Join over 76,342 people who already subscribed. Building a knowledge base works best when you document the solutions to common issues or situations. a top-notch user experience—this way, your employees will easily capture, share, and update information. Otherwise, nobody will be able to access the precise information they need in the moments they need it most. A sales rep, who is new on the job, reads the article and finds it useful. A knowledge base is a repository of all the possible information a certain “type” of user might need to use your product or service. Here’s a checklist to keep in mind when scoping out your technology plan: You’ll also want to consider the following features: Your technology should adapt to your needs and, most importantly, be sustainable from a UX, feasibility, and maintenance standpoint. Add visuals. How many deals did you close in Q2 of last year? Here are the steps you need to take to create your knowledge base from scratch. hbspt.cta.load(347412, 'ad1f493a-ed05-4206-b698-1b49a9770e0c', {}); Your online knowledge base must be updated with new information or your employees will not get sufficient value from it. The content inside your company knowledge base has to be searchable. Think of it like an internal help center where your employees can get the correct information they need, right when they need it. That’s why it’s important to encourage collaboration, listen to ideas, and keep your employees sharp with educational resources relevant to their jobs. Before launching your earliest version of your knowledge hub, make sure that your content categories and taxonomy are aligned with your long-term vision. This keeps your staff educated about different factions in your company and answers questions for your customers, immediately. Remember that a knowledge hub is a living, breathing thing. This way, employees can easily contribute to your intranet while keeping their work uniform. If you use your knowledge to provide excellent experiences for customers, it shows. The advantage of employing an effective knowledge base is clear and the results are a win for both customer and company. Sure, setting up a company knowledge base will take considerable time and effort, but by using the tips outlined above, you’re sure to realize the maximum ROI for all your upfront efforts. An alternate way to describe this step: Focus on two-way communication. You may be familiar with the term “minimum viable product.” This is a term that product and engineering teams use to describe early versions of a feature set or new release. You can also track member activity by using your analytics tool. But how do you build one? If you’re not sure where to invest your time and attention, try narrowing your attention to initiatives that will help you expedite more processes and solve customers’ pain points faster. Now it’s time for synthesis, analysis, and pattern detection. You’ll create an inviting community that supports personal growth for every member in your organization. Consider adding frequently asked questions, important issues and topics, and guides for different teams in your company. It delivers the highest return relative to risk. At this stage, many support teams will want to jump into “execution” mode and start launching new tech. At any given time, your team will have an unending to-do list with steps to take and initiatives to try. How to Build a Knowledge Base. But consider the following scenario: You’re a customer service manager at a popular rideshare service. That’s why content planning is so important. Knowledge content can range from short articles to multi-page documents to rich media galleries. Otherwise, what’s the point? When it comes to what you use for your online knowledge base, your intranet is the perfect solution—as long as it supports knowledge management. In Status, managing permissions is easily adding a specific set of people to the “Who can read” section of topics. A simple knowledge base design makes for easy navigation and quick answer finding—just what self-sufficient customers want. Here's the basic process of building a knowledge base: Decide on the core elements of your knowledge base. Take pride in the tools you provide your employees, and they will take pride in the work they create with your resources. At first glance, it may seem like you just need to create some articles and standardize some processes to answer some frequently asked questions (FAQs). To have a strong online knowledge base, you need to make sure your content is relevant and easy to find. Do you need to introduce new ones in the future? Write the knowledge base articles. Caring about your online knowledge base is caring about the internal growth of your company. It’s amazing what you can do when you organize your information so that people can find what they’re looking for. So, now that you know about the common types of knowledge bases, the next step is to decide which one to create. As employees interact with your knowledge base, they can continuously review information and add feedback by using social features. This increases efficiency and productivity because employees can find what they need, no matter where they are. What were the results of your customer happiness survey? With intranet software, you have a host of intuitive search indexes, collaboration tools, and you also encourage a more focused staff by storing internal information in the same place where employees get stuff done. What’s the point of creating a knowledge base if you’re not empowering your customers? Legal Knowledge Base: What about contract approvals, policies, or trademarks? Every step you’ve taken has led you to this point. Select which topics to include. There are dozens of tools to help you build a knowledge base on your site—you'll find a documentation tool in most of the best customer support apps, where you can write in