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Cloud Help Desk Software: The Importance Of Optimizing The Knowledge Base

17 December 2018, 3:07 pm EST By John Dunn Tech Times

Among the many features of cloud help desk software is the knowledge base. There are both external and internal options for this feature. The knowledge base is where community forums can be found and utilized as well. The main benefit of having a knowledge base is to help existing and prospective customers (as well as internal teams) find the answers they need without contacting support.

The knowledge base and community forums hold the potential to improve customer service while reducing the volume of tickets to manage. Many questions could be answered without a ticket if the resources were available to users. Also, users who don't want to submit a ticket have a better chance of finding the answers they need with a comprehensive knowledge base.

With all the great features cloud help desk software offers, businesses may underscore the importance of their knowledge base and community forums. This would be a mistake, though, as these features provide many benefits and are key for further automating and improving customer service. Let's discuss why these features are important and how to optimize them for the best results.

Encouraging Self-Service

While businesses want to encourage ticket submissions to their help desks, they also want to reduce the number of redundant inquiries and questions. The knowledge base and community forums are the first places customers should be directed to when they have a question about a business's products or services. This gives users the opportunity to answer their questions and learn more about a topic on their own.

The benefits of self-service for users include:

◦ learning at their own pace

◦ receiving instant answers

◦ learning at any time

◦ learning without submitting a ticket

◦ learning additional knowledge about a topic

◦ comfortable learning environment

◦ engaging and interacting in a tailored learning environment

The knowledge base and community forums are accessible through a self-service customer portal and a business's website pages. Both existing and prospective clients can utilize these resources, yet the level of user participation (forum discussions, article comments, Q&A section) is set by managers. For both existing and prospective clients, these resources need to be readily available to encourage self-service.

An article on HubSpot called "Creating & Managing a Knowledge Base: The Ultimate Guide", explains the importance of self-service:

"It might sound surprising, but the fact is, users want to find answers on their own. Forrester found that 70% of customers prefer to use a company's website to get answers to their questions rather than use phone or email to contact the customer service department."

"According to Destination CRM, 45% of companies offering web or mobile self-service have reported an increase in site traffic and a decrease in phone calls."

An article on Software Advice called "5 Cost-Saving Benefits of a Customer Self-Service Knowledge Base", written by Craig Borowski, explains why businesses should encourage self-service:

1. Saves Staff Time by Answering Easy Questions

2. Creates More Informed Customers and Communities

3. Reduces Repetition and Staff Attrition

4. Improves Search Engine Visibility

5. Boosts Workplace Training and Job Satisfaction

Essentially, businesses will benefit in many ways when they encourage self-service through an optimized knowledge base. This online library of industry-related resources not only alleviates help desk overload but also creates an SEO-optimized community hub that's centered around relevant topics for each business.

Optimizing The Knowledge Base And Community Forums

When users have a question about or need help with a product or service, the first resources they should consider using is the knowledge base and community forums. The more prominently these are displayed at key times, the more likely they'll be used.

Ultimately, the resources within these features need to be optimized to increase their value. The more detailed and comprehensive the resources are, the more valuable they'll be for users.

Here are the types of resources included in a knowledge base:

◦ FAQs

◦ Articles

◦ Videos

◦ White paper downloads

◦ eBook downloads

◦ Infographics

◦ Question and answer section

◦ Community forums

◦ Case studies

Each of these can be optimized and built-up in creative ways depending on the industry, preferences, and needs of each business. The main objectives are to create detailed and comprehensive content with each resource and organize them in a way that's easy to navigate and understand. One way help desk software does this automatically is by suggesting related knowledge base articles to staff when responding to tickets and to users when creating tickets.

Organizing separate topics into different categories will help users find specific answers they need quickly. A well-organized knowledge base will help users learn the answers to questions they haven't yet formulated. Also, they can centralize their study on a topic easier with segmented categories.

The aforementioned HubSpot article explains more:

"Discoverability is incredibly important when it comes to knowledge bases. If a user has a problem, can they find the solution? Key focus areas here should be in sifting the most popular articles to the home page and making them prominent, as well as improving search functions so users can find their specific problems."

The type of resources chosen and the way they're organized within a knowledge base will depend on the industry and preferences of each business. The key for each is to spend the necessary time and effort to create and organize the content in a way that's valuable to users. This includes ongoing efforts of monitoring analytical data and subsequent strategic improvements.

User Interaction

Community forums and Q&A sections within a knowledge base are great resources for generating user interaction. Another great place for users to interact is within the comment section of articles. By allowing users to join and participate in these sections, businesses are automating content creation and generating valuable industry-related resources.

Users will appreciate this content because it gives them unbiased answers from other users. Additionally, these resource sections are highly visible to search engines because they contain common questions being searched for.

All these user interaction sections can be moderated by managers to ensure alignment with business goals and values.

Conclusion

Improving customer service and workflows by using cloud help desk software is a great idea, yet businesses shouldn't underscore the importance of the knowledge base and community forums features within this solution. By focusing on optimizing these features within their help desk software, businesses will reduce costs, gain search engine visibility, improve customer service, and give users valuable self-service resources to learn more about their products and services.

Creating a rich online resource library with a community forum and Q&A section will bring value to a business's website. Both prospective and existing customers will appreciate their ability to access these valuable resources on their own, as more and more consumers prefer the self-service option when needing help. Users will also appreciate being able to participate and add value to community discussions.

Essentially, businesses should focus on optimizing their knowledge base, as this important help desk feature will assist them in reaching their overall goals of improving customer service, gaining online visibility, and streamlining customer service workflows.

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