Knowledge Software In The Contact Centre 

Knowledge Software In The Contact Centre

As the beating heart of so many clients’ customer service operations and with expectations constantly evolving, contact centres and BPOs are feeling the pressure to promote efficiency and maintain CSAT – all while keeping costs down.

So, how does knowledge software: an agent knowledge base interface (internal-facing) and web self-service tools (public-facing) help improve contact centre efficiency, customer experience and satisfaction? Here we explore this topic in detail.

The Central Source Of Truth

A knowledge base plays a key role within not only the contact centre but the overall business. It acts as a centralised library of knowledge, your company’s single source of information; everything from HR policies, suitable for internal eyes only, to step-by-step tutorials that can be easily found and digested by your site visitors. 

Synthetix’s knowledge base, for instance, resides at the centre of your clients’ customer service operations. It contains knowledge articles that are essentially the answers to popular queries. These can be categorised and assigned to views, for example, clients usually have both internal and public views, each of which containing very different content suitable to their appropriate audience. 

Powered by AI, our intelligent knowledge base utilises sophisticated Natural Language Processing (NLP) which gets to work when a user begins typing a query into the search bar. NLP picks apart the query, analysing each component including keywords, grammar, intent and popularity to return the most relevant articles.  

The knowledge base provides fundamental information internally to employees but also agents in the contact centre who are helping customers over the phone or live chat. It also provides information externally. The knowledge base fuels self-service channels so that customers can answer their own questions when on your website.  

Knowledge Software And Your Agents

Knowledge software is your agents’ most powerful tool in the contact centre. Whether they access it whilst on the phone or live chat with a customer, It equips your agents with the information necessary to resolve customer queries in the most efficient manner. With a library of knowledge available at their fingertips, contact centre efficiency and support costs dramatically improve. 

Average Handling Time (AHT) Reduction

With quick access to knowledge articles, agents no longer have to search through resources or intranets using multiple windows, hoping that the answer they have found matches the question that has been asked.  

Synthetix’s agent knowledge base, Knowledge: For Your Team not only utilises NLP to provide quick solutions and therefore reduces Average Handling Times (AHT) but for further efficiency, the AI-predictive suggestions function. 

AI-predictive suggestions harness powerful NLP and recommend relevant knowledge articles to the agent based on what keywords are being entered. These suggestions are updated on each key-press, all the agent must do is click to copy and the resolution is provided.  

Live chat agents can optimise handling times even further using our live key-press feed feature. It allows the agent to preview what a customer is typing in real-time before they hit “send”. This lets them problem-solve and prepare a resolution as the query is sent, reducing AHT and improving CX. 

First Contact Resolution (FCR) Improvement

First Contact Resolution (FCR), the rate at which a customer query is resolved on the first call or contact with a contact centre agent is fundamental to customer satisfaction and loyalty.  

Poor FCR happens all too often and can stem from a number of things, leaving customers feeling frustrated and dissatisfied. When a customer has to call back in because the answer they were initially given is incorrect it is generally down to the knowledge base. 

When inconsistent or inaccurate information is provided to a customer, it is usually because a company’s information sources have not been updated. For instance, a policy change occurs but only the website FAQs are updated, leaving the internal knowledge base with old, inaccurate details.  

A centralised knowledge base, on the other hand, controls all sources of information and reflects and updates in real-time.  

Agent Satisfaction

As NLP takes effect in customer self-service channels such as FAQ tools and chatbots, the volume of routine queries that ultimately reach the contact centre are significantly reduced. Instead of agents dealing with the same, common queries, AI instead handles them. 

This removes the mundane from agents’ jobs and allows them the bandwidth required to deal with customer queries that are complex by nature and require human understanding and reasoning. Helping people through their problems gives employees a sense of purpose and therefore increases job satisfaction and enrichment. 

Furthermore, when provided with software that is easy to use and genuinely helpful, the working day becomes more enjoyable and efficient, for example: 

  • An integrated knowledge base that resides within the agent’s internal interface. 
  • AI-predictive suggestions that recommend articles based on what an agent is typing in. 
  • NLP-fuelled technology that ensures the relevancy and consistency of answers. 
  • A “Favourites” function for quick access to commonly used articles, avoiding the need for repetitive searching. 

Training Optimisation

With an AI-powered knowledge base acting as the ultimate training tool, providing new starters with a library full of knowledge, training times can be reduced on average by 30% 

Answers that are available at a keypress significantly reduces the time in which it would otherwise take to onboard and train a new agent.  

Synthetix’s internal knowledge base solution, Knowledge: For Your Team includes agent scripting, powered by simple decision tree technology. Transform your newest employees into seasoned experts by providing them with multi-step decision trees to follow, helping them complete processes and problem-solving with ease.  

Knowledge Software And Customers ​

Intelligent knowledge base software powers a range of external-facing channels that aim to help customers find answers to their own questions. 

The centralised knowledge base powers customer self-service channels such as chatbots, FAQ tools and SEO help centres. This ensures that the information in which agents are serving customers via live chat and telephone is the same that customers are served via web self-service tools. 

Knowledge software not only provides site visitors with the tools to find the answers to their own resolutions efficiently, but it also boosts CSAT ratings whilst contributing to significant support cost reductions. 

Contact Centre Cost Reductions

Synthetix’s AI-powered self-service tools utilise sophisticated NLP to automate routine queries and tasks online, deflecting the volume of contact that would otherwise reach the contact centre. This in turn helps to reduce the accumulation of costs associated with handling a query, bringing overall support costs down. 

Further, fewer routine queries reaching the contact centre means that, for those that have complex issues and require the help of contact centre agents, wait time is significantly less which contributes to CSAT. 

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction and CSAT ratings are critical to customer service and overall business success. One of the most effective ways in which customer satisfaction can be maintained and improved is by providing a good customer experience or CX – particularly when online.  Web self-service channels including FAQ tools, help centres and chatbots help contribute to customer satisfaction for a number of reasons: 
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) increases the likeliness that the right answer will be served at an efficient rate thanks to its mechanisms. 
  • The option to self-serve. In one survey, 67% of respondents said they would rather self-serve than talk to a company representative. Customers want the freedom to find their own resolution where possible. 
  • Self-service channels contribute to and maintain CX. The automation of routine queries online means that those who need to contact the contact centre experience a smaller wait time and greater bandwidth from agents now that they are less congested with routine questions. 
  • Customers can find the answers to their questions 24/7/365. AI does not need to take breaks or holidays and therefore can help serve customers at any time. This is particularly important for example if customers need emergency information during the early hours of the morning when the contact centre is not open. 
An image demonstrating CSAT

Smooth Customer Journeys

Self-service channels help to create smooth customer journeys, streamlining them so more can be achieved in less time. 

SEO Help Centre

For instance, Synthetix’s SEO help portal that is included within Knowledge: For Your Customers helps customers find what they want at their first touchpoint.  Many customers will begin their digital journeys by typing the company and query into a search engine – this is where the SEO-friendly help centre comes in.   Synthetix technology translates knowledge articles into crawlable web pages so that queries can be found via search engine results, preventing the need for customers to search around for answers, negating the need to speak to an agent, satisfying their requirements right away. 

Chatbots ​

Customer service chatbots such as Xan guide customers through their online journeys, acting as your brand’s digital concierge.   Not only can AI chatbots handle routine queries and tasks but they can automate certain processes for customers, removing the need for any agent intervention and therefore making CX more convenient for the customer and cost-effective for you.  Synthetix utilises open APIs to seamlessly integrate its software with 3rd party applications. This makes it possible for Xan to automate processes such as bookings, payments and policy admin. 

Knowledge Software And Your Software

 When you connect knowledge software – both agent-facing and customer-facing – with your everyday business tools, capabilities are unlocked, operational efficiency is boosted and you can better serve your clients’ customers. 

When it comes to integrating knowledge software with the 3rd party applications you rely on daily, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  

Ticketing

Harness knowledge software’s NLP capabilities to reduce the volume of routine tickets that the contact entre receives. When you integrate Knowledge: For Your Team with your ticketing software, relevant articles are offered to the customer whilst filling out their ticket. The suggested articles are updated on each keypress and promote CX; instant answers and no wait time. 

Telephony

By connecting knowledge base software with telephony tools, contact centre agents are equipped with quick access to answers, powered by NLP and within the same interface. This helps improve agent efficiency, improve CX, reduce Average Handling Times (AHT) and therefore support costs. 

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Develop your existing RPAs further by integrating with knowledge software, whether that’s internal knowledge base software or web self-service tools.  

Expand current automation to generate a more valuable, efficient outcome. With capabilities to share critical 2-way data across platforms, companies benefit from significant operational efficiency, cost savings and enhanced CX. 

