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The importance of a well-kept knowledge base

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June 17, 2021
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Because of the complex nature of digital products, issues and user errors tend to occur. Unfortunately, those problems are compounded for new users just starting to learn a program. And without an effective way to work through those problems, customers will get frustrated and look to competitors instead.

A digital product or service provider is responsible for putting its customers in the best position to succeed. Failure could be the difference between retention and losing business. 

So what's the best way to empower customers? Institute a well-kept knowledge base that serves as a central hub of information to guide users.   

Everyone has a customer support horror story or two, with common examples being long hold times on the phone or prolonged wait times for an email response. Customer support is usually a last resort for these reasons, and many prefer the do-it-yourself route.

With an SaaS company, many customers buy the software and never have direct contact with the provider. Instead, they browse a website, make a purchase, and begin using the SaaS independently. For this relationship to run smoothly, the customer needs the proper resources to understand and effectively use the software service. 

So instead of requiring a phone call, email, or another form of communication for assistance, many companies see positive returns from a well-thought-out and well-constructed knowledge base.  

There are a wide variety of components to employ in this instance, including but not limited to the following: tutorials, how-to guides, troubleshooting articles, a searchable help section, or a frequently asked questions section. 

Images, screenshots, and videos are helpful media components to include because text-heavy content is tedious and labor-intensive. The last thing people want when they're frustrated is a book's worth of wordy instructions.

Like any text content, users scan resources like help articles and how-to guides. When dense paragraphs are broken up by lists, bullet points, and subheadings, there's a better chance of reaching the customer and keeping their attention. 

It's also imperative to know your user base to communicate product instructions and troubleshooting techniques effectively, which is another reason why your product needs a UX copywriter

So what's the best way to assist users? First, give them the tools to succeed with your digital product. A well-kept knowledge base will empower the user and eliminate the lag time between a help request and the subsequent response. With the right resources, users can find answers independently and enjoy more positive digital experiences.

3Digit is a small agile product design shop based outside of Baltimore, MD. We focus on designing user-centered digital products for mobile and web applications, as well as physical prototyping for early-stage startups and entrepreneurs. Our approach relies on research and rapid prototyping to help businesses turn their ideas into reality.