It’s not nearly as boring or useless as the name suggests – let me share how I have cut response time and number of agent-customer iterations and created more happy customers with this tool available in our help desk system.
Just as probably anyone else, it drove me nuts when I had to spend more time typing in the solution than finding one – like when I knew how to solve the problem exactly, but there was an entire page of instructions that I had to give to the customer. So, I dreamed about and looked for ways to optimize my typing efforts.
Obviously, I could have used canned responses and various text expanders like our AutoText, and they would help – to some extent. However, rather than building my answer sentence by sentence from canned responses or paragraph by paragraph from AutoText, I needed to be able to quickly insert an entire solution, which I had already stored somewhere.
With the new feature added to our application, which allowed me to insert solutions from the knowledge base to my replies to customers, I believe I have found what I had been looking for.
Knowledge base looks unbeatable at providing quick, precise, and complete answers to customers’ questions. Integrated with the helpdesk app, it brings required answer straight to the reply box on the ticket page. The text inserted from the knowledge base is editable, so you can give it a personal touch where that's necessary. KB articles thoroughly cover their subjects, so the customer gets a complete answer to their question.
Knowledge base not only speeds up your response to the customer – for the customer too it's much faster to look up a solution in the knowledge base than to wait for the answer from the support staff, regardless of how fast your support team responds.
Cover more subjects with KB articles, update them promptly, help customers find solutions on their own; they will appreciate that, even if they don't say that outloud.
And yet another way to intercept customers’ requests on their way to your support desk – smart suggestions. If for whatsoever reason the customer decides to move straight to your helpdesk team, the program will automatically suggest him or her available solutions as they type in the subject line. A click on a suggested item takes the customer straight to the full article with the solution to their problem. If the article solves the particular person’s problem, you get yet another happy customer and save your time and effort on “reinventing the wheel”.
To make your knowledge base efficient, you should make it cover a wide range of possible cases. Talking about software, for instance, KB articles should mention installation, upgrades, troubleshooting – each issue that could ever occur – how-to articles of a similar nature, and so on. The more articles there are, the more subjects are covered, the greater is the chance that the customer finds the answer in the knowledge base or receives the hint from the application as he or she starts typing their inquiry to the support.
Where do articles come from? – Someone’s got to write them, of course. But, believe it or not, a lot of articles in your knowledge base will be literally written by your customers, for free. They send you numerous questions, inquiries, and suggestions, you answer your questions, and… Before closing that ticket, why don’t you choose to Publish it to KB? Now open the published item, slightly freshen it up, and voilà – another article is available to your customers.
You can also write articles yourself and / or have your colleagues write them – all support staff members can create articles from tickets or compose new articles in the knowledge base. Who in the world knows your product better than you and can advise others on the best ways to use it!
Knowledge base indeed saves both your typing effort, allowing you to type in the solution once and make it available to the public, and your customers’ time, letting them find answers to their questions on their own in a matter of seconds or minutes.
Knowledge base works best when it covers a wide range of subjects.
If you charge for your support services, you can still make money with it by providing subscription-based access to it. Our Helpdesk application provides means for flexible configuration of access to support articles. Drop us a line if you have questions on this; we might make up another KB article that guides you through this process. :)