Final Thoughts

There are myriad benefits to be reaped when contact centres position knowledge software at the centre of their operations. As the centralised source of knowledge, it can focus on contact centre efficiency and accuracy, bringing AHT down whilst boosting employee satisfaction.   Knowledge software also improves the customer journey whilst reducing the number of routine queries that would otherwise reach the contact centre, significantly bringing down contact centre costs and boosting CSAT.  If you would like to find out how Knowledge: For Your Team or Knowledge: For Your Customers can help optimise your contact centre and CX, please
An image of an agent look at knowledge metrics

Knowledge Management Best Practices

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It has become particularly useful since 2020 as 49% of employed adults in the UK now work from home due to the COVID-19 crisis – a measure that is expected to remain for most employees post-pandemic. There has never been a greater requirement for remote access to knowledge, both for employees who need to fulfil their roles remotely and for customers who prefer to use online channels when it comes to getting the support they need.

Knowledge management is a sophisticated discipline that should be central to a company, interconnecting its departments and technologies. To some, knowledge management might be perceived as complex, but it doesn’t need to be daunting. These 12 Knowledge management best practices aim to simplify and help you get the most out of knowledge management:

  1. Identify Knowledge Management Goals
  2. Choose Knowledge Management Software That Is Easy to Adopt
  3. Don’t Stray from The Knowledge Management Process
  4. Look at Knowledge as an Asset
  5. Consider Employee Needs
  6. Don’t Forget the Ultimate End-User: Your Customer
  7. Don’t Neglect Regular Knowledge Acquisition Exercises
  8. Motivate Employees
  9. Don’t Forget: UFFA
  10. Remember: Leadership Should Advocate Knowledge Management
  11. Select Knowledge Management Software That Can Be Seamlessly Implemented
  12. Monitor Knowledge Management Success with Metrics

Before we jump into each of these, let’s briefly discuss the importance of knowledge management for organisations.

Why Is Knowledge Management So Important?

Knowledge Management is adopted by organisations to utilise knowledge across departments. The discipline is crucial to many companies and involves the identification, extraction, contextualisation, organisation, storage and of course, the management of company knowledge.

When implemented correctly, knowledge management gives you:

  • Faster, more efficient decision making
  • Access to accurate and consistent information
  • Reduced Average Handling Times (AHT)
  • Improved First Contact Resolution (FCR)
  • Reduced training and onboarding times
  • Increased staff morale
  • Greater CSAT and NPS scores
  • Reduced routine enquiries

Knowledge Management as a function deals with both explicit and tacit knowledge. Explicit knowledge is easy to capture and communicate, often involving data, documents and manuals. Whilst tacit knowledge is complex and therefore difficult to interpret and extract, it is often accumulated through experience and requires specialised methods to obtain, including interviews and knowledge harvesting.

Harnessed through specific tools and software, knowledge management allows employees access to a centralised repository of knowledge, otherwise known as a knowledge base . Depending on their position, they can access vital information quickly and in a user-friendly way.

Knowledge management is important to businesses as it gives them control over a major asset, knowledge. It aims to prevent years of tacit knowledge from being lost or forgotten and focuses on embedding knowledge into the company culture to encourage transparency and collaboration. But perhaps most important, is the role it plays in significantlypromoting customer service and operational efficiency.

1. Identify Knowledge Management Goals

What are the drivers behind implementing knowledge management into your company?

Whether it surrounds operational efficiency, organisational collaboration and learning or customer satisfaction, it’s vital that knowledge management objectives are identified, constructed and then broken down into goals.

Knowledge management goals might involve the reduction of support costs, the increase in NPS scores, the deflection of contact for contact centres or improvement of internal communication. Whatever the goals are, it is important to set them with the appropriate people who are involved in monitoring them, make them SMART and adjust through time if necessary.

Knowledge management is considered a valuable investment, so its important goals are set initially and you have the tools in place to measure the results frequently throughout the knowledge management process. This prevents lack of control over the discipline and therefore helps you get the most out of it and quicker.

2. Choose Knowledge Management Software That Is Easy to Adopt

It’s important to note that knowledge management software is an essential element of knowledge management opposed to a best practice. Without knowledge management software the discipline could not function.

We know that knowledge management is key for businesses who wish to improve control, efficiency and customer satisfaction and that this is achieved by utilising knowledge management software.

But, what is the best way to get employees to embrace knowledge management software? Choose a tool that is easy to use. This is reinforced by Gartner who suggest you can “empower employees by providing easy-to-use powerful technologies” that positively impact employee engagement and subsequently, customer experience.

So, consider software like a Knowledge Base that centralises all company knowledge into one user-friendly library.

Good knowledge management software will:

  • Be built upon AI and algorithms to generate relevant answers
  • Utilise Natural Learning Processing (NLP) to understand naturally phrased queries
  • Allow for multiple editors
  • Gamify the editing process
  • Organise knowledge using filters, categories and views
  • Learn from user behaviour to identify errors and most popular queries

3. Don’t Stray from The Knowledge Management Process

One of the most important knowledge management best practices involves process. The process in which you use to execute knowledge management will differ from what other businesses follow. There are endless variations and steps, but in its simplest form, the knowledge management process can be categorised into 4 stages: discovery, capture, organise and share.

Discover

The first step of the knowledge management process concerns identifying what explicit knowledge already exists within the company and documenting it. This could include gathering documents from company intranets or data mining shared company resources.

Capture

This involves the skilled extraction of tacit knowledge from employees’ brains. This stage can prove complex and time-consuming as the majority of knowledge is difficult to articulate, is not documented and requires specific exercises to capture.

Organise

Once company knowledge has been captured, it can be pruned and organised so that it is suitable for consumption. Knowledge management software is used to organise, categorise and filter knowledge, allowing employees to access the right knowledge at the right time.

Share

Finally, this step includes the sharing, developing and management of vital company knowledge. Knowledge management software such as a knowledge base is used to facilitate knowledge sharing across multiple teams and locations and can even integrate with customer service tools to enhance the customer journey.

Knowledge Management Process Diagram

Not only is it vital to follow a process that integrates well with existing workflows and company culture, but it is equally important that your knowledge management process is closely monitored and carried out correctly.

Missing out, skipping or spending too much time on one area of the knowledge management process could prove detrimental to its successful execution, instead use comprehensive project management and don’t stray from the process.

4. Look at Knowledge as an Asset

Knowledge has a measurable monetary value. In companies where knowledge accumulates only in employees’ heads and across disconnected systems, they face increased operational and opportunity costs by not leveraging the value of shared knowledge.

Therefore, it’s important to communicate the idea that knowledge is more than an entity in one’s head, but to a business in particular, a valuable asset.

Once employees associate knowledge with other assets, like people, cash, brand and customers, they begin to understand its importance. Similar to how these assets have their own processes, teams and specialist software, so does knowledge.

This shift in attitude towards knowledge encourages employees to appreciate, protect and invest in the asset.

5. Consider Employee Needs

As mentioned, one of the many goals surrounding knowledge management is to better serve employees. When executed well, it is considered a valuable tool that makes employee’s jobs easier, getting more done with fewer obstacles in the way – it can even help them reach targets more efficiently.

Find out what you’re struggling with. If siloed knowledge or information hubs are becoming a problem for them? Are mundane routine questions preventing them from resolving complex queries? Or are customer satisfaction scores below target?

Your employees are one of your main users when it comes to knowledge management, so consider their needs and make decisions based on this. For example, if siloed knowledge or information ‘hubs’ are a pain point, assign an executive who knows how to tackle such a problem. If the sheer volume of routine questions is becoming a burden to contact centre employees, choose knowledge management software that can automate FAQs by using web self-service.

6. Don’t Forget the Ultimate End-User: Your Customer

From an external viewpoint, your end-users are your customers who play a crucial role within your business. Whether they require access to knowledge for customer support or sales purposes, it’s important to provide them with a tool that can produce relevant answers and resolutions efficiently. 

Web self-service software seamlessly connects to a particular view of your knowledge base – one that is built for your customers’ needs. The utilisation of Natural Language Processing (NLP) helps unravel customer queries, identifying search intent and subsequently offering your customers the information they require. 

Today, more and more customers want to serve themselves online, therefore it is vital for CX that user-friendly, AI-powered self-service tools are provided for a smooth and successful customer journey. 

7. Don’t Neglect Regular Knowledge Acquisition Exercises

Knowledge is always being accumulated. To prevent it from being siloed within teams, forgotten, or lost when employees leave, ensure regular knowledge acquisition exercises are carried out. This is the ultimate knowledge management best practice.

Knowledge acquisition exercises are designed to capture any new knowledge that is not yet stored in a company knowledge base and include:

  • Retrospect (reflection meetings that take place after the completion of a project)
  • Knowledge harvesting (scheduled meetings with senior employees intended to capture knowledge)
  • Interviews and surveys

To ensure your company doesn’t miss out on valuable shared knowledge, schedule in these knowledge acquisition exercises, this will not only capture the all-important knowledge but also encourage employees to actively document knowledge moving forward.

