A self-service content hub can be a game-changer for businesses.
Implemented well, a knowledge centre can both slash call centre costs and enable customers to access the answers they need via your platform instead of through potentially brand-damaging internet forums. In addition the customer insights they gather for your business help you to continually improve your products and services.
There are many good examples of companies, such as Vodafone, with great self-service knowledge centres that deliver quality user experience (UX) and insightful answers to consumer queries.
Given the potential consumer benefits and insights, cost savings, and reduced load of call centre operators, the big question for many companies is how to build a hub that’s more than just than an assembly of 'help' articles on their existing site.
With that in mind, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
1. Determine customer needs
It’s crucial to be clear about what your customers want to know about your product or service, so you can tailor the content on your hub to their needs.
Use data mining tools to determine the search terms people are using about your product or service. Are people googling "how to ... ?" queries about your products and services? If so, do you have an article or video that answers these questions?
It can also be helpful to analyse the patterns of traffic around searchterms in your site. You can then determine whether visitors are finding what they’re after, or whether they aren't adequately serviced by existing content.
A great tip from Salesforce is to not only analyse keyword search terms on your site, but to clarify your most common customer service complaints, and create FAQs based on the recurring queries fielded by your phone operators.
2. Create content
Once you have a solid picture of what your customers want to know, the next step is to develop valuable content in your hub.
At this point you’ll need to establish processes around content creation, editing, updates, and how often content will be refreshed. If you have a strong internal team you might be able to handle these tasks in-house, or you may prefer to engage a specialist agency to assist.
Each new article will need to be optimised for SEO to ensure it appears on page one of Google, and can be easily found by your customers.
At the same time, consider retiring out of date or no longer valid. Keeping out of date and invalid content will only make it more difficult for your customer to find the articles that are relevant to them. Use your data analytics to understand how customers are interacting with your existing content. If the bounce rate is particularly high for an article, this could be a sign that the article is not proving useful or relevant to the user.
3. High-quality user experience
You’ll also need to consider your hub’s architecture. This includes fundamental questions around how content is grouped, how pieces of content relate to each other, and how users can fluidly move through your knowledge platform.
One content-related UX recommendation from HubSpot is to experiment with different content types to see whether, for example, your users prefer to read tutorials, watch how-to videos, or interact on forums within the hub when trying to figure out how to do something. People absorb information in different ways so it is worth experimenting with different formats to see which format is best suited for your customer.
Once you understand your customers’ needs and have identified your content gaps, you should consider your hub's UX. This goes beyond the user interface (UI) and extends to site navigation, online functionality (like asking questions, logging requests, and leaving feedback), and back-end processes like data handling and connections to the rest of your company’s systems.
Powerful search functionality is another important UX ingredient. That’s because a good knowledge centre should prioritise users locating the content they’re after, and putting that content in context for them.
And even though UX extends beyond the visual elements that make up the UI, content marketing firm Uberflip reminds readers that attention to your content hub’s overall look and feel remains an important part of the content hub creation process.
Finally, it’s essential to get regular user feedback on your knowledge service, because your content hub will need regular updating as the needs of your customers change. Feedback enables you to update your content effectively and dynamically, giving users an even better experience, and helping to keep your call centre queues under control.
The sooner you organise your knowledge hub, the sooner you can take advantage of technologies such as chatbots, or virtual agents as they are also known. These AI technologies draw on the information in your knowledge hub, as well as many other sources, to answer your customers’ questions in real time. By organising your knowledge hub, you are one step further towards implementing such technologies in your business, further reducing the strain on your call centre.
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