A Knowledge Management System (KMS) is a software system that gathers, stores, and shares all of the valuable information that a company has created in their everyday operations. It includes a FAQ section, step-by-step guides, tutorial videos, and etc. KMSs range from training/educational systems to online repositories with collaboration features. The field of corporate training frequently adopts knowledge management systems to automate employee onboarding, learning, and training. Through a KMS, companies would gain various benefits, as they can utilize knowledge bases using different formats, including text, audio, video, photos, presentations, and etc.
What is a Knowledge Base?
A Knowledge Base is a collection of stored and organized information on a firm’s products and services. It is written in such a way that enables employees and customers to find what they need in the quickest and most efficient manner. This collection is designed to answer questions and provide a simple and effective way of finding the exact information. The content is structured so that users can easily access and learn from the database. In a knowledge base, you can include sections such as FAQs, step-by-step instructions, and troubleshooting tips. Usually, knowledge bases contain a mix of text, charts, videos, and other materials that enable users to find the solution they need.
Knowledge bases are often used by customer service teams, (e.g. the TELUS platform), to guide the customer smoothly through the troubleshooting process. A knowledge base provides the customer with basic explanatory steps and diagnoses so that your support staff is released from resolving the same issues again and again.
Types of Knowledge Bases
The general understanding is that there exists two types of knowledge bases: One for internal usages (employees), and the other facing the front end towards clients (customer support).
- An Internal Knowledge Base: An internal knowledge base is intended exclusively for employees. It helps staff members in perfecting their understanding of various corporate tasks and reduces the possibility of bottlenecks. For instance, if a worker wants to speed up the way she does her daily work routine, an internal knowledge base can assist by locating the exact information in detail that directly addresses this concern over work efficiency. An internal knowledge base also includes a diverse pool of useful information for various departments within a company, i.e. onboarding materials for new members, company policies for interns, coding rules for developers, and branding references for graphic designers. All info that should be shared internally among employees, no matter their department, can be put into the internal knowledge base – with proper access privileges. To conclude, an internal knowledge base accelerates the healthy circulation of information amongst company workers; the proper adoption of such a system helps break down the many unnecessary interdepartmental barriers that frequently occur in large corporations.
- An External Knowledge Base: An external knowledge base is the public-facing aspect of the KMS. Generally, it serves the company's existing customers in need for solutions as well as potential partners seeking for more information on the product. An external base can encompass all sorts of information, and they usually vary from introductory guidelines and troubleshooting steps to explanation for further customization/configuration and other instructional videos. All this information reduces customer concerns, answers the questions in mind, provides new inspirations, and alleviates front end pressure during peak hours.
Why Is KMS Important For Your Company & Employees?
It has been proven that your company will instantly resolve 50% of most customer concerns by simply having a knowledge base in place. As a result of the KMS nurturing more informed customers, you - as a product manager - would spend much less time over customer services and more on both the products and branding. We have summarized four key facts below to show you the power of an external LMS.
- Automating Employee Training and Onboarding: Usually, companies don’t expect fresh employees to start working immediately without some forms of training. Having a centralized knowledge base can speed up this tedious and exhausting onboarding process by providing incoming staff with a set of welcoming and training materials; these materials could simply be preliminary guides or in-depth videos explaining the many necessary routines and bylaws within the firm. Moreover, the adoption of a KMS means that your employees can now access the information they need securely from any location. Bearing in mind the COVIDpandemic, managers now understand that providing employees with knowledge-sharing resources can greatly benefit workers in either a remote or hybrid work environment, thus eliminating unwanted disruptions.
- Improved Organizational Processes: KMS reduces bureaucracies within your company. Different departments within the company can contribute critical information that are useful or needed to other departments in just a few touch. While there may be some overlaps, the main benefit of such a system is that everyone has access to the information they need when they need it. The outcome of KMS utilization is better communication, less misunderstandings, and higher productivity; in other words, everyone wins. Simultaneously, you will also lower people's anxiety over not being able to find important data online, and having to painfully navigate a heap of poorly managed files.
