When And How To Update Your Knowledge Base

This is our second blog in the knowledge base series. If you have gotten the hang of how to write a knowledge base article, your work has just begun. The hard part is not in creating a knowledge base, but in maintaining it. Here is HappyFox’s enlightenment package on knowledge base management.

Set an update pattern

It is a healthy practice to update the knowledge base periodically. Have a standard time interval between each update. If it’s a month, make sure that all your past month’s product level changes go into the knowledge base update.

There can be exceptions when you have to immediately update the knowledge base for some major change, but for all practical purposes, stick to the update schedule.

Events that demand updates

At HappyFox, we have several events that require an update.

  • Product/Service Upgrade – When we have a product upgrade, it could mean that there are some major functional changes that have gone into the system and this is one of our key monthly updates.
  • Feature updates – When a feature is updated, we make sure the knowledge base article on the feature reflects the change too.
  • New high impact issues – If there was a recent issue that caused quite a stir and if there are simple self-help ways to resolve them, we make it a practice to put those on the knowledge base immediately.
  • New category/hierarchy – We keep adding a host of new features that could add an entirely new category/hierarchy to the product. In such cases, along with the feature the knowledge base article immediately goes up.
  • Errors – Whenever there is a grammatical error or more importantly, a factual error, it has to be immediately corrected as this could lead to confusion.
  • Procedures – Whenever there is a procedural change for a certain activity, detailed steps to execute them need to be given.

Address most common support requests

This is a very important part of your knowledge base. Take a look at the history of support tickets and find out the most commonly asked questions. Work with your support staff to understand the resolution and ensure that a user-friendly self help article for the same issue is put up during the next Knowledge Base update cycle.

What is Optimization?

We here at HappyFox, take a consistent effort to improve our knowledge base experience. This involves a lot of optimization for articles.

  • Error correction – A simple grammatical error could make your knowledge base lose its sheen. Whether it is grammatical or factual, all errors need to be immediately corrected.
  • Updates – Whenever there is a monthly HappyFox update, our knowledge base also goes through a refreshment cycle.
  • Re-writing – Some articles might have been written years ago and the entire feature set might have been altered. Therefore those need to be rewritten with the current feature set.
  • Tags – Adding tags to articles will help with categorization, searchability and also provide SEO value.
  • Hierarchy/Rearrangement – Based on the priority, usage etc, articles have to be constantly rearranged so that commonly asked questions are right on top, related articles are shown correctly etc.

Change Management

This is another crucial component of the knowledge base. As a person who manages the knowledge base, the things you need to do are

  • Collect/gather the changes that need to be incorporated.
  • Have an internal review to evaluate the changes
  • Create a draft of the knowledge base articles
  • Go through reviews and also keep track of the versions
  • Publish and continuously optimize

The prioritization of Knowledge Base articles

The top priority always goes to the commonly asked questions. If they are not addressed immediately, they could contribute heavily to your incoming support requests and overload your support staff.

Once you address commonly asked questions, the order of priority is as follows

  • New features/feature updates – These articles are of a little more priority as users may be clueless about new features and relevant knowledge base articles could help with easier usage.
  • Optimizing FAQs – Continuous optimization of answers is necessary as it could simplify your knowledge base on the whole and also help improve readability.
  • Removing obsolete articles – There is no point in keeping articles for a feature that is no longer in your product. Clearing up such obsolete articles makes the knowledge look neat and organized.

Once you master all the above management techniques, you will have a complete knowledge base that will help you cater to all your customers and also reduce the count of incoming support requests.

 

Webinar: How to Build an Effective Knowledge Base

Murali Satagopan

Customer service blogger, HappyFox enthusiast.