rich-text, HTML, or Markdown and easily publish your documentation online. Here are some data points you can leverage to figure out what you should tackle: The bottom line is that you should focus on your biggest support pain points and bottlenecks. They’re also sometimes known as wikis – you can think of them as a Wikipedia just for your company. What parts of your company’s knowledge base are customers engaging with most? Knowledge bases have many moving parts and require different nuances to succeed. Knowledge management (KM) is now one of the key processes in ITIL®, and the payoff of an effective KM process is huge. As the name implies, a knowledge base is a great place to store, manage, and share knowledge across your company. Here's how to build an effective knowledge management system: 1. If you don’t continuously evolve as a company, you’ll likely fall behind. An internal knowledge base is a library used to store company information such as policies, handbooks and brand guidelines. Another idea: Have premade templates handy when employees create their own content. Unfortunately, a lot of companies don’t invest in online help center software or their knowledge base. A well-organized knowledge base will save your organization money by reducing the time spent trying to find information. Tettra is a powerful internal knowledge base, wiki and expert system. Therefore, it’s important to check in throughout the year. When you incorporate your logo or company colors, your content becomes more engaging. Urge your staff to fill out their employee profiles completely. You might be wondering... A knowledge base is a company’s repository where all internal information is organized. Build a Knowledge Base• Create a navigational structure - Although it may change with use, create a menu for navigation at the outset to make it easy for your team to start finding their way around.• Seed your wiki - No one wants to be the first to contribute … But don’t worry, we’ll discuss more about cultivating strong employee engagement best practices with your knowledge base in #8. HR Knowledge Base: Can you provide a portal for employees to find out about benefits, vacation days, or HR policies? To make this happen, you need to rely on data—systems that you build early on in your technical infrastructure. Especially if you’re launching a knowledge base for the first time, you’re likely tracking many moving parts: Rather than trying to build a rocket ship to the moon, you’ll want to take baby steps. To the best extent possible, you’ll want to define the following: To better organize your content and make it more accessible on your website. Implement a system of analytics, so you understand how people are using your content. It helps employees access important information to address customer service issues, resolve problems, and gain insight for workforce collaboration. communications with colleagues, company announcements, and answers to questions.) The first step to a well-designed knowledge base is simplicity. Other teams, like your legal department, might require documents that are more detailed.It’s not enough to throw a bunch of documents into your company knowledge base. A well-executed knowledge base will improve employee productivity and thus, business output, by decreasing the time spent trying to find information. In fact, customization is one of the top knowledge management trends this year. Build a knowledge base that continues to grow and evolve with your company. If you are searching for a way to get a “deer in the headlights” moment from a millennial, you could do worse than call their smartphone. Choose metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track over time. hbspt.cta.load(347412, 'add45ade-35bb-4c79-9cbb-88a2cc1efba7', {}); Tim is president and co-founder of Axero Solutions, a leading intranet software vendor. By identifying your customers’ needs, you’ll start to develop a basic information architecture and taxonomy structure for your knowledge hub. You also need an expert programmer to create pattern recognition algorithms to emulate a true, human-like experience. As a result, you’ll build a high-performing knowledge base that continues to evolve with your company. Do you have spreadsheets of marketing material for your sales team? Most of all, a knowledge base should build upon itself to coalesce into an … As with product development, the best ideas come from multiple perspectives. Know what tradeoffs you should be making early on. Rather than letting your software choose you (and selecting the easiest option), you can develop the technology that’s right for your business, use case, and customers. For one, you’ll ramp up efficiencies: With decreased reliance on phone-based customer support, you’ll save valuable company resources and people-hours. They can even collaborate on the same document, together. The answer is simple: Focus on impact. Did you have any new project releases? Mastering Employee Engagement, Explore the Newest Communifire 8.0, Customize Intranet Navigation, and Streamline Your To-Do List, Announcing Communifire 8.0: Better Ways to Find Your Way, Latest Intranet Product Updates and Tips to Improve Employee Engagement and Customer Support, Announcing New Intranet Timeout Update to Increase Security and Overview of Extranet Features, Okta Intranet Integration, Streamline Customer Support, Manage Work-Life Balance, and 30 New Updates, Intranet Active Directory Update, New Remote Work Resource Center, Optimize Your Content, Got Annoying Coworkers? Let’s say one of your sales reps created an article about handling difficult situations with potential customers. Capture and reuse knowledge. (I.E. Do your team members face similar issues in their departments? This knowledge-centered approach is designed to help your departments work more efficiently. In some instances, the information you need is already