How to Get Your Knowledge Base in Order for the New Year

A New Year is all about resolutions, new starts, and fresh perspectives. This idea is easy when you think about them personally (this year is the year we all get fitβ€”am I right? πŸ˜…).

In business, it usually means learning from the past year.

What did we launch that went well and resonated with our customers? What kinda flopped, and should we avoid repeating it? What can we streamline so we can push the budget into new areas?

A well-organized and up-to-date Knowledge Base is useful for providing valuable information to your customers, enhancing user experience, and streamlining internal processes.

Even we find it tough to keep content updates as a company that provides Knowledge Base softwareβ€”you're not alone in this struggle.

It may be at the back of the pile, but a Knowledge Base can make a huge impact on the year ahead 😌

Not only does a self-help center direct more support queries to your self-serve support (reducing support burden) but it can also help you reduce churn by freeing up your customer's time because they don't have to get in touch.

In this blog post, we'll guide you through a comprehensive housekeeping process to get your Knowledge Base in order for the New Year.

We'll equip you with practical strategies and insights to fine-tune your Knowledge Base, setting the stage for a year of seamless user experiences and heightened efficiency.

Let's dive in πŸŽ‰

Reviewing and Analyzing Past Performance

The first step in preparing your Knowledge Base for the New Year is to review and analyze its performance over the past year. Seems obvious, but it's something a lot of folks miss out on.

This involves examining metrics such as user engagement, search queries, tickets avoided, and feedback. By understanding how users interact with your Knowledge Base, you can identify areas for improvement and tailor your content to better meet their needs.

What are Tickets Avoided?
In your HelpDocs dashboard you’ll see a value for Tickets Avoided. This shows you how many user queries your HelpDocs have solved, without them needing to contact support.

Unlike most web analytics, key performance indicators (KPIs) like bounce rates and time spent on a page aren't strictly useful for a Knowledge Base.

Just because someone doesn't stay on the page for long doesn't mean they didn't either a) find their answer quickly or b) look for another, more relevant article.

What's more helpful is evaluating which articles or topics have been the most popular and which ones may need more attention. Use this information to prioritize article updates and improvements.

You should also gather feedback from customer support teams and end-users. Understanding their pain points and challenges can provide valuable insights into areas of your Knowledge Base that require enhancement.

Picture an online store selling handcrafted one-of-a-kind furniture. Each sale they get accounts for a large portion of revenue, so it's important to answer questions efficiently so customers know what they're paying for.

Just as the customer wants to know up-front what the process is, the store would certainly prefer fewer chargebacks and returns.

How to Start Understanding Your Knowledge Base Analytics
Learn how to start reading analytics and go from understanding whether traffic is going up or down to answering real questions.

The store owner, Clay, reviews their Knowledge Base performance and finds a spike in searches related to return policies and refund processes.

Their customer feedback also highlights confusion about their loyalty program.

Armed with these findings, the company can strategically update content. They provide comprehensive details on returns and refunds while simplifying the loyalty program explanations, resulting in a more user-friendly and helpful Knowledge Base.

Identifying Outdated or Irrelevant Content

A cluttered and outdated Knowledge Base can confuse users and diminish its effectiveness.

Identify and eliminate outdated or irrelevant content to ensure that your Knowledge Base remains a valuable resource for your audience.

Ship & Sync: Keeping Your Knowledge Base Updated Alongside Your SaaS Product - HelpDocs
You’ve got a great SaaS product but how do you keep your knowledge base accurate when you update it? In this guide we’ll go through some strategies you can use as a customer support person, engineer, and product manager.

This process could involve:

  • πŸ“ Regular content audits: Conduct regular audits of your Knowledge Base content. Identify articles that are no longer accurate or relevant and either update or remove them
  • πŸ” Reviewing product or service changes: If your company has introduced new products or services, ensure that your knowledge base reflects these updates. Remove any information related to discontinued offerings and add content about the latest additions
  • πŸ•΅οΈ Checking for accuracy: Verify the accuracy of information within your articles. This includes checking for outdated screenshots, broken links, and obsolete procedures
  • πŸ’¬ User Feedback Analysis: Pay attention to user feedback regarding the relevance and accuracy of your content.

