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Best Practices in Optimizing Your Knowledge Base


In the evolving landscape of customer service automation, leveraging generative AI to power chatbots and other support tools has become essential. A robust Knowledge Base (KB) is crucial for achieving a high number of deflections and a high Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score. When well-optimized, a KB can significantly reduce the need for human intervention by providing accurate and relevant answers, enhancing the overall customer experience. This article outlines best practices for creating and maintaining an effective KB, drawing on insights from’s expertise in AI-driven solutions.

1. Mutually Exclusive Titles and Content

Designing the composition of your KB articles is akin to teaching a new agent. Redundant information can confuse the AI, leading to incorrect citations. Ensuring that each article covers unique content without overlap is essential. Here’s how:

  • Single Source of Truth: Each piece of information should have one dedicated article. For instance, if your company offers various subscription plans, each plan should have a separate article detailing its features, benefits, and pricing.
  • Clear Boundaries: Define distinct categories and subcategories to avoid content overlap. For example, instead of having one general article on “fees,” create specific articles such as “late payment fees,” “cancellation fees,” and “upgrade fees.”

2. Consistent Terminology with Product Names

Inconsistencies between KB content and official product names can confuse the AI. Ensure that the terminology in your KB matches the official names of your products to maintain clarity and accuracy. Here are some strategies:

  • Official Product Names: Use the exact names and terms as used in your product documentation. For example, if your product is officially named “Forethought Insight,” avoid referring to it as just “Insight” or “FI” in your KB.
  • Avoid Synonyms: Stick to one term per concept to prevent confusion. For example, if your company uses the term “user dashboard,” avoid using “user panel” or “account interface” interchangeably.

3. Keep Content Up-to-Date

AI relies on the most current information in your KB to generate responses. If your content is outdated, the AI may provide inaccurate information. Regular updates and careful maintenance are crucial. Consider these practices:

  • Regular Updates: Schedule periodic reviews and updates of your articles. For instance, set a quarterly review cycle to ensure all content reflects the latest product features and policies.
  • Change Logs: Document any changes to your products, such as new features or interface updates, and reflect these changes in your KB. For example, if you move the “settings” icon on your dashboard from the top right to the bottom left, update all relevant articles to reflect this change immediately.

4. Listen to Your Customers

Customer feedback is invaluable for optimizing your KB. offers tools to monitor the performance of each article. Prioritize updates based on these insights:

  • Traffic Analysis: Focus on high-traffic articles that reflect commonly asked questions. For example, if an article on “resetting passwords” consistently receives high traffic, ensure it is detailed, clear, and up-to-date.
  • Feedback Metrics: Use Quick Feedback, Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), and Relevance Scores to identify and improve articles that may be underperforming. If customers frequently indicate that an article on “troubleshooting login issues” is unhelpful, revisit the content to add more comprehensive troubleshooting steps or clarify existing ones.

5. Use Filters to Ensure High-Quality Indexing

Incomplete or low-quality articles can lead to incorrect responses from the AI. To maintain high-quality content, implement these strategies:

  • Quality Control: Set incomplete articles as private or remove them until they are ready. For example, if you’re working on a detailed guide for a new feature but it’s not complete, keep it private until it’s thoroughly reviewed and finalized.
  • Content Filters: Use filters to ensure only polished and accurate content is indexed and available for the AI to use. This prevents the AI from referencing draft articles or outdated content that could lead to misinformation.

6. Step-by-Step Instructions for Troubleshooting

When creating troubleshooting guides, it's essential to use step-by-step instructions. This helps the AI select the correct step corresponding to where the user is in the process, avoiding repetition of lengthy steps and improving the user experience. Consider these best practices:

  • Sequential Steps: Break down the troubleshooting process into clear, sequential steps. For example, instead of one long article on fixing connectivity issues, create steps like “Step 1: Check your network connection,” “Step 2: Restart your router,” and “Step 3: Verify device settings.”
  • Individual Steps as Separate Entries: Allow each step to be an individual entry or clearly defined section within the article. This way, if a user is stuck on a specific step, the AI can direct them precisely to that step without repeating previous instructions.
  • Contextual Cues: Provide contextual cues within each step to help users understand what they should be looking for or expecting. For example, in “Step 1: Check your network connection,” include details like “Ensure your device is connected to the correct Wi-Fi network and that the signal strength is strong.”

7. Write Like You Speak

Make your articles easy to read by writing in a conversational tone. Aim for a 6th-grade reading level to ensure that complex issues are explained simply. Use metaphors and straightforward language to help customers quickly grasp the information. For instance:

  • Simple Language: Instead of saying, “Utilize the configuration panel,” say, “Use the settings panel.”
  • Metaphors: Use relatable metaphors to explain technical concepts, such as, “Think of your network as a highway, and your device as a car needing a clear path.”

8. Use an Active Voice

An active voice conveys confidence and clarity, which helps instill trust in your customers. Avoid passive constructions that can make your instructions seem uncertain or complicated. For example:

  • Active Voice: “Restart your router to refresh the connection.”
  • Passive Voice: “The router should be restarted to refresh the connection.”

9. Add Text Descriptions to Images and Videos

Visual aids such as screenshots, diagrams, and videos can greatly enhance the clarity of your KB articles. However, to ensure the AI understands and utilizes these visuals effectively, always accompany them with text descriptions. This practice helps the AI retrieve and reveal the correct content during responses. Here’s how to do it:

  • Images: Use annotated screenshots to highlight important areas, and provide a detailed text description explaining what the screenshot shows and how it’s relevant.
  • Videos: Create short tutorial videos and provide a summary of the key points in text. Explain what the video covers, such as resetting a password or configuring a new device, so the AI can effectively reference this information.


Optimizing your Knowledge Base is crucial for leveraging AI in customer service automation effectively. By ensuring mutually exclusive and up-to-date content, consistent terminology, attentive customer feedback integration, rigorous quality control, and engaging, easy-to-follow instructions, you can enhance the accuracy and reliability of your AI-powered solutions. Implementing these best practices will lead to better customer experiences and more efficient operations, ultimately helping your organization achieve its goals.

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