Guide to the Best Knowledge Base SoftwareEstimated Reading Time: 13 Minutes
Essential Features and Advantages of a knowledge base software: A Guide
Table of Contents
- Essential Features and Advantages of a knowledge base software: A Guide
- What is a Knowledge Base?
- Types of Knowledge Base Software
- Essential Features of a Knowledge Management Software
- Advantages of a Knowledge Base Software
- Best Practices for Creating a Knowledge Base
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A vital indicator of every company's overall success rate is the quality of its customer support service. Modern customer support service includes chat, email, and phone assistance, among other options.
However, modern customer service's most popular and efficient component is a knowledge base. With every second company adopting a knowledge base today, it is crucial to understand the fundamentals of a knowledge base software, its features, types, and benefits.
In this blog, we will get into all the above details and talk about certain essential features and practices one needs to ensure when choosing the best knowledge base software for their organization.
What is a Knowledge Base?
Knowledge management software allows an organization to manage its institutional knowledge on a single platform. This knowledge is in the form of articles or data that is easy to read and understand. The knowledge base's content should help the users solve their queries all by themselves. Ideally, a knowledge base consists of details about the company, its products, services, and other related information that customers may want to refer to.
A knowledge base with advanced technological features such as machine learning, third-party integrations, and automation allow the software to automatically deliver relevant guides, tips, and articles from the database based on the user's search query.
A knowledge base is beneficial not just for customers but also for the organization's employees. Users can efficiently conduct keyword-specific searches and navigate the knowledge base to solve their queries. Many organizations use the knowledge base as an information portal for the employees at their firm.
Use PHPKB Software to create, organize, and share knowledge base articles and content easily with customer support agents, selected customers, or the public.
Types of Knowledge Base Software
Currently, companies' knowledge base systems include more than one solution. Let's have a look at the different types.
1. Standard Knowledge Base
This version includes a directory of details in the form of FAQs, policies, product descriptions, guides, and documents available through a centralized database. With AI integration, the software optimizes the search experience for users to search for relevant articles with ease. The AI-powered bots handle customer requests while the knowledge base does the rest of the work.
2. AI-powered bots
The support team of companies can make certain content accessible to users in a context-centric manner through AI-powered bots. Developers often integrate AI-powered chatbots to specific website pages, like the payment page, where users can get information on pricing policies. This technique only pulls customers' most relevant information and resources based on their search query.
3. Community Forums
This knowledge base provides the consumers a platform to interact and exchange information. They can create threads discussing a particular topic with the moderators and other users responding to it. This works as a valuable asset for companies to acquire insights about customer interests, demands, queries, and feedback.
The features of knowledge management software indicate the quality of its service. So, when you choose a knowledge base software for your organization, ensure it has these crucial features.
1. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Integration
A knowledge base becomes smarter when it incorporates ML and AI technologies. The software responds to queries and tickets promptly due to this integration and automatically updates and manages its maintenance process automatically. These technologies also enable the contributors to fill up any knowledge gaps, include new details, or check for accuracy quickly with modern tools.
2. Categorization Ability
The amount of data that a knowledge base holds is enormous. Therefore, it must be categorized for easy navigation and accessibility. An efficient knowledge base must provide a categorization ability that helps create a structured list of the articles that the users can access by dividing them into specific categories. It simplifies the process of searching relevant content even if the users do not have a specific keyword in mind.
3. Internal Search Engine
Every knowledge base must have a search bar to type in the keyword or phrase and get relevant articles. Ideally, it should also have a suggestion feature in its search engine. An intuitive search that suggests possible answers as users begin typing has a higher chance of creating a better user experience.
4. Content Management
An intuitive content management system makes content creation and updating more manageable for users. With an efficient CMS, administrators, editors, and writers can create, schedule, edit, check, and publish their content into the software easily.
