A streamlined troubleshooting guide can help effectively resolve a customer issue and improve the overall customer experience. Knowledgebase content aids a customer in an online self-service environment or through an interactive voice response system (IVR). It’s a critical component of self-service, designed to empower the customer through the resolution process.
In a time of information overload, it’s important to keep information accessible, current and accurate. This makes it easier for customers to find resolutions for their problems. According to advisory firm CEB, a part of Gartner, 94% of customers who have a low-effort service experience will make a repeat purchase from the same company.1
Follow these four steps to ensure the knowledgebase you create for your customers drives resolution and increases overall satisfaction. After all, the best way to gain loyalty from your customers is by making it easy for them to do business with you.
Identify Where Your Customers Can Self-Serve
As you build your customer knowledgebase, the first step is identifying possible scenarios or problems that are easy to resolve using self-help troubleshooting.
Some examples include:
- Setting up an account
- Resetting a password
- Accessing an account
- Reinstating service
- Adding services to the account
This is also the time to think about Help Access Points (or HAPs). HAPs help you to identify where the customer is when the need for help arises. Your strategy for how to design and deliver customer facing service content would be impacted by the HAPs identified. A key to delivering an effortless experience is serving the right content to the customer at the exact time and place where help is needed.
In a recent review by Zendesk, 69% of customers attributed good customer service experiences to quick resolution of their problems.2 As you think through potential reasons a customer would need support, keep in mind the customer lifecycle of your product or service and identify the possible scenarios from each phase.
Create the Self-Service Content
Now that you’ve compiled the list of potential customer issues, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and create a knowledgebase article explaining the resolution for each of those potential customer issues.
The first step is to design your knowledgebase approach. Two popular approaches are a decision tree and a process map.
- A decision tree guides the customer through a step-by-step process and branches out depending on what occurs at each step.
- A process document creates a series of steps and diagrams to aid a customer through resolving an issue.
When you create content outlining the troubleshooting steps, it’s important that you think about how this content will work in a self-service vs. agent-assisted customer support environment. For example, when you are guiding a customer through self-help, it’s best to include screen shots and other imagery to allow the customer to read and visualize the steps for resolution.
It is important that the content designed is easy to understand and flows smoothly. Resolving a customer’s issue through self-service doesn’t need to be complex. In a recent article, Gartner states that organizations often have very complex content/information architecture and service-case workflows. This makes it difficult for your customers to find relevant information quickly. The rapid creation and retrieval of relevant content and knowledge are key attributes of leading enterprises. 3
Developing content is time consuming and the more you can leverage the content from one article for both self-service and contact center support, the less content management you will need post-deployment.
Understand How Often Your Content is Being Used
In any business, measurement is key to understanding where you are doing well and where you have opportunities to drive improvement. The same concept applies to your knowledgebase. To measure the effectiveness of your content, you need to understand how often an article is being used and if the article resolved the customer’s issue.
- In a self-service environment, you can include a question—Did this information resolve your issue?—after the customer completes the troubleshooting steps.
- In a contact center environment, the agent can ask the question or you can collect the data through a follow-up customer satisfaction survey.
In addition to understanding whether or not the article resolved the customer’s issue, it’s also important to understand and monitor what key words customers and support representatives use for searches. This insight will help you optimize your search functionality and your content management strategy.
Maintain Your Self-Service Content
A knowledgebase is only effective if the content is current and there is a defined process in place to manage updates. If content is not maintained appropriately, it increases the effort required by your customers as they search through large quantities of content that may or may not be accurate. This may result negatively on customer satisfaction and prompt an unnecessary increase in call volumes.
Even further, too much content about the same topic or outdated content that no longer contains accurate steps for resolution can greatly the impact the way your customer views your brand. Oracle has found that 55% of customers commit to a brand because of the ability to easily find the information or help they need.4
You must have the right information available for self-service and the contact center, but content management will ultimately drive your success.
To be successful at content management, define a process to update your knowledgebase.
- Establish a frequency for all articles to be reviewed and updated.
- Maintain an inventory of all articles with publish dates.
- Update the key search words based on current content available.
- Remove articles that are outdated or no longer accurate. Make sure that any article rewrites replace the original articles.
The support environment is always changing. We know tech savvy customers want the ability to resolve their issue before contacting support. In a recent study by Nuance Enterprise, 75% of survey respondents considered self-service to be a convenient way to address customer service issues. A whopping 67% of the respondents said they preferred self-service over speaking to a company representative.5
In this DIY era, offering self-service is a necessity. It shows you are listening and understand the way your customers want to be served. Meanwhile, it deflects unnecessary call volumes thereby reducing your overall cost per transaction. Using an effective knowledgebase content plan to deliver an effortless self-service experience compliments customer support and provides the customer multiple ways to resolve their issue. When done effectively, this drives improvement in the overall customer experience and improves how customers feel about your brand.
- 1. https://www.nanorep.com/5-ways-knowledge-base-software-improves-customer-engagement
- 2. https://www.zendesk.com/resources/customer-service-and-lifetime-customer-value
- 3. Gartner, “Delivering Relevant Content and Knowledge to Customers Is Key to Great Customer Service,” May 9, 2017 https://www.gartner.com/document/3708917
- 4. https://herothemes.com/blog/improving-customer-service-knowledge-base/
- 5. http://blog.clientheartbeat.com/self-service-support/