created and you only have to pull the necessary information together. When creating a new knowledge base entry, customer service agents should first search the knowledge base to see if an article with a similar topic currently exists. Strong knowledge base software allows your company to take knowledge-centered approaches in every aspect of your business, such as customer support, employee training, and employee onboarding. The biggest challenge for most new nonprofits is to develop and maintain reliable income streams. Understand what content receives the most views and engagement. The key to creating a simple knowledge base that empowers customers? Just like that, your employees are engaging, learning, and growing, together. To make your company knowledge base a true resource for your people, your content should be easy to digest. Early in the process, you need to decide between homegrown and third-party technology—a solution you build and maintain on your own versus one that you can start using out of the box. FAQs that phone reps are unnecessarily fielding, Security and compliance considerations from your IT and legal teams, Ability to share, analyze, and export data, Ability to integrate systems and connect platforms, Decrease in internet support requests that escalate into phone calls. Mastering Employee Engagement. Imagine your own personal frustrations in reading unhelpful articles, having roundabout conversations with automated or outsourced live chat representatives, or fumbling around trying to get a quick piece of information. Your customer support reps can find similar cases they’re working on, new employees can find training guides, and your sales team can find email templates to handle sensitive deals. No one has the experience and insight that you do. To resolve most issues, you route customers through an automated system with answers to common questions. Strong knowledge base software allows your company to take knowledge-centered approaches in every aspect of your business, such as customer … The information you provide your employees needs to be easy to read and support their specific needs. This can be in the form of a FAQ page, cases, or wikis. A robust employee directory will create connections—a powerful way to exchange knowledge in your organization. Your online knowledge base streamlines external communications with potential leads, current customers, and visitors on your public website, because information is readily available for everyone. Follow These Three Rules, 3 Day Intranet Lightning Launch, Employee Recognition Tour, and 9 Ways to Make an Announcement. Done right, a knowledge base can do wonders for your business. Yes, I'd Like to Learn More About Communifire, 10251 Vista Sorrento Pkwy, Suite 280, San Diego, CA 92121, 855.AXERO.55 (Open Monday to Friday 09h00 - 17h00 Pacific Time). Care about the methodologies and practices you use to capture, structure, use, and reuse knowledge—your employees will thank you. 1. The good news is you’ve already conducted the bulk of your work in the first step. To maintain an effective company knowledge base, you need to treat it like a growing, living system that needs to evolve over time. Hooray! Go through your content with a fine-tooth comb. You'll also simplify many other processes that require information sharing by using online collaboration tools. In other words, you’ll want to set up systems that can grow with your business over the long term. If so, provide that insight and experience in your online knowledge base. Forethought and planning. Get free expert advice and tips on how to make your organization a better place to work. We recommend talking to your employees—they are the ones who understand, firsthand, what’s working and what could use tweaking. How are internal site search patterns changing over time? Be certain you’ve found your best fit before deploying your plan in full. Think of a knowledge base as your company’s personal Google—everything pertinent to daily operations is searchable and always accessible. A company knowledge base can be a great tool for preventing knowledge loss, to the benefit of both existing and future employees. Done wrong, however, a knowledge base can wreak havoc on your business. Chris Kaday suggests ten ways to help spread the word about your knowledge-based business . Think about who the content is for and what the purpose is. Allow users to leave feedback and ratings. The bottom line: You’ll want to ensure you’re focused on the right customer questions and pain points (what’s the point of a knowledge base that focuses on the wrong topic areas?). nothing more than finding the best way to record the knowledge so it could be easily reused on demand to teach someone to do something You need a strong writer to make sure your copy is powerful and empathetic. Encourage employees to be part of your knowledge base. For instance, if you’re creating a document about common customer support questions, you might want to formulate your information as a Q&A. Here are 12 essential tips to create the best online knowledge base for your company. That’s why a strong company knowledge base can improve every aspect of your business. Content hubs are deceptively complex to create. Identifying the Knowledge Base Type Your knowledge base software can be either internal or external or both. This customer received an automated “support” message with answers to frequently asked questions. Here are 12 essential tips to create the best online knowledge base for your company. See what is truly possible with Communifire's modern, flexible intranet solution. Build a knowledge base that continues to grow and evolve with your company. Building a knowledge base is an instrumental process for any organization, no matter the size. Forming a new nonprofit might be the most complicated way to act on your passion to serve your community. You could