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10 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Creating a Knowledge Base

Mistakes to Avoid in Knowledge Base

When it comes to creating a knowledge base, it’s easy to fall into common traps that can ultimately hinder its effectiveness. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the most common mistakes that businesses make when creating a knowledge base and how to avoid them. Whether you’re just starting out or seeking to improve an existing knowledge base, this guide will provide valuable insights to help you create a resource that truly meets the needs of your customers and support staff.

What is a knowledge base?

A knowledge base is a centralized repository of information that organizations use to store, manage, and share knowledge regarding their products or services. This structured compilation of data enhances employee productivity and customer service, reduces response time, and improves overall efficiency.

Reasons why you should have a knowledge base

Having well-designed knowledge base tools is essential for businesses that prioritize sharing information with their clients and staff. The advantages of possessing a knowledge base are outlined below:

Preserves the knowledge of the organization

Having a single accessible location to store information aids both customer service agents and clients in finding prompt solutions without having to frequently pester coworkers or reach out to customer service. Moreover, a well-documented knowledge base also allows businesses to retain valuable information even when an experienced employee leaves.

Promotes collaboration among staff

A knowledge resource promotes collaboration by enabling staff members from various departments to contribute and update information as required. It encourages teamwork and facilitates problem-solving as colleagues work together to identify and document effective solutions. Through sharing their expertise, communication and feedback are improved, resulting in increased efficiency and productivity.

Seamless knowledge transfer to new staff

Having comprehensive self-service tools is crucial in closing knowledge gaps. Knowledge bases encompass all the necessary information about the company’s products and services, on-boarding materials, training instructions, and essential guidelines. This ensures that new hires have access to consistent guidance, eliminating the need for them to repeatedly consult senior employees.

Helps deliver more consistent customer support

Self-help software centralizes information, providing users with uniform access to the same knowledge. This hub serves as a one-stop source of information for both customers and team members, promoting consistency and reducing confusion. Regardless of an agent’s level of experience, a knowledge base can serve as a reliable support source, contributing to a consistently exceptional customer experience.

Explore additional advantages that a knowledge base can offer to enhance your customer support in our blog.

Common missteps you should avoid when building a knowledge base

In order to make the most of the advantages mentioned previously, it is crucial to avoid any mistakes when designing your knowledge base articles. Here are some common mistakes to steer clear of when creating self-service tools for your business.

1. Not organizing the knowledge base content well

Having to spend excessive amounts of time searching for information that ought to be easily accessible is disliked by everyone. A disorganized knowledge base article can annoy both customers and agents as they attempt to find the necessary information and may turn to other sources for help.

Well organized information center
A well-structured knowledge base guarantees easy information retrieval

Furthermore, a lack of structure may result in the sharing of erroneous information, as customers are unable to pinpoint precise answers to their inquiries. The advantage of having a clear and organized knowledge resource is that it not only enhances information accessibility but also boosts retention by users. To enable customers to quickly obtain the information they need on their own, a well-structured knowledge base is indispensable.

2. Including too complex or too much information

It is essential to be mindful of the complexity of the content you are writing. Too much detail can leave your readers feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Although it is important to provide relevant background information, it is not necessary to include every single step and detail of a topic in one article. Be concise and intentional with your words since an article with too many details will likely cause your readers to lose interest.

An overwhelmed user
Too complex or too much information can be overwhelming.

Besides, it is important to ensure that each issue has its own individual information source, rather than having one Q & A page that contains information on multiple topics. This will help prevent a chaotic situation and make it easier for customers and support staff to find the information they need quickly without becoming overwhelmed or frustrated.

3. Failing to include visuals

Reading plain text can be monotonous and boring, which may cause a user to lose focus and miss out on valuable information. Learning becomes more stimulating and captivating with the inclusion of visuals such as screenshots, diagrams, videos, and infographics. These streamline complex concepts, breaking them down into comprehensible pieces that can be consumed bit by bit.

In addition, visuals show relationships between ideas and and procedures. When establishing a knowledge base, it is essential to consider the varied learning preferences of customers and other users and present information in formats that accommodate this diversity.

