Boy howdy, do we love a good knowledge base. A well-executed knowledge base can enable customer self-service, make life easier for support agents, and even help boost SEO. From time to time, we poke around the interwebs looking for stellar knowledge base examples.
What is a knowledge base?
A knowledge base is an online repository that stores and organizes information for use by internal and external audiences, such as support agents, employees, and customers. This content is often referred to as knowledge base articles. Common examples of information stored in a knowledge base include:
- Departmental information, such as human resources (HR) and legal documentation
- Quick start, installation, and troubleshooting guides
- Product how-to and FAQ
- Approved hot-fixes and workarounds
The purpose of a knowledge base is to make important information available, on-demand and 24/7, for the audiences who need it. This might include customer service agents assisting customers on the phone, or customers looking to solve issues on their own using Google search or other methods.
What is Enterprise-Grade Knowledge Management?
Use this infographic as you consider and evaluate knowledge management solutions for your business
Knowledge base examples
Here are three knockout knowledge base examples, including the features that make them great.
1. Ex Libris
In a lot of ways, Ex Libris acts as a knowledge base in and of itself. It’s a cloud-based solution that brings together knowledge and resources for libraries, research arms, and student training. Customers come to the Ex Libris Knowledge Center to access knowledge base articles, documentation, training, and other resources that help them be more successful as users.
With more than twenty supported products on the market, Ex Libris has to organize and present A LOT of knowledge, and it has to do it in a way that makes it easy for customers to find what the information they’re looking for. Otherwise, their contact center would be swamped.
Why we like the Ex Libris knowledge base example
- Browse by product allows customers to quickly begin drilling down to only the content relevant to their product
- Featured topics section presents users with relevant or high-traffic content that other customers commonly look for (if they can find what they need here, no need to dig around any further)
- Search can be filtered by product so that customers can save time by narrowing search results to only the product they use
2. Fisher & Paykel
Fisher & Paykel, on the other hand, makes physical products for consumers—things like washing machines, dryers, and refrigerators. As a global company supporting many customers in many different regions, Fisher & Paykel requires a centralized knowledge repository (Fisher & Paykel Product Help) that allows users to install and set up products, troubleshoot, and learn about features without having to call support.
Why we like the Fisher & Paykel knowledge base example
- Click navigation for the win! Most customers don’t know what they’re looking for when they arrive at a knowledge base. To accommodate a lot of different consumer products, Fisher & Paykel allows customers to easily drill down to content related to only the product they own
- Troubleshooting and fault codes on the first page make it easy (one click) for customers to get to the most common reasons for a visit to Fisher & Paykel Product Help
- 24/7 Customer Support on the first page, too, because some customers need to call support and making it easy to do so is a good way to avoid frustration
3. Cisco Meraki
IT companies like Cisco, with both physical technology products and software, must maintain an updated knowledge repository to support their more tech-savvy audiences. Cisco Meraki Documentation is organized hierarchically so that visitors can self-select at the top level and drill down to the specific content they need.
Why we like the Cisco Meraki knowledge base example
- The first step is a click, giving visitors a simple way to begin drilling down to the content they need
- Quick start guides for each product give customers a streamlined way to get up and running quickly (isn’t that what we’re all after?)
- Search stays with you so that, no matter how far down the rabbit hole you go, the search bar is there in case you get stuck or need to find something else
What can learn from these knowledge base examples?
After reviewing these three knowledge base examples, there are a couple of strong suits consistent throughout:
- Organized hierarchically so users can drill down in a couple of clicks
- Users start with navigation and simple search experience on the landing page
- If you need to or want to contact support, you can (the option is not hidden)
Most importantly, these knowledge base examples put the needs of the user first. In reviewing these KBs, it is clear that the companies closely considered the who, what, when, why, and where of there knowledge base visitors. Who are the users coming to us for support? What is the first thing they’ll be looking for? When do they need the KB (spoiler alert: 24/7) and why? And where in the world are they coming from?
If you’re looking to set up a knockout knowledge base of your own, asking these questions is a great place to start.
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