FAQ vs Knowledgebase

Your recently acquired customer, Doug, is working on an assignment late at night and suddenly he faces an error that he cannot fix. He looks for his phone to call your support agent, but he soon realizes that no one will pick up the phone at 10pm.

The assignment is critical for his promotion so he rushes to find a solution by googling it. Your FAQ page pops up as well as your knowledge base. He is happy that he will find some answers and that soon this nightmare will be over. But which page does he visit longer and where does he actually find the solution?

Let’s find out!

A. Why do businesses have an FAQ page?

You may be familiar with the meaning of an FAQ page but this concept deserves further explanation. The FAQs or Frequently Asked Questions page is a place on your website dedicated to the most frequent customer queries. The issues discussed here have already happened and, thanks to customers who reached out to you, you have a solution prepared for all your other existing or future customers. This section is even structured in the form of questions and answers. By clicking on a question, your customer will open an answer window and voila! The help is there!

B. What is a knowledge base?

A knowledge base or helpcenter is also a page dedicated to solving your customers’ problems. However, this page has a bit of a different approach. It is an article directory that provides comprehensive explanations related to the use, purchase, and features of your product or service. By typing an issue into your knowledge base’s search bar, your customers are one step closer to answering all of their queries. Your employees also find value in your knowledge base page.

Nevertheless, there is a distinction between these two options. When your customers search, they surf through an external knowledge base. In contrast, when your employees look for answers, they search through your internal knowledge base, which is hidden from your customers’ eyes. Customers should enjoy the efficiency and anonymity of self-service but, your support reps should be able to provide additional support and get to the answers faster. Together, they should help you reach the maximum Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) and Employee Satisfaction Score (ESAT)!

C. The key differences between FAQs and knowledge bases

The FAQ page is a traditional way of solving issues while the knowledge base is a modern tech solution that makes solving common customer problems easier, for both your customers and employees, brining efficiency and satisfaction to a whole new level.

1. User experience

While knowledge bases and FAQs are both pages with answers, they offer a very different user experience. On the FAQs page your customers scroll down to find an answer to their question regarding your service. However, what worked for one customer may not always work for another as everyone has different needs.

Thus, your customers end up with an answer that is the closest to their wanted solution. Yet they are still not happy. They build up new solution benchmarks, but that is still not enough so they need to call your support agent for further assistance. We all know how annoying and time consuming it can be to wait in line for an agent to pick up the phone, even with all the lovely music we listen to while on hold.

On the other hand, a knowledge base makes both your customers and employees happier. Instead of scrolling down endlessly and looking through multiple irrelevant questions, they can type their question into an easily accessible search box and a customer support software will find their answer for them! One click or dozens of clicks. What would you choose if you were the customer?

2. Knowledge architecture

The primary difference between FAQs and knowledge bases is the presence of solution categories. The information architecture of a knowledge base is far more complex, but also more comprehensive. While FAQs cover the most common customer questions, knowledge bases allow you to find everything you need to know about your business offer. The knowledge base offers articles on every single possible question regarding your product or service use, from the most trivial ones to serious struggles. In this way, you even help your customers avoid the troubles that come with a traditional manual such as a lack of information. A knowledge base is a go-to source because it offers the fastest and most comprehensive solutions.

You can still follow the FAQs best practice and pin the most visited articles on the top, just make sure that the search button appears first as some customers will have different queries. You need to treat your customers equally well, even though they often require different kinds of treatment. There is no doubt that you will reduce your churn rate or increase your customer acquisition rate if you facilitate the use of your product to the maximum. No one wants to waste too much time on things that don’t work like they should or to learn a new thing if they find that the onboarding process for another option is quicker. Don’t lose your customers easily; instead, make it easy for them to get to know your brand.

3. Quality of a solution

You created a product to make people’s lives better and easier. However, you won’t reach that goal if they don’t know how to enjoy the benefits of your product or if they simply experienced a sudden product failure. The more your customers know the more they will trust your brand and be willing to make a purchase on your website. In the age of Internet of Things (IoT) driven solutions and decision makers, lack of transparency is your biggest weakness.

There is no way consumers won’t figure something out nowadays because if they don’t get the information from you, it will be available on numerous other websites. It takes just a mouse click to exit your website, and this quick action can signal a lost customer. Thus the more information you offer, the better. If you offer a self-service option such as a knowledge base to alleviate embarrassment over asking a silly question over and over again, you’ve got yourself a winning way of building a loyal customer base.

Moreover, self-service is extremely important for the tech-savvy generations. Digital natives prefer rapid digital solutions. According to the latest study, 89% of Millenials, who dominate today’s global adult population, will opt for your knowledge base over making a call to your support department.

4. Metrics and Analytics

Unlike the FAQs option, which basically consists of several pages, the knowledge base has an algorithm behind its success. With this technology, you can analyse your user satisfaction level to continuously improve the experience. The market is always evolving and so are the needs of your customers. Therefore, your customer service should evolve too. Usually your customers are the best source to identify what is missing, right?

With the metrics and analytics system built-in, your knowledge base can reveal all the weak links and tell you which articles you should add. On the analytics dashboard, you will find the number of visitors per page so you can move the most popular pages up to the top. You can also see how long your customers stay on your page, or in other words, if your article is helping them. It is good to have a high number of page visitors;  however, if the bounce rate is high too, that means your content isn’t resonating and you need to rewrite or offer a completely new article. Most importantly, keep track of the total number of visitors so you know if your knowledge base is popular among your customers. Aim for the maximum number!

5. Search- friendly label

Excellent search capabilities are the key features in your new customer support software. Your job is not done by simply providing a prominent search box. The main work lies in the ability to provide easy-to-find articles, and the only way to accomplish that is if you optimize your articles. All of your content should consist of keywords that your customers will type when looking for a solution. The best practice is to put them in the article titles so your support software can do its job as fast as possible. However, this functionality also depends on the capacity and security available with your software. For this reason, you should be sure to get the best one.

Software-enabled customer support has become imperative for superb customer experiences, and to stay in the game you need to follow the latest trends! Modern support tools simply make the work better and easier for both sides of the service path, your company and your customers.

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