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What Is a Knowledge Base and Why Do I Need One?

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If you are a SaaS company whether a startup or an enterprise you might wanna consider to know about knowledge bases. How are they classified into and what befenits can they bring into your SaaS based company. Slide through our presentation to know about knowledge bases and why do you need it. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: What Is a Knowledge Base and Why Do I Need One?


1
What is a Knowledge Base and Why Do I Need One? 
2
The definition of knowledge base has changed
multiple times throughout the history of the
internet. At first, it was a term used to
describe any complex data storing system that was
more advanced than the common relational
database.
By definition, a knowledge base is a
self-service repository or library used to store
easily retrievable information about your
product, service, or topic. Essentially, its a
collection of your companys internal or external
knowledge, structured in such a way that it can
help employees or customers find answers to their
questions or doubts.Nowadays, knowledge bases
have become an integral part of any knowledge
management system. As such, they appear in
different formats and with different uses.


                                                  
                                                  
     

What is a Knowledge Base As we mentioned above, a
knowledge base is simply a repository of data
that works as a self-service helpdesk for your
customers and your employees. It contains
information about your service, product, or about
a specific topic. Such examples can be FAQs,
how-to articles, troubleshooting guides, or
anything that your customers might want to know
related to the services you offer. A good
knowledge base is the perfect solution for
providing an excellent customer service while
scaling your customer support program. At the
same time, it can also help your employees carry
out their job more effectively by allowing them
to focus on their tasks and on what is really
important. As such knowledge bases can be
differentiated according to their functionality.
3
Types of Knowledge Bases1. Internal Knowledge
Base 
2. External Knowledge Base




                                                  
                                                  
     
  • Internal Knowledge Base
  • An internal knowledge base serves only the
    employees of the company. Meaning it does not
    provide access to the users of the platform.
  • An example of an internal knowledge base can be
    even a Google Drive folder that is shared only
    within the employees of the company, or within a
    specific department.
  • When creating an internal knowledge base, you can
    include anything that is meant for internal use.
    To name a few
  • Best coding practices for developers
  • Onboarding material for new employees
  • Content creation guidelines for content writers
  • Company policies
  • And literally any piece of information that needs
    to be shared internally
  •                                                   
                                                      
         

4
External Knowledge Base
An external knowledge base aims at serving
directly your customers. It is usually public to
everyone and can be easily found online. If you
browse through the Help and Documentation section
of any software, thats their external knowledge
base.For example, 
Revolut is a digital bank and as such, its
external knowledge base provides information
regarding getting started with the app,
transaction and card issues, profile related
information, and so on.






                                                  
                                                  
     

Benefits of having Knowledge Base Having a
knowledge base nowadays is absolutely
essential for any business. Especially when it
comes to Software as a Service. If you really
want your SaaS business to be successful, you
will need to start building a knowledge base from
day one. Why? To begin with, SaaS companies have
a monetization model that focuses on
their Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR). Essentially
, that means you have to not only convert new
customers to use your product but also to keep
existing customers happy, so they dont leave you
for your competitor.  
5
One of the main reasons why customers stop using
a product is because they find it too hard
to use or they dont receive the right support.
And to top that off, customers nowadays expect
immediate self-service support.Nowadays, if your
customer can find a solution to his or her issue
without having to wait or communicate with someone
 they will adore your product. Thats why having
a good and well-optimized knowledge base can reduc
e your customer churn and put you ahead of your
competition.Internal Knowledge Base Benefits
Increased productivity
Reduce Onboarding Costs
Improve Communication and Cooperation
Store Company Knowledge and Improve Company
Valuation
External Knowledge Base Benefits
Reduce Customer Support Costs
Higher customer satisfaction
Reduce Customer Wait Times







                                                  
                                                  
     

6
What to include in your Knowledge Base 
To begin with, as cheesy as it may sound, the
most important things is to listen to your
customers. Look for trends, focus on what people
want to know and on what they need to know. And
then write knowledge base content that matches
those needs.
Secondly, the knowledge base should be easy to
navigate. Thus a lot of effort needs to be put in
optimizing your help desks UX and information
architecture. Think about it this way. When a
user lands on your help desk, they should
instinctively understand which section they need
to click on so that they can find what they are
looking for.
Thirdly, you should optimize content on your
knowledge base for search according to best SEO
practices as to improve discoverability.







