How to clean up your knowledge base and enable a better self-service customer care experience
“81% of marketing leaders responsible for customer experience (CX) say their companies will mostly or completely compete on the basis of CX in two years.” — 2017 Gartner Customer Experience in Marketing Survey
A key aspect of customer experience is the second half of the buyer cycle: customer engagement and service. Customers want a simple way to find the answers they need. Knowledge base content is a valuable asset that can answer this need by powering self-service support options.
Experts at Harvard Business Review agree: “Indeed, our data show an overwhelming preference for self-service: Across industries, fully 81% of all customers attempt to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a live representative.” They found that the cost of a self-service customer experience can be measured in pennies — far cheaper than the cost of an interaction via phone, email or webchat, which averages $7–13.
Using knowledge base content to power customer and partner self-service options provides immediate ROI in the form of reduced support costs. It also contributes to long-term revenue gains by increasing customer lifetime value and lead generation.
For most organizations, the first step to achieving these gains is improving existing knowledge base content so that it is unified and accessible for use with different tools (data, AI and personalization, etc.) across service channels. Below, we’ll share four ways that you can increase the value of your knowledge base content and lay the foundation for better support experiences that drive revenue.
Legacy content repositories and content management systems were built to manage content for single use cases, such as a website, app or support portal. This siloed content becomes difficult to maintain as organizations add more and more systems to manage content for different products and channels.
Unifying content into a central hub where it can be easily updated in one place and distributed wherever it is used is the key to achieving agile support services. Managing content from one hub streamlines workflows, reduces the resources needed to keep content up to date and improves consistency across support experiences, including interactive FAQs, in-product support, help center apps, learning portals, self-service support, etc.
Headless CMSes can consolidate siloed content into a single hub for all knowledge base content, be it FAQs, mobile support, a help center, customer care, partner portals, in-product support or chat bots.
Unifying content into a single source of truth is the key to providing consistent support. To scale that support consistently across channels, organizations need a content solution that is built for omnichannel delivery. Headless CMSes provide this through APIs that can deliver content to any digital endpoint, but many fall short when it comes to organizing content for easy reuse across channels.
One option is to choose a headless CMS that provides content infrastructure. Content infrastructure organizes and structures content so that it can be accessed by different teams, but still delivered in the right format for each channel. It starts with a flexible content model that structures your content for your digital needs and combines it with powerful delivery options and a friendly editorial app. All of this is built with omnichannel content needs in mind, so that your knowledge base solution is ready to grow with you.
Effective self-service support requires integration between your knowledge base and various tools that personalize the experience. These help identify or predict customer intent and deliver personalized content via the customer’s preferred channel. There are no all-in-one solutions that do this well. Service teams need to choose their own combination of tools that work well together.
When content is managed in one place, service teams can focus on how to deliver it instead of trying to keep it updated across systems. Internally, having a central knowledge base with consistent structure and business logic helps close the gaps between different product teams, channel owners and business units. Externally, a content infrastructure-backed knowledge base provides more consistency for customers, opens up the door to self-service and makes more content available for use in customer support tools.
Resources that were wasted on synchronizing content can now be focused on creating new content and packaging it in different ways across channels. Teams can leverage existing content to spin up new features and expand into more support channels quickly, without the delays caused by recreating or migrating siloed content. Every piece of knowledge base content is able to work harder, helping service teams reach more customers with better support.