Knowledge base articles are the beacons of customer self-service. Your customer should be able to find all their basic questions about your products or services there. If they don’t, one of two things may happen: they may contact your customer support, where they’ll be forced to wait for an answer and have to explain their issue, or they may immediately churn. Either way, you’ll have a frustrated customer on your hands.On the flip side, if your knowledge base articles manage to help and engage customers, they’ll have one more reason to be satisfied. So, if you’re wondering where to begin, we’ve built a knowledge base article template to help you get started. And if you need more assistance to refine your content, check out our guide on how to build effective knowledge base articles.
Characteristics of an effective knowledge base article
Our knowledge base article template aims to help you tick the most important boxes. Effective articles are:
- Targeted. Each article should be about one topic and should have a clear and descriptive title.
- User-focused. Write about what your specific audiences ask for and may need help with.
- Well-written. Double-check your grammar and adopt a friendly, conversational style to make it easier for customers to digest information.
- Structured. Your article should have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
- Illustrative. Whenever you can add examples, graphics, or videos, do so.
- Comprehensive. Include all critical information as well as nice-to-knows that will make things easier for your customers.
- Discoverable. Use the right keywords and tags so users can easily discover your articles.
- Interactive. Give users the opportunity to provide feedback, either by asking them at the end of the article or by using a survey tool.
How to use our template
Any words included in brackets are placeholder text – replace them with whatever makes the most sense for your business. In some cases, sentences inside brackets could be removed altogether depending on the type of knowledge base article you’re writing. Feel free to modify this knowledge base article template and insert a touch of personality consistent with your brand’s voice.
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Knowledge base article template
The title of your knowledge base article should accurately reflect the subject. Keep it as short as possible and avoid using technical terms that aren’t necessary. If you know users are looking for specific keywords or terms, include them in the title to make it easier for them.Example title forms of knowledge base articles:
- Getting started with…
- Intro to...
- How to set up...
- How to fix...
- Your account
Purpose and Summary
When writing a knowledge base article, consider these questions:
- What is this article about?
- What’s the purpose behind a specific feature or service?
- What issues could the customer looking for this article be facing (including error messages)?
[Example 1: This article will help you set up your integration with Facebook. You can also use the instructions to reconnect an old Facebook page.][Example 2: Here, you’ll find Frequently Asked Questions about our order delivery options, like our fees and the locations we deliver to.][Example 3: If you’re getting the “You don’t have access to this page” message, follow the instructions below.]
Explain the solution that you’re about to offer. Help the customer understand what they’ll be able to do if they follow instructions. Also, ask yourself: is there anything they need to know before they begin?[Example 1: To integrate Facebook, you’ll need to connect your platform with your Facebook page. This way, you’ll be able to receive and reply to Facebook messages right from your dashboard without having to switch tabs.][Example 2: By following the instructions, you’ll be able to delete your previous email address and set up a new one. Keep in mind that you will be prompted to sign in to your previous email for confirmation. If you’re unable to sign in, call us at +123456789.]
Table of contents
Add one if the article is long or has many subtopics. Anchor links are also useful to help readers navigate directly to the part they’re interested in.
Select one of the following options depending on what kind of knowledge base article you’re writing:
1. Step-by-step guide
Create a guide in the chronological order your customer will perform these actions in. Avoid skipping steps (even if the next action may seem obvious) or describing more than one major action in a single step. Whenever there’s need, explain what the user should expect to happen after they perform an action.
Step 1:[Example: Open your dashboard and click on integrations. This will open a tab inside the platform with a list of all available apps.]ScreenshotStep 2:[Example: Find Facebook under “social media integrations” and click on the icon. You’ll see the integration’s summary page.]ScreenshotStep 3:[Example: Click on “Integrate” at the bottom left corner]ScreenshotStep 4:[Example: You’ll be redirected to the Facebook login page where you can sign in]Screenshot
Possible reasons[Example: This error message is usually caused by one of three reasons:
- You haven’t been granted access to the specific page by an administrator
- You have entered your credentials wrong
- Your server is experiencing a temporary problem connecting with the database]
How to solve this problemSolution 1Step 1: [Example: Refresh your page by clicking on the symbol at the top left.]ScreenshotStep 2: [Example: Re-enter your password.]ScreenshotSolution 2Step 1: [Example: Go to “Account Settings” from the top right menu.]ScreenshotStep 2: [Example: Check your level of access. To see the page, you’d have to be a “reviewer” or “assistant” if not “admin”.]ScreenshotAlternatives[Example: If none of these actions work, call our customer support at +123456789.]
3. Q & A
QuestionsGeneral QuestionsQuestion & Answer 1 [Example: What is Acme’s Product X?]Question & Answer 2 [Example: What are the benefits of Product X?]Subtopic 1[Example: Pricing and fees]Question & Answer 1 [Example: How much does Product X cost?]Question & Answer 2 [Example: Can I get a discount?]Subtopic 2[Example: Countries we deliver to]Question & Answer 1 [Example: Do you deliver to EMEA?]Question & Answer 2 [Example: How long does it take for Product X to be delivered?]
This is similar to the step-by-step guide, but it doesn’t always have to contain steps in chronological order. Instead, it could be a structured explanation of what you can do with a specific product, service, or feature.
Title: What is [product/service/feature?] or What is the main value of [product/service/feature?]Use case 1[Example: Our 3D printer can be used to create faster prototypes].ExplanationScreenshot or videoTips to use it this way:
- Tip 1
- Tip 2
Use case 2[Example: Our 3D printer can be used in universities for teaching].ExplanationScreenshot or videoTips to use it this way:
- Tip 1
- Tip 2
It’s a good idea to link to other knowledge base pieces throughout your article. But, it’s also useful to add further resources at the end to help customers discover more information or helpful instructions. Link to topics that are relevant but not directly related to this topic (reserve these links for inside the actual text).
- Relevant article 1
- Relevant article 2
- Relevant article 3
- Relevant article 4
- Relevant article 5