7 Steps to Configure and Manage a Knowledge Base System

Let’s begin at the beginning, what is a knowledge base? As used for customer support it is a collection of resources meant to alleviate or reduce the workload of support technicians. It does this by allowing users to self-service instead of engaging others for help. The type of information can be in various forms such as FAQs, how-to guides, tips and tricks, white papers, and video tutorials. With a properly configured and managed knowledge base your organization can be more productive and efficient, by reducing down-time and promoting consistency.

Key Features

There are some basics your knowledge base should have to ensure a successful implementation and acceptance. It should be easily searchable, and user-friendly. It should be device agnostic, so users can access it regardless of their chosen device type. If they can only access on say a laptop then users of mobile devices may not make use of the tool. A responsive user interface with mobile compatibility is a must. Finally, your knowledge base should contain integrated analytics. This can include things such as rating of content or tracking of usage against requests.

Topics and Content Types

What is the typical type or requests or incidents do your support team’s handle? Aligning the knowledge base with the types are paramount to a successful implementation. What are the most common questions or issues that arise? Tackling these low hanging repetitive requests with knowledge base content will yield ROI quickly.

What types of content will be provided? Some users read some would rather watch a video, having various types of content will ensure users have the information they need in a format they can understand.

Setting your Goals

Why are you setting up a knowledge base and who is it for? This can be for internal or external users, possibly a combination of both. Do their need to be articles for specific roles within your organization. Maybe you are looking to reduce service requests by a certain percentage or keep from having to hire extra support staff. A well-defined set of goals will keep you on track during implementation and management.

Content Organization

Define the types of organization that fit the topics and content previously discussed. Common types of organization would be categories and sub-categories. For example, for an IT category you may have sub-categories for hardware, software, or network. Additionally, content may be organized by the target audience the articles are intended for. This could be accomplished by hiding articles for the general audience and showing it for the specific user group. Another option would be to have platform or device type organization added to an article. A Windows laptop would have a different set of steps to resolve and issue than an Android phone, even if the problem maybe the same.

Article Creation

Next the articles need to be created. They should be concise, clear, relevant, and accurate. Also consider who is going to be crating the articles. The best and first resource should be subject matter experts. They have a wealth of knowledge and a well written knowledge base article and multiple their effect. Don’t overlook external expert information. Think vendor specific information which can be linked directly into an article.

Tip Leverage existing successfully closed tickets to base new articles from. The work has already been done, and more than likely the same issue will come up again. Or as some would say “don’t reinvent the wheel.”


Ensure articles are titled in such a way they are easily found during a search. Make sure to use common synonyms. If applicable setup to auto suggest articles based on keywords in a ticket subject line or title. This can help speed time to resolution for the user by eliminating extra steps to get to the solution. Various device types should be able to access the information, specifically make sure mobile devices can access the knowledge base. The easier the system is to use the more likely it will be used.

Keep it Up to Date

If they content is stale or no longer relevant users will get frustrated and usage may slip. It is best practice to regularly review the content and configurations. Ensure categories are added or removed as needed as technology changes. Are they new platforms to access content if so, make sure to test its feasibility. As technology changes so should your content. It’s time to retire those knowledge base articles on Windows XP. A recommended practice would be to have a dedicated person assigned to manage the system, and possible a team of admin or technicians to periodically review for content.

Measure Results

You won’t know if your system is working if you don’t measure. During the goal setting phase, you defined what you want to achieve. Make sure you have tools in place to gauge the results. Some helpful items would be ratings selection at the bottom of every article, allowing users to rank the articles. A comment section for each article also can help your users give feedback on needed improvements. Tracking the number of new tickets opened before and after a knowledge base is implemented can help you see how effective the system is. Time to resolution should also decrease with the addition of a good system. Tracking the attach rate of articles to closed tickets can also help measure the usefulness of a knowledge base system.


By implementing a knowledge base system, you can help improve productivity and ensure a consistent experience for you target user base. Follow these simple steps and you will be well on your way.

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