4. Disregarding user feedback

Ignoring user feedback can undermine your knowledge base endeavors. It is essential to collect user feedback and implement targeted improvements to enhance your knowledge base. To achieve this, designate a knowledge base management representative who can be contacted by customers or in-company users to provide inquiries or recommendations. Additionally, utilize your knowledge base to obtain product user feedback through surveys and comments, which can highlight areas that require enhancement.

Importance of user feedback in knowledge base
User feedback is key in designing a knowledge base article

Continuous refinement, experimentation, and enhancement are essential as knowledge base content is always evolving.

5. Ignoring search engine optimization (SEO)

Disregarding SEO means that your article will not appear readily when users search for comparable or associated information. SEO optimization makes an article easily accessible by improving its visibility in search engines such as Google. It is crucial to use relevant keywords and phrases, optimize article titles and meta descriptions, and structure your knowledge base in a way that is easy to read and navigate. This increases the chances of the article appearing at the top of search results pages.

SEO enhances the knowledge base’s visibility
SEO enhances the knowledge base’s visibility

It is equally important to improve the compatibility of your knowledge base with mobile devices and guarantee swift loading times to further improve its accessibility to a larger audience.

6. Poorly formatting the knowledge base

A document’s aesthetics significantly impact the reader’s perception of its contents. Formatting issues cause frustration and hinder comprehension of information. Poor formatting can also give an unpolished appearance to the information and make reading more challenging.

Well-formatted articles will encourage users to engage with the content and even explore related topics, leading to increased learning and a deeper understanding of the subject matter. The basics to formatting an article are to organize and categorize sections with headings; highlight important words or concepts with bold, italics, or lists; and use appropriate, professional fonts. Though these measures are simple, they are very effective.

7. Failing to keep the knowledge base up to date

To ensure that you always provide information that is accurate and meets user needs, it is essential to update your knowledge base regularly in response to ongoing changes in products, services, and processes. Revise your articles frequently to ensure they include any supplementary information or revisions.

Additionally, reach out to department heads or subject matter experts for updates in their respective domains and add articles about those developments on a regular basis. Providing accurate and up-to-date information will build trust with customers and improve their overall satisfaction with your service or product.

8. Creating a knowledge base that is difficult to navigate

Designing a knowledge base that is not user-friendly can have negative consequences. It may cause staff to feel frustrated and become less productive as they have trouble traversing content and locating information. For customers, it can result in a poor experience, potentially causing them to seek assistance from other channels or even switch to a competitor.

Ultimately, a difficult-to-use knowledge base will result in longer resolution times and lower customer satisfaction. It is therefore essential that you create one that is easily accessible and provides a hassle-free navigation experience to guarantee continued utilization and efficiency.

9. Letting developers create your knowledge base tools

It is common for developers to place excessive emphasis on technology, potentially disregarding the significance of human input and feedback. Therefore, if developers are solely responsible for creating a self-help tool, the resulting resource may be excessively rigid and technical, lacking consideration for the user’s perspective.

Your knowledge resources should ideally ensure that everyone is informed and on the same page. Collaboration and contribution from all teams, divisions, and individuals should be encouraged to create and maintain a well-rounded knowledge base. By sharing the workload, you can increase the reach of your content and steadily improve its impact.

10.  Failing to include contact details

Not furnishing your contact details in a knowledge base article may cause customers to feel frustrated. If the information customers are seeking cannot be found in the knowledge base article or if they require further clarification, they will need an alternative method to help them discover the solutions they need.

Strategically placing your contact information within the knowledge base content can create a sense of value and support for customers, as well as demonstrate your dedication to delivering top-notch assistance. Prioritizing transparency and responsiveness can help enhance your company’s reputation and attract new customers.

The bottom line

Creating a knowledge base is a crucial step towards providing excellent customer service and improving the overall efficiency of your business. However, it is important to avoid common mistakes that can hinder its success. By ensuring that your knowledge base is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and relevant, you will not only meet the needs of your customers but also strengthen your brand reputation.

BoldDesk provides the best knowledge base software for self-service. Schedule a 30-minute live demo to experience the best tool for your support team and customers. You can also begin a 15-day free trial to discover how BoldDesk’s features can be customized to meet your business’s needs.

Gibson Amisi Kashi
Gibson Amisi Kashi
Gibson is a technical writer at Syncfusion. He loves researching, writing, and editing technical content for SaaS products. He also enjoys the challenge of creating content that is both technically accurate, engaging, and easy to understand.

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