- How do you set up a knowledge base?
- Topics to include in your knowledge base
What is a knowledge base?
A knowledge base is an online library filled with guides, tutorials, and answers to common customer questions about your business’s products or services. Sometimes it also includes user forums, articles, white papers, how-to articles, case studies, and dictionaries or glossaries. It’s basically a place filled with anything that helps customers understand and use your products or services.
There are several benefits to having a knowledge base in your website. The biggest one of course is the fact that customers can find the answers to their most common issues themselves, which saves your customer service agents time.
Having a knowledge base saves time, because customers can help themselves.
When online businesses first start out they often notice that they receive a lot of questions in emails or phone calls about the same topics. Adding a knowledge base can save time, as these customers can help themselves instead of contacting the business. This saves both the online business as well as the customer time. It can also reduce costs, as fewer phone calls will save money.
A study by Forrester shows that customers prefer finding answers to their questions on their own. This is likely because they want an immediate response to their question. Because these customers will have a better experience on your website, you can increase customer retention with a knowledge base.
Another benefit is the fact that your knowledge base is available 24/7. Your customers can access information when they need it, with any device. This makes your customer support more consistent and can be very useful if you have customers in multiple time zones.
How do you set up your knowledge base?
You’re adding a knowledge base to your website so that customers can find the extra information they need. When you’re setting up the base, you should make sure that all the information in it is easy to find. This is why adding a search bar to your knowledge base is crucial.
Having an overview of your available information is also helpful. Arrange them by popularity or topics, for example. Customers don’t want to sift through an enormous list of articles. Make sure that customers can find related articles to the one they’re reading by linking them. By doing that and by having a search bar, your customers will find their way.
The first thing to add to your knowledge base is a FAQ page. Once you notice that the answer to one of the questions is getting very long, you can write a separate article about that topic. Your articles should be easy to read, adding headers to it will make it easier for customers to skim through it. Make sure that your information is complete, don’t assume that your customers are already knowledgeable about the topic.
Make sure that all relevant information is easy to find through Google too. Customers are likely to start their search there, so if it’s easy to find this way it will eliminate another step in your customer’s journey.
Topics you should include
Common topics that are included in the knowledge base of online stores are:
Before placing an order, consumers want to know a company’s return policy. They favour companies where they can return their items for free. Whether that’s your policy or not, the most important thing is that consumers can read about it before they order something. This will save you and the customer a lot of hassle.
Usually, online stores mention their return policy on their product page or their checkout page, but if you write about this topic in your knowledge base you’ll be able to put in more information. Mention your return policy and explain how long customers can keep their items before sending it back, in what state the product should be returned, how customers can register their return shipment, and which forms they need. But also mention whether or not they will get a refund and how soon they can expect to receive that money.
This is another important topic to incorporate in your knowledge base. As your website will store your customers’s data, they will want to know what happens to it. You should also describe what measures you take to protect the personal details that your customers fill in during their order. How do you make sure that transactions are safe and private? Customers want to read about this before placing an order.
In European countries your online store is obligated to mention your warranty period. Customers have the right to know when their warranty expires. Most online stores mention the warranty on their product page, but in your knowledge base you have the possibility to go more in-depth.
If you sell several types of products, this is the place to explain the warranty period for each category. You can also elaborate on what a customer can do if a product breaks during the warranty period, will they get a refund or will you replace the product?
Most consumers have gotten used to the fact that they can track their order once it’s shipped. The possibilities depend on the shipping company and of course on the size and type of shipment. On this topic, you could give some information about which shipping companies you work with and how they deal with track-and-trace. Perhaps you can even link to another article about what happens when a shipment is delayed or lost.
Another topic you can incorporate in your knowledge base is sustainability. Most online stores know that customers favour sustainable brands. You could inform your customers about the materials you use if you produce your products yourself. Otherwise you can describe how sustainable your suppliers are. You can also inform customers about the ways in which you try to reduce your carbon footprint, by choosing a sustainable shipping company or perhaps even deliver packages by bike in areas nearby.