8. Motivate Employees

Any major organisational change can create friction and resistance amongst employees and there is no exception when it comes to implementing knowledge management. So how do you get employees to embrace the practice?

Involve employees as much as you can at as many levels as you can to create passion around knowledge management – it is something that will make everyone’s job much easier after all. Have employees contribute to the creation of knowledge articles or edit themselves to give them a sense of ownership and motivation.

Some knowledge management tools even ‘gamify’ certain elements of knowledge creation; employees can suggest articles to be included in the knowledge base, if approved the article is posted for others to interact with.

9. Don’t Forget: UFFA

The ‘use it, flag it, fix it, add it’ framework is used within knowledge management and can help with adoption and efficiency.

The UFFA model helps employees navigate knowledge management tools such as a knowledge base. It encourages them to search for the query at hand, suggesting 4 actions based on the outcomes:

  • Use it if the answer to an agent’s question is found, is relevant and complete
  • Flag it if the answer to an agent’s question is found, but is incomplete and the agent doesn’t have editing rights
  • Fix it if the answer to an agent’s question is found, but is incomplete and the agent has editing rights
  • Add it if the answer to the question is not found, this is something your assigned Editor can oversee

It is not only useful to teach employees UFFA when knowledge management is first introduced into the company, but it is something that should be practised indefinitely, becoming an everyday workflow.

A key knowledge management best practice includes embedding UFFA early on to boost efficiency as agents waste less time waiting for permissions and answers to encourage collaboration companywide.

10. Remember: Leadership Should Advocate Knowledge Management

To ensure that knowledge management is fully utilised across teams, the discipline should be advocated by key people of influence in the company. Whether it’s your directors or senior leadership team it is important to communicate the importance and benefits of knowledge management and generate excitement.

Leaders should lead by example; they should involve employees as much as possible when it comes to advocating knowledge management. Some effective methods include coaching employees, organising hands-on workshops and keeping the company up to date via regular newsletters.

If the key people of influence within your company are not passionate about knowledge management, then how can you expect the wider workforce to be?

11. Select Knowledge Management Software That Can Be Seamlessly Implemented

Having knowledge management software that seamlessly integrates with other internal and customer-facing tools is vital if knowledge management is to succeed.

You can avoid this by selecting knowledge management software that is built on open RESTful APIs. This way you can connect to:

  • Most 3rd party systems including email management tools and CRMs
  • Internal software that allows your team access to company knowledge when assisting customers. This helps agents quickly resolve customer queries by producing answers pulled from centralised knowledge
  • Customer-facing tools such as web self-service that customers use to answer their own questions. This software is integrated with a segment of the wider company knowledge, displaying relevant answers based on the customer’s question to reducing overall contact
An image showing how Self-Service, 3rd Party Tools and Contact Centres all integrate with Knowledge

12. Monitor Knowledge Management Success with Metrics

You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

Just like any new initiative or campaign that is introduced into a company, it’s vital that knowledge management is measured to ensure you are moving in the right direction and not wasting time, money or other resources.

How? Well, this will depend on your initial knowledge management goals and the core purpose for implementing the discipline.

Key metrics that can measure the success of knowledge management include:

  • Outcome analysis – knowledge feedback is measured to give companies an indication of how effective a tool is in providing a successful customer journey
  • CSAT scores – this is important for companies whose knowledge management goals surround customer satisfaction. If CSAT scores have increased, then it is likely that knowledge management is having a positive effect on customers.
  • Agent efficiency – metrics such as Average Handling Times (AHT)
  • First Contact Resolutions (FCR) can be measured to identify whether knowledge management has helped improve agent efficiency.
  • Employee engagement – if lack of collaboration and knowledge silos were challenges for your company, then this metric can help determine if you are on track. If employee engagement has increased, you can assume knowledge management is working.
  • Employee satisfaction – anonymous surveys can be distributed before and after the deployment of knowledge management, this will help you understand whether it has been accepted and successful.

There is a multitude of factors that can affect knowledge management and how it operates in your company. The knowledge management best practices that have been discussed in this article can be referred to time and time again, regardless of the stage you are at within implementation.

If you would like any advice or help implementing knowledge management into your company, you can read more here or

Choosing A Knowledge Base For The Multi-Tenant Contact Centre

A knowledge base can prove particularly effective for contact centres that serve more than one client. Multi-tenant contact centres benefit from intelligent knowledge bases by equipping agents with multiple knowledge libraries full of content that is simple to access and navigate. 

With 93% of customer service teams believing that customer expectations are higher than before, it has never been more important to deploy a knowledge base at the centre of your contact centre. 

Serving Multi-Tenant Contact Centres Using A Knowledge Base 

Muti-tenant contact centres that serve multiple companies’ customers simultaneously need quick and convenient access to specific information. It is likely that once an agent has resolved one customer’s issue, the next customer that they deal with will be from a different company. It is therefore important that access to multiple companies’ information is seamless to keep handling times low and prevent mistakes.  

This is where a knowledge base that includes multiple views transforms contact centre efficiency.  

Each view contains a set of knowledge articles that are written for a particular audience. For instance, if your contact centre handles customer service for five different companies, then you will have five separate views within your knowledge base. 

Agents simply filter by view inside the internal knowledge which is as easy as ticking a box. From here they have quick access to knowledge articles depending on the customer that contacts them.  

How To Choose A Knowledge Base For The Contact Centre 

If you are considering a knowledge base for the contact centre but are not sure which is right for you, we have got you covered. We have compiled some key considerations for you during the vendor selection process which will help you find the best software for you: 

  1. Does the knowledge base utilise NLP? 
  1. Does the knowledge base allow multiple views? 
  1. Are AI-predictive suggestions included? 
  1. Does the knowledge base encourage collaboration? 
  1. Are analytics included for knowledge optimisation? 
  1. Is a customer feedback loop included? 
  1. Can the knowledge base integrate with 3rd party apps? 
  1. Does the vendor offer flexible pricing models? 

1. Does The Knowledge Base Utilise NLP? 

A knowledge base that is built on AI and harnesses powerful Natural Language Processing (NLP) can significantly contribute to efficiency in the contact centre. 

When an agent is helping a customer, they type the query into the knowledge base. NLP unravels the query, analysing components such as keywords, grammar, intent and popularity and comparing with the knowledge base to return the best, most relevant results. 

This reduces Average Handling Times (AHT) impacting on customer satisfaction and contact centre efficiency. 

2. Does The Knowledge Base Allow Multiple Views? 

An essential consideration for multi-tenant contact centres, selecting a knowledge base that utilises multiple views helps you frictionlessly handles customer service for multiple companies at once. 

3. Are AI-Predictive Suggestions Included?

A key consideration during the knowledge base selection process is if the software includes AI-predictive suggestions. 

This feature helps agents produce relevant answers for customers quickly and relies on powerful Natural Language Processing. When an agent begins to type the customer query into the knowledge base, NLP gets to work and on each key-press recommends a relevant article based on what is being entered. 

Implementing a knowledge base that includes such features can reduce Average Handling Times (AHT) by 25%, which in turn has a hugely positive impact on CSAT. Instead of agent rummaging through resources to find the correct resolution, AI-predictive suggestions does that for you. 

 4. Does The Knowledge Base Encourage Collaboration? 

Within the multi-tenant contact centre, transparency and collaboration are key. It’s important that agents can voice their opinions and comments regarding articles when necessary. Perhaps an agent notices that the information in an article is misleading that a link does not load properly. 

This is when collaboration is fundamental. Giving agents the power to flag an article when there is an issue and leave a comment explaining why with suggestions promotes proactive optimisation and is key to efficiency. 

5. Are Analytics Included For Knowledge Optimisation? 

Not only can knowledge base analytics help to monitor the performance and productivity of agents but they can offer insights into how to improve the content that resides inside your knowledge base. 

Some metrics tell us your top-performing articles and categories which can tell us: 

  • When customer behaviour changes or perhaps when trends are occurring. 
  • If an issue is impacting the company; you notice a spike in the category “Faults” and investigate further to find that articles regarding product faults and refunds have also fluctuated. 

Other metrics give us insight into what agents are typing into the knowledge base. There is value in analysing this data as often you might find that topics that have been searched for do not yet exist as articles. This is where it is crucial to CX that articles are created. 

6. Is A Customer Feedback Loop Included? 

It’s important to know that your knowledge base and contact centre is always serving customers effectively. But without continual evaluation, there is no way of knowing that customers are receiving an excellent service every time. 

Customer feedback loops are vital for knowledge optimisation. You can configure the questions yourself to determine what will be asked and the results are compiled together in a graph. 


