If the Mayan calendar is right, we could all probably benefit from spending a whole lot less time pouring over encyclopedic knowledgebase content to find the answers to life’s burning customer service questions. And even if the Mayans were just a bunch of elaborate practical jokers, it still wouldn’t hurt to provide quick and easy answers to your customer base.
So how do you make technical product and service information more palatable, easier to read and simpler to find? In the interest of time, here are 10 super-fast tips that apply not just to your knowledgebase, but to practically all corporate content:
- Take requests. Ask your customers what content they’d most like to see in your knowledgebase and give it prominent placement.
- Keep it simple. Stay away from technical jargon and other complicated language that requires a detailed explanation. Break it down Barney style using everyday language.
- Keep it short. It’s okay to have an answer that is only a sentence long. It really is!
- Break it up. If you have longer content, break it up with bold or underlined subheadings. Limit paragraphs to two or three sentences. Refurbish content into quick-answer Q & A format. The average reader’s attention span is getting shorter and shorter, so your content needs to get shorter, too.
- Add screenshots. If a picture is worth a thousand words, you have just saved a lot of reading and writing….
- Add video. Content delivered through a variety of formats, especially short how-to video, is guaranteed customer service gold.
- Think like a magazine publisher. Dechay Watts and Debbie Williams, owners of Sprout Content in Pensacola, Florida, say, “Stay away from promotional push. Instead, share helpful information that your readers will benefit from and enjoy reading. Make your content worth their time, remembering that people naturally approach information from the aspect of WIIFM (what’s in it for me?).”
- Make it searchable. Research shows that the average person searching for information online stays just five seconds on a page; and if they don’t find what they’re looking for, they leave. Use keywords in your content, in your article titles and in your image titles to increase the chances that people will find what they’re looking for.
- Use Calls-to-Action (CTAs). “Incorporate easy ways for your audience to get more involved,” notes Sprout Content’s Watts and Williams. “They may not read every word on your web page or blog, but see just enough to want to dig deeper. Provide simple ways for them to stay engaged like linking to another page or blog post, offering a free download, or requesting to connect on social media.”
- Have a life ring ready. If visitors to your knowledgebase can’t find the quick and easy answers they’re looking for, have a life ring such as live chat integrated into your knowledgebase so customers can reach out for help without leaving your website.