The complete guide to building your knowledge base for support teams

22 Jul 2022 5 min read

Written by

Alexandra Nicolae

, Account Manager

Is your support team getting overwhelmed by a seemingly endless stream of service tickets?

Do they find themselves repeatedly answering and helping new clients with the same issues previously encountered by other customers?

If your support team spends extra time and effort to answer simple questions and guide customers through frequently met errors, it might just be the time to turn things around by building a knowledge base. 

We previously touched on the general ins and outs of building a knowledge base, but in this article, we will guide you through the process of building one dedicated to customer service ━ one that will help reduce the strain on your support team and which your customers will love to use.

1. What is a knowledge base and why do you need one?

''Scientia potentia est'' is the Latin aphorism we often come across in the form of a quote that has defined the digital landscape ever since the beginning when computers were a novelty: information is power. However, at present, access to various quantities of quality information poses a challenge for many organizations. The most proficient solution to smartly browse through information is a knowledge base, which you can think of as a comprehensive, easy-to-access, digital archive. 

At the very core of knowledge management, a company's knowledge base enables information to be generated, organized, and shared. Of course, there are many uses to this concept, be it a content management system fully integrated to fit the needs of the marketing department or a customer service knowledge base that enhances the efficiency of the client team's efforts. All in all, a knowledge base software is a multi-faceted solution that enables any company to curate and centralize information by eliminating repetitive actions and bringing productivity in terms of task prioritization.

Now the focus is on why and how you should build a successful knowledge base for Customer Service, which will benefit both your customers, as well as your support team. 

2. The importance of a knowledge base in customer service

Whether you call it an FAQ section or a support knowledge base, a customer service knowledge base is the starting point for any organization looking to help customers help themselves, as well as offer a steady base of support to customer service teams. Of course, there are numerous customer service software options that separately meet basic contact needs, but the first touchpoint for any business should be to smartly use resources and create a sense of independence for external users, as well as support internal users. 

A high-quality management system for your customer service use case will benefit both you and your support teams by allowing you to:

✅ Open access to information

✅ Instill transparency (within teams and with customers)

✅ Adapt to various learning styles

✅ Fill in knowledge gaps

✅ Save time and budget

Fortunately, a knowledge base checks all the boxes and paves the way for excellence, no matter your use case in the customer service niche.

3. The benefits of a knowledge base for customers and support teams

A well-designed and properly implemented knowledge base for support teams and customers drives any company towards success. It does this by understanding and addressing potential client issues and concerns ahead of time, as well as providing information for employees at just the right time and in the right place.

So what are some of the benefits of using a knowledge base for support teams and how do they reflect or, better yet, directly translate into benefits for customers?

  • Help your customers by allowing them to help themselves

Creating a help center gives your customers a feeling of empowerment by allowing them to better understand and use your product or service independently. Whenever they do need help from a person, they can count on your support team, but it would no longer be mandatory that they rely on them for every question that pops up (not to mention the satisfaction self-service offers for customers). This way, the most important resources, your team's time and availability, are used smartly.

  • Offer support to your team

Implementing a support knowledge base enables your employees and potential independent contractors or collaborators to answer any questions they might have regarding your product or service. It also makes it much easier for new team members to become acquainted with the work once your team grows. Always got to think ahead!

  • Provide better experiences and product/service improvements

The continuous process of creating and updating documentation reveals common questions that are raised in concern to your products or services. When noticing such use cases, you can be two steps ahead by addressing the most common questions from clients ahead of time, creating a much smoother customer experience, and even understanding when there's an opportunity for improvement.

4. How to build a better knowledge base for support teams

With all the benefits in mind, getting to action is the safest route towards gearing a support knowledge base through using dedicated customer service software.

  • Creation and implementation

The very first step towards the road to success through a support knowledge base is establishing the very core and purpose of the information you need centralized. Whether you're looking at an internal knowledge base, that eases employee onboarding and grants access to all team members to the content of interest or an external knowledge base, which helps customers help themselves through FAQs and troubleshooting help, there are solutions. Investing in specialized software for knowledge bases like XWiki, which is pre-equipped with all the necessary elements for a good support team knowledge base, is a great way to save a lot of time by making use of pre-existent templates and starting directly by adding content.

  • Sort, categorize, and repeat    

Sorting information into relevant categories saves a lot of time, both for the customers and the support team. Looking for the needle in a haystack is definitely not an experience any business wants their clients to have. By clearly organizing information into clear content such as how-to guides, tutorials, and troubleshooting pages, accessibility to information becomes more than a solved task and the overall customer experience is improved.

  • FAQs are Qs for a reason

Try to insert an FAQ (frequently asked questions) section. This way, end users can figure out if the issue they raise is common and if it has a quick way to be solved, rather than having to get into contact with the support team. To top this off, XWiki offers you multiple ways to go about it: either by customizing your very own App Within Minutes (beginner-friendly, user-friendly, and definitely FAQ-friendly) or by installing the specially designed FAQ Application.

  • A soul-searching journey

A search tool is something we take for granted, and having grown so accustomed to it we tend to not understand just how important it is until we don't have access to one anymore. Make it easy to use and easy to find information by ensuring that the knowledge base software solution you opt for has a powerful integrated search tool. Of course, a good example is Solr Search, the default search engine embedded into XWiki. Not only can you browse through posts by date, author name, and other parameters we are already used to, but you can also view content split into categories such as attachment types and even metadata. That's a long way from browsing through a library based on book cover colors!    

5. Case studies of great knowledge bases in action

Since the theory isn't always the most fun, here are some great examples of knowledge bases done well by businesses:

  • Lenovo, one of the most interesting use cases for which we built a custom knowledge base that facilitates collaboration for over 7000 users.
  • CNFPT, otherwise known as the National Center for Regional Public Services is a clear success story example for XWiki, building all-in-one spaces for knowledge management.
  • EasyVista, multiple audiences (speaking in and featuring multiple languages) benefit from this extensive, carefully curated knowledge base.


6. Conclusion: Why every organization should have a helpful knowledge base for their customers

Now that you know all about how a knowledge base can enhance customers' experience by helping them help themselves, as well as the other great benefits it brings to support teams by saving time and effort, implementing this solution is a great starting place for improving any organization's growth process in the long term.

If you are ready to put knowledge to work, kick your customer experience up a notch and improve your support team's productivity and workflow, XWiki is the tool to help you get started. Try it for free or get in touch with one of our experts to discuss a custom project.


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