5. Analytics and Feedback
An efficient knowledge management software provides helpful information about the customers' needs to the company employees. With the content analytics and feedback feature, it is easy to analyze and create reports for this purpose. Ensure that your prospective knowledge base software has these features built-in, or it can be integrated with a third-party app that delivers these benefits.
6. User-friendly interface
Your knowledge base software should have a simple-to-use interface and a back-end dashboard. It should be so easy to use that it requires no technical training to operate. Ease of use improves the ability of contributors to develop images, text, and media content better before publishing the articles. It also improves the customers' ability to navigate quickly through those articles.
7. Mobile optimization
Will you believe that a whopping 53.62% of web-based traffic comes via mobile devices? This makes it essential to optimize the knowledge base software for mobile device usage as most of your customers will use a mobile!
Advantages of a Knowledge Base Software
According to recent statistics, customers have shown a rising demand for a solid knowledge base. Approximately 91% admitted they are open to using it for information gathering if such a portal is available to them.
Therefore, companies are increasingly focusing on employing a knowledge base software to create a customized, user-friendly, and informative portal for their company. Indeed, it will benefit their customers, employees, and stakeholders in many ways. But how?
Here are some of the many advantages of employing a knowledge base for your organization.
Single Centralized Database
Having all your institutional knowledge on a single centralized database accessible from anywhere on the web gives your organization a significant competitive advantage. With a centralized knowledge base, you can keep all the data in a single, organized storehouse, from where users can access the data whenever they need it, wherever they need it.
24x7 Accessible Data
A knowledge base software automates the customer service operation and is available 24x7. Users, customers, and employees can use this system at any point in time. Whether a holiday or a day-off, the required information is always available on the system.
A Self-Service Portal
A knowledge base doubles up as a self-service portal from where customers can learn more about any product or service all by themselves. The self-service nature of the modern knowledge base software allows users to handle these small-scale customer queries independently.
Also, users don't need to depend on customer support agents for minute tasks like changing the password or updating their email addresses. Subsequently, it relieves the agents from fielding such issues and allows them to handle more complex problems that require expert help.
Multi-Optional & Flexible Operation
A knowledge base enables an organization to keep their database public, private, or in a hybrid model, as per their requirement. Public databases can be accessed by any user on the internet, while private databases can be accessed only by logged-in users. The hybrid version includes a little of both; some information is available for free reading while you need to log in to read the rest.
Better Customer Experience
Self-service ensures a better user experience. A knowledge base software prioritizes this type of service, as customers don't need to contact an actual support agent. Users can get instant resolution to their queries or guidance related to their doubts through the knowledge management software. Many of its solutions also come with an automated chatbot integration, which helps answer customer questions automatically.
This is a huge time saver for both customers (end users) and support agents. It is one of the many ways the knowledge base software benefits users and organizations – both!
Improves the Work Quality of Support Agents
Due to the self-service nature of the knowledge base, agents do not have to handle repetitive tasks for customers; the software handles that. Instead, they can focus on more aggressive, complex activities and query solutions that require their expertise and skills.
The support agents and employees across different teams can easily find relevant resources through a systematized knowledge base and perform their tasks more efficiently.
Employees and stakeholders can also provide their inputs to enrich the knowledge base further. The articles on the knowledge base can also be shared easily as a reference.
We are sure you have a fair idea of the many benefits of employing a knowledge base for your organization by now. With PHPKB, a leading knowledge base software, you get all the above advantages in addition to many others. You can easily create, organize and share knowledge base articles with customer support agents, customers, and even the general public.
Best Practices for Creating a Knowledge Base
An organization needs to consider a few pointers when creating a high-quality knowledge base. Some of these factors are the nature of the business, field of business, type of content you want to put there, team size, etc.
Let us look at the best practices to create a value-rich knowledge base, irrespective of the type and nature of your business.
