When it comes to offering customer support, information is everything.
Whether you are looking to inform customers of the intricacies of using your product or are merely equipping them with information about your product’s most common use cases and issues, knowledge is invaluable to providing support.
While enabling customers to be self-sufficient through educating them about your product is every customer representative’s dream, it is mostly easier said than done, especially owing to the fact that human faculties are too limited to provide support at scale.
However, if a tool existed that facilitated customers to help themselves get the knowledge they desired, it would take a great load off, right?
Well, it turns out there is, and it’s called a knowledge base.
A knowledge base is a carefully regimented and well-written library of information about your product whose aim is to act as a self-service tool for simple inquiries.
In this article, we will learn more about a knowledge base software, how it can be used to provide support, and how to automate it to offer proactive customer service. We will also see how these virtual repositories can be used to feed chatbots to efficiently deliver knowledge base content and create satisfactory customer experiences.
What Is a Knowledge Base and Why Is It Important For Customer Service?
Did you know that a Salesforce survey found that 89% of millennials use a search engine to find answers before calling customer support?
This just goes to show the leanings of today’s customers for self-service. Self-help in consumer support is a prerequisite for a generation that grew up in the digital era. Not to mention the fact that millennials generally have higher expectations, too, irrespective of if they are looking for knowledge for personal purposes or for work.
This brings us to the point of the question; why is a knowledge base important for customer service?
As said before, a knowledge base comprises a collection of essential resources and documents that include every little detail about your product in the form of FAQ(s), troubleshooting measures, how-to guides, etc. Its point is to enable people to find solutions to their issues themselves without asking for help.
Since customer support mainly revolves around the transfer of information, knowledge bases are an effective means to an end to filling the gap in information for a customer that is keeping them from accomplishing their goal with your product. It can contain information for questions like:
- How to change my password?
- Why is my file broken?
- How do subscription plans work?
In doing so, a knowledge base not only facilitates hands-on self-help but also makes for a cost-effective way to service the customer. What’s more, it is accessible round-the-clock and presents information in the form of annotated pictures, audio, video, text, among others, and lets users assimilate the knowledge they need in a way they can absorb the best.
Knowledge Bases and Chatbots: The Pro Bono Customer Support Pair
Organizations and customers alike have realized that chat is the best medium for soliciting quick, contextual support. The most popular recourse to it, live chat, has facilitated consumers to obtain instant help while also assisting brands in engaging multiple customers simultaneously. In fact, a survey revealed that 82% of customers are satisfied with their live chat experience as opposed to just 61% of email users.
The only problem with offering flawless support via live chat? The issues of scale, i.e. as long as you don’t have the faculties to man a 24/7 support team, your users would have to wait for a worrying length of time before they got their queries serviced.
Enter the chatbot.
An AI-powered tool, the chatbot is the virtual counterpart of live chat and is used to service customer queries, automate resolutions to issues, and reroute the interaction to a human representative when required. As the primary consumer-facing tool, the chatbot’s need for comprehensiveness is absolute. This is where your knowledge base can come to its aid and act as its backbone.
With a bona fide chatbot knowledge management system in place, you can further complement your chatbot’s artificial intelligence credibilities and assist it in making truly autonomous decisions. The best part about using knowledge bases as the backbone of your chatbot is that courtesy of deep machine learning and natural language programming, chatbots can not only access customer data but also scrutinize every sophisticated bit of information you feed it, learn from it, and provide hyper contextual support to customers.
How Chatbots and Knowledge Base Enhance the Customer Experience
AI-powered chatbots can comprehend query context, access vital information from a knowledge base, and offer precise answers accordingly. The role of artificial intelligence in chatbots is to leverage the NLP capabilities of the chatbot and extract data and insights from natural interactions.
After comprehending the context of an interaction, the chatbot utilizes machine learning to create value from the data you extracted from it and feeds it to an information management system. Called knowledge engineering, this process is essential to helping your chatbot truly unlock its AI capabilities with the help of information architecture.
Without a proper information architecture in place, your chatbot is extremely limited in its scope and is nothing more than a search and information retrieval system. Fortunately, a knowledge base allows you to work your way around this by organizing data to engineer AI-powered customer service. Courtesy of ML and NLP, it constantly feeds upon new and relevant data to make interactions more natural through context identification for both anticipated and unanticipated queries.
Knowledge bases allow for a more organized metadata structure as well. Coupled with chatbots, these can be used to access information on a more granular level. This can be used to offer quick responses to data-driven questions without having to parse through a deep directory of data. You just have to ask the chatbot your query, and it will get what you want.
Knowledge Base and Chatbots Are the Future of Customer Support
According to Gartner, 85% of all customer interactions are conducted without humans, which just goes to show the importance of smart, consumer-facing tools like AI-powered chatbots. While these bots are an end-all solution to offering seamless customer support at scale, there is no existence of chatbots without proper information architecture.
With the right knowledge engineering, you can provide your chatbot with the resources required to facilitate them to make decisions. This can enable you to build a resourceful chatbot that utilizes machine learning to continuously learn from customer interactions and build on its existing capabilities to grow more intelligent and offer increasingly contextual support.