If you're just starting out on your help desk journey, a knowledge base might not seem that important. But while direct support is invaluable, a good knowledge base not only empowers customers to find answers on their own, but it's also a cornerstone for training and scaling your support team.
Customers often prefer to find solutions on their own. Getting an instant answer to a problem leads to increased satisfaction among your customers because they don't have to wait for your team to answer. Even if you have the best support team around.
Many common queries can be answered without ever reaching your support team, leading to a reduction in ticket volume. This might seem really obvious, but it's easily overlooked when you're fighting for the resource to get knowledge base content written.
A knowledge base serves as a central repository for all information, ensuring that every team member has access to the same resources and training materials. For new hires and even seasoned team members, having a go-to place for information can speed up response times and reduce the learning curve.
A common challenge for growing teams is maintaining consistency in support responses. You really want to avoid the situation where two members of your team would give different answers to a customer. With a knowledge base, staff can reference standardised answers, ensuring customers receive consistent information.
In the early days, you should document everything you can, and not care too much about how it's presented. At this stage you're creating documents for internal use only, so nothing needs to be too fancy or well written.
A lot of support teams end up not creating documentation because they think it needs to be perfect, or that only only certain topics are worth covering because they meet a length requirement for what a knowledge base article should like. On the contrary, even if you've only got 50 words that are needed to help resolve a problem, create an article for it. The best thing you can do is get information out of your teams head and stored where everyone can access it.
Which is why you need to remove barriers. Everyone should find it easy to contribute to your knowledge base. That could be making sure they have the correct permissions to add articles directly, or it could just be making sure that everyone feels they can contribute.
Often it's a lack of confidence in writing ability that stops team members from feeling like they can contribute. But you have to show that anyone with a solution to a problem can write it down and make a difference.
Assign a Librarian
As your knowledge base grows, you need to make sure that it's properly organised and that everyone can find what they're looking for. This is where you're going to start turning those support team notes into customer facing articles, and you're going to start getting a feel for how things should be categorised and tagged.
Giving someone the role of librarian can help with this task. Pick the most organised member of the support team to start being responsible for how things are titled, or what category they go into. Set aside some time every week for them to not be answering tickets and instead be organising the latest knowledge base articles. That way you can leave the wider team to keep producing more articles (removing barriers) but then ensure that everyone can find them.
A robust knowledge base is more than just a collection of articles — it's a strategic tool that can drive customer satisfaction and streamline internal operations. By empowering customers with self-service options and equipping your team with a centralized information hub, you can ensure that support is not just reactive but proactive and efficient.