For instance, if find a spike in the data where people answered “No” to “Did we answer your questions?”, you can investigate whether the contents of the article that agents were referring to have an issue or whether it is something else. 

7. Can The Knowledge Base Integrate With 3rd Party Apps?

For multi-tenant contact centres, having a knowledge base that seamlessly integrates with other 3rd party apps is crucial. Your clients will each rely on their own business tools, just like you do as a company. It is therefore vital that a knowledge base has the capability to integrate with other software where necessary. 

Choose knowledge base software that is built with open RESTful APIs for the frictionless, 2-way sharing or data with other key business tools. 

8. Does The Vendor Offer Flexible Pricing Models?

Before choosing a knowledge base vendor it is important to consider: 

  • Are your levels of customer contact consistent or is there a significant seasonal variance? 
  • Are you planning on scaling operations? Or do you wish to optimise your operations with a set team size? 

The answers to these questions will inform the kind of pricing model you require. Discuss these needs with the vendor before committing and ensure they offer flexible and session-based models. 


If you enjoyed this article and would like to find out more about knowledge management, visit our guide here or for help selecting a knowledge base vendor, please

Knowledge Management Systems: The 2022 Buyer’s Guide

A knowledge management systems buyers guide

Commercial Considerations

Has the Vendor Presented A Business Case?

Before any commitments are made, you and your colleagues must be confident in the knowledge management system you select. Does the ROI presented in the vendor’s forecast align with your business’ expectation of payback and long term financial uplift?

You need to know the answers to such questions pre-purchase, so ensure your vendor provides a business plan outlining the cost/benefit of deployment. This should include a projected ROI that is mapped to an implementation and post-launch timeline, used as a framework to understand your payback period. Ask vendors in your selection process to provide this framework from their previous deployments.

Does the Vendor Meet Your Customer Support Requirements?

Firstly, discuss what level of customer support you require as a company, taking into consideration that your CX delivery works at the speed of your slowest channel. If your knowledge management system support is only active at certain times of the week or day, you can only truly guarantee service during these times.

Vendors offer multiple levels of customer support from critical only, to standard office hours to weekend and evening cover. Discuss your support needs with your prospective vendor, ensuring that the terms of support, including hours, are covered contractually in the SRS.

Has the Vendor Offered Flexible A Commercial Model That Aligns with Your Needs?

Each company will have a preferred way of purchasing its knowledge management system.

The first step in understanding your own commercial needs concerning CX is considering these questions:

  • Are your levels of customer contact consistent or is there a significant seasonal variance?
  • Are you planning on scaling operations? Or do you wish to optimise your operations with a set team size?
  • Do you have existing contractual relationships that you wish to align your CX expenses with?

These considerations play a key role in determining your commercial needs, once you have the answers to these questions you can source a vendor that will match your requirements. If you are unsure about the answers to these questions, please get in touch ; we’re happy to walk you through them.

Technical Considerations

Does the System Utilise AI And NLP?

Choosing knowledge management systems that harness AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) is inherent to your CX and CSAT scores. AI is responsible for matching customer queries with relevant results, eliminating any roadblocks that could lead to frustration and poor CX, so you need to ensure your knowledge management system uses modern machine learning principles, not an outdated keyword matching model.

NLP helps to ensure the precision and efficiency of results delivered. It understands human utterance by breaking down the query into:

  • Keywords
  • Intent
  • Grammar
  • Popularity

Each component is then analysed to determine the most suitable result. Due to its intricacy, NLP understands not only naturally phrased questions, but multiple variations of the same query without producing “I’m sorry, I don’t understand that question. Please try again” – which customers experience too often when using systems that are not built on AI.

An images to represent the 4 layers of Natural Language Processing: search keywords, intent, grammar and popularity.

Does the System Have Low-Code Integration Capabilities?

There is no reason why the deployment of your knowledge management system should be complicated. Having your system up and running across your site shouldn’t require hours of developer work or toolkit configuration, by selecting systems that provide low-code implementation, setup is simple.

With low-code vendors, integrating the knowledge management system requires only one line of code to be installed. The main benefit here includes efficiency; low-code deployment allows customer-facing tools that rely on your knowledge management system, such as self-service and chatbots to be functional as soon as possible, allowing more customers to be served online.

Can the System Easily Integrate With 3rd Party Applications?

Your knowledge management system should fit in with any existing processes, workflows and 3rd party applications that you and other departments use. Choose a system that offers open RESTful APIs for seamless integration with other apps.

Operational efficiency skyrockets when integrations are facilitated between knowledge management systems and apps that are heavily relied on by teams, such as:

  • CRM Systems
  • Email Systems
  • In-Store Systems

These integrations encourage knowledge sharing across the company, contributing to critical operational and strategic decision making whilst boosting your competitive advantage.

Usability Considerations

Is the System’s UI Easy to Use?

The importance of UI cannot be understated. It is something your agents will interface with all day, every day. As a result, subtle design plays a huge role in agent efficiency. GUIs designed with quality of life and ease of use as a central principle, then refined through iterative testing, pull vastly ahead of systems build by engineers. When UI are cumbersome or over-complicated, editor and agent time is unnecessarily spent trying to navigate the functions.

Keeping it simple is key.

An image showing the knowledge interface
  • Does the agent interface offer a simple search function for finding all knowledge articles your company requires?
  • Does the editor interface enable the simple adding and editing of articles through step-by-step navigation?
  • Can key functionalities be accessed through the UI, for example, integrated chat console, knowledge analytics and user stats?
  • Remember who the users are and consider these points when choosing a knowledge management system.

Does the System Include Features That Encourage Collaboration?

Equipping agents with collaborative capabilities can only improve the efficiency and depth of knowledge. Choose a knowledge management system that includes internal messaging; allowing agents to share useful articles with one another.

Further, select a system that enables agents to suggest edits or highlight gaps within knowledge articles. These users spend the most time talking to customers and therefore should be given the tools to share their insights.

Is the System Centralised for All Teams to Use?

Having one centralised knowledge management system that stores all company knowledge in one place is vital. It enables the consistent and accurate sharing of information to customers and across departments – without one centralised source, you risk distributing inaccurate information internally and externally.

Companies face issues when their knowledge is fragmented; each team has its own knowledge management system and each customer service tool relies on its own system too. The subsequent inconsistencies and inaccuracies of information shared is problematic.

For reliability and consistency, choose a system that acts as your company’s centralised source of knowledge – one that includes all teams and integrates with all tools, including live chat , self-servicechatbots and agent knowledge interfaces.

Is the System’s Hosting GDPR Compliant?

Ensure the vendor you choose to work with is GDPR compliant, particularly if they are collecting and storing customer data.

Does the System Offer Detailed Knowledge Analytics?

You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

Ensure your knowledge management system offers comprehensive analytics. Working with the metrics in mind contributes to the constant improvement of knowledge management within your company and ultimately deliver customers better results over time.

Systems that allow you to toggle between views and tools, that offer you metrics on top-performing articles and categories plus user analytics can assist in improving operational efficiency.

Does the System Include A Customer Feedback Loop?

Do you know that your knowledge system is working as intended and that the content it is distributing is proving effective? Receiving customer feedback regarding the information that is accessed by customers and user is vital in understanding this. It can bring to light any issues or gaps with the information served, equally, it can validate if results were adequate. Work scientifically, falsify ideas and work with knowledge management vendors who appreciates this principle.

Ensure the knowledge management system you choose has customer feedback capabilities built-in. By asking customers “Did this answer your question?” and linking the responses to the system’s centralised analytics section, Knowledge Managers can evaluate article effectiveness, making decisions based on the user-generated data for optimal results.


 If you enjoyed this knowledge management system buyer’s guide and would like to work with a vendor who understands your commercial, technical and usability requirement, please get in touch with Synthetix today.

Image of a lightbulb for a successful internal knowledge base blog

How to Roll-out A Successful Internal Knowledge Base

Why Is an Internal Knowledge Base Fundamental for Business?

An internal knowledge base is essentially a company’s central library of knowledge, packaged in an agent-friendly interface. It contains all the fundamental information that employees and other stakeholders require to work effectively. This includes anything from returns policies to product specifications and troubleshooting videos to decision trees.

Access to this sort of information is vital for agents whose roles are to facilitate customer support. With customers expecting fast answers to questions and quick fixes to their issues it is important that agents can find the correct knowledge articles efficiently in order to satisfy customers.

The internal knowledge base interface that agents utilise everyday works by with your company’s wider knowledge base to retrieve relevant and accurate knowledge articles that help to solve customer issues. Powered by AI and by harnessing Natural Language Processing (NLP), agents benefit from quick access to results regardless of how a query may have been phrased.

An image showing the knowledge interface

Once an agent types the customer query into the system, NLP unpicks the sentence using sophisticated algorithms, analysing components such as keywords, grammar, intent and popularity to understand context and produce relevant results.

