This afternoon I was assisting a client who added a certificate for SSL and retired their www from their URL. In order to properly redirect traffic, we needed to write a rule for Apache in an .htaccess file. We have a number of Apache experts that I could have contacted for the solution, but instead, I just searched a few knowledge bases online and found the appropriate solution.
I didn't have to speak to anyone, open a ticket, wait on hold, get forwarded to an engineer, or any other time-waster. I absolutely love companies who take the time to develop and implement knowledge bases. And it's a great investment for businesses who see large or growing volumes of support tickets. Building out a kbase (as they're also known), can provide a searchable repository that helps your company reduce inbound support requests, avoid repetitive requests, improve resolution times, and improve customer satisfaction. All of those, of course, reduce costs and can improve retention rates.
What is a knowledge base?
A knowledge base (KBase) is a well-organized repository of articles that can assist internal staff and external clients to find and implement solutions rather than contact your support team. Well-designed knowledge bases have well-organized taxonomies and are indexed well so that users can search and find what they need in the shortest time possible.
ManageEngine, developers of a Kbase solution called ServiceDesk Plus recently produced this infographic – How to Build an Effective Helpdesk Knowledge Base that provides six key steps in implementing an effective knowledge base strategy in your organization:
- Keep your KBase up-to-date by nominating a knowledge base manager who owns the entire lifecycle of Kbase articles, from identifying solutions to regularly updating. Ensure it's a key performance indicator for your service personnel to add and update articles as they're requested.
- Structure your KBase by organizing articles under categories and subcategories for easy accessibility. Maintain consistent, optimized articles by enforcing pre-defined templates.
- Define an approval process by creating a workflow for subject matter experts to review, enhance, improve, and immediately approve knowledge base content.
- Enhance the search capability of your KBase by tagging articles thoroughly and implementing a solution that has robust and fast search capabilities. user satisfaction with better search capability of your KBase by tagging articles with appropriate keywords.
- Determine who sees what using role-based access for your customers. This will filter results based on the user rather than confusing them with articles and categories that aren't relevant to them.
- Manage your KBase articles effectively by incorporating backup and restore mechanisms to roll back articles if necessary or restore in the event of a system failure. Monitor reporting to improve the quality of your articles and functionality that enhances the user experience.