create a condensed, detailed knowledge base for your external audience, while simultaneously building an internal knowledge base with technical and onboarding details for your customer support team members. Knowledge bases also make it easier to find information, because each article or document can be tagged according to a particular category or categories making search a cinch. Collect, or create, copies of the information necessary to build your knowledge base. As your company’s knowledge base grows, you’ll need to make sure that you have the right technical infrastructure in place. Tim’s been featured in Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, CNBC, Today, and other leading publications. When you did your research, you kickstarted the beginning stages of a landscape assessment. A streamlined navigation will take your user experience to the next level. It helps your employees do their jobs well, stay informed about your company’s progress, and reduces bottlenecks. After all, they are the ones who will be using it. Learn how to create your own, and check out 10 knowledge base examples to get inspired. However, if it is necessary to create articles for your knowledge base, keep in … When your customers have questions, they can easily access your knowledge base and get the answers they need without having to reach out to or wait for your support team. According to a Nielson survey, 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them. These processes often involve automated email alerts. Collect All Appropriate Data. A customer emails your company, saying that he or she has been injured by one of your drivers. You might be picturing documents, the employee handbook, reports, spreadsheets, and notes. How do you keep everything in control? Building a great knowledge base is not a quick or easy process. Another salesperson, who’s been working for your company for a decade, noticed two pivotal situations were missing and the team needs to know about it. Build your knowledge base MVP as an internal solution. It’s after hours, and you want to reduce the number of employees you have working late. Your intranet is the perfect home for your company knowledge base because it simplifies how your employees do their jobs. Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? First, the customer has to actually be able to find answers to their questions. Examine how your customers are using your company’s knowledge base. Examples include: By focusing on a few important variables, your support team can better assess the impact of your company’s investments. She gives the article a like. ... tutorials, FAQs, and other knowledge base resources to help aid customers. You’ll also keep your user base happier since your customers can seek the answers they need at any time of the day, at a moment’s notice. Make sure that your content categories are well-defined at the time of launch. When information is readily available and employees are encouraged to contribute to this growing body of knowledge, your staff is empowered to take pride in their role. He's also a bestselling author of Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? That’s why you want your knowledge base filled with relevant information and resources that are created with your employees in mind. An internal company knowledge base — or an internal KB — is an employee knowledge base created by a company strictly for internal use. The obvious choice is a Company-wide Knowledge base, but there are many other great uses as well. Test a part of your plan on each platform you’re considering. It needs to have new insight and data whenever there is new information available. A knowledge base requires rigorous structure and planning. To create real value, it needs to be a part of a comprehensive knowledge management strategy. One less platform for your people to shuffle through means more saved time. If no article is found, then a new article should be created. Or, you could host your own documentation, using a WordPress blog or even a plain website. If you’re truly gridlocked with your decision, consider using a few different trials. It must answer common questions efficiently to save customers time and confusion. Make no mistake about it: a recognizable and loved brand is one of the most valuable assets a company owns. Take a moment and imagine what your company knowledge base looks like. Encourage your employees from different teams to create blogs and articles for marketing purposes. Enable your people to comment, like, and share content to team members or other departments. Look for ways to improve. Help departments work beautifully - no matter where they are - with an intranet that does more than just store old HR docs. There are more and more individuals trying to convert their knowledge, skill and experience into a serious business than ever before. Make sure that all of these vantage points are present in your initial research, design, and planning process. Centralize what your departments need and watch customer satisfaction and retention improve, profits grow, and happier employees take ownership in their roles. From top to bottom, a knowledge base should be educational, motivational, and organized. Remember that a knowledge hub is a living, breathing thing. It’s much more work than throwing together a few “help” articles and picking the right subdomain. Focus on building out the knowledge base that tackles the needs of the greatest number of people. If there are errors, anyone—or a select few—can update the content or bring it to the attention of a higher-up. Use personal activity streams so others can see who’s working on what and can ask questions. This approach keeps your knowledge base at its best, while inviting your employees to work as a community and take part in your company’s overall growth. 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