Businesses of nearly any sphere and size can benefit from knowledge management solutions. This type of software allows you to better organize information that both your clients and employees need. From this article, you'll learn about the functions and advantages of systematized knowledge databases. Also, you'll get to know how to choose the best knowledge management software and find a list of the highest-rated solutions.
A knowledge-sharing platform resembles a catalog system at the library. It is software that stores and systematizes essential information about your company, products and day-to-day operations of your business. It comes in handy for both your employees and clients. The former can benefit from the knowledge management platform because it enables them to better organize documentation. The latter can find answers to their questions without getting in touch with the customer service team. All the enterprise content is easily accessible and well-structured, be it articles, images, or videos.
Your company should appreciate the advantages of both external and internal knowledge management system software. Let's analyze them separately.
Software for knowledge management will enable you to effectively deliver information to the clients who need it. Your customers will value this approach highly because it will allow them to achieve the following goals.
Reduce Waiting Times
When a person leaves a query in the fill-in form on your site or sends you an email, they will need to wait for an answer. When they call you, they need to wait until a manager picks up the phone. But if you provide them access to KM software, they can quickly find what they need at any time of the day, without third-party help.
Provide More Personalized Help
Some customers prefer to learn by reading. Others dislike articles but eagerly watch videos or infographics. Knowledge management applications enable you to offer to users different formats of content, which should contribute to customer retention.
Increase Customer Satisfaction
Some clients might enjoy using knowledge management system tools because they don't like talking to strangers. Others might think "If this company uses KMsoftware, it must be tech-savvy and customer-oriented. It keeps up with the times and I appreciate it".
Gather Insights About Your Clients
You can find out which pieces of content your clients search the most often. You can enhance them to make them more informative. Plus, the system might automatically suggest this content to users when they try to look for something in the database.
Enable You to Identify Outdated Articles
The older your business, the more information its database contains. If you introduce a rating system, your customers will be able to give a low rating to pieces of content that are not relevant or useful anymore. Your staff members will promptly update the information.
Inform Your Clients About Temporary Workarounds
You can mark pieces of content as either permanent or temporary. As soon as the latter ones are no longer needed, you can remove or revise them.
Convert Support Emails to Knowledge Base Articles
Let's consider the situation when a client sends you an email. If you don't use knowledge base software, your manager might need to write a long reply manually. To save time and effort, they could have sent this client a link to the database with fully-featured knowledge. Or, they could have generated a reply relying on that database. Each time they receive similar requests, they just make a couple of clicks — and the customer gets an exhaustive explanation.
Internal enterprise knowledge management software is available only to the company's employees. It might contain such data as HR materials, policies or specific troubleshooting requirements. You can configure the access settings so that every professional and every department can reach only those knowledge management tools that are relevant for their sphere of responsibility. Such a platform should help you to achieve the following goals.
Quickly Onboard New Staff Members
When you hire a new employee, you need to teach them. If your company sticks to person-to-person tuition, it might be not too effective for at least two reasons. First, it prevents the teacher from focusing on their immediate duties and high-priority tasks. Second, different specialists might have different onboarding experiences, which might lead to gaps in their knowledge. Thanks to a featured knowledge management platform, everyone will get access to the same data. Every time your new employees need some information, they will be able to find it in a couple of clicks.
Scale Teams More Effectively
As your business develops, you'll receive more and more customer queries. The more streamlined the independent search of information, the fewer support specialists you need. Knowledge management software quickly reduces your expenses for hiring and training support managers. Besides, all your team members will have access to the same documents, which should minimize the risk of misinterpretation.
Keep Organizational Continuity
Knowledge management system software improves the workforce efficiency of your team when some of its members leave or retire. All the precious information will remain within the company, being accessible to the wider team.
First, you should choose between a knowledge management system open source and its commercial counterpart. Open-source solutions might be cheaper and more flexible. At the same time, they might lack reliable customer support and they might be not the best option in terms of usability. No matter which variant you prefer, you might want your platform to feature the following functions.
Extensive Editing Capabilities
You should make sure that the platform allows you to easily import images and resize them. You should assess the tools that you can use to embed videos or code snippets in your articles. The system should enable you to create visually appealing content.
Your knowledge database should be available in the official languages of all the territories that you cater to. Pieces of content should have language tags to help users categorize the content.
Some business owners and managers might think: if an article has many views, it means it is helpful. In fact, it might have the right heading but fail to deliver the necessary information. But how can you get to know that if you don't collect clients' feedback? The easiest way to start doing it is to ask the question "Did you find it helpful?" at the bottom of each piece of content and let users vote Yes or No. If they click the negative answer, you should ask them to leave a text comment to back up their viewpoint.
Reporting and Analytics
These are just a few examples of metrics that your knowledge management platform should show you:
● Search results
● Feedback from clients
● Number of views per article
Ideally, your software should be able to integrate with Google Analytics for more advanced reporting. The data that you gather should help you to improve your client service and, eventually, increase your return on investment for knowledge projects.
You might want to allow logged-in users to see more than anonymous viewers. Different plan types might have different features. Your managers might need access to internal process articles. Viewership control will help you to determine who can check each type of content.
This function determines who can add new content to the database. Not all your employees should be able to do it. The more people contribute to the database, the messier and less accurate it might become. You should have a dedicated editorial team to deliver information that is 100% true to life and contains no misprints.
