Robin Singh
January 24, 2018

Why Knowledge Base Documentation Needs Freshness

Knowledge Base Documentation

Knowledge base documentation is really helpful in general. It is used by both users and your support team, as it usually contains insightful and work relevant information for both. The problem is that knowledge base documentation consists of technical information. It not exactly fun to read. And for a lot of average users, it’s impossible to understand.

This is not a big problem. However, it is not something that should remain unaddressed. You need to improve your knowledge base documentation to enhance the user experience on your website, as well as to prevent it from harming your professional reputation. So, we will go over some of the tips and suggestions on how to freshen up your knowledge base documents, and why it is so necessary.

Users Want Quick and Interesting Solutions

One way of improving your documentation is by adding more media to it. This helps you out when exemplifying some of your more difficult points. And it helps users understand it better.  You can do this by adding screenshots and/or videos, or by using infographics, depending on the situation. With this kind of documentation, not only do you improve your user experience, but you are also able to reach out to those who might not understand the language very well, and need visual confirmation of what they are reading.

By implementing these changes, you can make the jobs of your customer support employees a lot easier. All they need to do is link the document to the customer with a particular issue. You can also help users who want to try and solve the issue on their own without relying on your support in the first place. Furthermore, users will feel a lot more confident and secure with these explanations. And they won’t be hesitant to try something they’ve never done before, because they have a quality walkthrough on their side.

People Want New and Up To Date Information

Another factor that helps you build trust is updating your database. If your user searches for an answer and sees the last time the data was updated 2 or 3 years ago, that person won’t be sure if they found the right answer. Systems nowadays can change on a near monthly basis. Users might not believe your FAQ page or troubleshooting articles if they are too old.

Even if nothing changes, you can always add pictures or tutorial videos to update the information. At least your users will know the page is still legit and that you are aware that it exists. In other words, pay attention to your older content and see if there is room for improvement. After all, current knowledge management tools are quite user friendly. Improving these files won’t be too difficult and time consuming, and yet it can mean a lot.

Innovation and Motion are Signs of Progress

In order to stay relevant, you need to innovate. Truth be told, users are not always thrilled with changes. In fact, very often, they tend to be annoyed with changes when the old model worked fine. Nevertheless, it is still important to implement them.

First, your users are not always aware if they will like something better until they try it. This is why each change is also a test to see how people approve or disapprove of your new features. Also, innovation and motion signify that you are not standing still. You are trying to find and explore new things so that your future service can be superior.

Another reason for change is possible expansion. Even if your loyal audience is not thrilled with the changes, it still doesn’t mean that they will switch providers. You will certainly have a chance to make up for the mistake in your future content and updates. However, you can attract new audiences with new features – and that is always a good investment. All you need to do is remember to respect your core audience and to listen to their feedback, in order to cater to the old users – and to discover how to acquire new ones.

Use Analytics Tools

As you know, we are constantly trying to adapt our content based on how the web is searched. Every provider has the goal of optimizing their content so that relevant information is visible and easily accessed by their users. This is why altering or fleshing out your content is extremely important. You need to use analytic tools in order to find out how users behave online, and what kind of search queries they are after. This can help you optimize your new content to meet their demands, and to alter your older content so that it is more visible to the more recent search queries.

Quality knowledge management software usually has various integration options that make it compatible with other online tools. In other words, all of this might be easier than you think – as long as you have the right tools.

Knowledge Base Documentation Summary

Simply having useful knowledge base documentation is not going to be enough. If you want to keep up with your competition, you must ensure the content you offer is fresh and engaging. And this requires some additional work. Hopefully, you will find these suggestions helpful and organize your documentation in a slightly different way. Your users and support team will tank you!

Any Comments?

Do you use a knowledge base? How good is your documentation? Is your company one of the few to keep its knowledge base documentation up-to-date and not a chore to read? Please share your questions, thoughts, concerns or advice.


You may also want to read: A Newbie’s Guide To Knowledge Bases

9 Reasons to Adopt a Knowledge Base for Your Website

5 Essential Tips For Creating A Killer Corporate Wiki

Featured image: Copyright: ‘‘ / 123RF Stock Photo


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Robin is a Technical Support Executive. He is an expert in knowledge management and various Knowledge base tools. Currently, he is a resident knowledge management expert at ProProfs. In his free time, Robin enjoys reading and traveling