- Better Customer Support: With a good knowledge base and a proper help desk function, your customer relations team can better manage customer data to keep all customers synchronized with the latest product updates. A good KMS enables the product development team to quickly update the wiki page, so that vital details are easily retrievable. Immediately, this knowledge can be adopted by the marketing and sales department over all outbound messaging, customer relations, and leads generation. A well-informed customer relations team is crucial to company success.
- Greater Productivity: Employees can access all the helpful content in one place no matter their home department. This will save them both time and enhance their ability in answering the various kinds of questions coming from clients. KMS also reduces potential delays for example, when employees need to access classified information. Lastly, KMS acts as a central knowledge hub for all your information sources -CMSs, cloud storage, databases, and etc.
How Are Knowledge Bases Related to Knowledge Management?
You should know that an effective knowledge base is not static when creating a KMS. The system will continue to require various improvements even after the initial completion. Simultaneously, a concrete system will produce good results only if its users are focused and dedicated.You can expect great results with a KMS if your employees and stakeholders both commit to promoting and following a knowledge-based work culture. Think about which company’s unique use cases – can be fulfilled by introducing a knowledge base. Take a moment to think about what a company could do with a KMS as we reveal to you the relationship between a quality knowledge base and a successful knowledge management system below.
- Knowledge Flow: Identify the Apples from the Oranges. Employees create and consume different types of knowledge and information every day. Whereas some staff generate more internal knowledge, others colleagues consume this information. As a decision maker, you need to understand the concept of knowledge flow. Specifically, you should identify the producers and consumers of data and information within your organization. Only after unveiling this key structure will you be able to create a useful KMS.
- Searchability: Successful KMSs usually feature some form of smart and intuitive search capabilities that allow users to efficiently locate the information they need out of a sea of multimedia assets. To accomplish this, your search functionality would need some kind of integrated search tool or a premade advanced search API. The benefit of using an advanced API is that it can pull data from a range of sources and centralize all your organization’s information in just a click. Excellent search is a blessing when your database is comparable to the lost collections in the Great Library of Alexandria.
- Integration: The process to obtain access to relevant information should be flawless, user-friendly, and corresponds to your workers’ needs.. You can enable this by integrating your knowledge management system with existing mobile applications and software programs that your employees use.. You should also review the new knowledge management tools to see if they are compatible with your existing workflow and setups.
Developing a Useful Knowledge Base with Omnisearch
At Omnisearch, we offer you a great opportunity to create your own comprehensive, effective, and searchable knowledge base.
With helps from our professional partners, we will assist you in launching a custom knowledge base for your organization. Moreover, we will assist you in providing access to whoever needs it. Whether it is onboarding, customer training, compliance training or continued education, Omnisearch is the one-stop shop for your company and employees.
We will perform a comprehensive content audit and provide you with insights on how to best optimize your existing database (including media files, documents, audio recordings, emails, powerpoints, and etc.). This report will allow you to categorize your files seamlessly. It will be easier for you to restructure and re-organize your database with all this in-house knowledge. Once the transition completes, all of your files and relevant resources will be stored in one single place - no matter if they are audio recordings or video files, documents or handouts, presentations or plain text. With Omnisearch, you will no longer need to painfully navigate through multiple databases!
On top of your new KMS - we will add on an AI-powered search functionality developed by Omnisearch. With our advanced feature, your employees will be able to search through all your content, no matter the file format.
In terms of search organization, Omnisearch primarily focuses on use cases powering the search functionality on our customers’ own websites. This is also known as the “site search” use cases. Content creators can embed Omnisearch into their site with ease, andhis makes us quite different from traditional consumer-facing search engines like Google, and more akin to Algolia.
The Omnisearch toolbox can significantly improve your current knowledge base, and will help increase the overall trainee satisfaction for your program. With our in-house transcriptions and search tools - the functionality of your current KMS system will be substantially enhanced, and you will gain the positive feedback from both your clients and employees. Please feel free to contact us for a quick demo on how to improve your knowledge management system.