How to build a customer knowledge base?

What is a knowledge base and why do you need it?

A knowledge base is a self-serve online library that includes information about a product, service, or topic, basically everything you have to know about a company and their offer. It seems like a simple concept, but to do it property you have to first understand your customers needs.

Today’s customers demand two things: knowledge and speed. According to the Harvard Business Review:

  • 65% of customers want their problem resolved the first time.
  • 62% of customers think that having knowledgeable employees is the third most important aspect needed for a company to provide good customer service.
  • 50% of customers give a brand only one week to respond to a question before they stop doing business with them.

One of the best ways to deliver a timely and high quality service is to use a customer service knowledge base. Smart, modern companies stay ahead of customer issues by providing proactive – not reactive – customer care that boosts brand loyalty. As a customer, not being able to figure something out is one of the most frustrating situations. Most  customers prefer to fix their problems without other people’s help—according to Forrester, 67% of consumers report that they regularly use self-service support online. Furthermore, in a survey by Coleman Parkes of nearly 3,000 online consumers, an overwhelming 91% said they would use a single, online knowledge base if it were available and tailored to their needs.

Imagine that a customer just find out about your company and has a few basic questions. If you have a knowledge base a customer can find answers in few minutes without anyone’s help. If you don’t have it, the time spent on finding answers will be much longer and can be discouraging, so why would you not make that process easier for both of you, especially if you know that  effective knowledge base allows you to stay two steps ahead of your customers’ issues and of your competitors.

How to start?

While creating a knowledge base you have to remember that you are not writing a novel, but documentation, and your knowledge base has to do more than just exist. It has to be good!

Your knowledge base have to be:

  • Easily accessible
  • Well organized
  • Easy to navigate
  • Solve common issues
  • Save customer’s time
  • Up to date

Here is a basic process of building a knowledge base:

  • Choose the core elements
  • Choose topics to include in the knowledge base
  • Prepare a structure for your content
  • Write documents and other information you want to include in your knowledge base
  • Add visuals
  • Analyze, improve, update


Building a great knowledge base is not a quick and easy process. It’s much more work than throwing a few “help” articles and picking the right subdomain. However, if done right, a knowledge base can do wonders for your business.