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What are some knowledge base tools and software?

What are the advantages of a knowledge base?

What is a knowledge base

A knowledge base is a company’s online collection of information that people can access to find answers to common questions, solutions, and resources to understand a topic better. In other words, a knowledge base is a self-service tool that enables people to find answers and solutions without having to reach out for help.

An effective knowledge base should increase information sharing and reduce administrative management costs.

There are two types of knowledge bases: external and internal knowledge bases. An external knowledge base comprises information that customers, clients, or the general public can access. In contrast, an internal knowledge base includes a company’s private or confidential information and serves only the company’s team members.

A company may have both an internal knowledge base for their employees to understand company policies, onboarding materials, training, and tutorials, and a customer-facing knowledge base to provide their customers and clients with FAQs, how-to guides, and troubleshooting content.

In some cases, a company’s knowledge base is not just relevant to their own customers but also the general public.

An example of an internal knowledge base could be a Google Drive folder that is shared only among the company employees or within a specific department. An example of an external knowledge base could be a public web portal or knowledge base article that anyone can access online.

Knowledge bases can take different forms and functions. While the most basic knowledge bases are comparable to indexed encyclopedias, other types of knowledge bases use automation and artificial intelligence to interact and respond to user input. For example, when a user enters a query using a search function or chatbot, the knowledge base software helps narrow down a solution.

A knowledge base can take the form of:

  • PDFs

  • Word documents

  • Google documents

  • Spreadsheets

  • Web portals

  • Wikis

  • On-premise databases

Data in a knowledge base often comes from contributors that are well-versed in relevant subjects and can add and expand the knowledge base.

What are some knowledge base tools and software?

There are a variety of knowledge management systems, software, and tools for companies of any size or stature. Choosing the best knowledge base software depends on your company size, budget, and needs.

  • Content management software: CRM software such as Hubspot and WordPress enable you to build pages for customer education content. They also provide access to plugins to help you create and customize an attractive and professional knowledge base or documentation from templates.

  • Browser extensions: Extensions such as Guru integrate with Google Chrome, enabling companies to share information from their knowledge bases directly into the web-based applications. Team members gain access to up-to-date information in real-time. 

  • Web-based tools: Web-based project management and note-taking software such as Notion enables your team to collaboratively view, sort, filter, and edit data in multiple databases.

  • Apps: Apps like Slack act as a knowledge base by providing access to your company’s conversation history. Users can find the information they need in seconds using the search function. In addition, Slack integrations can connect with existing knowledge base software enabling you to access the files, feedback, and data from within one central place.

What are the advantages of a knowledge base?

Besides providing in-depth, instant, on-demand information and answers to your team and customers, a knowledge base also has many other advantages:

  • Relieves your internal support team: A good knowledge base lowers the number of internal support tickets your support agents have to handle.

  • Relieves your customer support team: A user-friendly knowledge base provides customers with answers to common questions, advice, and tutorials, giving your customer service team more time to focus on complex or pressing issues.

  • Improves customer experience: A user-friendly knowledge base answers customer questions on-demand, improving the user’s experience and customer satisfaction.

  • Boosts your SEO capabilities: External online knowledge base content often contains keywords that show up in search engine results, improving an organization’s search engine optimization ranking. Better SEO functionality helps draw in new customers.

  • Fast-tracks onboarding: Giving new employees access to up-to-date company information and materials in one central place helps them get up to speed in less time.

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