BUSINESS SIDEKICK

#07: How to Create a Knowledge Base: The Ultimate Guide
23 June 2016
00:00 00:00 CC Download
“You need to be helpful, you need to be mindful and you need to be clear. Imagine that your customer is a beginner type of a customer and write it as simple and clear as possible.”

From today’s episode, you’ll learn how to create a knowledge base. This topic include:

  • when you should start to think about creating a knowledge base,
  • how to find out what are your customer’s pain points,
  • how to start writing a knowledge base,
  • what are the best knowledge base practices.

Today’s guest

Justyna Janowska
Justyna Janowska is a member of UX team on a quest to make LiveChat easier and more enjoyable to use. In her 3 years at LiveChat, Justyna has dabbled in a bit of everything from supporting customers and hosting webinars to writing Knowledge Base articles that resolved common questions and customer problems.

Podcast transcript

Hello dear listeners, welcome to Business Sidekick!

I’m Justyna, LiveChat content writer, and marketer and this is our podcast dedicated to growing your online business.


If you have listened to our previous episodes, you’re already familiar with market research, you already know tips on how to build an effective website and optimize it for SEO and you know much more about selling than ever.

You have more and more customers visiting your website and your business is bringing you money. But at the same time, you start to get first inquiries from your customers. They make mistakes in their addresses, they are being lost in the billing process, they are not sure if their product is already shipped or they don’t understand how does the application work.

You have two choices: to answer each question they have and help them resolve their problems, one by one, or you can give them knowledge base and let them self-help.

So, this episode is about how not to waste your time and how to create a knowledge base. My today’s guest is Justyna Janowska, who will tell you about her experience in building LiveChat knowledge base.


Hi Justyna, thanks for being here! Can you please introduce yourself?

Hello, hi everyone! My name is Justyna and currently I’m working in Product Team at LiveChat but previously I used to support customers and also write knowledge base articles for LiveChat.

My first question: if someone wants to start a knowledge base but they don’t know where to start from, what would be your advice, how to find out what’s most important for your customers?

Well, obviously you need to know your customers and the best to know your customers is to talk to them and also analyze their requests, their questions. From my own experience, I can tell you that the best way from me it was to analyze archives from our chats and talk to our customers support as well as they are the first-hand contact with customers so they were best informed and they knew what questions the customers asked.

So the most frequent questions were the inspiration for you to write an article, right?

Yes, exactly, I find them in our archives using tags, so I used to check which tags were most frequent, and based on that I knew the questions that were most frequent as well. I knew the trend and questions customers asked based on that.

Can you give any example?

The first thing that comes to my mind was when I checked the archives and I noticed that there were lots of tags for billing, so based on that I knew there was something wrong with our billing side and customers were confused with the way we explained that in our documentation. So I checked those articles and I noticed that customers asked about basically our billing structure. And then I checked if we had an article in our knowledge base about that and there was an article but a very short one, so I revised it, posted it to our knowledge base and later on I waited for a bit and check if a number of questions about billing dropped.

It was helpful because our customer support had an article that they were able to send the customers so they didn’t have to explain things over the chat so they sent the link and customers could help themselves. So it was like a self-help for them.

Awesome. And do you inform your customers that you have written a knowledge base article?

It’s not a formal announcement that we send some kind of a newsletter, but as I mentioned, if a customer comes to our chat, because he or she cannot find an answer in our knowledge base, then our customer service reps send them a link to this article. But usually if we write a new article that addresses those questions, customers are able to help themselves, so they don’t need to start a chat because they just a type the question in the search bar and articles pops.

When you’re writing an article, you have to follow certain steps, can you tell something about how do you write such article?

You need to be helpful, you need to be mindful and you need to be clear. So everything you explain has to be written for, like, you need to imagine that your customer is a beginner type of customer and write it as simple and clear as possible.

Yeah, a similar thing is for content marketing because every time you write a post, many writers write for their moms actually. Because they’re quite sure their moms wouldn’t understand the topic, so it’s very helpful.

You also need to avoid the jargon, hat’s an important tip, because usually when you know your product, you think that what you write is very clear, but it’s not that obvious for everyone. And visual tips, images, graphs, and screenshots are very useful as well because people have different intelligence types, so some people learn by reading, others learn by looking at things, it also helps people to skim through your article and find what’s important.

Alright, so is there any piece of advice you’d give to people that don’t have live chat, because we’re talking about our tool, right? So most people will have like emails and phones.

Well, they should talk to their customers, try to understand them and browse through information they have. Even if these are emails or some transcripts of phone conversations and try to find a pattern, things that customers ask the most, and then, based on that, you can create a FAQ kind of thing and build on that. Because not everyone has to have a knowledge base that’s such…

Huge from the beginning!

Yes, exactly. Because it can be overwhelming. So it’s best to start small, create FAQ base and then build on that.

That’s a very good idea because some people think that you have to write like 20 articles at one time and then you have a proper knowledge base and that’s not the case, right?

Yeah, I agree.


A knowledge base can help you to shorten call times, it can work as a training tool, and it’s great for SEO as having pages with useful content that’s constantly updated, means that you will get a Google boost!

So, if you want to write your first knowledge base articles, stick to these tips:

The first thing you want to do is to do a small research and to check out what makes the biggest problem for your customers. Check your emails and see what are the most popular questions or you can send them a survey after a purchase with a request to rate their experience. You can check out Survey Monkey for example.

Once you know what are your customer’s pain points, create the frequently asked questions section on your website. It will be a good base to start your knowledge base with, you can turn each response into a full article later.

When you decide to write your first article, remember that simplicity is key to success. Don’t use specific jargon, write short and simple sentences and try to describe everything step by step. Try to imagine that you’re explaining this process to your mother, it will definitely help you to explain everything clearly.

Remember about visuals: pictures and screenshots are awesome, you can also think about recording video tutorials or demos. Also remember that your writing needs to look neat: you need to add headings, subheadings and bullet lists.

Last but not least, if you don’t feel like you can write 10 articles at once, write just one or two of them. Your simple knowledge base will grow over time and one day you will end up with an awesome source of knowledge for your customers and future support agents.


That’s all for today! If you have any questions, you can contact me via our website, livechatinc.com/podcast. And if you like this podcast, show me some love and share it on your social media page or rate it on iTunes!

And if you don’t want to miss the next episode of Business Sidekick, subscribe to the podcast newsletter – only important stuff, I promise!

Thanks for listening, I wish you the best knowledge base ever! Cheers!

#content marketing #copywriting #customer service

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