Agencies productize their services to simplify the sales process. But when your team spends a significant amount of time answering questions your customers could have easily resolved independently, it defeats the purpose.
If you want to run an efficient productized services business, you need to empower your customers with self-service support options: Enter knowledge bases. A knowledge base provides customers with useful information for troubleshooting simple problems themselves. This allows you to lower your support team’s overhead costs, respond to customers faster, and create better online visibility for your productized services business.
This article discusses five benefits of a knowledge base for productized agencies.
1. Self-service means happier customers
35% of your customers “feel happy and proud when they use self-service to resolve an issue,” according to Gladly’s 2020 Customer Expectations Report.
A knowledge base enables self-service because customers can look up information on their own at any point in time. Knowledge bases work like mini search engines. The customer inputs a query and immediately accesses several relevant resources — like FAQs, guides, and videos to help them resolve the issue independently. Even better, every resource contains links to related resources so the customer can easily find other information relevant to their inquiry.
For example, this knowledge base article tells customers how to create test clients on Portal. At the end of the article, there’s a list of links to related articles that could provide additional information to the customer.
2. Eliminate unnecessary support wait times
HubSpot's research shows that 90% of customers expect an “immediate” response when they have a customer service question, and “60% of customers define “immediate” as 10 minutes or less.” But the average response time to customers' inquiries is over 12 hours.
The stakes are higher for productized services businesses. Your customers want to find solutions to their challenges as fast and seamlessly as they purchased their service packages from your website.
A knowledge base delivers solutions to customers faster and more conveniently. The customer can search the knowledge base directly for helpful answers to urgent questions instead of sending emails that can go days without a response or calling and being put on hold for a long time.
A faster response time will help you create better customer experiences.
3. Save time for your support team
HubSpot's 2022 State of Service Report states that "not having enough time in the day" to deal with customers' complaints and inquiries is one of the pressing problems faced by customer support teams.
With a knowledge base, you can free up a considerable amount of time for your customer support team. When customers contact your support team, the support agent can refer them to relevant knowledge base articles — via automated chat or email responses. For example, Grey Finance’s live chat has embedded article links that answer customers’ frequently asked questions.
Suppose a customer was reaching out because of a failed transaction. In that case, they get immediate access to a detailed resource explaining possible reasons why their transaction failed and what they can do about it — and stand a good chance of fixing the problem without speaking with the support agent.
When your support team spends less time resolving basic issues, they become more efficient and can dedicate more time to solving complex challenges and creating better experiences for your customers.
4. Create better business visibility online
You need better online visibility to acquire new customers and grow your productized services agency. People discover new businesses and products regularly via search engines. For example, 49% of respondents in a Think with Google survey said they use Google to discover new products.
Knowledge base articles are usually optimized for target keywords, which means if anyone searches for that keyword, your article will likely show up in the results even for non-customers — and this is a great way to introduce your target audience to your business and service packages. For example, when you search for "how to update DNS records" on Google, this help article from HubSpot's knowledge base appears in the top ten search results.
5. Control staff overhead as you grow
Staff overhead isn’t just the salary you pay employees — it’s the sum of employee expenses incurred by your business, including taxes, insurance, benefits, tools, etc. In fact, the rule of thumb is that staff overhead is typically 1.25 to 1.4 times the salary.
As your business scales and you acquire more customers, you’ll need a more robust support team. But hiring more support staff will increase staff overhead costs and reduce how much profit your business makes.
You can keep a relatively lean customer service team and use a standard knowledge base to support them in their role. Low overhead costs usually translate into higher profit margins and are a booster for the bottom line for small businesses looking to scale.
Building a knowledge base is a long-term process
You don’t have to create all of the content for your knowledge base at once. Start by answering the core questions customers have about your services. As new questions come up and your business expands, create helpful resources, and add them to your knowledge base until you have a large repository of self-help knowledge.
Using Portal as your knowledge base software allows you to create an interactive self-help center for your clients that you can update easily over time. In Portal, your clients can vote on your content, so you’ll know what’s useful or not. And you can embed videos and images in your articles to better explain complex processes.
Learn more about how Portal works, and start building your knowledge base today.