Knowledge Base Content Is Part of Global CX, Too
Organizations usually don’t invest much money or energy incorporating their knowledge bases (KBs) into the global customer experience (CX) – whether it’s for an original language or a localized version for other markets. This is despite the fact that each KB interaction can increase or decrease the value of your brand in customers’ eyes and thus plays a key role in cementing their loyalty. Based on extensive interviews with 36 global firms about how they create and manage multilingual KB content, here are four guidelines to enable your customer support, knowledge management, and localization teams to better meld your company’s KB experience into the global customer journey.
- Expand the perspective of all groups responsible for creating support content. It's not enough to simply guide customers to answers. You need to ensure that they have a beneficial experience that leads them to view the KB as a valuable resource to which they will return – whether they arrive there through an external search engine, hover-over help, a link within documentation, or on-site search. Work with colleagues who design your knowledge base and create its content to evolve from, “Can people find what they need?” to “How can the overall KB experience enhance the rest of the global customer journey with our company?” Where feasible, embed multilingual staff in these groups to raise these issues early in a systematic fashion.
- Assist content originators to meet local market expectations. Your multilingual knowledge base will be sub-par unless you know your audience. Many organizations still make a big mistake by not developing personas to guide the material they create or determine how they deliver it. The top content in your home market may be remarkably different from what your customers expect in other locales. Work around this by: 1) developing user profiles based on good data analysis – and assuring that they apply to all supported locales; 2) shifting the focus of content creators to a conversational style appropriate for mobile devices; 3) developing scorecards to measure material for world-readiness; and 4) studying what customers really want now and into the future.
- Identify what happens when customers don’t locate what they need. Collaborate with colleagues in web analytics, knowledge management, and support to track where people go when they can’t find what they want during their first try in the KB. Do they submit a ticket or try chat? Some may immediately default to the phone – a major problem if you do not have local call centers or language support – or look for documentation somewhere else on the site. Others may vanish. Collaborate with knowledge management and support teams to determine how to enhance your offerings so that more people can uncover what they came for the first time around in their local language and time zone. Above all, recognize that Google isn’t the preferred search engine in every market: An effective strategy will target a variety of search engines and content delivery platforms.
- Start now to prepare for voice search and chatbots. Work with colleagues to document and integrate the longer phrases and expanded topics that people use as they interact verbally with devices. Help content creators throughout your organization as they shift their efforts to support speech interactions, rather than just traditional passive reading. Combine these efforts with an understanding of how each platform approaches voice search, and your audiences won’t leave you behind as they abandon their keyboards and keypads. This information will be vital as you develop your next generation of intelligent content.
Visitors arrive at your knowledge base from somewhere else – perhaps while trying to use your product on a mobile phone, on Alexa in their kitchen, or on Android Auto while stuck in traffic. And, they will go on to somewhere else afterwards – whether to continue using your product or service if they have a rewarding experience, to work with a human agent to resolve their issue, or to a social media site to complain if they are less than satisfied. Whatever the scenario, make sure that their KB experience isn’t disconnected from the rest of their interactions with your brand.
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