With the sheer amount of data that we are able to collect every day, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. The problem now comes not from a lack of information, but a lack of tools to help effectively sort and search through the content. Knowledge Management Systems can help with that. Of all the different types of Knowledge Management Systems, today we will be providing more information on specific knowledge bases. With different KM systems, do you know which example best describes knowledge base content, let's explore it in this content
Knowledge Management Systems have already seen widespread adoption in fields like healthcare, due to their many benefits. Today, we will be going through and discussing some of the top examples that will describe knowledge base content, and what they do right. If you want to know more about what practices make a good knowledge base, you can read about it here.
Table Of Content
5 Best Examples of Knowledge Base Implementations
Dropbox has an amazing help and support page and is one of the best examples of how to implement a knowledge base. Their front page has a large section dedicated to Top Articles. These articles address issues that are the most frequently accessed. This allows the customer to find the pertaining content without having to look through their knowledge base. Each article also a section dedicated to articles that deal with similar issues labeled "Related Articles". This allows a customer, who may be having a similar but different issue to find the content they need quickly and easily.
Dropbox also has a very prominent search bar. This ensures that if the customers' issue is not featured on the knowledge base home page, they still have a quick and easy way to find the relevant content. The content itself is very well written and excels in readability. Their articles are very pleasing to look at with plenty of images and only have short paragraphs. The articles have step-by-step instructions on how to solve any given issue and include links to where the customer can start resolving their issue. Another tip to remember is search-ability. Before you title content, you should ask yourself if that title is what you would search for if you run into that issue. This will allow your users to quickly and easily search for the content that is relevant to them within your knowledge base.
The topics within a knowledge base are also incredibly important to look at. Within Dropbox's knowledge base, you will find information covering a wide array of issues. These topics have all been carefully selected, and you should emulate this when creating your own. This can easily be done by labeling each issue, so you can easily sort by the questions and problems that customers contact you about the most. This will allow your customers to find a troubleshooting article easily from within your home page. Having knowledge base articles on the most common issues that the customers face, frees up time for your help desk staff.
Another great example of a knowledge base system being implemented is Lyft. Their website does many things right in both their knowledge base content as well as its overall improvement. One Quality improvement that Lyft's website brings to the table is separate pages for drivers and riders. This means that the end-user only has to look through the information that belongs to them. This allows them to find the content that they are looking for much faster. If your end-users are segmented in such a manner, you too should consider separating your knowledge base content into two distinct categories.
The knowledge base also excels in navigability, as their content has titles that are short and catchy. Their content is designed to draw your eye to the headlines, and hopefully allow you to find what you are looking for. Their articles such as this one, are broken up by images and have very few words. They are able to do this by using a concept called negative space. You can read more about negative space here. This means that the website is easily able to capture the reader's interest, within the critical first 7 seconds.
Another area in which Lyft's knowledge base excels is in its use of links. For example, if a customer is unfamiliar with a subject that is being discussed, rather than having an overview that may not explain the intricacies fully it can be better to link internal or external articles to help further their knowledge in the field.
Canva is a graphic design platform that can be used to design and create banners and other digital advertising content. The thing that Canva does really well, which many companies often overlook is to obtain a thorough understanding of their audience. The users of Canva, are often not graphic designers but marketers as Canvas easy to use drag and drop format allows marketers to create what they could otherwise not.
Canva, as a result, limits the use of jargon in its articles. This is something that every website should imitate. If you must use jargon, it is important that you define the term upon its first use. This allows for your knowledge base content to be as accessible as possible. People who may not have been able to understand the solution before would now have access to the information they need to solve the problem themselves. Their content also includes information on issues such as billing and installation. They understand how to proactively reduce customer frustration.
It can also allow for a lot of mobility between articles. The articles on the home page address very simple issues and problems, and allow the user to move to more complex information using nested topics. This allows for the user, who we know is not familiar with graphic design, to slowly build up the knowledge they need to get the software to work. Having knowledge base content laid out in such a manner can help you cater better to your audiences. The navigation column on the left side, as well as the search bar also allows customers more familiar with the program to skip the preliminary information and allows them to quickly access the pertinent content. This allows for 2 different types of end-users to have an easy time navigating the knowledge base.
