Most online marketers approach the prospect of having to create a knowledge base as a stultifying detailed college thesis multiplied by a thousand. The process of writing the copy for the knowledge base is not necessarily a chore which has to be approached with all the joy and anticipation reserved for your upcoming abdominal surgery. Look at your entire knowledge base as a way to provide extremely useful and practical information which your customers will appreciate when they are looking into any aspect of your brand’s offerings. A properly written knowledge base will redirect a huge workload off of your customer service department, so it can have massive bottom line effects as well as significantly improving your overall customer experience.

The goal is to ease the customer service department’s burden

The first step in creating a knowledge base that accomplishes your brand’s goals is to determine what content you’re going to include in that copy. Your first stop should be the customer service archives which you can mine for the most frequently asked questions and problems experienced by real customers in the past. Your essential goal is to be able to have that information readily available to the customer so that they can find it easily and absorb it effortlessly. The more effective you are in creating your knowledge base copy, the fewer calls and emails your customer service department will have to field.

Write very specific, clear instructions

We’ve all read knowledge base articles which leave us far more perplexed than we were before we referred to it. That’s because far too many knowledge base articles are written by geekynerdautomatons who have made it their life’s career to understand the most obtuse and obscure aspects of each of your brand’s offerings and therefore are writing strictly for themselves. Your customers have what your company’s nerds don’t have… and that’s a life. Therefore you can’t expect them to understand:

When your watch unsynchs, disentangle your watch’s quantum entanglement node to continue.

Most of them won’t have a clue what you’re talking about or how to do what you’re telling them to do. You’re much better off writing specific instructions.

When you have trouble with your watch keeping time go to Menu > Settings > Quantum entanglement node, and click on Fix.

Writing knowledge base articles in this manner isn’t babysitting your customer but it’s creating a basis whereby you are utilizing clarity in your copy so that customers of all experience levels will be able to understand clearly what you are asking them to do.

Format your knowledge base as any other web article

While many online marketers have mastered the art of creating website and email text that is wisely broken up with numerous subheads and line breaks, all of this customer experience know-how goes right out the door when they are confronted with the task of creating a knowledge base article. More often than not they will create unbroken blocks of type that not only are seen by the customer as little more than a huge gray wall, but intimidate them into giving up on the entire knowledge base aspect and calling customer service… which is exactly what you don’t want them to do. There is essentially no difference in the formatting of a knowledge base article than in any other aspect of customer communications, so apply them all.

Keep jargon and humor out of the knowledge base

Two aspects of your knowledge base writing which should be applicable universally to all of the articles in this section is to shun both industry jargon and inappropriate humor. While you don’t have to keep to dry, technical info you should stop short of text that incorporates both incomprehensible lingo and skewed humor: “Yo mama is so stupid that she designed experiments exploiting quantum entanglement to demonstrate the nonlocality inherent in the microcosmos and undermine the true nature of the uncertainty principle” is emphatically not the way to provide your customer with background into your watch’s quantum entanglement node problem.

Use these techniques to keep your knowledge base comprehensive and clear so even yo mama can understand it!