Because this is handled using AI, the problem-solving process takes place automatically and within the same window. The results of which is a large accumulation of time saved that would otherwise be spent searching for answers or transferring customers to supervisors. By reducing Average Handling Times (AHT), contact centre costs are significantly reduced and agents can deal with more queries, impacting positively on CSAT.

According to a report by Gartnersupport costs can be reduced by 25% when a knowledge management discipline is in place.

When an internal knowledge base is effectively deployed companies benefit from:

  • Significantly reduced contact centre costs
  • Greater agent productivity
  • Improved CSAT and NPS ratings
  • Enhanced CX
  • Empowered agents

Choosing Effective Internal Knowledge Base Software

The success of the roll-out, including user adoption and buy-in, will be heavily determined by the software that is selected. The software selection process for your internal knowledge base is crucial and requires time and careful consideration.

To ensure a smooth and successful roll-out of your internal knowledge base, start with the software, ensuring it includes:

  • Ease of access through AI
  • Real-time article updates
  • Integrations that help serve customers
  • Features that promote productivity

Ease of Access Through AI

Choose internal knowledge base software that is built on AI and that utilises NLP. With these forces as work, agents have access to a rich library of knowledge articles at their fingertips using a simple search function. As NLP takes care of identifying, retrieving and producing relevant results rather than the agent doing this manually, significant time is saved and efficiency is boosted. For some contact centres the result of which is up to 25% reduction in Average Handling Times.

Without an AI-powered tool in place, First Contact Resolution (FCR) rates suffer. Without a tool that helps agents quickly find that critical piece of information that will satisfy a customer’s issue, often customers are transferred or a call back is arranged for when the information has been found. However, internal knowledge bases that utilise NLP’s intent-based search features increase FCR rates considerably. This is due to its capabilities to understand what is being asked and matching queries with their most relevant results.

Real-Time Article Updates

When it comes to the distribution of information, whether that is internally to agents or externally to customers and other stakeholders, consistency is key. Distributing inconsistent, inaccurate or outdated information can prove detrimental to companies, damaging reputation and worse in some cases. Ensure you choose internal knowledge base software that enables the straightforward editing and updating of knowledge articles in real-time. This means that once an article has been amended, the changes will instantly be reflected through whichever channel your knowledge base connects to.

With circumstances frequently changing and therefore the way many businesses operate, changes must be quickly made available to those who have direct contact with your customers.

A simple knowledge base editor allows those with permission to easily add, edit and update knowledge article whilst agents can make article suggestions and flag those they suspect require updating.

An imaging showing how agents can flag articles in Synthetix Knowledge for your Team

Integrations That Help Serve Customers

Including an agent-facing knowledge base is hugely beneficial to your business operations. However, what happens when you introduce a customer-facing knowledge base, or in other words, an online FAQ or self-service tool is of significant value.

By choosing knowledge base software that powers both an internal interface for agents and an external interface for customers, not only are you providing consistent information across channels, but also contact reduction. By including a self-service option on your website, the level of contact that would otherwise reach the contact centre – most of which including routine queries – is significantly reduced. This not only improves CX but allows agents greater bandwidth to effectively deal with customers’ more complex issues – resulting in higher CSAT scores.

Internal Knowledge

Customer Facing Knowledge

An image showing an example of a self service tool for Lexus

Features That Promote Productivity

Some internal knowledge base tools. offer additional features designed to further promote agent productivity.

For instance, AI-predictive suggestions use AI to recommend relevant knowledge articles on every agent keypress. These suggestions are displayed within the internal knowledge base and can easily be opened, then copied and pasted over to the customer to further reduce AHT.

When integrated with your live chat solution, features such as the live keypress feed help agents deal with chats with optimal efficiency. It lets agents see what customers are typing with every keypress, often allowing them time to solve and prepare a resolution before the customer has hit “send”.

Ensuring Successful User Adoption

Once knowledge has been harvested from sources such as employee insights and reports, it can be contextualised and transformed into bitesize knowledge articles that make up the knowledge base’s content.

The next step of the roll-out includes user adoption. Ensuring that the internal knowledge base is well received and accepted by its users and stakeholder that are involved is critical to the roll-out’s success. The aim is having employees fully on board with an understanding as to how the initiative will benefit them and the overall business. This can be achieved through a number of methods.

Embed into Culture

Introduce employees to the idea of knowledge sharing and the internal knowledge base well in advanced to prepare them for the roll-out. This might involve weekly company meetings or even tasks that help them become familiar with the initiative. When practised over time, this will become engrained in your company culture.

Assigning Advocates

Before the roll-out takes place, assign several advocates whose responsibility will be to coach others on the upcoming internal knowledge base deployment. Have them act as other employees’ first port of call if they have any questions regarding the roll-out.

By having people of influence within your company advocate the internal knowledge base, it encourages the wider team to get excited about change. If employees are prepared and championing new technology it is likely that other stakeholders will also buy-in.

Employee Involvement

Involve everyone in the initiative as much as possible, as early as possible. This not only helps employees get used to the idea of any changes, but it’s also an opportunity for any employee input.

Organise company-wide surveys and smaller in-depth meetings for those directly involved, for example, agents. This will help with the internal knowledge base’s effectiveness by enriching the content from those with first-hand experience but also helps with user adoption. By familiarising agents with how it will work and having them contribute to the roll-out, the more likely they are to support the new initiative once it is deployed.

Rolling Out and Maintaining Your Internal Knowledge Base

Once the content is finalised and your employees are prepared, the roll-out itself shouldn’t be a complicated or long process. Once contracts are agreed, the deployment of your internal knowledge base, depending on your requirements is completed in days or weeks, providing your software vendor uses low-code deployment methods.

When it comes to maintaining your internal knowledge base, how can you ensure that it continues to be utilised, optimised and proves effective?

Encourage Engagement Through Gamification

To keep agents motivated and engaged, gamified visuals are available to champion user wins and encourage healthy competition in the contact centre. User scoreboard metrics such as most queries solved and top searches are visible to all and displayed in graphics to incentivise and create transparency.

An image that shows Knowledge Base analytics

Measure Effectiveness Against Objectives

To make sure that your internal knowledge base is proving effective in its intended areas, it is good practice to have its core goals and objectives always in mind. This way you can easily measure the system’s metrics against objectives to assess whether you remain on track or not. From this, appropriate changes can be made if necessary.

Measure metrics that reside in the tool’s analytics suite, such as search result metrics which reveal how many queries were successfully dealt with using the internal knowledge base and how many are optimisable.

An image that shows Knowledge Base analytics

Optimise Your Internal Knowledge Base with Analytics

Keep your knowledge articles up to date and your internal knowledge base accurate by assessing top query analytics that identifies any gaps in your existing content. This is also an opportunity to discover trends as they emerge.

To optimise your content, you can also carry out regular employee surveys and agent interviews to capture new insights and information, continuing to develop your internal library of knowledge.

An image that shows Knowledge Base analytics

If you enjoyed this article and would like to know more about knowledge management, you can read our guide here, or for advice on software selection, please

An image for an articles based on Knowledge Management Strategy

Executing a Knowledge Management Strategy

What Is Knowledge Management?

Knowledge management is a key business discipline that is utilised by a multitude of businesses to optimise knowledge, transforming the way it is perceived and dealt with. When executed effectively, knowledge management alters company culture so that it is centred around knowledge. Businesses that achieve this share the understanding that knowledge is a powerful asset which is everywhere and should be harnessed should they wish for growth, efficiency and improvement.

Operationally, knowledge management involves the harvesting, analysis, conversion, organisation and sharing of knowledge with the relevant audiences. This could be:

  • Internally for employees to use as a central library of information
  • Externally for customers to access knowledge through self-service tools
  • In contact centres for agents to use when helping customers

By embedding knowledge sharing into the company culture, the capture and collection of knowledge becomes an everyday practice for employees. This helps to remove knowledge silos within your business, promoting transparency and collaboration.

Companies that execute a successful knowledge management strategy also benefit from:

  • Operational efficiency
  • Agent productivity
  • Reduced support costs
  • Empowered employees
  • Better decision making
  • Improved CSAT / NPS ratings
  • Growth and innovation

Knowledge Management Objectives

Like with any new initiative, your knowledge management goals and objectives must be carefully considered and finalised before anything else.

Without knowing why you are implementing knowledge management or what you aim to achieve through its impact and having everyone on the same page, the execution is likely to fail. With a clear view of the purpose and desired outcome, you ensure that everyone has the same vision and is working towards a common result. It also helps everyone involved measure their progress and question if they are on track as expected, if not, then appropriate changes can be made – but at least there will be transparency.

Ensure all the key people involved in the knowledge management strategy are present to discuss goals and objectives, they will have valid views – all of which must be considered.

