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Tips for Building an Accurate and Easy-to-Navigate Knowledge Base and Portal

As companies strive to provide better customer service, many are turning to Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS) and self-service portals as a way to improve the efficiency and accuracy of their knowledge base. KCS is a methodology that focuses on creating and maintaining an accurate knowledge base so that customers can help themselves.

A self-service portal is a website or application that allows customers to access information and services without having to speak to a representative. Any good IT Service Management (ITSM) software should include the ability to have customized portals linked to knowledge bases.

Both KCS and self-service portals have benefits that can help companies improve customer service.

An accurate knowledge base can help reduce the number of tickets that need to be answered by IT service desk technicians or customer service representatives, while a self-service portal can provide customers with the information they need without having to wait for someone else to respond to their ticket.

Together, these two tools can create an efficient system for providing customer service support as part of your ongoing ITSM strategy.

Tips for Creating a Knowledge Base and Self-Service Portal

Building and maintaining a knowledge base requires diligent planning, execution and consistent updates. Here are some best practices to consider:

  1. Understand Your Audience: Know who will be using your knowledge base. Understand their pain points and tailor your content to address those needs.

  2. Organize Content Effectively: Use categories, tags and search-friendly keywords to make it easy for users to find what they are looking for.

  3. Use Clear and Concise Language: Be straightforward and avoid jargon. If you must use technical terms, provide clear definitions or links to more in-depth explanations.

  4. Include Visuals: Screenshots, diagrams and videos can help clarify complex concepts and procedures.

  5. Leverage Testimonials: Share success stories and testimonials to build trust and credibility.

  6. Keep it Updated: Regularly review and update your content to ensure it’s accurate and relevant. Also, consider feedback from users to improve your knowledge base.

  7. Promote Self-Service: Encourage users to find answers on their own by highlighting the benefits of using the knowledge base – like saving time and gaining instant solutions.

  8. Track and Analyze Usage Data: Use analytics to understand how your knowledge base is being used. This can help identify gaps in content or areas that need improvement.

Remember, a well-maintained knowledge base not only empowers your customers but also reduces the burden on your support team. It’s an invaluable resource that boosts customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Self-service portals can be even more helpful when combined with knowledge bases – especially if they are set up correctly. Here are a few tips for creating a self-service portal to provide quality customer support:

  • Make sure the portal is easy to navigate and searchable. Organize content into easily accessible categories and use clear and concise titles for articles.
  • Include links to useful resources, such as how-to guides, frequently asked questions, and contact information.
  • Enable customers to submit feedback about their experience using the portal. This can help you improve the usability of the portal and ensure that customers are getting the information they need.

How to Make Your Knowledge Base Easy to Navigate

When it comes to creating a knowledge base, accuracy is key. Make sure to thoroughly research and fact-check all of the information you include.

In addition, be sure to organize the content in a way that is easy to navigate. Use clear and concise titles and break down the information into easily digestible chunks.

You’ll also want to make sure your knowledge base is easy to use from a customer service standpoint.

How do you do this?

To start, make sure to include clear instructions on how to submit a request, as well as contact information for customer service support. Be sure to test the system regularly to ensure that it is functioning properly.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating an efficient knowledge base that will help your customers help themselves!

Tips for Maintaining a Knowledge Base

In addition to keeping your knowledge base up-to-date and accurate, look into implementing a methodology like Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS). KCS can make the process of documenting and improving the content in your knowledge base easier.

One of the main benefits of using KCS is that it helps ensure that your knowledge base is accurate and up to date. This means that your customers will always have access to the most recent information, which can help improve customer service support.

KCS also helps improve knowledge sharing within your organization. This can help make sure that everyone has access to the most up-to-date information, which can help improve customer service support overall.

By adopting KCS, you can not only improve customer satisfaction but dramatically reduce the per-incident cost incurred by IT (from about $22 for a level 1 support call to $2 for self-service); and reduce the volume of issues and requests coming to the help desk, allowing IT to reallocate technicians to higher priority tasks and projects.

Here’s how you can use KCS to enhance your knowledge base:

  • Capture Information in the Workflow – With KCS, every interaction becomes an opportunity to improve your knowledge base. By capturing information as you work, you build a robust repository of knowledge that’s rooted in real-world experiences.
  • Review and Improve Content Regularly – KCS encourages you to continuously update and refine your content. This ensures your knowledge base remains accurate, relevant and valuable to users.
  • Leverage Collective Experience – KCS emphasizes collaboration. By sharing insights and learning from each other, your team can create more comprehensive, useful content.
  • Make Knowledge Accessible – KCS promotes easy access to knowledge. Make sure your knowledge base is easy to navigate, search-friendly and available when and where your users need it.
  • Measure Success – Use analytics to measure the effectiveness of your knowledge base. This can help you identify areas for improvement and demonstrate the value of your efforts.

Keep in mind that the concepts behind KCS are relevant to the entire organization – as you begin to expand from just ITSM to full-blown Enterprise Service Management, articles will increase, and each department will benefit from iterative feedback.

Creating a knowledge base and self-service portal can be an efficient way to improve customer service support.

By making sure your knowledge base is accurate, easy to navigate, and up to date, you can help ensure that your customers always have access to the most recent information.

KCS can also help improve knowledge sharing within your organization, which can help improve customer service support overall. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating an efficient system that will help your customers help themselves.

Want to learn more about KCS and how organizations are using it? Check out our customer spotlight from the University of South Dakota (USD) and see how KCS has improved its operations.  

©KCS® is a service mark of the Consortium for Service Innovation™.