Asana is a tool used by teams to enhance collaboration and communication. With the rise of remote working due to the recent events concerning Covid-19, Asana is one of the tools that employers have at their disposal. Just like Canva, Asana's approach to its user base is something to emulate. They understand that their users may not understand how to use their software, as they may range from tech-savvy startup employees to older employees who may not have as much experience with technology. Therefore their knowledge base must reflect this diversity of users.
Knowing this, Asana has 2 types of tutorials. The first tutorial offers a step by step series of courses, which is more suited for people who may not have experience in using software such as this. You can see this content being offered on the right side of their website. This allows them to provide the information required to customers who they may otherwise have lost. The other type of tutorial offered is articles. These deliver the same information but in a denser format.
This type of "Information Delivery" is more suited to people who are more familiar with computers and allows them to acquire the same information without getting bored. If you are already familiar with such software, you do not need an interactive lesson stopping you from getting to work. Asana's team understands this, and for this reason, they have a way for both types of people to access the same knowledge base content.
Another way that Asana splits its user base, is through its use cases. There are many types of employees that will use Asana, and as such, each group will have different questions that will need to be answered. Asana, therefore, splits its knowledge base through the use of labels. A clear example of this can be found on this page. This allows different types of employees to be familiarized with the way in which they will be utilizing the platform. This is something that all anyone who is looking to create knowledge base content should emulate.
Squarespace is a website that allows its users to create websites ranging from business web pages to websites dedicated to blogs. This leads once again to their customer base being very diverse, with users with drastically different needs. This means that their knowledge base has to accommodate them. This website provides many examples of how to split a knowledge base that contains content ranging from articles to live webinars.
Let's start with the Square spaces homepage. As we know your knowledge base home page is the most important page, as your goal should be to allow your customers to find the information that they need the fastest from this page. Looking at Squarespace, they prominently feature a search box at the top of their web page. If their customer already knows the root cause of an issue that they are trying to solve, they can easily search the key words up. This allows them to quickly access the information they need without having to traverse the knowledge base. Any knowledge base, no matter how small should always have a search feature.
Directly under the search bar, Squarespace features Popular guides. We have talked about this feature before, but it is critical that you have a section such as this one. These sections feature your most accessed content and can reduce customer frustration by having these articles right in front of them.
Scrolling even further down reveals a topic thread. This shows good use of labels, as you can see all the articles organized according to the sections pertaining to them. Even the order of these topics has been picked very carefully. The first topic that is being discussed is the "Getting Started" section. This section of the knowledge base allows for people who may not have experience in creating websites to become familiarized with the tools that Squarespace offers. The next section is dedicated to account support. This content consists of the most prevalent issues that users face.
The layout of their knowledge base content is also incredibly carefully planned. As an example, we will be examining this article specifically. Even at first glance, this article is incredibly navigable and catches your attention almost immediately. The article doesn't hit you with a wall of text but is instead broken up into many different sections. To allow for this minimalist writing style, they also include many internal links, as to allow their customer to not miss out on critical information contained elsewhere within their knowledge base.
Within the same article, they cater to many different types of customers. The main article itself allows for the information to be delivered in a short and succinct manner. The article also guides people perhaps in need of more assistance to other parts of Squarespace's knowledge base. This can be seen in the "Learn More" section, where they provide a link to a webinar. Throughout their knowledge base, they provide links to different types of content such as videos, webinars, guides, and tutorials. This allows for more people to interact with the information that you are providing them. The people using the Squarespace platform are diverse, and the Squarespace team has created a knowledge base to allow them to learn whichever way they feel is best. We have covered the 5 best implementations of a knowledge base so far but if you have any related questions, we will be discussing some frequent questions in the next section.
1. What is the purpose of a Knowledge Base?
Answer: A knowledge base is essentially an online library, which provides information for the end-user. This information can pertain towards a team or towards a customer. Knowledge bases often allow the end-user to absorb the same information in a variety of ways. The way to do this is to diversify your content. This can include articles, blog posts, videos, interactive tutorials, webinars, etc.
