Management starts with measurement.
In any organization, it is imperative to measure the processes, strategies, tactics, and tasks that are being performed. This helps to zero in on the areas on which there is scope for improvement. The knowledge base is also a critical customer-facing channel which is closely linked with customer success and happiness. Hence, you must continously track the performance of the knowledge base and identify how it can be improved.
Since the customer community or support community is also a repository of knowledge, the metrics must also reflect the performance of the knowledge base in terms of self-service and deflecting support tickets.
However, before we delve deep into the knowledge base, let’s first understand what exactly are KPIs.
KPI aka Key Performance Indicator is the quantified numbers pertaining to any process, person, team or performance of any activity performed inside the company. Overall, given below are the key characteristics of KPI based on the SMART criteria:
- The objective of the KPI must be Specific
- It must be Measurable for progress towards the goal
- The goal associated with the KPI must be Attainable
- Relevant to the larger organizational goal
- Clear Time-frame for achieving the goal.
This means is that KPIs should be specific, measurable, and attainable, relevant to the organizational goal and must be achievable within a clear time-frame.
Key KPIs for Knowledge Base
Like everything in the world, every company, process, people, and technology can be improved. A KPI would help you instill accountability and measure the measure your organization is putting to achieve the goals. With this, this post will cover the important KPIs that any organization must track for the knowledge base.
Check out our post on the key metrics to track for community success for additional KPIs.
Knowledge Base Traffic
You must start off by measuring the number of users or visitors to your knowledge base since that would help you answer the following
1. If the knowledge base is practically used by the intended users
2. If the knowledge base is easily accessible
Are your customers using the knowledge base?
Depending on the type of organization, the product and the volume of customers, every company would have a wide range of visitors to the knowledge base. However, note that there should be a gradual increase in the number of visitors to your knowledge base.
So, start with month-over-month or week-over-week measurement of traffic to the knowledge base. If you see that the traffic is continuously increasing then it is a positive signal. Set a goal for the support and success team to ensure that there is a quarterly goal to improve the traffic.
Once you set the baseline, it would be easier for you to test the performance of the new content whenever your knowledge base gets updated.
Is the knowledge base easily accessible?
Often people looking for a solution specific to a problem would start with typing the query in a search engine. Hence, as your customer base grows and you have new content in the knowledge base, your audience must be able to find the same organically.
This is directly tied to the SEO capability of the platform and the granular level at which you can optimize the content.
Number of Support Queries
This KPI is all about the very existence of the knowledge base, i.e., if it is successfully allowing the customers to take advantage of self-service.
Here are two methods to track this KPI:
1. Compare the number of support tickets created before and after your knowledge base went into production
2. Compare the number of support issues reported and the number of pageviews your knowledge base gets.
Reduction in the number of support tickets
This KPI can be measured when you have visibility into the number of support tickets before the knowledge went into production. That way you can compare the effectiveness of the knowledge base. Essentially, you need to ensure that the average support issues raised per month must reduce.
Calculate the decrease in month-over-month support tickets and you have a metric to showcase to the leadership.
Higher page views than tickets
The critical element of the knowledge base is to ensure that your customers are actually going through the available support resources before creating tickets. So, this KPI highlights the effectiveness of self-service and the deflection of support queries.
If there are a higher number of page views on the knowledge base in comparison to the support tickets, it would mean that the customers are actually reading the content before moving to the tickets.
Time on Page/ Pages Visited per Session
Tracking the time that your customers are investing in going through the knowledge base content is very important. This is closely tied to the end value delivered to the customers — in other words, if they are finding the content actually useful.
The general benchmark is that customers should spend about 2-3 minutes on the content at the very least. If the number is on the lower side, then it means the resources need to be more extensive and quality can be improved.
Also, the goal of the knowledge base is to help the customers find the right solutions easily for effective self-service. That means each audience must not browse through several pages to find a single solution. Hence, if views per session are continuously increasing then, it is time to streamline the content organization and improve the quality.
Based on the type of issue your knowledge base could have dedicated sections. This translates to the categories of issues a customer could have.
Thus, it is useful to measure the traffic that each of these sections get to understand the common issues that your customers encounter. This can help you focus on the type of content that would be highly in demand and further reduce the pre-existing support tickets.
This KPI is primarily focused on the level of up-to-date and quality resources you have built for the knowledge base. It can be measured by auditing the pages for missing links, outdated screenshots, wrong process explanation.
A good starting point is to select the specific pages that are frequently visited and generally come up during support requests. Yet another solid way is to check for pages that have a drastically low time spent on the page in comparison to other pages.
This could point to improvements required on those pages. It is quite evident that this KPI requires manual effort and you need to come up with a marker for the internal baseline.