Knowledge management defined

Knowledge management is creating, sharing, using, and managing an organization’s information. It’s a multidisciplinary approach to achieve organizational objectives by providing access to the right knowledge to everyone.

Knowledge management is how a business creates, curates, distributes, uses, and manages knowledge and information—making it accessible to all.

 

What is a knowledgebase?

A knowledgebase is a repository where all information (or knowledge) can be stored, organized, and shared with customers, employees, and even partners. The purpose of a knowledgebase is to serve as a single source of truth. In short, it makes it easier for people to find solutions to their problems, answers to their questions, or to get clarification.

What is a knowledge article?

Knowledge articles are digital documents that make up a knowledgebase. Articles aren't just standard documents; they can be landing page text, videos, images, infographics, or even animations or online interviews. They can be frequently asked questions (FAQs), explanations on how something is done (such as a how-to guide or manual), or troubleshooting steps/guides.

How to create a knowledge article

There are a few key points to consider when developing and writing knowledge articles. First, as an author you should not assume anything about what the reader knows or doesn’t know. Nothing is too obvious to not include in a knowledge article. Lengthy articles should have anchor links, which are links on a page that brings the user to a specific place on that page.

Knowledge articles should be easy to skim and easy to read, using a conversational tone and everyday language to describe the feature, issue, or solution. Titles should be simple and to the point, especially if the article is for customers. Avoid industry jargon and technical terms. Organize all knowledge articles logically. Use links (between pieces) strategically to meet the goal of delivering brief, easy-to-read content that provides complete and comprehensive answers.

Use images to save your readers' time, ensure a better reading experience, and provide clarity. Tables and screenshots can go a long way to explain nuances without making an article too long and difficult to comprehend.

What is a knowledge management system?

How customer service agents can best use knowledge management when responding to a service request.

A knowledge management system stores and retrieves knowledge to improve the reader’s understanding, enhance employee collaboration, and improve the customer experience (CX) .

Knowledge management systems and software are commonly used by customer service employees, such as contact center agents and field service technicians. However, they can also be used directly by customers through various self-service digital customer service platforms including websites, chatbots, digital assistants, and phone apps.

How to use a knowledge management system

1

Create a single platform and deliver relevant answers consistently across all touchpoints.

The delivery of consistent answers across all channels requires a knowledge management platform that supports both customers and contact center agents in a single platform. The use of the term “platform” is important. You might have multiple repositories, but articles should be delivered in a single view. Providing relevant answers goes beyond having a curated knowledgebase. Knowledge comes in many forms—customer community posts, manuals, technical documents, customer forums, and social sites—to name a few. Successful customer experience requires that your knowledge management content must be available to your prospects when they need it—at every touchpoint in the customer journey.

2

Optimize content with the right knowledge, at the right time

Content optimization is critical. Start by thinking about your content in the context of the targeted audience and write in the voice of the customer. Use your customers' language, not company jargon. Online articles (and other information) should be segmented by customer and then tailored to those segments to enhance self-service and improve search results. Think about using a knowledge search platform that captures learnings based on content interactions with relevant/nonrelevant content to simplify search queries and provide future customers with the best possible answers.

3

Deliver the right knowledge to the right audience in the right channel

Extend your knowledge to where your customers are. Customers move between channels. Specific segments may visit your website through their mobile devices. Or they may ask their voice assistant/digital assistant, query a chatbot, or hop onto their laptop. Provide the means to access knowledge articles through all possible channels.

4

Empower customers and contact center agents

Leverage your customers’ and agents’ collective product knowledge to provide substantial benefits. Providing agents with pinpointed, accurate data/information does more than give them answers to customers’ questions; it allows them to become experts. Empower your agents to become part of the creation process by tapping into their product and industry knowledge for new ideas on how to communicate and connect with customers.

Provide the capabilities for customers to discuss, rate, and subscribe to answers within your knowledgebase. Let them provide feedback and rate knowledge articles to improve article quality and better understand value or gaps in the content. But don’t stop there. Help customers become knowledge authors/contributors through customer communities.

5

Continuously monitor the quality of your knowledge

Use analytics and reporting to understand which articles have the highest and lowest deflection rates, which answers are used most frequently, or even which answers aren’t getting viewed at all. Eliminating unused or ineffective answers help users find the right information faster. Identify knowledge gaps by assessing usage and success rates and looking at customer and agent searches to see which search queries aren’t yielding results.

Once content gaps have been identified, prioritize efforts to fill the gaps. Since it’s unlikely your knowledgebase will ever be completely free of content gaps, you’ll want to continually focus on addressing the highest priority gaps. Once an answer is found, the quality of the content is critical to both customers' and agents' success.