Let’s be honest, when you have a problem with Spotify or Netflix, where do you go?
Or maybe you need to get help with Slack or MailChimp? Do you reach out to the customer support team right away?
“I can’t find your knowledge base.”
Well, if you do, you are among the 3 out of 10 who prefer human contact over self-service first and foremost.
Of course, there is no fault in doing so; companies have a customer service team for a reason.
But let me tell you, support callers are going extinct.
And the best way to answer all the simple questions your customers/users might have to call you to get answers for is by building a good knowledge base.
So today, let’s go over:
- What a SaaS knowledge base is,
- Why you absolutely need a knowledge base for your SaaS business,
- What the key features of a good knowledge base for SaaS are, and
- The best knowledge base tools you can use for SaaS businesses
So, without further ado, let’s start with the first question.
What is a SaaS Knowledge Base?
A SaaS knowledge base is a storage for all the internal and external knowledge your SaaS company would like to store. Although a SaaS knowledge base is very similar to a regular knowledge base, there is but one difference; a SaaS knowledge base is an absolute necessity. There might also be differences in the type of content and the size of the knowledge base when comparing the SaaS knowledge base to a regular one. Still, apart from that, they are the same thing.
Then, what are these content differences? And why do you definitely need a knowledge base for SaaS?
Well, it’s easy.
Why you absolutely need a knowledge base for your SaaS
There are three fundamental reasons behind the need for a good knowledge base for a SaaS business.
Though there are even more reasons to have one as the industry you work in gets more specific and your company size bigger, here are the ones that apply to all SaaS businesses.
1- Relieves customer support team & costs
SaaS means software as a service. And that means you will be serving customers on a subscription basis.
And in the end, that means there will be updates, subscription details, and intricacies in your service that might require customers/users to constantly come back to you asking questions.
An online knowledge base in the simplest FAQ format or the most established video format is a great repository for all the common questions and knowledge base articles your customers might need to revisit from time to time.
This way, support ticket volumes, the number of frustrated customers, and the burden on your customer support services go down, customer satisfaction goes up.
2- Increases customer retention in the long-run
Besides the customer support team, your customer success team and sales team might also benefit from a well-established self-service knowledge base. There is no denying it. The success of a SaaS business depends on customer acquisition and customer retention. And the best way to increase these vital contributors to your business is to improve user experience. What happens when a user/customer needs to ask for support, and even before they try to reach out to customer support, they see an FAQ page on your knowledge base? They realize that they can solve their own problems. Who wants to ask for help when the problem can be solved easily without asking for help? No one. If you can show your customers that you empower them to solve their own problems, there is no better customer experience.
3- Perfect tool for SEO & advertisement
Search engine optimization can do so much for advertisement, and this is true in the case of knowledge bases too.
Picture me this: one of your users, let’s call them Sam, has a problem with your SaaS product. Naturally, their first reflex is to look it up on a browser.
Bam, your knowledge base articles appear.
Or let’s say a customer of one of your competitors, Kamala, has the same problem. So they look it up, they see YOUR knowledge base posts on the very top of the query.
What does this say about your SaaS company to your customer Sam and your competitor’s customer Kamala?
That you have an answer for the problem without needing to talk to the support? That you are an authority in solving this issue so that the browser ranks your knowledge base content first? That you know what you are doing?
All of the above.
Customer happiness? Check ✅
Customer loyalty? Check ✅
Good advertisement thanks to relevant content SEO? Check ✅
Possible new customer acquisition? Also check ✅
Now you know why you absolutely need a good knowledge base for your SaaS company.
But do you know what defines a good knowledge base?
Let’s take a look.
Key Features of Knowledge Base Software for SaaS
In 2023, the concept of a knowledge base is pretty much fixed. But the key features of an actually good knowledge base? I don’t think so.
Here’s a list of all the core elements an effective knowledge base for SaaS should have.
Public knowledge bases without easy access might as well be private knowledge bases.
No one can find them, people. Do something about it.
To avoid this common mistake even some high-profile SaaS websites make, you can do two things.
First, put the link somewhere visible. Easy as that. Don’t make your customers go through mazes to find self-service portals.
The second option is…
Resource centers: a glimpse at even easier self-service
I once spent a solid 10 minute trying to find the support option on Spotify’s desktop app.
Turns out I needed to click on the “account” button, and the support link was up there on the website. I was exhausted from work, AC/DC was on, my brain simply didn’t function.
But don’t we all just have moments when our brain just shuts down?
Isn’t it our goal as SaaS people to try and make customer experiences as smooth as possible for times like that?
Well, what if there was a fool-proof accessible self-service solution?
UserGuiding’s resource center feature is all about making support and self-service accessible.
You can put all your knowledge base content, quick answers to basic questions, interactive user guides, all relevant articles, and even a search box in it.
