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The Importance of Having a Knowledge Base – UPDATED 2023

The Importance of a Having a Knowledge Base – UPDATED 2023
The Importance of a Having a Knowledge Base – UPDATED 2023
This is where a knowledge base plays a crucial role. Implementing a knowledge base can significantly enhance the quality and efficiency of customer service, both internally and externally.
Posted in: Knowledge Management
The Importance of a Having a Knowledge Base – UPDATED 2023
The Importance of a Having a Knowledge Base – UPDATED 2023

When performing tasks within a system or application, it's common to encounter questions or uncertainties. If users are unable to find prompt answers, they are more likely to give up.

In today's interconnected world, people crave convenient access to accurate information. Customers and users prefer to research their own questions and swiftly resolve basic problems rather than relying on support services.

This is where a knowledge base plays a crucial role. Implementing a knowledge base can significantly enhance the quality and efficiency of customer service, both internally and externally. 

However, creating a knowledge base can be a challenging endeavor as it necessitates management and maintenance efforts.

In a Nutshell, What is a Knowledge Base?

In a Nutshell, What is a Knowledge Base?

A knowledge base is an online database that centralizes information related to products, services, departments, subjects, or topics. It serves as a valuable resource for customers and employees by facilitating the collection, organization, retrieval, and sharing of knowledge. 

Within a knowledge base, one can find data about the workings of new products, processes, or systems, as well as frequently asked questions (FAQs), troubleshooting guides, and other relevant details.

The information contained within a knowledge base can originate from various sources, although it typically stems from knowledgeable employees with expertise in specific areas. 

By offering self-service capabilities, a knowledge base empowers users to find answers on their own. This not only enhances user satisfaction but also leads to significant time and cost savings for your business. 

What can a knowledge base offer your business?

 A knowledge base can provide a range of resources to support your business, including:

  1. User Guides and Video Tutorials: These resources offer step-by-step instructions and video walkthroughs to assist users in navigating and understanding your products.
  2. Training Materials: Employee manuals, training videos, and other training resources are available to facilitate the professional development of your staff, ensuring they have the necessary knowledge and skills.
  3. Internal Documentation: A knowledge base can house various internal documents, including standard operating procedures (SOPs), software documentation, process documentation, business requirement documentation, and any other materials that support employees in performing specific tasks.
  4. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): FAQs address common inquiries and provide quick answers to frequently encountered issues, enabling users to find solutions independently.
  5. HR Documents: Important HR-related documents, such as employee handbooks, evaluation forms, and training templates, can be stored in the knowledge base, making them easily accessible to employees for reference and guidance.

By consolidating these resources in a knowledge base, your business can enhance productivity, ensure consistent information dissemination, and empower employees to access the information they need efficiently.

What are the Different Types of knowledge base 

Knowledge bases are strong resources for both a company's customers and employees. A knowledge base always seeks to help users find information or solutions without seeking other assistance, including customer support agents, forums like Quora, or even a colleague.

There are mainly two types of knowledge bases.—External knowledge base and Internal knowledge base. 

External knowledge base

An external knowledge base, often called a customer self-service library or customer service knowledge base, serves as a centralized hub where customers can find extensive information about a company's products, services, organization, and industry. 

The information lets customers sort out their concerns independently and effectively without external assistance.  

Internal knowledge base

 On the contrary, an internal knowledge base fosters employee collaboration and information sharing. 

This centralized information center functions like a knowledge-sharing tool, enabling team members to easily access vital resources and enhancing the efficiency of internal communications.

How can a knowledge base contribute to your business?

How can a knowledge base contribute to your business

​By serving as a centralized repository of information, a knowledge base empowers employees with quick access to critical resources and enhances productivity. 

A well-structured knowledge base can also effectively address customer inquiries leading to improved efficiency and customer success.

Improve Productivity

Imagine the time your employees spend going through their inboxes, disorganized repositories, and PDFs in search of specific information. 

Instead, if they have all the information they may require on a well-structured, searchable platform, they could find what they're looking for in minutes and can implement the same instantly.  

Provide Support to Team

A valuable knowledge base, acting like a user guide or training manual, can help your customers find answers to most questions independently. 

This reduces the load on your customer support team because they stop getting basic or generic queries, enabling them to focus on handling critical issues and tasks. 

This also improves customer satisfaction by giving them quick access to solutions.

Serves for Best Practices

The knowledge possessed by your employees can be crucial for the success and sustainability of your business, being the backbone of your operations. 

