What is a knowledge base?
A KB, which is a type of Knowledge Management (KM) solution, is usually web-based and serves an important self-service function. It promotes the collection, organization, and retrieval of knowledge, which is commonly organized by subject-problem-solution around a specific topic or product. KB content can be accessed by internal users, customers, or a mix of both depending on how KB permissions are set up.
A KB can be a standalone repository, but is usually integrated into software such as a Knowledge Management System (KMS), Content Management System (CMS), or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
Why you need a knowledge base
The benefits of a KB apply to both the company and users:
- Have one version of the truth, instead of possibly dated or conflicting versions of information in different silos.
- Increase productivity and efficiency by providing a tool that allows people (individual, groups, teams) to access information quickly.
- Reduce support costs by capturing knowledge and best practices for use by agents and customers.
- Increase customer satisfaction because most users prefer to have a self-service option to solve their own problems.
- Capture data to inform priorities and product improvements that will impact the most users.
Knowledge base functionality
A complete KB system includes a few essential components:
- Authoring capability to create KB articles, including workflow functionality
- Meta data options to tag and organize KB articles
- Search and browse functions to find the published content
- Measurement or analytics tools, including both qualitative (content feedback) and quantitative (ratings, usage stats) data