Focus on the structure and layout
After choosing the best knowledge base software for your organization, it is vital to create and populate it in a value-rich manner for users. In the beginning, prioritize the software's design, layout, and architecture. Here, focus on the format of the article first, like adding a home page-like layout to the content. You can customize the structure to make it different visually while still focusing on discoverability. Place the most informative articles on the front of the support-based page. Optimize the search functions and improve navigability.
Prepare a system for detecting vital knowledge base problems
A majority of the knowledge base software usage centers around only the issues that customers are facing. 90% of customers prefer getting a prompt reply to their query, so you should prepare this structure well. Add elements that make it easier for support agents to flag down any problems that need to be updated or need a new answer.
The knowledge base integrates a simpler workflow for agents to look for existing articles for particular questions. This way, they can avoid reworking on the same thing multiple times. Periodically check the content in case it needs improvements from the past.
Assign knowledge base ownership
Hiring a professional who takes charge of the knowledge base is useful. They would operate as the connecting point for the company members, customers, and the software. With a specialist acting in charge, the content remains up-to-date and is available with 100% uptime. Also, these specialists are responsible for checking the issues directly, making necessary changes whenever the information becomes outdated or irrelevant.
Decide your writing style
Prepare the guidelines of your writing style; how you would write the articles for the knowledge base during the development phase. In some ways, it is the same as authoring education blogs; you have to add a clear and catchy heading and mention to-the-point instructions.
Furthermore, you can use these tips too:
- Ensure there are no typos.
- Write down a descriptive title.
- Link useful resources.
- Include relevant FAQs in the chatbot or the autoresponder of your ticket
- Focus on SEO and readability improvement
To conclude, it would be helpful to write down to-the-point scripts and put all information in proper and clear descriptions. Add helpful resources via links to the content for a fact check. You can also incorporate video-styled content in the knowledge base. Some customers prefer visual stimuli, while others prefer text format. Combine both for a better reach.
Assign writers to the knowledge base
To get accurate and relevant results for users' queries, ensure that the uploaded content is effective. It is recommended that you hire professional writers to develop the knowledge base content for this reason. Companies often hire dedicated SEO and content writing experts to cover these tasks or assign this work to some team members who are good at writing.
Prepare editorial processes and standards
Certain factors are crucial for consumable content: clarity, consistency, and conciseness. The same is the case for knowledge base-centric content as well. For this, you can rely on a capable editorial process and follow the right practices to meet the appropriate standards and requirements.
Here are some tips that can help you through this step.
- Explain the complex terms and technical jargon. You can direct the readers to a helpful glossary for the fundamental concepts or terms defined in layman terms.
- Prepare a template with specific sections where authors can add information without affecting the layout.
- Appoint SMEs (subject matter experts) to evaluate the article(s) for content clarity and accuracy.
- Hyperlink your content to related articles or resources.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which users can benefit from the knowledge management software?
Companies or individuals that deliver services or products need a knowledge base software to provide valuable and actionable information to their users, employees, and stakeholders.
For example, software development companies can add information about troubleshooting problems in their knowledge management software.
What types of software integration should you do in your knowledge base?
Your knowledge base must handle software integration with your ticketing system and CRM. You can also incorporate the live chat feature with your knowledge base so your customers can access the required details through the chat easily. Other notable software solutions you must integrate are messaging and analytics.
Which types of content can you upload in a knowledge base?
Content creators can upload text files, images, audio, and video content into the knowledge base. Some vendors can also limit the type and size of files here.
What are the key elements you should keep in your knowledge base?
A few key elements that you should keep in your knowledge base are a text-based search bar and an organized information system. Add more features in your knowledge base according to the type of company you own and the support you provide.
What are the steps to keep the knowledge base up to date?
Here are four main things you can do to update your knowledge base regularly:
- Assign the responsibility of the knowledge base to a specialized professional
- Develop a system of identifying common knowledge base problems
- Identify your subject matter experts (or hire content writers) for knowledge base content creation/updates.
- Implement a periodic review process to ensure your knowledge base articles contain correct and updated information.