                                                  
                                                  
     

7
Frequently Asked Questions


                                                  
                                                  
     

Different components that make up a knowledge Base
F.A.Q. pages explain topics that dont require
too much depth or technical support. They cover
topics that can be explained in 1 or 2
paragraphs. These are answers to questions that
have been either asked on a regular basis or that
you expect your users to ask at some point. To
give you an example of how useful FAQs are, we
dont have to look any further than Transferwise.
They started as a money transferring service and
then expanded to offering a borderless online
bank account for their customers. Since the
concept of borderless accounts is fairly new,
they decided to create an extensive FAQ section
for it (35 FAQs). And guess what? It worked
wonders for them. This way, their support staff
didnt have to answer the same questions over and
over again. Instead, they could redirect
inquiries to their respective FAQ page.
8
Tutorials How-to Guides



                                                  
                                                  
     


Most of the time, issues cant be resolved
through FAQs due to their brevity and conciseness.
Thats where how-to guides and tutorials step
in. How-to guides are generally short tutorials
that explain in detail a single step or action.
Essentially, they help your new users get
acquainted with basic processes of your
software.Tutorials, on the other hand, are
longer, more in depth, and can cover a wider
range of processes within the same post.Both
how-to guides and tutorials are generally
supported with screenshots, visual
representations or even short step-by-step videos.
One of the best examples of knowledge bases
containing several useful tutorials is Slack.
They have tutorials on almost anything. And they
are amazingly easy to follow since they have
clear step-by-step instructions backed by images,
screenshots, diagrams, GIF-s, and even videos.
9
Community Section




                                                  
                                                  
     


When dealing with software documentation,
troubleshooting problems and so on, the community
is always an essential part of any
software. Especially in the open
source community, designers, engineers,
programmers rely heavily on each others support
for fixing issues with their code or design. A
good knowledge base provides a separate space
for the community to interact and help each
other. After all, in todays age, a comment
section for discussing issues and questions is
not enough anymore.
DigitalOcean sports a very active community and a
great chunk of their knowledge base content is
created by the community itself. They write
tutorials, discuss issues and solutions together,
and then whenever its needed, moderators from
Digital Ocean step in to give more detailed
answers. It is especially useful for your
company to establish an active community. Firstly
, you get content generated by other users thus
reducing your content creation teams overhead.
10
Community Section




                                                  
                                                  
     


Secondly, users help each other out, reducing
the amount of work needed from your support team.
And last but not least, an active community
around your product helps your promote your
knowledge base and your product. There are
several reasons why Digital Ocean fosters such an
active community. One thing is for sure though,
they really care about their community. So much
that they actively promote their
top contributors, or as they like to call
them, Community DO-ers.
11
News and Updates Section





                                                  
                                                  
     


Most knowledge bases nowadays provide a separate
section for news and updates. This section can
include community announcements, product updates,
new version releases, known issues with the
platform, and so on. If your company is offering
a SaaS, then you are probably rolling out updates
on a regular basis.
Some companies, like Asana, prefer to divide
their updates and news based on their target
reader. They have a single section for new
releases called Release notes. Instead of
having updates, changes, and bug fixes documented
in different places (which can be difficult to
organize and find), they update the same section
on a regular basis. This section is mainly for
users to read.
12
News and Updates Section





                                                  
                                                  
     


And they keep a separate News page which is
targeted at developers mainly. This is where they
release latest Asana API Updates.
13
Reference Documentation






                                                  
                                                  
     


These docs target a more technical audience such
as software developers. They are extremely useful
if your software has an API that developers or
customers can use to extend their application or
to create custom integrations with their existing
software.However, reference docs are not
restricted to a softwares API. They can also
include information regarding Command-line
interfaces (CLIs), drivers and specifications,
file formats, and so on.In todays age, most SaaS
companies are trying to develop APIs that can be
understood and used by non-tech-savvy people.
Dockers reference documentation.
14
Spotify




                                                  
                                                  
     