CitizenShipper’s resource center powered by UserGuiding
You can also insert important links like your help center or a direct link to the support desk for users more interested in getting a support ticket.
While you are at it, you can also take a look at UserGuiding’s other core functionalities like:
- Product tours and interactive guides,
- Checklists, tooltips, and hotspots,
- Powerful analytics,
- User segmentation and targeting,
- NPS surveys, and more.
A good knowledge base, especially if it goes further than a few FAQs, must have a search bar.
Can you imagine having to go through category by category to find what you are looking for? Or pulling up a good ol’ CTRL + F?
What’s worse is having a search bar that’s not programmed well and then the users have to reach oblivion just because they added an extra space in between words.
Make sure your search bar exists and functions well.
FAQs, popular articles, or top-level categories
Your users might not know how to word their problems. In that case, a search box is not much help.
For times like that, putting some top-level categories or popular articles right where the users can see them is a great practice.
Another one is going with a big list of FAQS.
You can put them all in there too, the more accessible for each type of searcher the better.
A wide range of educational content
From FAQs to short articles, product manuals to video content, a good knowledge base has a wide range of educational content in it.
Of course, the type of content varies according to the type of product or the budget for the knowledge base. However, one thing is for sure, even when there isn’t a wide variety of content, consistent and abundant content does the job.
What if you can hand-hold your users whenever they needed to figure out something without your customer support team lifting a finger?
Interactive guides do exactly that.
Because interactive guides provide contextual guidance, it is best they are offered in-app, for example, within a resource center.
A look at one of Grove HR’s interactive guides initiated directly from their resource center powered by UserGuiding
Now that you know why knowledge bases matter and what features make a difference, let’s talk about the knowledge base software that can bring your SaaS knowledge base to life.
10 Best SaaS Knowledge Base Tools in 2023
1- HubSpot Service Hub
Like all other HubSpot hubs, HubSpot Service Hub is a “from small businesses to enterprises” kind of tool, and it has quite many functionalities.
The software brings together a help desk center, customer feedback surveys, conversational tools, and of course, a knowledge base.
Although all-in-one tools don’t have the best reputation, it is still HubSpot.
HubSpot’s installation is easy, knowledge base analytics is effective, and it is quickly integrated with its sister apps.
Starter – $45/month, 2 users, $23 per additional user
Professional – $360/month, 5 users, $72 per additional user
Enterprise – $1200/month, 10 users, $120 per additional user
Zendesk is the best of the best when it comes to enabling SaaS businesses to serve customers better. We all know.
But did you know they have a knowledge base software too?
Zendesk for service, a product of Zendesk features a help center option that you can use to help customers help themselves with easy authoring, fast updating, team collaboration, and website widgets.
Though it is important to keep in mind that Zendesk’s help center is just as part of the big suite of tools in Zendesk for service. So, it is only recommended if you are already using or plan to use Zendesk.
Suite Team – $49 per agent/month billed annually (single help center)
Suite Growth – $79 per agent/month billed annually (multiple help centers)
Suite Professional – $99 per agent/month billed annually (multiple help centers)
Freshdesk is a support desk with which you can provide your customers with THE support they need with ease.
What does this support include? For example, all of the self-service guides you create so that you can lessen customer support team’s workload and make sure your customers can reach the needed piece of information on their own, support calls, and automations are a part of the support you’ll get and give, thanks to this platform. Furthermore, when used as a knowledge base, Freshdesk will contain all of your FAQs, tutorials, help articles, product manuals, and videos in one place where you can categorize them according to their themes right into folders.
Moreover, it doesn’t have to be customers who benefit from such service; your business can also do it since Freshdesk lets you organize your company’s information in an internal knowledge base. Thus, all of the resources you have regarding onboarding, employees, and company policies can be held here for further use.
With Freshdesk as your knowledge base, you can make use of the following:
- Powerful ticketing system that includes a team inbox and service level agreements,
- Multi-channel support that includes e-mail ticketing, integrated phone support, live chat, feedback widgets, Facebook and Twitter integrations, and mobile apps in one place,
- Increase in team productivity, thanks to gamification and automations,
- Self-service culture via knowledge bases and community forums,
- Global support that you can get due to multi-product support, multiple languages and time zones, and multiple SLA policies,
- Great security, including a custom SSL certificate, trusted IP, single sign-on, configurable password policy, role-based access control, custom mail servers, and email signing,
- Smart reporting that contains insights, reports, and customer satisfaction surveys,
- Apps that will support all of your processes, including self-service portals, FreshThemes, and native apps.
Also, keep in mind that Freshdesk offers a 21-day free trial!
