Article | 3 min read

In an uncertain world, knowledge is power

One thing is for sure: The world will keep changing. Find out how self-service can empower your customers with the information they need.

By Sarah Olson, Senior Associate, Content Marketing, @seolson5

Last updated July 20, 2021

As we continue to navigate the impacts of COVID-19, businesses and customers alike are recognising that knowledge is power. Information, resources and instructions – the kind of knowledge usually provided in company Help Centres and FAQ pages – can help keep the world moving even when so much remains unknown.

The only thing we know for sure is that the world will keep changing, and no matter what happens, you’ll need to keep your customers informed. Read on to see how a knowledge-management system can help.

  1. Disseminate important information quickly

    When a crisis strikes, you need to be able to communicate with your customers and stakeholders concerning important information and updates. That is especially true in a situation like COVID-19, where the wrong information can put people’s health at risk. Fluyt, a Colombian-based design, communications and education consultancy, recognised that knowledge is power – the power to save lives. They sought to create an online resource where people could find reliable information without waiting on phone support lines, which were facing high call volumes because of the pandemic.

    But as they quickly realised, a crisis is not the time to start building an app or website from scratch. They turned to Zendesk’s Tech for Good programme and soon launched the masuno.app, a content hub built with Zendesk Guide. Since its debut, 40+ volunteers have helped design, draft and publish over 200 articles on everything from mental health to spotlights on non-profit organisations actively addressing the crisis.

  2. Help customers before they contact Support

    A knowledge-management solution can also help you stay on top of surging customer support requests, as many companies experienced in the first few months of the pandemic. Discord, a free service that makes it easy for groups to communicate via voice, video and text, saw their usage triple following lock-down. Thanks in part to their investment in Zendesk’s self-service tools, they were able to handle these requests swiftly and with less effort.

    ‘We know that we can’t scale without having some sort of self-service solution, so we invest so much in it.’

    With so many first-time users arriving on their platform, self-service knowledge management tools have helped Discord by allowing them to deflect (or intercept) some of the most commonly asked questions received by their agents, according to Danny Duong, Director of Customer Experience and Community Management at Discord. Providing this information via self-service, or automating conversations with Answer Bot, allows his team to remain efficient, while still helping customers find the information they need.

    ‘We know that we can’t scale without having some sort of self-service solution, so we invest so much in it,’ Duong says. ‘If we can eliminate any of the tedious busywork, we’re going to invest in it 100%.’

  3. Be responsive to customers’ changing habits

    Customers’ requirements often change, in crisis times or not. The support team at Khan Academy, an online learning platform, is accustomed to the ebbs and flows in customer service requests driven by the academic calendar, but in the wake of COVID-19, they’ve experienced drastic spikes in usage. They saw a 1,200% increase in customer service ticket volume from parents and a 750% increase in ticket volume from teachers. Meanwhile, total learning time on the platform increased by 150% year on year.

    Fortunately, their team was prepared with a knowledge base and community forum, even asking their community members to answer support questions directly via Gather. In response to the crisis, they extended their resource offerings and doubled their outsourced support team. With these flexible self-service solutions in place, they can be even more adaptable to customers’ changing needs and an ever-changing world.

Knowledge is power

Knowledge is power, and customers will remember the companies who empowered them during these difficult times – who provided reliable, easy-to-access information, as well as who helped them and supported them instead of simply trying to deflect them. These companies, those who equipped their customers with KM tools, will be best positioned to thrive in the months and years to follow.

See Zendesk Guide in action with a free trial of the Support Suite.

How to build a top-class self-service experience

This free guide takes you through the knowledge management process for creating excellent self-service experiences for your customers.

How to build a top-class self-service experience

This free guide takes you through the knowledge management process for creating excellent self-service experiences for your customers.

Get the guide