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You might be wondering, what is a knowledge center? Knowledge center software houses an online database of information to guide your customers to successfully use your products or services. The great benefit of this type of software is that it provides self-service answers to customer inquiries.
Helping customers find answers to their questions quickly can increase customer satisfaction and improve customer retention rates. As a company, you’ll also get fewer customer service inquiries, allowing you to focus on the pressing matters that customers need interaction with your team to resolve.
Benzinga outlines everything you need to know about why you need a knowledge management system and the best software options to power your online knowledge center.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Knowledge Center Software?
Making a sale with a customer is just the start. You need to focus on retaining the customer long term, which means providing customer support for the duration of their time as a customer.
Knowledge base software allows you to provide customer support before you even know your customer is experiencing an issue. You’ll be there from the moment they begin searching for answers to their challenges.
Here is a look at a few of the many benefits of adding this type of software to your business.
Improved customer satisfaction
Regrettably, some disgruntled customers may never come to you with their areas of frustration. They might not want to share details of what’s bothering them, or they might not have time to do so.
For those customers who never reach out with their issues, you can still be there to resolve their problems with an online, searchable knowledge base.
Customers will have greater success with your product, which will help them view your company in a more positive light.
Happy customers are more likely to stay with your company. You can improve your customer retention rates with knowledge base software by being there with answers to all your customers’ questions.
Customer retention rates are crucial to growing your business and succeeding. According to Harvard Business Review, a 5% increase in customer retention rates can increase your overall profits by 25 to 95%.
More consistent customer support
Even your customer support representatives can benefit from a knowledge base. When answering phone calls, chat messages or emails, your representatives can reference the knowledge base and link to it in their responses.
No matter which customer support representative a customer speaks to, they’ll get the same answer because you’ve empowered your staff with information.
Reduction in customer support inquiries
While you want to answer your customers’ questions, you also want to be efficient in the use of your human resources. A knowledge base can reduce the inquiries you get from customers so that you only receive questions about content you don’t have documentation for yet since customers can find answers to their questions online.
Build authority in your industry
With a robust knowledge base, you’ll showcase your authority in your industry. Your answers to common questions will not only help you retain customers, but you might even gain new customers by being a thought leader.
Thorough answers to common questions can help you showcase your expertise and commitment to customer service before someone even becomes a customer.
What to Look for in the Best Knowledge Center Software
Before you start evaluating your options for the best knowledge center software, get a better understanding of what you should look for. We cover the most important features your team and customers will appreciate.
Fast knowledge base
Frustrated customers don’t have time or patience for a knowledge base to load. The faster and more responsive your knowledge base is, the better service you’ll be able to provide your customers.
Likewise, your team will appreciate a speedy system that allows you to add the information with ease to answer new questions you’ve seen from customers
Killer search feature
The whole point of a knowledge base is to help users find information. For that to happen, users need to be able to search the database for the information they need.
If you’re creating a public knowledge center, it’s also helpful if the data is SEO-friendly so that customers can find the information even if they don’t know your website’s URL.
The more intelligent the search features are as far as understanding the user’s intent, the better.
User feedback and analytics
Enabling user feedback will help you understand how helpful your information is or if it has any major gaps. A simple rating scale of how helpful the information is can be a great guide in updating the information.
Analytics showcase important data about what content users are reviewing. If your knowledge base is behind a customer login, you’ll even get a deeper understanding of what type of customer is viewing your content.
And when you’re looking for ways to improve your products and services, you’ll have valuable insights from your knowledge base software because you can see what customers are searching for the most. Using this information will help you know what aspects of your offering need to be clearer for users.
Clean user experience
The less clutter there is in your knowledge center, the easier it will be for your customers to find the information they need. Avoid salesy content or calls to action on these pages as they should be focused completely on serving your customers.
And don’t forget about the back-end user experience. You want it to be easy for your team to learn the system and start updating content to protect the integrity of your information.
Make sure that only authoritative parties can author within the software. While you might create an open forum for your customers to discuss their challenges, you want your knowledge base to be clear, accurate, and effective at communicating concepts to your customers.
The Best Knowledge Center Software
Here’s a look at our top picks for knowledge center software to get your information center up and running quickly.
Document360 offers both an internal and external knowledge base. You’ll find effective collaboration tools and in-depth analytics and reporting.
- Collaboration features
- Internal and external knowledge bases
- Intuitive user interface
- Good customer support
- More expensive compared to the competition
- Few integrations
- Does not have customer service functionality
Best For: Most organization sizes and types
Pricing: Prices start at $49 a month per project
Zendesk (NYSE: ZEN) is a powerhouse customer service tool. Not only does it provide a knowledge base solution for your team, but it also has great features for call center, online chat and email inquiry features. It’s a comprehensive customer service tool.
- A full suite of customer service tools and features to provide the best possible experience for your customers
- Various integrations with other leading software tools
- Options for both internal and external knowledge bases
- Full suite of services expensive per user
- No standalone knowledge base option
- Not ideal for smaller businesses
Best For: Customer service tools
Pricing: Zendesk with a knowledge base starts at $79 per month per user. You can get started with a free trial to see if the software works for your organization’s needs.
Learning how to set up your knowledge base can be a little daunting if you’ve never worked with one before. Helpjuice is an incredibly user-friendly option to help beginners get started with setting up a knowledge base. The clean, intuitive user interface helps guide beginners through the process of setting up a knowledge base.
- Intelligent search functions that make it possible to find the information you need
- Excellent customization options to match your knowledge base to your other collateral
- In-depth analytics to help you understand how your customers are using your knowledge base
- Integrations are limited
- Somewhat pricey for small businesses and startups
Best For: Companies with little or no knowledge base experience
Pricing: Get started with a free 14-day trial. After that, prices start at $120 a month for up to 4 users.
HelpCrunch is an all-in-one communication tool for staying in contact with your customers. In addition to offering a knowledge base, the software makes it simple to open online chat with your customers, manage ticketing and create email marketing strategies to reach your customers.
- Excellent categorization options to aid in search engine optimization
- Customization options for the end-user experience
- SEO tools to make it easy for your customers to find your knowledge base
- Lacking in some features that larger organizations need
- Reporting is somewhat limited
Best For: Companies looking for an affordable knowledge base solution
Pricing: Prices start at $12 per month per user. You can get started with a 14-day free trial.
Subscribers to HubSpot’s Service Hub get full access to the knowledge base functionality. That way, you can create a great customer experience using all communication channels. Because HubSpot is a leader in inbound marketing, it’s no big surprise that its knowledge base is one of the best for SEO.
- The software is extremely intuitive, meaning you don’t have much of a learning curve.
- You’ll get regular updates and new feature releases to keep the software current.
- Rely on strong integrations with other areas of your business when you use HubSpot for marketing and sales as well.
- You cannot use HubSpot solely as an internal knowledge base.
- Because of the integrations with the marketing and sales tools, the interface is quite busy and involved for first-time users.
Best For: Using your knowledge base to improve your overall SEO
Pricing: HubSpot offers a free option for subscribers to get to know the software and see if it’s a good fit. After that, prices start at $45 per month.
Answer Customer Questions Quickly
Today’s fast-paced marketplace demands speedy customer service solutions. A knowledge base allows customers to discover answers to their questions quickly, without waiting for a response from your service team. Start answering your customers’ questions with quick search queries using one of the knowledge base tools listed above.