Using self-service customer service as a means of growth

We first introduced self-service customer service in our article the power of knowledge bases but didn’t get a chance to touch upon the need to optimize your knowledge bases to continually support your existing customers, whilst driving traffic to your site.

Since knowledge bases tend to be an extension of your company’s website, it’s so important to optimize the content for search purposes. The benefits here are three-fold:

  1. Your existing customers are able to find exactly what they are looking for
  2. You attract new customers through organic search results via search engines like Google and Bing.
  3. You position your organization as thought leaders in your area of expertise

Let’s have a look at each of these in more detail.

Looking after your existing customers

When building your knowledge base you need to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Questions to ask yourself at this point include…

  • What do they frequently ask your customer service team to help with?
  • What are their challenges with your product or service?
  • What do they want to learn more about?

By gathering data from your CRM and ticketing systems, you will be able to not only build a catalogue of amazing insights and instructions, but you’ll identify potential search terms and keywords to optimise your content with.

Since consumers are making a shift towards self-service customer support tools over traditional methods, it’s important that they are able to find exactly what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Search engine optimisation is just as important as the UX of any knowledge base, so it’s important to get it right.

Driving new business

Once you have your search terms defined for the knowledge base, be sure to check their average monthly search volumes using your preferred keyword planning tool. You will then be armed with the data you need to find gaps in the market. Questions to ask yourself at this point include…

  • How often are internet users searching for search terms and queries that your knowledge base covers?
  • Are there any alternative keywords or synonyms that might drive new business to our site via the knowledge base?
  • Are there areas that we can develop content for our knowledge base to attract new customers?

When someone is trying to find the answer to a question – potentially about a similar product or service – you want to make sure that your content is positioned highly in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for Google and Bing. By optimising your knowledge base this can double your chances of being put in front of new potential customers.

This leads us to the next point.

Thought leadership

The more internet users interact with your website and online knowledge base, the more weight your organisation will have with the search engine(s).

Another way that you can position your company as an expert in your field is through featured snippets, which you’ve probably seen on Google. If you can get your content to be programmatically identified as a featured snippet then your credibility will be solidified with new and existing customers, whilst demonstrating thought leadership.

To increase your chances of being marked as a featured snippet here are a few tips:

  • Create content that contains a lot of questions and answers
  • The content should be thorough, but simple enough to digest
  • You can start creating content with the goal of getting a featured snippet
  • Use good quality images
  • Using lists, tables and other formatting to make the information attractive and easy to follow both for the user and the search engines.

To summarise, we have seen how something that was originally developed to service your existing customers – in this case, knowledge bases – can be used to drive traffic to your website, attract new business and contribute to the overall growth of your company.

Our digital team can help you to get a firm grasp on SEO and content marketing strategies, especially when targeting international markets. Do not hesitate to get in touch.