Many companies create a knowledge base – FAQs, product documentation, feature updates – for their customers or users. While this is an excellent way to improve customer experience by enabling self-service, what most businesses don’t realize is that a knowledge base can also be used for improving internal operations.
Creating an internal knowledge base helps centralize all your company information and useful resources for employees in one convenient location. It’ll also help new employees get up to speed more quickly while streamlining internal workflows and processes.
Here are four core tips to keep in mind if you wish to create a knowledge base that’s truly valuable to your company.
1. Consider What Knowledge You’ll Include
Apart from laying out company rules and guidelines, a strong knowledge base empowers your teams to take more efficient approaches in their daily duties, such as customer support, employee training, user onboarding, and so on. For that, you want your knowledge base filled with relevant content and resources that are created with your teams in mind.
So, first and foremost, you’ll need to decide what all information you’ll be covering in your internal knowledge base. It’s important to try and cover every type of content you think will be useful for your employees, but at the same time ensure they don’t feel overwhelmed when they open the base.
Review your company’s workflow and processes, talk to employees from various departments, and try to find out common concerns and time-consuming activities related to your day-to-day operations. In doing so, you’ll be able to identify topics and issues you can effectively address in your knowledge base.
Lastly, coalesce your findings into a final list of things that need to go into your knowledge base. For instance, after talking to your sales team, you may establish that having tried-and-tested email templates in your knowledge base can help them close sensitive deals.
Also, instead of creating everything from scratch, figure out how much of this content is already available, and repurpose it.
2. Make the Content Easy to Digest
To make your company knowledge base a genuinely useful resource for your employees, the content should be easy to digest. Having a well-defined structure and navigation within the base is crucial to help your employees save time and boost productivity.
For every piece of content, keep the audience in mind. The information you provide your employees must be easy to consume and should support their specific needs.
For example, if it’s a document about common customer support questions, it’s a good idea to present the information as a quick FAQ. For your legal department, a comprehensive set of documents with each covering every minor detail may be required.
Also, it goes without saying that the content inside your company knowledge base needs to be searchable. Only then will your employees quickly find what they’re looking for without wasting time browsing around the base.
3. Encourage Content Contribution From Different Teams
For your knowledge base, it’s a good idea to encourage collaboration from employees in different departments. This way, everyone in your company feels more involved and can engage with each other’s work.
So, for instance, one of your sales reps writes an article about handling tricky negotiations with leads. A new sales rep who was recently hired reads the article and finds it useful, so they can give a “thumbs up”. Another, more experienced rep, notices two key pointers were missing and feels the team needs to know about it, so he/she drops a comment with suggestions and the author adds it. Just like that, your employees are bonding, learning, and growing together.
Using a knowledge base software like Document360, you can have such social features in your knowledge base and enable your employees to add their insights. You can have templates for employees so they can quickly contribute content. By allowing employees to create and engage with the content, you’ll create a thriving community that supports personal and professional growth for everyone on the team.
Thus, your customer support reps can find similar cases they’re dealing with, new hires can find handy training guides, your marketing team can find email templates for successful content outreach, and so on.
In fact, you can use your knowledge base content as a marketing tool to better connect with potential leads, current clients, and website visitors. Have employees from different teams to create public blog posts, how-to guides, and infographics for marketing purposes. Such content can serve the dual purpose of improving internal operations and simultaneously educate your potential customers.
So, for example, your customer support team can publish an FAQ article. Your development team can showcase expertise by publishing how-to articles on technical subjects. All this helps in improving your online presence on search engines and demonstrating your brand’s thought leadership, besides solidifying your knowledge base.
4. Keep Updating Your Knowledge Base With Relevant Information
Your knowledge base needs to continually grow and evolve, as must your company. That is, your knowledge base must be regularly updated with new information, with outdated information being removed, or your employees will not get the most out of it. If possible, all new insights and relevant company data should be added to the knowledge base.
How many deals did you close in the past quarter? What were the results of your customer satisfaction survey? Do you have new-and-improved marketing templates? All this information should evolve in your company’s knowledge base, as it helps your employees become better at their jobs and allows them to stay informed about your company’s growth.
Over to You
A well-executed knowledge base will improve employee productivity and thus, business output, by decreasing the time spent trying to find information. Sure, setting up a company knowledge base will take considerable time and effort, but by using the tips outlined above, you’re sure to realize the maximum ROI for all your upfront efforts.
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