Free – $0 (up to 10 agents)
Growth – $15/agent per month when billed annually
Pro – $46/agent per month when billed annually
Enterprise – $79/agent per month when billed annually
Besides being a great tool for product documentation, Docsie.io offers several features that you can benefit from while creating a knowledge base:
- Customization of each element according to your wishes, including images, content, and many more,
- Several styles that you can implement, for example interactive context-aware knowledge portals that change based on the customer type,
- Ease of collaboration as teams can simultaneously work on documents, edit content, set a designated place and time for publishing.
With the features above, every team can simplify their internal and external knowledge—throughout the creation, translation, and publishing process. Let me note down that using this powerful platform alone, you’ll be able to reach anything and everything you’re looking in one place thanks to Docsie’s advanced search that helps you find each piece of information.
Startup – Free, up to three members
Startup Plus – $39/month, up to five members (when billed annually)
Small Team – $79/month, up to fifteen members (when billed annually)
Business – $249/month, up to twenty-five members (when billed annually)
Organization – For this plan, please contact sales.
Helpjuice is one of the standalone knowledge base tools out in the market, and it seems to be good at what it does as it is quite popular since 2011.
Helpjuice takes pride in its easy authoring and formating features, insightful analytics, highly functional search options, and customization. What’s more, it has some amazing integrations like Slack, Google Chrome, Zendesk, and Salesforce.
If your SaaS product has a high learning curve and you are looking for a good knowledge base option, a standalone solution like Helpjuice is what you are looking for.
Helpjuice four different plans and a 14-day free trial.
Starter – $120 per month, up to 4 users
Run-up – $200 per month, up to 16 users
Premium Limited – $289 per month, up to 60 users
Premium Unlimited – $499 per month, unlimited users
Much like Zendesk, Intercom is a big baller in the customer service game and it has separate solutions geared up with big suites of tools.
We also know that Intercom’s main selling trait is its customer communications technology: conversational bots.
Bring chatbots and a knowledge base together, and that’s what I call a smooth user experience. To give your users this experience, all you gotta do is create a knowledge base with Intercom and set up your Intercom bot to generate the educational content for specific questions.
Intercom offers the knowledge base fiction for $65/month for eligible early-stage businesses. However, they do not disclose any other pricing lists for either one of their three solutions.
Document360 is your go-to indie SaaS knowledge base solution, and it is my personal favorite.
With Document360 you can create internal or external knowledge bases, add articles with ease, and customize virtually everything.
In fact, its selling point has got to be this high customization levels but if you ask me, its in-product user experience is just as good. It is easily one of the most user-friendly tools among knowledge base software.
Document360 has four different plans and offers an instant 14-day trial for the first three.
Startup – $99 per project, per month (2 team accounts)
Business – $ 299 per project, per month (10 team accounts)
Enterprise – $ 499 per project, per month (15 team accounts)
Enterprise Plus – custom quote
8- ProProfs Knowledge Base
Yet another solution dedicated fully to knowledge bases is ProProfs.
With considerable ease of use and great integrations with the top service tools like Zendesk, Salesforce Desk, Freshdesk, LiveChat, Jira, and Slack, ProProfs is one of the best options, especially for small to medium-sized businesses.
Among the most prominent features of the tool are content authoring and maintenance, access on different devices and browsers, and increased customization.
ProProfs offers two different solutions, a public help center or a private knowledge base. The latter comes for $2 user/month with the Essentials plan or $3 user/month with the Premium plan; the Enterprise plan has a custom quote. All ProProfs plans are available for free a 15-day trial.
The pricing for the public plans are:
Essentials – $30 author/month (billed annually)
Premium – $40 author/month (billed annually)
Enterprise – custom quote
9- Atlassian Confluence
If you are using Atlassian’s Jira, Confluence is the knowledge base software you are looking for.
Although it is essentially a focused internal knowledge base and collaboration solution it works perfectly with tools like Trello and Jira.
So, if what you need is an internal knowledge base software, Confluence is full of cool features and integrations.
Free – free for up to 10 users
Standard – $5.50 per user/monthly
Premium – $10.50 per user/monthly
Enterprise – custom quote
So, what is a SaaS knowledge base? Why would you need it? What makes it good, what makes it bad?
Most importantly, what are some tools that can help you create a great SaaS knowledge base?
The answers to all these questions are right above. I know I’ll be seeing your SaaS knowledge base articles on Google in a while if you can figure out how to make all that information function.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good knowledge base?
A good knowledge base, especially one for a SaaS business, has to be easily accessible, feature a search bar, FAQs, common articles, different types of content (e.g. articles, videos, and others), and if possible, should be functional with interactive guides.
How do I use Confluence as a knowledge base?
To start using Confluence by Atlassian, all you need to do is subscribe to the tool and add articles and knowledge to its premade knowledge base display. However, it is important to note that Confluence is a solution for private knowledge bases.
What is the knowledge base for?
A SaaS knowledge base can be used to educate customers, offer 7/24 self-service to users, track updates and add new information. The possibilities are endless since knowledge bases can be both private and public.