An average employee spends around 20% of their work time simply searching for relevant information needed to complete a task. More often than not, the same kind of information is needed, used, and reused by a business on a daily basis.
Such information can be stored in a knowledge base.
But, what is a knowledge base?
A knowledge base software is a platform that stores a company’s internal information in an organized manner. It can help in significantly improving your business’ performance.
A knowledge base contains information such as customer data, employee records, product details, and market reports. Such information is vital to the operation of an organization and needed by your employees and customers on a daily basis.
Top knowledge base software keeps your information stored on a single, accessible platform, enabling you to work more efficiently as well as serving your customers better. This allows you to focus your attention on the more important aspects of your job when you work within an organized structure.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of having knowledge base software for your business:
One of the most prominent benefits of preparing a knowledge base for your business is the ease of operations that comes with it. It may also be the most apparent reason you may want to organize one in the first place. Your employees may be losing precious work time and productivity to search for the most basic information.
Think of your knowledge base as a library. If all the books are lying around haphazardly, they would practically be of no use to anyone. Despite containing valuable knowledge, you have to first spend considerable time to find the ones you need. Only then can they be of help.
When those same books are organized according to certain criteria, such as genres and ages of the readers, they become immediately accessible. You simply go over to the section you need to access and look for the book you want. Thus, organization helps you gain needed information quickly, saving you valuable time.
Having everything organized in a single space helps you find information easily. Moreover, the information obtained is relevant and you don’t have to spend time skimming through all of the information.
Dropbox is a great example of a well-managed knowledge base. It follows the “less is more” approach and prioritizes the most frequently searched queries to help users quicker.
Having all the data about your products and services in one place also helps customers. They can navigate through it themselves to find solutions for issues without needing a company representative’s assistance at every turn.
If a customer calls in for support, the customer support executive will know exactly where to look for information to help the customer. Thus, solving their problem more efficiently.
Emails have long been the go-to mode of communication in offices. At times, information gets buried under the chain of emails, especially when a large number of recipients are involved.
With a knowledge base, you can easily share data with a large number of people without the need to exchange long emails. Alternatively, it also helps you better manage your emails..
In the event of an employee leaving your company or the company itself ending its operations for any reason, you can always preserve all the valuable information about the company’s operations directly in your knowledge base.
It will be stored in the knowledge base for any future use or reference. You can always revisit the archive when you need help in your future endeavors.
Having a searchable record of company-related information can reduce the time an employee spends looking by 35%. Having an organized setup is paramount to a company’s performance.
Employees no longer have to struggle to find what they need. Introverted people, especially, find it difficult to ask others for help with issues. They may feel shy or as though they are annoying others.
This knowledge-centered approach is built to help an office work more efficiently. With all the required information at their fingertips, workers don’t have to ask for help. They can simply work on their own.
Collaboration, on the other hand, is also made easier with a knowledge base. Teams can collaborate on a project without the need to repeat the same information to every team member or in every new meeting. Team members can go through the base for relevant data either before the meeting as preparation or after it to help with the assigned task.
A smooth flow of information ensures increased productivity and efficiency of operations. Your business will be running like well-oiled machinery where everyone understands their respective role. Employees can work to their fullest potential when they don’t have to bother with trivial tasks like finding basic things.
Human beings prefer self-help over interaction with other humans. Customers don’t really want to call into customer service over issues they face with their products, especially trivial ones.
By having a knowledge base, you help them do just that. You answer their questions before they even have had the chance to ask, so to speak. But more importantly, you give them an outlet to get the most out of your product or service.
For example, Lyft has created a knowledge base that customizes itself to the type of user operating it, helping them find solutions remarkably fast.
In the event your customer asks for your help, the customer service executive would know exactly where to look for information to help the customer the quickest..
Ultimately, it leads to a more satisfying customer experience. By solving your customer’s problems in a proactive manner with a hands-on approach, you deliver consistent customer support. You’ll create more and more happy customers.
As you continue to provide stellar service to your customers, you continue to build a roster of satisfied clients. Customer retention is relatively easier and more cost-effective than having to acquire a new customer. In fact, acquiring a new customer costs around five to 25 times more than retaining an existing one.
