Check our list of 5 common knowledge base mistakes to see if yours is up to scratch.

Look, your knowledge base is important. We’ve mentioned before that 45% of customers or users will abandon a purchase or transaction with you if their questions aren’t answered quickly enough (Forrester).

In other words, your website needs a good knowledge base in order to help head off your users’ questions early on, keeping them satisfied and more likely to do business with you.

Your knowledge base articles should be relevant, concise, and easy to understand. You don’t want to create more problems for yourself by providing users with support articles that only confuse or frustrate them further.

Here are some common knowledge base mistakes you should make sure you don’t make, to stay on top of your users’ questions:

1. Non-intuitive organisation

There’s nothing worse than opening up a knowledge base hoping to find answers to your questions, and ending up going round and round trying to find the relevant information.
To keep your knowledge base intuitive and simple to get around, make sure you label your articles with relevant tags so your users will be able to peruse topics quickly and easily.
(Bonus: read this article for more tips on effective categorisation.)

2. Static or outdated content

If you’re making a point of regularly reviewing your users’ feedback (which you should be), you should reflect this by updating your knowledge base whenever necessary. For instance, if a new trend in enquiries seems to be arising, don’t hesitate to update your knowledge base articles to include new information or change the wording around to make things more clear.
Additionally, if you’ve updated your product or service, make the effort to also update your knowledge base accordingly.
Doing so will ensure that you keep on top of your self-service game, and keep your users – new and existing – happy in the process.

3. Assuming prior knowledge

Another frustrating knowledge base experience is reading an article you know relates to your problem, but being unable to understand it because they mention steps or measures you haven’t yet grasped.
If your users have come looking for help, it’s because they don’t understand or know how to do certain things. Make it easy for them to understand your more complex articles by providing links to any prior required knowledge, to again keep frustration down and satisfaction up.

4. Waffling

Unfortunately, we aren’t talking about the delicious breakfast food. Overly-long articles will make your users lose focus and only takes up more of their time. Proof-read and edit your articles to ensure you’ve said what you need to say in the most clear and concise way possible. Give your users the information they need, and leave it at that. This will communicate that you value their time.
Another thing to consider is embedding screenshots or gifs into your articles, which will also cut down on your word count when trying to explain certain steps and actions.

5. Information dumping

Sometimes, your users are only looking for help with specific issues. In a similar way that waffling is frustrating for users, having a category that isn’t broken down into smaller relevant articles is a waste of their time as you’re forcing them to wade through large amounts of information to get to what they need.
For example, you could divide your billing help information into separate articles so your user doesn’t have to be searching through a wall of text just to find out what the CVV field is for. Stick to one issue per article, to keep things organised and relevant.

Remember, an effective support system is all about making it easy for your users. To meet their expectations early on, and to maximise their satisfaction, you must be proactive in delivering excellent customer service. Bring the support to your users, and see the difference.

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