What is knowledge base or knowledge management software?
At its most basic, a knowledge base software is a database where a wide range of information is stored. Nowadays knowledge bases are located online and most of their storage is cloud-based. Companies use them to manage, organize, and store their most important information and documentation for a variety of purposes. Essentially, they act as the brain of many companies.
Some companies use knowledge bases for internal purposes, while others use them for external communications and customer support.
Knowledge bases are becoming increasingly popular as of late as companies are looking for ways to optimize their data storage. They're also being chosen over corporate wikis as they allow for a higher degree of content oversight.
Indeed, rather than having information spread across different platforms and systems in the form of widgets, social media platforms, apps, email chains, Slack accounts, tools, and computer systems, it's much more convenient to have all the most important data located in one, central, easily-accessible place.
Who uses knowledge base software?
There are 2 main kinds of knowledge base softwares: internal and external. So, who uses a given knowledge base software depends on what kind of software they're using.
Internal knowledge base software
Internal knowledge base softwares (B2T) are normally online knowledge bases that team members use to access private, confidential or otherwise not publicly available information.
External knowledge base software
External knowledge base softwares (B2C) act as self-service customer service solutions. Customers and clients use them as help desks and they're important customer experience tools.
Knowledge base softwares are normally sold as software as service (SaaS), but there are also open-source knowledge base tools out there. This allows for a higher level of html editing and customization, among other things.
What's the purpose of a knowledge base software?
There's so much a knowledge base software can do for you, your team and your business (whether you use it internally or externally). A few of the main key benefits include:
This may be the most obvious benefit, but it's also one of the most important. Using a knowledge base software ensures that all your most important company knowledge is centralized, organized, and stored securely. You won't have to worry about finding lost information stored in multiple places, across various apps or with different people.
When information is readily available and easy to find, less time is wasted and productivity increases. This applies to both internal and external knowledge bases. Customers that can get their own questions answered online spend less time talking to support agents. Employees with easy access to common questions and company information spend less time consulting their coworkers and superiors about the same things over and over again.
Easy employee onboarding
This mainly applies to internal knowledge bases. With all the new knowledge that goes into starting a job at a new company, employee onboarding is a time-consuming process. It doesn't matter if we're talking about startups or large organizations, onboarding new employees can eat up a lot of managers' or human resources professionals workdays.
Using an internal knowledge base software adds a degree of automation to employee onboarding. This gives new hires access to everything they need from day 1, saving everybody time. It also helps save on some of the time and resource expenses associated with training.
Great customer experience
This mainly applies to external knowledge bases. When used correctly, knowledge base software acts as help desk software and is a wonderful customer service tool. This can really empower customers to self-help and solve their own problems in real-time. It also gives off a great impression of your business. Your customers will appreciate that you've taken the time to put together key resources they need, and it leaves the precious customer support tickets for more complicated issues.
Company information and documentation is dynamic... it's always being updated, changed, and edited. It's easy for data to become outdated, and fast. When everyone has access to the same, most up-to-date versions of key company data, you'll avoid miscommunications and be sure that what everyone is seeing and sharing is accurate. Knowledge base software helps ensure this.
Knowledge Base Software Features
There are tons of different options out there in terms of knowledge management software nowadays. If you're trying to find the right solution for you and your team, be sure to keep an eye out for the following features. Trust us, they'll make your life much easier in the long run!
1. Search engine or search system features
2. User-friendly backend
3. Effective reporting & analytics
4. Attachment functionalities
5. Responsive support team & support agents
6. An organization or categorization system