Common knowledge management objectives involve:

  • Reducing operational overheads and support costs
  • Promoting contact centre efficiency
  • Improving CSAT and NPS scores
  • Optimising the customer journey online
  • Supporting business growth
  • Supporting new product/service innovation

Once overall goals have been agreed, bitesize objectives can be decided alongside a timeline.

Knowledge Management Auditing

Once your team has a shared understanding of the purpose and outcomes regarding the knowledge management strategy, it is good practice to conduct a knowledge audit. This involves the evaluation of the current knowledge within your company to highlight any strengths, gaps, existing attitudes, opportunities and roadblocks.

Conduct the audit by considering the following:

  • What are your company’s requirements surrounding knowledge?
  • What current knowledge assets or resources exist within your company?
    • What format do they exist in?
    • Are they mainly explicit or tacit types of knowledge?
  • What gaps exist within your current knowledge offering?
  • How is knowledge currently shared around your company?
  • What are the roadblocks that are preventing knowledge sharing?
    • Do you have a dedicated and accountable knowledge executive?
    • Are there any processes already in place?
    • Do you utilise any software that enables sharing?

Once the knowledge audit has been carried out, you will have a clear understanding of where your strengths and areas for improvement are. This helps to influence the way in which you execute knowledge management.

People and Processes

Dedicated Knowledge Executive

Whether its a Knowledge Manager or dedicated executive from a division such as Customer Service, Customer Experience or Marketing, it’s fundamental that you have someone that takes ownership and accountability over knowledge management.

Ensure that your knowledge executive has the skill and experience to deal with knowledge. This includes knowing how to collect, curate, and harvest knowledge, but also involves the translation of tacit data into consumable knowledge.

Without a Knowledge Manager or equivalent in place, your knowledge will become ineffective, inconsistent and redundant. Without a dedicated individual updating, editing and adding to your bank of knowledge then not only does knowledge management not work as a function but inaccurate and therefore potentially damaging information can circulate.

Knowledge Management Process

Process is imperative when it comes executing your knowledge management strategy. Whilst there is no cookie-cutter approach to this and steps will differ from business to business, it’s important to follow the knowledge management process at the least in its’s simplest form:Discovery:The first step concerns identifying and capturing any explicit knowledge that already exists within the company. This can be found in intranets, DMS and shared company documents, for example, HR policies and Sales processes.

Capture: This focuses on extracting any tacit, undocumented knowledge which generally resides within the brains of senior employees. Interviews and reflection exercises are used to harvest knowledge that would otherwise remain subconscious.

Organise: Once all data has been collected, it must be analysed, grouped and translated into digestible content that is familiar with its audiences. This means communicating data as knowledge articles that are written in the company’s tone of voice.

Share: Using knowledge management software such as an intelligent knowledge base, the sharing of knowledge amongst colleagues and with other stakeholders such as customers is seamless and secure. Knowledge bases that utilise AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) ensure knowledge is fully accessible.

Evaluate: This fundamental step focuses on the constant review and monitoring of knowledge to ensure it is always accurate, up-to-date and serving its audiences effectively. Such evaluation exercises can be carried out using analytics.

A diagram showing the process flow of knowledge management

This approach can be used time and time again for the effective flow of knowledge to a range of outlets. Ensure each step is given careful attention and that none are skipped or disregarded.

Knowledge Management Software

At the heart of your knowledge management strategy is knowledge management software. It is what essentially facilitates the discipline – which would fail without such systems in place.

Most commonly businesses utilise knowledge bases that are powered by AI to act as their centralised repository of companywide knowledge. It stores all knowledge articles surrounding your company, products and services and allows knowledge executives to add, edit and update in real-time to avoid any information inconsistencies.

With a knowledge base, knowledge sharing is simplified. Whether it’s your employees, agents or customers accessing knowledge, the utilisation Natural Language Processing (NLP) ensures that the right information is always delivered.

For instance, agents who are accessing the internal-facing knowledge base begin by typing a customer query into the search bar. NLP gets to work unpicking the query, analysing the keywords, intent, grammar used and popularity, so that no matter how a query is phrased, the best results are produced.

An image showing the knowledge interface

From a customer’s perspective, a filtered version of your knowledge base can be accessed via a number of online self-service tools. When a customer requires support or needs to solve an issue, they can either navigate to a knowledge article by choosing a category or NLP will produce relevant answers based on what is entered.

For effective knowledge management software, consider:

  • Is it powered by AI and does it harness NLP?
  • Is it built with both contact centres and customers in mind?
  • Does it enable seamless integrations with other key systems?
  • Is it implemented using low-code?
  • Does it use open RESTful open APIs?

Implementation

The implementation of knowledge management software – that is from the SRS agreement to being fully up and running – does not need to be complicated or time-consuming. By choosing knowledge management software that utilises low code, depending on your business requirements, your employees and customers could be benefiting from knowledge within days or weeks. All it requires is a simple line of code that is installed on your website.

Your knowledge base seamlessly integrates with your fundamental customer service tools for the two-way sharing of knowledge. whether it’s self-service widgets , chatbots or live chat , all users can access consistent information fed from the same source.

Through its open RESTful API capabilities, an intelligent knowledge base can also connect to any key 3rd party applications that your company relies on, for example, your CRM.

An image showing how Self-Service, 3rd Party Tools and Contact Centres all integrate with Knowledge

Measurement and Maintenance

Your knowledge base’s analytical suite is how you will determine how effective your knowledge management strategy has proved in terms of achieving your overall objectives. Whether your objectives surrounded CSAT or agent efficiency, it is critical to the success of knowledge management that metrics are constantly analysed and reviewed.

Investing significant time and capital into the execution of your knowledge management strategy, only to fail at the final hurdle would be detrimental – and is why measurement is so important.

Just some knowledge analytics that are available to companies for analysis include:

  • Search results: helping you to determine the effectiveness of knowledge, revealing how many articles resolved queries and how many required further optimisation.
  • Top queries: providing an insight into customer behaviour, revealing what is being searched and whether knowledge articles were available to fulfil their requirements.
  • Triggers: demonstrating which tools have been triggered on your website and which have proved the most optimal at resolving issues.
An image that shows knowledge base and internal knowledge analytics

If you enjoyed this article and would like to more about knowledge management,t, you can read our guide here, or for advice on knowledge management software and implementation, please

Image on lady on laptop for knowledge management processes

What Is the Knowledge Management Process?

What Is Knowledge Management?

Knowledge management, a key business function, is practised by a multitude of businesses to optimise knowledge, treating it an asset with significant monetary value attached. When implemented effectively, knowledge becomes embedded into a company’s culture so that the collection, analysis, sharing and evaluation of knowledge is second nature.

Companies that implement knowledge management understand the significant value knowledge holds when it comes to business. When we consider how fundamental intellectual property, processes and patents once stemmed from knowledge, it’s apparent why so many companies encourage the collection and sharing of knowledge.

When businesses have teams across multiple locations, knowledge becomes isolated and knowledge silos are formed. This can prove detrimental to business operations and innovation and only exacerbates as companies scale up. Knowledge management instead promotes a knowledge sharing culture which helps to tear down knowledge silos and retain important company knowledge. It also ensures that when an employee leaves a company, their tacit knowledge does not leave with them.

Further, knowledge management helps to bring new employees up to speed quickly, transforming them into experts through the knowledge that has been collected.

Businesses that implement and practice knowledge management benefit from:

  • A significant reduction to customer service support costs
  • Higher CSAT ratings
  • Efficient operations
  • Enhanced decision-making process
  • A cultural shift towards knowledge sharing
  • Empowered employees
  • Growth and innovation

What Is the Knowledge Management Process?

People, process and technology each play integral roles when it comes to implementing knowledge management. It’s crucial that your company not only has a dedicated knowledge executive, someone who manages knowledge as an asset and knowledge management as a working machine, but what is fundamental in executing the discipline is the process you follow.

Whilst every business is different and there is no cookie-cutter approach to the knowledge management process, most commonly the following structure is utilised:

  • Discovery: What existing knowledge can be collected?
  • Capture: What undocumented knowledge can be extracted
  • Organise: Is the knowledge consumable?
  • Share: Is the knowledge accessible?
  • Evaluate: How can the knowledge be optimised further?

It’s important that this process, or a variation of this process is followed for the successful deployment of knowledge management. Skipping or neglecting a step could prove detrimental to the final result.

Step 1: Discovery

Before Discovery, it is good practice to discuss knowledge management goals and objectives to provide your knowledge manager with clear direction as to what your company needs to know and what knowledge needs to be found.

Following this, the first step of the knowledge management process concerns the collection of any explicit knowledge that already exists within the company. Explicit knowledge is codified, consumable and can be easily communicated, some examples include:

  • Policies such as HR or returns policies
  • Processes such as Sales or product launch processes
  • Documents such as product specifications or supplier agreements
  • Reports such as marketing effectiveness and customer research

Due to its nature, the collection of explicit knowledge is straightforward but can take time.