It's important to document that knowledge to avoid having a few people possess a sizable amount of the organization's expertise. Otherwise, you may have a crisis when those employees fall ill or depart.

Enhance Collaboration

 Building an internal knowledge base boosts collaboration and communication within an organization. It acts as a centralized information hub, enabling easy access and sharing among all employees. 

This prevents information silos and streamlines project collaboration by providing easy access to relevant information. 

A knowledge base also serves as a platform for employees to share their expertise, creating a culture of knowledge sharing.

Employee Training 

When a knowledge base contains all the information a new employee may require, a company does not have to conduct an extensive onboarding process and provide in-depth training to recruits. 

This saves a company time and costs. It allows employees to self-learn about company procedures, HR policies, software, or even background on products to perform effectively.

Enhance customer satisfaction

A well-structured external knowledge base for businesses can help their customers self-serve. If equipped with training manuals, customers can install or troubleshoot any issues they face with their product or service. 

Statistics show that 67% of people prefer self-service rather than contact customer support. 

It vastly enhances customer satisfaction if people can instantly find solutions and implement them without delay.

Employee Engagement

Most employees don't prefer long meetings and training sessions as they lose focus and miss critical information. A better solution is a knowledge base where information is readily available and can be referred to 24x7. 

They can access up-to-date information at their convenience, receive the latest updates and engage in productive discussions.

Improved decision making

When employees have 24x7 access to a well-structured knowledge base, they can have all the required knowledge to make an informed decision. 

The decision can include managing any operation, including handling a customer issue or request, handling a PR crisis, or utilizing a budget.

Knowledge preservation

An online knowledge-sharing tool preserves business knowledge by centralizing important information and making it easily accessible. 

This helps businesses capture and retain valuable knowledge that might be otherwise lost when employees leave or retire. 

This repository of information becomes a resource for future employees to reference, ensuring business continuity and preventing knowledge gaps.

Increased customer retention

One of the biggest challenges customer support agents face is creating a positive customer experience, especially when the customer is irate and frustrated. 

A knowledge base provides customers with information 24x7, so they can solve their issues without delay. 

This improves customer experience and betters customer retention.

How to create a knowledge base for your business?

How to create a knowledge base for your business

A knowledge base for your business must be created by centralizing information and resources stored in different sections of your organization. The knowledge base must also be easily accessible to your target audience. Here are a few tips on how to start the process. 

Knowledge base purpose identification

First, identify why you need a knowledge base. Is it for your customers or employees? If it is for customers, is it to keep them updated on the latest releases, products, and developments, provide tutorials so they can learn to use the product, or act as a troubleshooting guide? If it is for employees again, start with the information they require.

Identify the core Elements

Identify core elements you would require by analysing the specific needs of your target audience. A few elements that every knowledge base should include are a FAQ section, a search bar for customers to search for specific information, and a quick link to contact support if they need more assistance. 

Prepare a KB Structure

Create a well-thought-out structure to organize the content so users can easily navigate through articles. The structure can depend on the knowledge base's audience; for example, an internal knowledge base can be structured with categories like organizational knowledge, employee onboarding, Human Resources, Product, Design, Sales, etc.

Create content 

Once you have arrived at a structure, start listing the topics you want to cover and gathering information. One of the easiest ways to develop topic ideas is to check your customer support inbox for commonly asked questions. Collaborating with your customer support agents on subjects they want to be covered also helps.

Organize, Optimize, and Publish

When you have all the content prepared, you must organize them into categories. You need to assign each article to a specific category. If required, you can create subcategories to refine your navigation further. Optimize your content for search engine optimization, and then you are ready to publish.

Collect Feedback and Improve

Using a knowledge base software that enables user feedback is a good idea. Obtain input from clients or staff as well through questionnaires, conversations, etc. Use the feedback to identify knowledge gaps, simplify language to make it more understandable, and correct errors.

Keep up to date

Regularly review articles in your knowledge base to check for information that needs to be updated. Ensure the knowledge base always contains the latest release notes, findings, policies, and information your organization releases. Generate fresh content whenever required.

Wrapping up

In summary, a Knowledge Management system is no longer a luxury or an afterthought. It has become an essential requirement for large organizations in today's business landscape, where leveraging human and knowledge capital is key to success.

Implementing a knowledge base is essential for businesses looking to scale or pivot. 

It rapidly lets businesses grow in terms of people and customers by providing the knowledge they need in a single location. It also enhances collaboration while improving productivity and fostering a culture of continuous learning.

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Wednesday, 28 February 2024
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