One way to implement a knowledge base, as you have seen is to allow your customers to access information on how your product functions. This allows your customer to fix any problems they may have, or find a method for them to learn the information they need to start using your platform.
A knowledge base can be used for teams and not just customers. Just one example would be a hospital. Doctors and nurses frequently need access to clinical data, such as a patient's health record. A knowledge base can allow hospital staff to increase patient care by giving its faculty critical information from a patient data file, and relevant links to articles from the national library of medicine. This decision support provided by a knowledge base can help save lives.
2. What are the components of a good knowledge base?
Answer: There are 5 basic rules for creating a good Knowledge Base.
- One of the biggest features of any knowledge base is the use of labels.
- Make it a habit to tag all of your content with a label
- Labels can be used in combination with a search engine to better narrow down your search results
- The topics you choose to work on will have a large impact on your knowledge base
- It is important to prioritize the topics that you choose to include within your knowledge base
- Writing a knowledge base article can be tough sometimes, but using a template makes the process a lot easier
- Templates allow for easier, faster, and more consistent content writing
- Using a template will also make writing content and contributing to your knowledge base much easier for your writers
- This allows them to work a lot faster, and they can add more content and information to your knowledge base
- Your writing should be understandable and professional without being demeaning towards the reader
- Limit the usage of industry jargon in your knowledgebase articles
- Make your content more accessible by breaking it up with images. This will physically break up the text, and make your articles much less likely to overwhelm your readers.
- Using bullet points, or breaking your information up into a step-by-step format can help greatly
- Your knowledge base homepage is at the center of your base layout
- Your primary goal with this page should be to allow your customers to find the information pertaining to them as soon as possible.
- The best way to do this add a search bar. This way your customers can easily type in the problem or issue they are facing and be able to quickly find the information they need from within your knowledge base.
- Another way to minimize the customer's time is to feature prominent content on your home page
- This allows the customer to find the pertaining information without having to search for it
3. What are the benefits of a knowledge base?
Answer: Having a knowledge base gives any organization a lot of benefits. First and foremost, it allows for easy and consistent service. Having a knowledge base allows all of your team members to reference the same information and guidelines. This allows teams to be more independent while reducing confusion and frustration. Another benefit that a knowledge base provides is customer resolution. This means that customers running into an issue can just access the information they need to solve it from your knowledge base.
A knowledge base implemented correctly can spare the customer from making a call, being put on hold, and getting help from a problem. This also leads to the third point: reduced costs. Having a functional knowledge base that allows your customers to seek the information they need out themselves, means that you would not need as many staff members on a help-line. Those hours could be spent on other projects, or potentially on expanding the information in your knowledge base.
Another reason for having a knowledge base is to not only convert new customers to use your product but also to keep existing customers happy. One of the reasons customers stop using a service or product is because they find the product too difficult to use or more commonly because they do not get the support they require. In an age where customers have access to most information in seconds, they expect to find their solutions at the same rate. It is up to you to provide this. If customers are unable to find solutions from you, they could switch over to a competitor who does provide a knowledge base service. Including a well implemented knowledge base, however can increase the amount of customer retention. It also increases customer satisfaction. As we discussed earlier, having a knowledge base reduces the amount of customers calling for support, which reduces wait times considerably. Implementing a knowledge base can therefore be beneficial not only to the customers whose issues are addressed within it, but also the customers who may require more personalized help. Having a knowledge base is therefore both beneficial to the company as well as the individuals using its products.
Regardless of the difference in implementation of a knowledge base, the most important thing to remember is the user experience. Your customers should be able to navigate through your knowledge base, without frustration. If you followed the tip about tagging each article with labels, it should be relatively easy to break up your content into different components. You can organize your content by department, issue, or even alphabetically. One of the quickest ways to do this would be through the use of macros. The earlier you do this, the easier managing your knowledge base will become in the future. The companies that have used a knowledge base and implemented it properly, have been met with unparalleled success. We wish you all the best!