Choose a dedicated knowledge solution
Knowledge shouldn’t be an appendix to another system such as a call center solution, a chatbot, an intranet or a shared drive.
Many customer service technologies use a standard knowledge component based on the product Confluence. Confluence started as a collaboration tool in the era of the Jira IT service desk, and thus is not built from best practice knowledge management. Unfortunately, these tools are marketed as genuine knowledge bases, despite knowledge merely being an add-on to support another product such as a service portal or a ticket motor. As experts in knowledge management, we are often confronted with this misrepresentation and often end up helping clients fix or replace practices and tools as a result.
Based on our vast experience, we urge you to consider the most critical points presented below, when deciding between a knowledge base as appendix or a dedicated knowledge solution.
To cover all relevant departments and brands within a knowledge base is key to ensure uncomplicated maintenance and distribution of knowledge, be it from customer service to specialist knowledge. A real knowledge base allows a flexible structuring and access differentiation in both knowledge bases, portals, categories, and at section level which enables maintenance of content for multiple channels from a single article. This also increases ease of use for editors and agents in building and navigating knowledge. This flexible structuring is often not an option in simple knowledge components.
Statistics to keep track of your knowledge and use of knowledge is essential to keep the knowledge management cycle going. This can be statistics at article level, e.g. how many people have read an article in a given period, as well as statistics on zero searches. This is a feature that is only found in its full functionality in real knowledge solutions.
The ability to provide and receive feedback from all channels at the article and section level is another crucial part of the knowledge management cycle. Along with statistics, feedback enables the knowledge manager to know if their knowledge is relevant both externally and internally. Again, this is standard functionality in a real knowledge solution.
Versioning and complete audit trails is inherent to any genuine knowledge solution. All changes and versions of articles are saved in a single version history, where direct comparisons can be made and versions can be recreated to achieve proper traceability, best practice knowledge management and to meet internal and legal requirements. Simple add-on knowledge components does not offer proper versioning or tools for maintaining knowledge via reminders or notifications, which in a digital flow can notify the editor when a given article needs to be updated. Again, this is an inherent functionality of a dedicated knowledge solution.
Plug-ins / open APIs for easy integration with other solutions - first and foremost, contact center platforms, chat, chatbots, email solutions and not least websites. Such integrations should not be costly development projects. Rather, it must be able to be set up painlessly in less than a week. A dedicated knowledge solution is built for this, which results in independence of IT departments and expensive consultants.
See our list of recommended basic functionality of your new knowledge management solution.