If you’re thinking about investing the time into creating a high-quality knowledge base, you might be wondering whether the knowledge base benefits that you’ll achieve will outweigh the cost of creating all of the high-quality content that needs to go into a knowledge base.
Well, there’s a reason pretty much every business has a knowledge base – they serve a very important role in helping you create a successful business.
The core of that role is helping you offer better support to your customers, but the benefits of a knowledge base can go beyond just support and also help you with sales, marketing, employee onboarding, and more.
Keep reading for seven benefits to creating a high-quality knowledge base…
Seven Key Knowledge Base Benefits
Here are the seven main benefits of a knowledge base. You can…
- Receive fewer direct support requests by helping customers solve their own problems.
- Accommodate different learning styles and preferences in your customers (such as people who would rather read an article than talk to someone on the phone).
- Help customers reach the “aha” moment faster (make it easier for them to start getting value from your product to reduce churn).
- Attract organic traffic via SEO by ranking for long-tail keywords.
- Help convert potential customers by providing them with valuable pre-sales information.
- Educate your own employees about how your product works.
- Create happier, more successful customers and lower your churn rate.
Let’s go through these benefits in more detail…
1. Receive Fewer Direct Support Requests
One of the biggest benefits of creating a knowledge base is that it can cut down on the direct support requests that you need to handle. Instead of reaching out for answers to common questions, your customers can just get the answer directly from your knowledge base (you can also set up your site to encourage them to check the knowledge base before submitting a request).
This can lead to big savings in terms of money and time – the latter of which is especially helpful if you’re a solopreneur wearing multiple hats:
- Direct support requests – cost scales as support requests increase (e.g. you need to hire more staff and/or pay staff to spend more time on support).
- Knowledge base article – one-time money/time investment to create knowledge base content. Infinitely scalable – there’s no real change in cost whether 100 people read the article or 10,000 people read the article.
Some knowledge base software will even let you track which articles lead to direct support requests so that you can optimize each article.
For example, with our KnowAll WordPress knowledge base theme, you’ll get built-in analytics to see how helpful your articles are and which resulted in the most support requests:
2. Accommodate Different Learning Styles and Preferences
While a knowledge base can help you cut down on direct support requests from people who would’ve otherwise reached out, it also serves another useful feature here:
Providing support to people who do NOT want to reach out.
Not everyone learns or wants to receive support the same way. Some people prefer phone calls, some people prefer live chat, and some people prefer self-service.
Beyond that, some people learn better with text, others with static images or GIFs, others with video content, etc.
A knowledge base helps you accommodate those customers by giving them a chance for self-service in their preferred learning format, which makes customers who prefer this learning style happier.
3. Help Customers Reach the “Aha” Moment Faster
In product onboarding, there’s the idea of an “aha moment” or “eureka effect”. This is the moment when a customer first discovers the real value in your product and how it can help them improve their lives or businesses.
If you want your customers to stick around, you want to help them achieve the aha moment as fast as possible, because if they give up before reaching that moment they have a high chance of churning or just never paying for your product.
A well-structured knowledge base can help customers reach that moment by providing focused getting started material that helps move customers from “no knowledge” to having enough knowledge to reach the aha moment.
For example, look at how Zapier’s getting started guide helps customers understand key concepts so that they can start quickly creating recipes:
4. Attract Traffic Via Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When you create a knowledge base, it’s easy to think of it exclusively as a help channel. Don’t get us wrong – it is primarily a help channel. But it can also be a useful marketing tool because all the knowledge base content that you’re creating is like catnip for search engines such as Google.
That is, Google will happily rank knowledge base content just as much as blog posts or other types of content.
Because of the nature of knowledge base content, it can be especially useful for long tail keywords. These are the lengthier, more specific keywords that people search for.
For example, let’s say you have a SaaS tool that makes it easier for people to accept payments via PayPal. You might have a knowledge base article on “How to find the PayPal IPN URL”, which is an important part of configuring PayPal to work with a website.
That kind of specific article could rank for a long-tail keyword search like “where to find the PayPal IPN URL”. A visitor might find your knowledge base article in Google, realize that you offer a simpler way to integrate with PayPal, and become a customer.
Once you create your knowledge base, you’ll be surprised by the types of long-tail keywords that generate organic traffic to your knowledge base, which makes this a very valuable indirect benefit to creating knowledge base content.
For more details, check out our guide on how to optimize your knowledge base for SEO.
5. Provide a Valuable Pre-Sales Resource
In addition to boosting your marketing via SEO, a good knowledge base can also act as a valuable pre-sales resource for potential customers who are on the fence about your product.
A detailed knowledge base accomplishes two things here:
- It gives customers insight into the nitty-gritty details of how your product works. This helps them be confident that your product can do exactly what they need it to. Personally, I consult the knowledge base of every single product that I purchase so that I can make sure it has all of the features I need. The knowledge base is usually a lot more illuminating than the marketing copy on the features page.
- It provides shoppers with confidence that you’re going to be there to help them when they need it. Basically, if they see that you invested in a high-quality knowledge base, that’s a sign that the rest of your product’s experience and support will be at the same level.
We even include a special pre-sales questions category in our knowledge base here at HeroThemes:
6. Provide a Resource for New and Existing Employees
If your business has employees, your knowledge base can also serve as a useful resource for them in addition to your customers.
For new employees, your knowledge base can help onboard them and get them up to speed with how your product works.
And for existing employees, your knowledge base can still serve as a useful resource for when they need to look up something about your product. Not every employee will be an expert in every part of your product, so the knowledge base gives them a way to quickly look up information without needing to bother someone else.
7. Create Happier, More Successful Customers (and Lower Churn)
We could’ve put this one first because it’s probably the most important benefit of creating a knowledge base. But given everything that we’ve covered so far, you could say that the main overriding benefit is that a knowledge base helps you create happier, more successful customers.
Having happier, more successful customers is a positive by itself. But as a nice added benefit, happier customers who are able to get value from your product are also much less likely to churn, which means you can keep customers longer and increase your customer lifetime value.
Create Your Own Knowledge Base Today
Overall, there are a lot of knowledge base benefits, including benefits that go beyond the obvious improvement in your customer support.
Yes, a knowledge base can help you create happier, more engaged customers and cut down on your direct support requests. But a knowledge base can also help you reach more people in the first place by improving your SEO and converting them into customers by acting as a pre-sales resource.
If you’re ready to begin reaping these benefits for your business, start developing your knowledge base today.
With our KnowAll knowledge base WordPress theme or Heroic Knowledge Base WordPress plugin, you can use the popular WordPress software to create your own self-hosted, flexible knowledge base complete with useful features like:
- Instant live search suggestions.
- Search analytics to see what problems your customers need help with.
- Transfer analytics to see which articles result in the most direct support requests.
- Satisfaction rankings to see how satisfied users are with each article.
You can be up and running in no time with no technical knowledge required – just follow our tutorial on how to create a WordPress knowledge base.