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How to Understand What Your Customers are Searching for in Your Documentation

How to Understand What Your Customers are Searching for in Your Documentation

Category: Technical Documentation

Last updated on May 28, 2021

Customer Search for in Your Documentation

Your documentation is a valuable source of information for both your staff and your clients. Every tutorial, “how-to” article and guide that you curate and share can improve the user experience and customer relationship.

In this digital era when everybody wants answers instantly with little or no human interaction, a solid knowledge base software puts you ahead of your competitors.

When your clients can solve their issues without the old annoying calls to technical support, you’re more likely to keep customer retention rates high and onboard new ones more easily.

So, your technical content is an excellent resource for marketing, as well as customer service.

That’s why you should include your knowledge base articles in your content strategy, and make the most of every document and data that you share.

And if you want to create the best product documentation that your customers are searching for, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind.

Let’s take a closer look.

Why you need to track where customers are visiting

What your clients do with the information you share gives you important clues about their expectations regarding your content.

This becomes the starting point for developing a customer-centric content strategy, which is 100 percent focused on your customers’ actual needs.

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If you manage to accelerate and simplify interactions with your clients, you can increase your win rate by as much as 40 percent. And having a solid internal knowledge base can improve your technical support significantly.

When you track your clients’ behaviour inside your knowledge base, you get useful data. This data will help you develop your content strategy in two directions:

You can focus on the topics that are important for your clients to build a fulfilling knowledge base

If you build a chaotic knowledge base, where you try to give exhaustive details on everything, there’s a higher chance of providing poor quality.

You deliver sub-par content with a high volume of data to process, and you fail to offer your customers the quality assistance they need. This approach can lead to customers having to ask for additional support on the phone. That’s the very thing you’re trying to avoid.

On the other hand, when you know what your clients are searching for, you can understand their problems and deliver custom-made solutions in your documentation.

You can concentrate on the topics that can make a difference for your users, and provide detailed technical reports, user manuals, or extensive guides that help them get the most out of your products and services.

You can rethink your content strategy to deliver customized content to your target

Based on your clients’ content consumption habits, you can identify possible topics for your business blog. Additionally, it can also help you in generating ideas for your knowledge base content.

This way, you can improve your content strategy, by passing from general issues, to specific pain points of your customers.

This method can help you drive more traffic to your website, reduce bounce rates, and transform you into an authority in your niche. You’ll also identify stronger keywords for SEO purposes.

When your business blog answers precise questions, you’re more likely to target qualified traffic – people who have a real interest in your specific products and are more likely to buy from you.

Better still, you’ll catch the attention of decision-makers, and the people inside companies whose opinion matters the most.

You’ll attract more prospects into your sales funnel, get more leads, and increase conversion rates, as well!

That doesn’t mean you have to transfer your knowledge base to your blog, though. You just have to use some of that info to create knowledge base content that attracts new audiences.

If you engagingly rewrite your technical data, with no sensitive data and no in-house terminology, your blog will become a valuable resource far and wide.

Here are a few ways to understand what your customers are searching for in your documentation:

Ask Your Customers for Feedback

Asking your customers for feedback is the easiest way to understand what they are looking for in your documentation. In the other way how useful your knowledge base is to them.

User Feedback Knowledge Base Portal Document360

To evaluate the user experience, you can create a rating system for your content. Or you can encourage users to share their opinions in the comment section, depending on how many customers you have and how extensive your documentation is.

In both cases, you get first-hand information right from your customers.

Google’s support desk uses a straightforward system to check out customer satisfaction. At the end of each of their technical support articles, you can find the question “Was this article helpful?”, with two possible answers: Yes and No.

Facebook’s help center has implemented the same system as well. Articles published in the Help Center are followed by the question “Was this information helpful?”. Again, users can choose between Yes and No to evaluate the quality of each article.

The system is easy to implement and doesn’t require too much interaction with your clients. It’s comfortable for your users, who are reading your knowledge base for work, so they don’t have too much time to waste writing out their opinion.

If your content gets an excellent rating, you can display your customers’ satisfaction rate on your website. Social proof can help you to gain more trust and improve your online image, among other important benefits.

The only drawback with such a simple rating system is that it gives you little information about how you can improve your content, to make it more useful for your customers.

You get to know the article wasn’t helpful, but that’s pretty much all. It doesn’t tell you what the client was looking for in your knowledge base.

Solution to this Problem

A solution to counter this problem is to gather information from more sources. You can encourage customers to leave comments, for example, for the articles that are usually rated not helpful.

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You can ask your employees and contributors to test your knowledge base solutions and come up with possible scenarios.  They can also consider their previous interactions with clients for this purpose.

Analytics Has All the Answers

Built-in analytics can give you detailed reports about what users look for inside your knowledge base. This tool can provide you with significant information about your customers’ behaviour.

Knowledge Base Analytics Document360

You can use analytics for more than just identifying your most popular topics read by visitors. It also helps seeing how many customers got support through your knowledge base.

Knowing how many searches you had in a month is important than knowing just page views and number of visitors.

You can get in-depth information about what your customers are looking for in your documentation, and whether they found the solutions they needed.

You can track every customer’s journey in your company knowledge base and see how each article helped them solve their problems.

These metrics tell you exactly what your strong points are and what you need to improve. In other words, they give you all the data you need to know what’s missing from your knowledge base.

Every question or keyword that didn’t provide an answer is a new idea for a future article or How-to guide.

This way, you get to curate your content and make new documentation accessible to improve the customer experience. No more guessing or putting yourself in your customer’s shoes – unless you want to anticipate their needs!

Besides that, analytics can show you how you can improve your entire service. If many customers ask for a specific feature, you can try to implement it in your product to increase satisfaction.

Use Surveys to Learn More About Your Clients’ Needs

Surveys can help you improve your business relationship with your existing clients.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Surveys help you obtain useful feedback from your partners. The more specific your questions, the higher the chances of getting helpful information about how you can improve your knowledge base.

You can use satisfaction questions, where possible answers go on a rating scale from satisfied (on a scale of 5) and somewhat satisfied to somewhat dissatisfied, and insufficient experience to evaluate (rating scale of 1).

Or, you can use statements, in which case your respondents can agree or disagree (or choose a neutral option, in the case of not enough experience).

Depending on your clients, you can try to include open questions. Respondents can write their answers and give you suggestions on how you can improve your knowledge base.

The most efficient way of getting answers is by emailing the survey to your business partners. This way, they can decide when to answer, depending on their availability.

Include various clients in your survey, to make sure you cover a wide range audience.

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Closing Comments

Your documentation has enormous marketing potential as it allows you to provide your clients with advanced customer support.

A solid knowledge base that your business partners can use whenever they’re in need is a commanding advantage over the competition.

Every time you provide efficient technical support online, without phone calls or human interaction, you improve the user experience and increase customer retention rates.

Better yet, when you track your clients’ searches in your knowledge base, you learn more about,

  1. How they think
  2. How they use your products

This data is vital when looking to improve your service and your reputation in the industry – which means more clients and higher revenues in the long run.

Are you looking for a knowledge base software with built-in analytics to help you understand what customers are searching for? Contact us for your free trial!

Christina Comben

Apr 24, 2018

Using search analytics for improving content                            
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