How to Build an Effective Knowledge Management Portal

By Monica Kohn   |   August 5, 2020
Knowledge Management portal
Most enterprises understand the opportunities and benefits a knowledge management system brings but many still struggle to make the most of what call service agents and the wider organization already know.

How can organizations create the best possible environment for knowledge curation, sharing, and usage? It starts with understanding which knowledge portal software meets the company’s specific needs and which knowledge management portal features offer the best chance at data-sharing success.

Benefits of Self-Service Portals

When people can find an answer to their problem on their own it reduces the amount of support needed; ticket volume decreases. Along with improving employee productivity, self-service portals also teach customers new skills, giving them the tools they need to solve similar future issues. Text, step-by-step guides, how-to videos, diagrams, infographics, and screenshots help customers learn your company’s products and services inside-out.

Building a Self-Service Knowledge Base for All

Whether you want to implement a self-service knowledge base for your employees, customers, or both, these key features must be in place:

Enable Dynamic Search

A robust enterprise search capability (findability) lets your customers locate what they need as quickly as possible. Context, structure, and rich environment statements must all be created with the customer in mind and information must consistently be double- and triple-checked for accuracy and relevancy.

For call center staff, a robust search function saves time and allows them to stay a step ahead of a customer’s issue.

Trustworthy Information

“Over 50% of a customer’s experience with your organization is how they feel about it” says Colin Shaw, Founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy and author of Building Great Customer Experiences. And what they really want to feel is trust. That means your self-service portal must not only offer fast access to information but also resolve issues quickly and accurately, ideally on the first call.

Easy Access

Self-service portals provide users with immediate access to information, improve personalization, and save valuable time and organizational resources. If your self-service portal isn’t easy to navigate, especially on mobile devices, customers are less likely to use it. Use integrated search results to provide access consistently across all channels and keep customers engaged and satisfied.

Give Knowledge a Home

Two of the biggest reasons people abandon self-service solutions are:

  1. Frustration builds as they reach one dead-end after another.
  2. They can’t find what they’re looking for.

And once they reach one or more dead-ends, people don’t want to start all over again. A good self-service solution includes giving users the ability to search for answers while making browsing for knowledge articles easy. When a customer is ready to talk to live support, that should be a simple click away.

Instead of having information like FAQs and manuals scattered all over the place, a single user-centric destination makes it easy for customers and employees to get what they need. Another great solution is making sure a customer’s search or browsing history is included when a call is transferred over to a service agent. It’s a simple step that can make customers far more willing to come back when they have a problem.

If You Build It, Will They Come?

No KMS is perfect for the long-term because products, services, and information change over time. In other words, there will always be areas for improvement:

  • Changing user needs and expectations must be met.
  • Existing knowledge needs updating.
  • New issues require knowledge data to be created.
  • Technologies and other innovations offer new capabilities like machine learning that can improve the KMS status quo.

Effective knowledge management will always be an ongoing challenge. But with the right collaboration tools and training, a KMS offers tremendous value that far surpasses the investment cost. That’s because knowledge delivered more easily and speedily achieves two important goals: building employee productivity and ensuring customer satisfaction.

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