3 min read

Knowledge Base Articles: Types, Creation, and Examples

Knowledge Base Articles: Types, Creation, and Examples

Exceptional support is instrumental in customer retention, and one effective way to enhance your support services is by creating knowledge base articles.

What Exactly Are Knowledge Base Articles?

A knowledge base (KB) serves as an invaluable reservoir of information for users, acting as a versatile repository where you can store, organize, and share information to meet specific needs. You can develop a knowledge base for both external users (customers) and internal users (employees). For your customers, it signifies your commitment to assist them at the initial stages of product adoption and throughout their entire journey. It facilitates optimal workflow for internal users, imparting effective work practices and minimizing errors.

Types of Knowledge Base Articles

Knowledge bases take various forms, with the two primary categories being internal and external knowledge bases.

Internal Knowledge Base: Primarily serves the organization and its employees.

External Knowledge Base: Geared toward enhancing the experience of product users.

Within these knowledge bases, various types of articles can be found, including:

  • Informational: Providing background information about products or services.
  • Troubleshooting: Offering solutions to common issues and problems.
  • How-Tos: Step-by-step guides on performing specific tasks.
  • Documentation: Comprehensive manuals or guides for product usage.
  • FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions): Answers to commonly raised queries.
  • Product Descriptions: Detailed explanations of products or services.
  • Installation Guides: Step-by-step instructions for setting up products.
  • Customer Service Resources: Additional support materials related to your products.

Each article type needs a unique structure and approach.

The Motivation Behind Knowledge Base Creation

There are several compelling reasons for establishing a knowledge base:

Customer Care: In contemporary business dynamics, customer relationships extend far beyond the initial sale. Providing immediate access to relevant information assures customers that they can find assistance whenever they need it. Whether users require in-depth product knowledge or basic guidance, a knowledge base is the answer.

Efficiency in Support: Support teams are often inundated with recurring and routine questions. You can reduce the volume of repetitive inquiries by offering a knowledge base. Customers can independently find answers, freeing support staff to focus on more critical tasks.

Unified Knowledge: Internally, a knowledge base ensures all team members possess the same information. This uniformity eliminates information gaps, misunderstandings, and errors, promoting efficient operations across the board.

Creating Effective Knowledge Base Articles

Building a knowledge base need not be an arduous task. It is manageable for anyone with the right tools. Typically, a technical writer oversees this endeavor. The key is identifying the most frequently asked questions and crafting concise yet informative articles to resolve specific issues. Gather insights from the support team, sales personnel, and professional communities to understand user pain points.

Here are vital considerations to ensure your knowledge base articles are informative and efficient:

Define Your KB's Goal: Determine the primary objective of your knowledge base, whether it's providing in-depth product information or explaining your company's logistics. Your goal will dictate the character and content of your KB.

Engage All Departments: A robust knowledge base serves various functions, including marketing and sales support. Information should be presented from multiple angles to benefit different teams.

Logical Organization: Arrange KB articles logically, employing a suitable structure such as a hierarchical system or categorized sections. The goal is to make the KB user-friendly.

Maintain Branding: Maintain consistent branding across all articles to enhance your KB's professionalism and reliability.

Regular Updates: Ensure your KB remains up to date as your products evolve. Outdated information can deter customers from your product.

Should Your Knowledge Base Be Password-Protected?

The choice to keep information public or restrict access varies among companies. Public information is easily accessible to potential customers, which can aid the sales process. However, it also opens the door to competitors. If access limitation is necessary, ensure your knowledge management tool supports this feature.

Knowledge Base Article Templates

Consider using standardized templates to streamline the creation of support articles and maintain consistency throughout your knowledge base. Different types of knowledge base articles may demand specific templates. Here are examples of four templates to assist with your KB:

Informational Article Template

Title: About (Feature Name)

Description: A brief feature or product description

Links: Anchors linking to different sections within the article

Features: A list of features

Further Reading: Links to related articles

FAQ Article Template

Title: Frequently Asked Questions

Topic: A brief description of the covered topic

Table of Contents: Sections and questions

Answers: Answers to the questions

Further Reading: Links to related articles

How-To Article Template

Title: How to (Task Name)

Task: A brief description of the task

Prerequisites: Conditions for task execution

Table of Contents: Sections (if necessary)

Instructions: Step-by-step instructions

Outcome: What the user should achieve

Further Reading: Links to related articles

Troubleshooting Article Template

Title: Troubleshooting (Problem)

Problem: A brief problem description

Overview of Possible Solutions: If applicable

Solutions: Different solutions

Result: Confirming problem resolution

Further Reading: Links to related articles

A Great Knowledge Base = Lots of Opportunity

Establishing an informative knowledge base is manageable when equipped with the right tools. Select a tool that aligns with your needs. Consider the type of information your users seek and adhere to the guidelines outlined in this post to build a thriving knowledge base. Boom.

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