Great customer service doesn’t always involve an agent. We’ve found that 59% of customers prefer self-service tools for simple questions and service issues.
Your customers can easily get the answers they need with knowledge base articles, which are informative help articles on your site. They can find what they need at any time (even at 3 a.m.), which frees up agents to focus on more complex service requests.
Service agents can also use knowledge base articles to solve customer problems and reduce their average handle time.
Provide the answers your customers want
Can your customers find solutions to their problems without asking an agent for help? Learn how you can deliver a knowledge-filled self-service strategy, on Salesforce+.
This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about creating a knowledge base article. You’ll learn what a knowledge article is, why they’re important, what to include when you’re writing, and tips and tricks (like generative AI) to help you get started.
What is a knowledge base article?
A knowledge base article is a web page that answers a frequently asked question, troubleshoots a problem, or helps your customers use your products and services. They often include written directions and responses, but can also include images, videos, links, and other multimedia elements.
Knowledge base articles typically live within a central place on a company’s website or platform — this could be a help center, FAQ page, or a support portal. This hub should make it easy for your customers to find the answers they’re looking for.
While the structure of this hub will vary based on the needs of your business and your customers, it should have a search function, article tags based on your offerings, and titles that make it clear what the article is about.
If your contact center has a chatbot, it can surface information from knowledge articles in response to a customer message. Very soon, chatbots with generative AI technology will be able to answer service questions and give better, more personalized responses by pulling from the knowledge base.
Why are knowledge base articles important?
Here are the top three reasons why knowledge base articles are important to your business:
- Providing a better service experience: Customers are 10x more likely to use self-service than contacting a service center directly. Having a knowledge hub where your customers can easily find answers gives them the service experience they want and allows them to get service 24/7.
- Reduce caseload on your contact center: As more customers solve their problems independently, fewer cases require agent support. This frees up agents to focus on solving more complex customer issues and reduces overall contact center caseload.
- Cut down average handle time: As agents solve unique cases and formalize institutional knowledge into articles, more agents can use that information to solve their cases faster and reduce average handle time. Research shows that using knowledge base articles can result in 33% faster resolution.
How to write a knowledge base article
This section will walk you through the important steps to take before writing a knowledge base article, which elements to include, and some helpful tips to make it even easier to write a knowledge article.
Before writing a knowledge article
There are a few steps you want to take ahead of writing your article — the first is figuring out which topic to write about.
Consider these three questions when identifying the right topic for your article:
- What are the most common questions you get service requests for?
- What are the most common issues your customers need help with?
- What information would help your customers get the most out of your products and services?
Once you’ve identified the most common issues, make sure you don’t already have a knowledge article about this topic. If an article already exists, decide if it needs to be edited to add updated information.
If no article exists on that topic yet, it’s time to start writing!
4 components of a good knowledge base article
- A clear title: Let your customer know what your article will cover in the title. Ensure that the headline is clear, concise, and accurately describes the content within the article. This also makes the article easier to find.
- Bulleted lists or subheadings: Make your knowledge article easy to skim so your customers don’t need to read every word to find what they need. Create bulleted lists or subheadings that show what’s covered in each section. If you’re writing a tutorial, write step-by-step instructions — including which buttons or menu items to click — and put them in chronological order.
- Images, links, or videos: Give your customers as much detail as you can so that they can successfully solve the issue on their own. Add screenshots, images, links to other articles, or videos to your article to help them.
- Simple language: Write in a way that can be easily understood by everyone. Do your best to avoid jargon that specifically relates to your product and service. Your customers won’t have as much product knowledge as you, so use simple language in each step of your article.
What a complete knowledge base article looks like
Here’s an example of a knowledge base article we created for a fictional payment software, called ZapPay. This knowledge article would help ZapPay customers link their bank account to their ZapPay account.
Connect your bank account to your ZapPay account
- Find out how to connect your ZapPay account to your bank account to send money, pay bills, and transfer ZapCash into your bank account.
TIP: Make sure you have your bank account and routing numbers handy before you start this process.
- Log in to your ZapPay account.
- From the dashboard, tap your name and then click Profile.
- Select “Connect Bank Account.”
- From there, a popup window will show up on your screen.
- Input your bank account number in the text box labeled “Account number” and your routing number in the text box labeled “Routing number.”
- Double-check that your details are correct before moving forward.
- Once you’re done, select “Save.”
- Within 24 hours, you’ll see a ZapPay withdrawal of ten cents or less come through your account and then a refund for that same amount shortly after. This is to ensure that you can successfully withdraw and deposit money between your ZapPay account and your bank account.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully connected your ZapPay to your bank account! If you need any additional help, see the links below:
- Add money into my ZapPay account
- Transfer money from ZapPay into my bank account
- Disconnect bank account
- Add credit card to ZapPay account
3 simple tips to get started with knowledge base articles (hint: AI)
Now that you’ve got what you need to write the perfect knowledge base article, here’s how you can get started.
- Pull information from old case logs and notes to ensure that you’re including as much detail as possible and that you’re following the same steps to get a resolution.
- To ensure accuracy and readability, work with a manager to set up a knowledge article approval process. This will ensure that grammar and spelling are correct, that the information is accurate, and that article formatting is uniform across the hub.
- Connect a generative AI tool to your service console and have it create the first draft of your knowledge article based on conversation details and CRM data for your experienced agents to review. This will save you time and help you get your articles out faster.
Now you know what a knowledge base article is and why they’re important for both customers and agents. Start writing articles today to give them both an awesome service experience and increase the efficiency of your contact center.
Save time for your customers and agents
With self-service tools like knowledge base articles, customers can get answers to frequently asked questions any time — freeing up your agents. Our guide shows how high-performing service orgs make self-service easy to do.