    Monitor comments, ratings, and user-submitted error reports. This direct feedback from users can uncover issues with specific articles that may not be apparent through traditional metrics
  • πŸ“Š Monitoring Search Analytics: Analyze search queries within your knowledge base. Identify terms that consistently lead to irrelevant or outdated content.

    Use this information to refine search functionality and to prioritize updates for articles that users frequently search for but find unsatisfactory

Organization and Easy Navigation

A well-organized Knowledge Base provides a positive user experience which translates into reduced tickets and empowered customers.

Take a look at Shopify's organization below. Their help content is grouped by stage. Start, Sell, Manage, and Market πŸ‘‡

Shopify's Knowledge Base screenshot
Shopify organize their content by stage.

Of course this won't apply to everyone. We organize our content by topic which works for us.

Consider the following tips for enhancing your user's experience:

  • πŸ—‚οΈ Clear categorization: Group similar topics or articles under relevant categories. This helps users quickly find the information they need without unnecessary searching
  • 🐭 Intuitive navigation: Optimize your Knowledge Base's navigation by ensuring that menus and links are clear and user-friendly. Use intuitive labels for categories and sections
  • 🍽️ Table of contents: If your articles are lengthy, consider adding a table of contents at the beginning to provide users with an overview and quick access to specific sections
  • πŸ”– Searchable tags: Implement a tagging system for articles to enhance search functionality. Tags enable users to explore related content quickly and keep your search results relevant and customizable. Consistently apply tags to maintain a standardized and easily understandable classification
  • πŸŽ›οΈ Filtering options: Introduce filtering options to allow users to refine search results based on criteria such as date, relevance, or content type. This empowers users to customize their navigation experience and quickly identify the most pertinent information

Improving Search Functionality

Effective search functionality makes it super easy for your users to find the help content they're looking for. Users often turn to search when looking for specific information.

Improving search is a never-ending task. Not only do you need to make sure users are getting relevant results, but you also need to make sure content is ranked properly.

Optimizing Your Knowledge Base Search
Discover tips for optimizing Knowledge Base searches. Learn how categorizing a Knowledge Base makes search easier and avoid common issues with proper optimization.

Want more in-depth tips? Check out our article

We've written about this in-depth in the post above but here's a few quick tips to enhance your search functionality:

  • πŸ’­ Adding relevant keywords: Review your articles and ensure that they contain the appropriate keywords. This helps search engines index your content accurately and improves the chances of users finding relevant information
  • πŸ”– Implementing tags: Tagging articles with relevant keywords or categories can significantly improve search results. Encourage consistency in tagging across your knowledge base
  • πŸ”— Synonyms and related terms: Consider incorporating synonyms and related terms in your articles. This helps account for variations in user search queries and ensures comprehensive search results
  • πŸ“ƒ Searchable metadata: Optimize the metadata associated with your content to improve search accuracy. Ensure that titles, descriptions, and other metadata elements are informative and contain relevant keywords. This enables search engines to better understand and index your content
  • πŸ‘οΈ Search analytics review: Regularly review search analytics to identify trending search queries and popular topics. Use this data to prioritize content creation or updates based on user interests and information gaps

Incorporating Customer Feedback

Your customers are valuable sources of information on how to improve your Knowledge Base. They're the ones who feel empowered, feel frustrated, and make the decision to stick with you.

Actively seek and incorporate customer feedback to enhance the overall user experience.

How User Research Can Influence Your Help Documentation
Learn how user research can transform your Knowledge Base. Discover the perks, methods, and how to use insights to improve your documentation.

Again we've written about this in the above post but here's a rundown of what you may want to do to collect feedback:

  • πŸ“‹ Feedback forms: Include feedback forms at the end of articles to allow users to provide input on the usefulness and clarity of the content
  • πŸ₯§ User surveys: Conduct regular surveys to gather feedback on the overall usability of your Knowledge Base. Ask specific questions about areas that may need improvement
  • πŸ“§ Customer support insights: Leverage insights from customer support interactions. Identify recurring issues and update your knowledge base to address these concerns proactively
  • πŸ“£ Social media monitoring: Extend your feedback channels by monitoring social media platforms for mentions and discussions related to your Knowledge Base. Engage with users on these platforms to understand their experiences and address any concerns or questions directly
  • πŸ’Œ Feedback analytics: Analyze patterns and trends in feedback data over time. Identify recurring themes or common suggestions to guide strategic improvements. Understanding the broader context of user feedback aids in making informed decisions about knowledge base enhancements

Implementing a Regular Maintenance Schedule

Maintaining a well-organized Knowledge Base requires ongoing effort.