Knowledge managers might discover explicit knowledge in shared company DMSs, CRMs, intranets and other records. Whilst this knowledge already exists, it is likely to be highly fragmented and therefore requires dedicated time to data-mine. Effective knowledge management software assists in semi-automating this otherwise time-consuming step.

Step 2: Capture

The Capture stage of the knowledge management process is responsible for extracting and capturing any tacit knowledge that exists within the company. Unlike explicit knowledge, tacit knowledge is generally difficult to identify, articulate and remains below the surface.

Tacit knowledge is learnt over many years, is usually utilised subconsciously and resides within the minds of senior employees, often becoming second nature to them. Because tacit knowledge is not easily communicated, specialist skills and methods are used in order to extract this incredibly valuable type of knowledge. Such methods include:

  • Observation
  • Interviews
  • Surveys
  • Retrospect (reflection meetings that take place after the completion of a project)
  • Knowledge harvesting (often involving senior employees)

Once tacit knowledge, for example, expert opinions on competitors or salesperson intuition on customer behaviours has been captured, it is the role of the knowledge manager to transform it into a digestible form.

Step 3: Organise

The purpose of knowledge management is to embed, share and teach knowledge to relevant audiences, therefore it is paramount that the knowledge itself is presented in a comprehensive yet simple and digestible way.

This means that your knowledge executive must translate the tacit data collected into consumable knowledge.

Deep analysis and skill are required to collect, unpick, combine and rebuild tacit knowledge into comprehendible articles that match the company’s tone of voice and the entity in which the user is searching for.

Most businesses use knowledge base technology to simplify this process, ensuring control and organisation whilst knowledge is imported to one centralised repository.

Knowledge base providers that utilise Natural Language Processing (NLP), can even advise knowledge managers, flagging poorly structured titles and offering recommendation to improve them.

An imaging showing how agents can flag articles in Synthetix Knowledge for your Team

Step 4: Share

This stage is particularly important to knowledge management, it is what makes knowledge accessible and available to the right people at the right time, whether it’s:

  • Internally for employees searching for critical documents, acting as a central knowledge library
  • Externally for customers in the form of self-service software , using a filtered view they can access relevant articles

The most effective way to share knowledge throughout a company is through a knowledge base. Once articles are imported, they can easily be updated, reviewed or added to using the straightforward editor. Any changes are reflected in real-time to ensure information consistency and accuracy, no matter how or who is viewing it.

Built on AI and harnessing NLP, intelligent knowledge base technology, users have access to results fast. By unpicking sentence structure and analysing each word, NLP can comprehend what a user is asking regardless of how they have asked it. Such knowledge bases offer article recommendations on every keypress to further boost efficiency.

Users can also navigate to knowledge articles using categories, sub-categories, filtered views and favourites tabs.

Step 5: Evaluate

The final stage of the knowledge management process is one that should be continuously carried out. It is responsible for ensuring that the knowledge stored and distributed is proving effective to its audiences. Without this step your knowledge becomes stagnant and knowledge management has no space to optimise.

For constant operational and knowledge improvements, your knowledge base analytics should measure:

  • Search result metrics:analytics that demonstrate the effectiveness of articles based on resolved queries, subsequently revealing the effectiveness of your knowledge base
  • Top query metrics: these provide key insights into customer trends and requirements, revealing where any content gaps are and areas for optimisation
  • Trigger metrics: these metrics show where certain tools trigger on your website, revealing effectiveness and how customers are interacting with your brand
An image that shows knowledge base and internal knowledge analytics

Facilitating Knowledge Management Through Software

Whilst people and process are fundamental to the implementation of knowledge management, without effective software in place the facilitation of the discipline would not be possible.

Most commonly a knowledge base is utilised to store, share and measure the effectiveness of your companywide knowledge, from HR policies to product troubleshooting videos. It acts as the nucleus of knowledge management and feeds all key business and customer service tools. This means that the internal knowledge base your agents use will produce the same articles as the self-service tools that your customers use, regardless of the way a query is phrased. It ensures consistency.

For smooth implementation and reliable maintenance of knowledge, look for software that:

  • Is powered using AI: This ensures your knowledge base is intuitive, delivering the fastest, most relevant results possible.
  • Harnesses powerful Natural Language Processing: Critical to CSAT and agent efficiency, NLP understands what is being asks and can therefore deliver the best answers.
  • Is built with the contact centre in mind: The knowledge base’s agent interface includes features such as AI-predictive suggestions and integrated knowledge to save operational costs.
  • Is built with customer experience in mind: Customer facing tools such as self-service offer intelligent search and categories, as well as escalation to agent-assisted channels if necessary.
  • Includes seamless integrations: Connect with self-service tools, chatbots and live chat channels for consistent knowledge sharing.
  • Is implemented through low-code: With low-code implementation, knowledge management as a functional discipline can be up and running quickly.
  • Uses open RESTful APIs: In order to connect to your key 3rd party applications such as CRMs or email management tools.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to know more about knowledge management, you can read our guide here. Or if you would like any advice about knowledge management software or the process, please

Image of lady on Laptop using Knowledge for Teams

Essential Knowledge Management Tools

What Is Knowledge Management?

Knowledge management is a discipline utilised by businesses to optimise knowledge and the way in which it is treated. It concerns the extraction, collection, analysis, sharing and development of companywide data to promote operational efficiency and enrich both customer and employee experience.

By embedding knowledge management into a company, a knowledge sharing culture is created whereby knowledge is perceived as an asset that has a monetary value attached. Companies who effectively implement knowledge management experience:

  • A significant reduction to customer service support costs
  • Higher CSAT ratings
  • Improved operational efficiency
  • Greater accuracy and consistency of information
  • Faster, more informed decision making
  • Enhanced CX
  • Empowered employees

It’s important for businesses to stay on top of knowledge management if they want to remain competitive, satisfy their stakeholders and avoid stagnancy.

For successful implementation, companies must utilise a variety of intelligent knowledge management tools, with the more important being a knowledge base.

The Importance of a Knowledge Base

A knowledge base is ultimately what facilities knowledge management within any organisation. Without this essential knowledge management tool, knowledge sharing both internally and externally would prove ineffective, inaccurate, and cumbersome.

A knowledge base works as your company’s centralised repository of knowledge, containing everything from product specifications to brand guidelines and support tutorials to returns policies. Its purpose is to make the right information accessible to the right people at the right time, this could be employees, agents or customers.

As your sole source of knowledge, the risk of inconsistent or inaccurate information being distributed is significantly reduced. Your knowledge base powers all your key customer service and knowledge management tools, feeding them with accurate and up-to-date information. This contributes positively to CSAT and mitigates the chances of brand reputation being damaged.

A knowledge base helps to improve efficiency companywide. Not only does it integrate seamlessly with all your key business and customer service tools enabling smooth, 2-way knowledge sharing, but it tears down knowledge silos. Knowledge otherwise kept within teams or locations is stored in one place for all to benefit from. Now equipped with more, richer knowledge, decision making at both an operational and strategic level is optimal.

Further, as Sir Francis Bacon said, “knowledge is power” – it is an asset and the more you harness it the more competitive you become.

At the core of any effective knowledge management strategy is a knowledge base, the function cannot be successfully implemented without this powerful tool.

What Are Knowledge Management Tools?

In addition to your knowledge base, other knowledge management tools that involve customer relationships and analytics can help to improve operational efficiency. With the knowledge base at the centre of knowledge management, other 3rd party applications such as CRMs and analytical tools increase cohesion across your entire technology stack.

Intelligent Knowledge Bases

Built on AI and harnessing powerful Natural Language Processing (NLP), an intelligent knowledge base is the nucleus of knowledge management. It stores and shares valuable information using AI, intelligent search systems and filters to ensure the correct knowledge is served to the correct audience.

Its editor system allows knowledge articles to be added, updated, edited and linked to one another with ease, all reflecting in real-time to ensure the consistent distribution of answers. Not only is it easy to maintain, but users can also find what they’re looking for through categories, views and the system’s sophisticated NLP.

Integral to CSAT

An intelligent knowledge base’s NLP helps customers find quick and relevant answers through the customer-facing tools they interact with, positively contributing to CSAT. Self-service and chatbot applications for example that integrate with your knowledge base utilise NLP to understand the context and intent behind customer queries. By unpicking sentence structure and analysing keywords, intent, grammar and popularity, relevant results can be delivered regardless of how a query is phrased. This allows a large proportion of routine queries to be solved simultaneously and at scale using AI, removing the need for an agent and providing a smooth customer journey.