You should be able to apply your corporate style to your knowledge base (your custom color scheme, logo, fonts, and other elements). Users will recognize at a glance which company they're dealing with and it should help them build trust with your brand.
The information below should help you to choose the best knowledge base software. We would like to share brief descriptions of the best systems that have proved their efficiency across different industries. Unlike software pricing reviews, this text won't feature all the tariff plans that each platform offers. You'll get to know only the approximate range — and then, check details on the official site on the system.
Bitrix24 is an incredibly popular and powerful solution that improves the workforce. Over 9 million businesses from over the world rely on it. Bitrix24 enables you to create a knowledge database not only for your company but for each separate project or workgroup. It features mind maps, Wiki, polls, and discussions.
A mind map is a diagram for representing tasks, words, and other items arranged around the central subject and linked to it. Bitrix24 will offer you mind maps templates and allow you to create custom ones. You'll be able to export and import mind maps. Plus, you should benefit from extended features, such as the opportunity to assign users, create tasks and events.
You can take ready-to-use templates for your knowledge database and customize them to your brand. You'll be able to use standard and nested menus, configure access rights, and use cross-device file syncing. You can build an employee directory that contains exhaustive information on each staff member, including their emails, numbers, and social media profiles.
Bitrix24 has powerful tools for social knowledge sharing. It will be easy for you to make company-wide announcements and spread company news. Your staff members will appreciate searchable private and public chats. The system allows you to carry out videoconferences, audio, and video calls and record them.
The free plan of Bitrix24 is available. The Professional one costs $199 per month for unlimited users — but you might get a discount. Both plans comes with unlimited number of users, but several pro tools and modules are available to the top plans subscribers only.
The developers of this system claim that even if you have no experience in using knowledge management databases, it should be very easy for you to get started. Over time, you'll be updating and improving your documents. At any moment, you'll be able to open older versions to see the corrections and the name of the person who introduced them.
The system allows you to customize your header and footer navigation with links, call-to-action buttons or social icons. Clients can rate pieces of content and leave feedback. Plus, Document360 will offer you comprehensive analytics. You'll be able to check which articles have the most views and interactions as well as analyze the list of the most common search terms. The prices of using Document360 might reach $499 per project (not per user!) per month. There is a 14-day free trial period.
Just as all the other solutions that we recommend, this one increases your team's efficiency, resolves issues quickly, and helps you to strengthen customer relations. However, Flowlu stands out from the competitors, thanks to its unusual design. While knowledge bases of most platforms look like online encyclopedias, this one mimics the layout of a kanban board.
The team behind this product has developed a protocol to quickly capture the knowledge from employees who are about to leave the company. The most important information will never be limited to just one professional.
You can easily customize the database with your domain, brand colors, logo and other elements of your corporate style. You'll be able to use headers and metadata. The platform allows you to incorporate tags and interlink your articles to enhance the overall user experience. Flowlu offers five plans, from $0 to $199 per user per month. The free trial lasts 14 days.
This system allows you to choose a custom domain for your knowledge base. You'll be able to customize your CSS and JS code, which means you can add call-to-action buttons to articles, insert custom images, and so on. Your knowledge base will feature a live chat where your managers can provide live support to clients. Before articles go live, you can preview them. HelpCrunch allows you to place custom and social media links to the header and footer of your knowledge base. You'll be able to optimize content for search engines using headers and metadata. Plus, the system will automatically generate a sitemap for you.
The cheapest plan costs $12 per person per month. The free trial period lasts 14 days. If you need the enterprise plan with the most extensive functionality, you should discuss its pricing with the HelpCrunch team.
This is an all-in-one solution for building a help center, a documentation platform, and both internal and external knowledge bases. ProProfs has its own chat and helpdesk software offerings. But if your staff is used to some other software, you can connect ProProfs with Zendesk, Freshdesk, or other customer service platforms.
The system is famous for its strong emphasis on localization: your knowledge database will support 90 languages. Also, it features superb integration and collaboration tools. ProProfs features a collection of ready-to-use templates for a quick start. You'll be able to modify the font, colors, and other graphical elements of the templates to match your corporate style.
ProProfs management software pricing model differs considerably from the rest. The platform will charge you $0.30 per page per month. If you want to remove ProProfs branding from your knowledge base, you should be ready to pay $0.50 per page.
This platform is ideal for businesses that support multiple brands: you'll be able to use a custom corporate style for each of them. To make the help center a true extension of your brand, you can map it to your own domain. Apart from the conventional knowledge database, you can offer your clients a forum and communities where they will be able to discuss ideas.
The ticketing system of Zoho Desk is highly intuitive. Thanks to the AutoSuggest function, your managers will process clients' queries much faster. This function pulls relevant articles from the knowledge base, relying on the keywords.
Your knowledge base will be SEO-friendly. You'll be able to use descriptions, keywords, and titles to make it easier for search engines to locate your page. Zoho Desk will generate insightful reports for you and allow you to create your own dashboards. The free trial period lasts 15 days. The price of paid plans varies from $0 to $40 per user per month.
Hopefully, this knowledge management software comparison article came in handy. If your business doesn't rely on such a platform yet, it might be the time to get started. Companies that use knowledge management improve their internal communications, onboard new employees faster, and have no problems with organizational continuity. Thanks to this type of software, organizations provide more personalized help to users, increase customer satisfaction and gather client feedback. After you compare functionality and pricing reviews, you might want to choose Bitrix24. It's a popular, versatile, and highly reliable platform that is indispensable for knowledge management.