Implement a regular maintenance schedule to ensure that your content remains accurate and up-to-date. Consider the following:

  • Quarterly audits: Conduct quarterly content audits to identify and address any outdated or irrelevant information.
  • Update schedule: Establish a schedule for updating key articles, especially those related to product or service changes. This ensures that your Knowledge Base reflects the latest information
  • Team collaboration: Foster collaboration between content creators, subject-matter experts, and customer support teams. Regular communication helps ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding updates and improvements
  • Monthly content ppot checks: In addition to quarterly audits, conduct monthly spot checks on a random selection of articles. This proactive approach allows you to catch potential issues sooner and address them promptly, maintaining a consistently high level of quality
  • Performance benchmarking: Regularly benchmark the performance of your Knowledge Base against industry standards or competitor benchmarks. This external perspective can highlight areas for improvement and help you stay ahead of evolving user expectations

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Encouraging User Engagement

Promote user engagement by encouraging self-service and user-generated content within your Knowledge Base. This not only empowers users but also helps in building a collaborative community.

Front Community | Community
Ask questions, start discussions, submit ideas and engage with others

Our friends over at Front have a Community to encourage interaction from customers

Consider the following strategies:

  • Community forums: Integrate community forums or discussion boards where users can ask questions, share tips, and contribute their insights
  • User-generated content: Encourage users to submit their own articles or solutions. User-generated content can provide diverse perspectives and valuable real-world insights
  • Interactive Q&A Sessions: Host live Q&A sessions or webinars where users can directly interact with subject-matter experts. This provides a platform for users to pose questions, share experiences, and receive real-time responses, fostering a sense of community engagement
  • Social Media Integration: Integrate social media sharing options within your knowledge base. Allow users to easily share articles, tips, or solutions on their preferred social platforms, extending the reach of your knowledge base and promoting community engagement

Using Current Analytics for Data-Driven Decisions

Monitoring analytics can play a crucial role in measuring the effectiveness of your Knowledge Base. Just as we mentioned looking at past analytics at the start of this post, we also encourage you to leverage data to make informed decisions and continuously improve your content.

How to Turn Your Knowledge Base Search Analytics into Action
We take a look at how you can turn a list of Knowledge Base search keywords into actionable insights to help improve your self serve help.

Here are some key strategies you may use:

  • User behavior analytics: Analyze user behavior on your knowledge base. Identify popular entry points, common exit points, and the paths users take to find information. Use this data to optimize the user journey
  • Search analytics: Monitor search queries and analyze which keywords users are using. Identify gaps in content and update your knowledge base to address these search queries more effectively
  • Performance metrics: Track KPIs such as user satisfaction, resolution times, and feedback scores. Use this information to measure the impact of your knowledge base on customer support efficiency and user satisfaction
  • Real-Time user monitoring: Implement real-time monitoring tools like Hotjar or Fullstory to observe how users interact with your Knowledge Base as they navigate through it. Identify trends or issues promptly, enabling quick responses to emerging user needs or challenges
  • Exit Point Analysis: Analyze where users exit your Knowledge Base. Understand whether users find the information they need or if they leave prematurely. Optimize content and navigation at exit points to encourage users to explore further or find resolutions

Start the New Year Prepared

Getting your Knowledge Base ready for the year ahead is a wonderful idea for your team and customers.

By checking performance, fixing old content, and improving organization, you create a Knowledge Base that's super handy and reliable for users who will start looking for answers.

Listening to feedback, involving users, and using data smartly also play key roles in this process.

As you tidy up, remember that a good Knowledge Base isn't just a place for information. It's a useful tool that grows with what your users need and how your products or services change πŸŽ‰