Essential to Agent Efficiency

For the contact centre, an intelligent knowledge base is essential when it comes to agent efficiency. With all information intuitively available at agents’ fingertips, they do not have to toggle between windows and resources to find the right knowledge articles. The result of which means that more customers can be served, reducing Average Handling Times (AHT) by 40%. Additionally, knowledge bases that harness Natural language processing (NLP) are shown to consistently deliver accurate information to the agent, increasing First Contact Resolution (FCR).

Your knowledge base helps to reduce training times, up to 30% in some cases. Less time and fewer costs are spent on onboarding and training as the knowledge required to train new user has already been extracted and stored in the knowledge base. The provision of your knowledge base ensures that starters don’t have to know an answer to a query or process in your contact centre, but only to know how to find that information.

An image to indicate the different in training times using Synthetix Vs not using Synthetix

Customer Relationship Management

Your CRM plays an important role in knowledge management, in particular complementing your knowledge base. Whilst a CRM’s purpose surrounds maintaining customer relationships, it acts as a repository of customer information which is valuable in informing knowledge creation.

The vast data that is captured inside you CRM – everything from demographics to buying patterns, pain points and objections – is highly valuable for decision making but would not be stored in your knowledge base, similar to how articles would not be stored in your CRM.

Analytical Tools

Analytical tools, those that capture, collect and present metrics surrounding knowledge management are imperative to continual operational improvement and knowledge optimisation.

Not only can these metrics tell you how effective knowledge management is proving in relation to serving customers, but it also reveals any content gaps or roadblocks in existing knowledge articles. Specially curated graphs and charts provide insight into how many queries were successfully answered and how many were not, revealing areas for improvement.

Top search query analytics help not only give provide insight into customers’ search behaviour but also help to influence decision making in other areas of business such as product development. If there are patterns in what customers are asking for, this may reveal their current motivations and requirements, ultimately giving you a competitive advantage.

An image that shows knowledge base and internal knowledge analytics

Effective knowledge base software will have a comprehensive analytics suite integrated into the product itself, working seamlessly to provide insights.

Integrating Your Knowledge Management Tools

To further optimise the power of your intelligent knowledge base, integrate it with key business and customer service tools. Effective knowledge bases ensure the seamless integration between other customer service tools such as self-servicechatbots and live chat to facilitate 2-way knowledge sharing. They also utilise open RESTful APIs to connect with key 3rd party applications such as your CRM and email management software.

Such knowledge management integrations allow:

  • Customers access to relevant knowledge through self-service tools
  • Agents to efficiently answer customer queries with knowledge at their fingertips
  • Chatbots to guide customers through their journey whilst answering their routine questions
  • Agents to see what a customer is typing via live chat, recommending articles on each keypress
  • Customer information to be added and updated automatically in your CRM
  • Email and automation to be triggered based on customer interactions
An image showing how Self-Service, 3rd Party Tools and Contact Centres all integrate with Knowledge

If you enjoyed this article and would like to find out more about knowledge management, you can read our guide here. Or, if you would like any help implementing knowledge management tools, please

What Is FAQ Software?

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An Introduction to FAQ Software

FAQs, frequently asked questions are simply that – the routine queries that are asked multiple times a day, every day by your customers. They involve your company, products and services and include queries such as:

An image that shows FAQs.

Having access to FAQs is vital to CX, today 67% of customers want to resolve their own queries through the power of self-service. This is why including a form of FAQ tool on your website is paramount. It enhances the customer journey by providing quick, convenient, 24/7 access to answers – which reflects positively in CSAT.

FAQ software facilitates this self-service. It lets your customers help themselves by providing a library of answers and search function that when engaged with, delivers the most relevant results.

Depending on your business size and requirements, a simple FAQ page might suffice for the most basic of self-service needs. However, for most companies, an excellent level of customer service and CX is essential and therefore such a solution would not be adequate. Instead, they opt for a more sophisticated AI-powered FAQ tool that can effectively provide customers with the answers they require through Natural Language Processing (NLP).

In addition to serving customers, FAQ software proves particularly advantageous to customer service contact centre teams. FAQ tools that utilise NLP enable the mass automation of routine queries and tasks that would otherwise be handled by agents. Not only does redirecting this type of query to an FAQ tool prove effective in reducing operational costs and staffing overheads, but it allows agents to dedicate more time to queries that are complex by nature. This contributes positively to CSAT.

FAQ software can do far more than simply answering a question, it helps customers get to where they need to be through escalation and from an internal perspective, acting as one centralised source of knowledge, empowers entire companies with the data it produces.

Types of FAQ Software

Basic FAQ Page Solutions

This type of FAQ solution is presented as a static FAQ page whereby users can type a question into a search bar and if there is an exact match, an answer that has been configured will show.

Whilst this might appear to be the best-for-value option, in the long run, it is likely to end up costing you more.

The content that is included on an FAQ page is based off opinion opposed to fact as a lack of data surrounding knowledge article popularity results in simple guesswork. What this means is that your FAQs aren’t FAQs, rather what someone believes them to be – which of course is problematic, creating a gap between you and your customers.

FAQ pages include a simple interface that is usually built with basic code, this means that making even a small edit involves many developer hours and before this, a long chain of command. The management of an FAQ page is therefore cumbersome, and often an inefficient use of many employees’ time.

Further, its basic setup restricts knowledge sharing and can increase the likelihood of errors occurring. Because an FAQ page is not the centralised source of knowledge, nor can it integrate with one, edits and changes cannot occur automatically. This results in many little updates that increase the chances of information inconsistencies and inaccuracies across the company.

Basic FAQ Tools

Basic FAQ tools have a similar structure to the FAQ page discussed – the only difference is that they can be presented in a variety of ways. Unlike the basic FAQ page solution, which is restricted to a static HTML page, basic FAQ tool solutions can take the form of a widget or pop-up. This is usually configured to show on certain pages and pop-up after a given amount of time.

Whilst this solution offers some flexibility in terms of presentation, its setup is basic and search functionality is limited. Its lack of AI and NLP utilisation removes any human-like understanding from the tool, so unless an exact keyword match is entered, results will not be triggered or therefore displayed to the customer. The effect of which takes a toll on CX as customers cannot find answers to their simple questions, often being told: “No results found.”

Poor FAQ Tools 

Effective FAQ Tool 

For these customers, their journey is cut short with no follow-up questions asked or channel escalation offered.

Intelligent FAQ Software

The solution for companies who want to:

  • Provide optimal CX
  • Ensure excellent customer service
  • Enhance CSAT
  • Have greater control over knowledge sharing, data and integrations

Far more advanced than the basic FAQ solutions previously discussed, intelligent FAQ software is the core of all company knowledge. Its role is fundamental, playing a key part in the overall customer service ecosystem and enhancing operations beyond the capabilities of other solutions.

An image to demonstrate how customer service technologies interlink

Intelligent FAQ software  is built on AI and stores all company information – from internal documents suitable for employees only to FAQs and product information, fit for customer consumption.

Knowledge base FAQ systems fundamentally instruct your FAQs. They track what customers actually ask most frequently; not relying on what you assume to be your top FAQs as other tools or static HTML FAQs do. You can’t improve what you can’t measure, so knowledge base analytics unlock a completely new dimension of CX delivery.

It is your centralised hub of knowledge, feeding any tool that relies on company information. It means that the answers your chatbot or self-service widget deliver to your customers are using the same source as the agent who is operating live chat is also referring to. This ensures complete consistency across all channels and reduces the risk associated with serving inaccurate information.

Your intelligent FAQ knowledge base can seamlessly integrate with:

  • Internal tools such as agent knowledge that assists in answering customers’ questions
  • Customer-facing tools that facilitate online self-service
  • 3rd party applications such as CRM or email management tools

An FAQ knowledge base utilises NLP to better ‘understand’ customer queries, taking into consideration the many ways in which a question can be asked. NLP breaks down each query into keywords, intent, grammar and popularity, analysing each component to produce the most relevant results, encouraging CSAT. If the query is non-routine and complex by nature, escalation to an agent-assisted channel is offered where a human can intervene.

An images to represent the 4 layers of Natural Language Processing: search keywords, intent, grammar and popularity.

Unlike the basic FAQ software options, an FAQ knowledge base turns knowledge into an asset for your company. By collecting and organising useful data, teams can learn from customer behaviour patterns, companies can optimise articles and operations can become more efficient. 

Because knowledge bases utilise Machine Learning (ML) principles they can even recognise patterns in customer preferences, language and grammar, storing such intel and using it for improved future interactions.

Every business and its requirements for FAQ software is different, but before beginning your software selection process, ensure you have outlined exactly what you need from it. For small start-ups with very basic needs, a simple FAQ page may suffice. But for companies that are focused on maximising customer service, they should consider intelligent FAQ software that supports customers and empowers employees. 


If you enjoyed this article and would like to know more about knowledge management, you can read our guide here or if you’d like help with any organisational needs, please