Examples of Top-Notch Knowledge Bases
We all know the internationally renowned music
app Spotify. To what do you believe it owes its
tremendous success? As stated above, the idea
itself isnt enough. Spotify knew that. And this
is why they created their excellent knowledge
base.When it comes to a design-wise knowledge
base, Spotify has our vote. Their help center is
not only extremely helpful, user-friendly, and
simple, but it is also neatly organized.Each
common issue is carefully segmented with its own
subcategories. Their knowledge base is composed
of thoroughly explained information (FAQs, how-to
guides) backed by amazing visuals. Spotifys
knowledge base also has an amazing autocomplete
system which suggests and tries to predict
possible questions that you may have. Its ranking
is most likely based on the number of times such
questions have been asked before. Finally,
Spotify offers a feature for users to evaluate
the effectiveness of their knowledge base through
a binary feedback from, or in simpler words by
answering a Yes/No question. This requires little
effort from the user itself and only indicates
that Spotify values customer feedback and that
they are always striving to improve.
15
Ahrefs




                                                  
                                                  
     

Ahrefs support one of the best knowledge bases
available out there when it comes to SEO and
marketing tools. It is very easy to navigate.
Their helpdesk is categorized based on the
actions that you are trying to perform and the
elements of the application that you want to
use. What gives Ahrefs knowledge base our vote
is the fact that their content is heavily backed
by media content. They have a myriad of
screenshots that help you follow through a
process step-by-step. And if that wasnt enough,
they also provide explanatory videos to guide
you. Differently to our previous example, they
dont gather feedback using a binary form.
Instead, they use smiley faces to allow users to
indicate their level of satisfaction (or
dissatisfaction) with the content. This allows
them to prioritize changes that need to be made
to their knowledge base content based on the
three levels of user satisfaction.
16
Knowledge Base Software Tools






                                                  
                                                  
     

Creating and managing it yourself can be
quite costly and time-consuming. You need to hire
additional developers or if you are a startup and
cant afford to, your existing developers will
have to spend some of their valuable time on
developing a knowledge base alongside your
product instead of working on the next new
features.And you probably dont want that to
happen because whats the point of having a
knowledge base if you dont have a
product? Thats why there is a variety of
knowledge base tools and software available. The
hard thing, however, is choosing the right
one.There are certainly a variety of content
management systems (CMS) like WordPress or Drupal
that can be used. There are several plugins that
allow you to use WordPress to create your own
knowledge base for free. However, the downside
with this type of solution is that it
lacks flexibility, scalability, and
enough tools for you to create an optimal
customer experience. For this exact
reason, dedicated knowledge base software exists.
In the end, it boils down to choosing the one
that best fits your organizational needs.
17
Criteria for choosing a knowledge Base Software





                                                  
                                                  
     
  • The knowledge base software should scale
    alongside your product.
  • How much does it cost per project/per month?
  • Does it offer different plans? If you are a small
    startup, you are probably not looking for
    enterprise level solutions.
  • It should offer analytics and reporting since
    this is your best way of gathering direct
    feedback from users.
  • Can you create different versions of your
    documentation? Software development goes through
    different stages and versions, and so does your
    documentation.
  • Ability to backup and restore older versions.
  • A good knowledge base software should integrate wi
    th most of the software you already use or plan
    to use.
  • It should allow you to brand your docs (adding
    your logo to them, custom javascript, and so on).
  • Non-technical/technical writers and support
    agents should be able to use the KB software too.
    Thus it should be intuitive, just like the
    knowledge base itself.

18
Conclusion






                                                  
                                                  
     

Building a knowledge base is difficult but
essential. Any customer nowadays demands and
deserves immediate support for software or tool
that they are using. That is why having a
dynamic, up-to-date, and customer-centric
knowledge base reduces customer churn and boosts
your ROI in terms of customer success. Additional
ly, it helps build a community around your
product which helps you increase brand awareness,
overall customer satisfaction and the feeling of
being included in something bigger. Ultimately,
having a good knowledge base is about empowering
your customers and your employees. All of this
can be accelerated and improved using knowledge
base software.
19
Thank You






                                                  
                                                  
     
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