3 blueprints for a successful company knowledge base

by Robin Singh

Knowledge base software is without any doubt a very powerful solution that offers an entire palette of benefits for businesses. Some of them are: enhanced customer support, cut down expenses, increased productivity and profits. But, the question that remains is how to implement this tool in a proper way, to be able to reap those benefits.

There are more than several ways to use knowledge base software. You can, for instance, use it for purely internal organizational purposes. In order to unlock its fullest potential, you have to make it external and available through your official web portal. Here are 3 knowledge base blueprints used by some of the major players.

On-Boarding New Customers and Users

Knowledge management tools can be used to build a very efficient self-service help center. Besides functionality, some of the tools offered by vendors on the market allow deep customization options. This way, companies have the opportunity to maintain branding strategy consistency.

Over time, the company can improve their services and products in order to make them more functional for customers. Adding new features can make using these products or services more complicated. This complexity can be an obstacle some people won’t be able to overcome.

This is when a self-service help center powered by knowledge base software can be a valuable asset. Let’s take a closer look at Asana, for instance. Their project management tool has become very complex during the past years no matter how intuitive their design is. But they have come up with a brilliant solution. First they divided their services into several distinctive packages and then published the most comprehensive help documentation free for all.

Asana’s team has built a knowledge base and published it on their official website. It has a search bar where users can look for specific information that interests them. The design of their help center is immaculate. Right there on the home page, they offer three distinct categories designed for users with different levels of experience, which proved to be very beneficial for prospects who are on the lookout for this type of software. Providing extensive help documentation right on the start, when people didn’t spend a single dime yet, clearly shows that the company is ready to provide customer support on a professional level.

Video Tutorials for Complicated Tasks

Knowledge base software has become very popular because it supports more than just plain text sharing. New knowledge management tools allow sharing images, such as infographics, that can provide more information to customers in need. Companies can also use KB software to upload videos, e-books, and FAQs to their self-service help center, which is incredibly important when some of the settings are complicated and require some technical background.

For this purpose, we have chosen Yoast as an example. Yoast is an online business that sells the most popular and a must-have WordPress plugin. It is used to optimize a website built in WordPress for search engines. Recently, they have extended the functionality of their plugin. Now, users can use the snippet editor, access real-time page analysis, optimize content, images, meta descriptions, and XML sitemaps.

Because it has become more challenging to use all the features of their plugin, especially in the premium, paid version, they have added a new feature to the Yoast SEO version 3.2 – a self-service help center. In the latest version, 3.3 released very recently, they added knowledge base search to their help center.

The feedback from the WordPress community was incredibly positive to this move by Yoast. As an effect, the company recorded increased sales of the premium version of their plugin. The real-world circumstances once again proved the value KB software has for online businesses. And, Yoast has managed to time the implementation perfectly, if we might add.

Internal Knowledge Sharing

Internal Knowledge base software can be used to store and share the best practices, experiences, and knowledge of employees and the company as a whole. Knowledge management tools have a positive effect on learning and growth, financial results, internal business processes and customer support.

Sharing interdepartmental knowledge proved to be especially useful when companies were involved in developing new products and/or services requiring from sales, marketing, and customer support departments to stay updated with the latest improvements and innovations. Being a mobile friendly solution, KB software proved to be of great use for large organizations who are basing their market success on field work. Access to relevant information in crucial moments when deals are about to be struck proved to be a necessity.

The most comprehensive study done in the field of the benefits of knowledge management for business has proved that internal knowledge sharing has several benefits with a high and positive impact on the organization as a whole.

The most affected categories in KB management are business process improvements and employee performance. Financial results and innovation are also affected but not as significantly as the previous two. In the category of business processes, KB management tools had the most effects on business process acceleration, redundancies, and re-use of internal knowledge.

Employees who had access to knowledge base tools in their organizations report that they have experienced increased motivation, better competence development, shorter onboarding time when they were hired, and improved teamwork.

As you can see, knowledge base software is a very versatile tool. It can be implemented for various purposes depending on the organization’s strategy and goals. From the examples mentioned above, we can see that the self-service help center can improve customer support overall. But, we can also safely conclude that knowledge management as an internal solution bears a lot of benefits with it.     

 Robin is a Technical Support Executive. He is an expert in knowledge management and various Knowledge base tools. Currently, he is a resident knowledge management expert at ProProfs. In his free time, Robin enjoys reading and traveling.