A well-functioning knowledge base software helps you retain valuable customers. These customers will want to come back to you again and again after an excellent experience. They are also more likely to make bigger and more frequent purchases from you.
This also increases your brand loyalty exponentially. Happy and satisfied customers are more likely to recommend your products to their friends and family, driving more traffic your way.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the backbone of the marketing for any business. Building a searchable knowledge base helps your customers find solutions to their problems quickly. Optimizing the knowledge base for SEO speeds up the process even further.
They would not have to go to any other websites when the answer to their query comes directly from your own website. They would instantly know it is from the product’s own brand and thus, a trustworthy source.
For example, take a look at the knowledge base of any email marketing service provider, such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, or Sendinblue. These providers have built an extensive knowledge base to educate their customers. It also helps them rank better on Google.
Thus, it is in your best interest to optimize your knowledge base for SEO purposes as it will help your website rank higher on Google and generate organic traffic your way.
With the rise of work-from-home settings in the past year, it is not a stretch to assume that it will continue in the future, even if partially. Your integrated knowledge base greatly facilitates the work-from-home setting.
Employees can easily access work documents and files from their homes. Any and all information can be shared with them at any hour of the day. This frees them of the limitation of the 9-to-5 workday.
Cultivating a smooth work-from-home environment also allows you to hire better. You can now hire people who are fit for the job regardless of where they live. You can hire someone in another city, state, or even continent so long as they are qualified and a good fit for your company.
Though you should be careful to not provide access to your internal knowledge base to anyone outside of your company. You wouldn’t want any unauthorized person accessing sensitive business information other than your employees.
Onboarding new employees has proven to be especially hard during the pandemic. Introducing a new employee to your company’s culture, their job responsibilities, and their colleagues without it making them feel overwhelmed is a challenge in itself. Doing it mostly online poses an even bigger one.
Having a knowledge base eases that process for both you and your new hire. It helps them stay calm on the day of starting a new job when they know they have a wealth of information to help them with their tasks.
Create a virtual onboarding program that takes the employee through the necessary learning needed to start and succeed at their job. They can always come back to it whenever they need to. This gives them the option to consume it at their pace.
You can also extend this approach to onboarding new clients as well. Provide them with relevant information from the knowledge base to help them have a better understanding of your business.
This information is already structured and well-managed and saves you the time of repeating the same details to every client. It is also a reflection of your efficient management and professionalism.
You can extend a similar process of employee onboarding to employee training as well. In the pandemic, virtual training is the way to go. However, conducting training through Skype, TeamViewer, or any other office collaboration tool such as Cliq can be cumbersome and time-consuming with less than desired results at the end.
Make use of the knowledge base to help you with employee training. You can add videos, pictures, tutorials, and assignments to help your employees get top-notch training to grow and refine their skills.
Canva, for example, has structured its knowledge base according to the skills and expertise of the users. This approach gives employees the option to go through the study material at their own pace without feeling overwhelmed.
One of the more peculiar benefits of opting for a knowledge base software is the usage of data insights that come with it. You get insights such as what information is being searched the most, how much your employees engage with it, what information is redundant, etc.
This is to say that you shouldn’t stop at simply adding information into your base. Maintaining a knowledge base should be a continuous process where you and your employees keep building everyday.
You can always get rid of the redundant information but encouraging your team to contribute is important for the growth of your community. Promote content creation and collaboration from your employees’ end.
It keeps their skills polished and keeps them up-to-date with the trends of their industry. Putting out content sparks discussion within their team and helps their peers gain some insight as well.
Fitbit is one example of a knowledge base that encourages as much community interaction as possible. It encourages customers to come forward and share their minds, in turn receiving valuable insight on bettering its products.
Such an approach opens countless possibilities for the future. You may find hidden talents within your employees. You may find better ways to put someone’s skills to use. More importantly, when you put out authentic content with consistency, you strive to become a thought leader in your niche.
Becoming an authority figure in your industry comes with the potential of boosting sales in the long run. People look to you for guidance and are likely to trust your advice.
Many businesses are opting for knowledge base software today. Having these software improves your business in more ways than one, boosting overall productivity in the long run.
If you’re considering building an internal knowledge base, we recommend doing it through a software that will help you keep everything backed up as well as navigate through it easily.
Let us know in the comments section below how your business benefited from a knowledge base software.
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