By definition, a knowledge base is not a database. A knowledge base is a virtual space where you can centralise all available information on a given topic. In short, it is a treasure trove for the company.

In the field of CRM, knowledge bases are often used by the customer service or the sales departments. The quality of a knowledge base, however, depends on how the data is organised.

What data should be included in the knowledge base? How should it be structured? How should the information be displayed? How can you ensure the information is up-to-date? These are the key questions you must answer before setting up your knowledge base.

 

Capitalising on the knowledge of the company and sharing it

Database vs knowledge base

Unlike a database which is organised and structured, and in which each piece of information has a designated place (name field, phone field, etc.), a knowledge base is designed to store a wide range of information so that this can then be used by as many people as possible.

Knowledge bases are often used by customer service departments to offer satisfactory answers to customers; or by the sales department, to ensure the message of the brand stays consistent. This information can come in the form of documents, texts, or multimedia content. This raises the question of how this information should be structured in the knowledge base.

 

How should your knowledge base be structured?

This depends both on who uses the knowledge base and who administers it.

The first step is to define the end-users of the information. The users of the knowledge base, and therefore the “consumers” of this information, must be able to find answers to their questions as quickly as possible, with as much precision as possible.

You can, for example, implement a keyword system, to link articles on similar topics; or implement a search engine; or make a list of frequently-asked questions with the corresponding answers.

The structure of the information should be tailored to the expected outcome.

Updating shared information

Having a knowledge base is good, but having an up-to-date knowledge base is even better. Therefore, it is indispensable to have somebody in charge of the knowledge base, who will keep the relevant information up to date.

Sometimes, users themselves will input information into the knowledge base. In this case, the role of the administrator will be to moderate these articles before they are published, and check the relevance and consistency of the information.

The knowledge base can also promote collaboration among employees. How ? By implementing a rating system on the fact sheets viewed by users. For example, users can award one star if the fact sheet is not detailed enough or five stars if the fact sheet perfectly met their expectations.

How should the information be presented?

Will the information be used by a call centre?

Or displayed on an FAQ page on a website?

Is it a list of questions and answers, or a tree-view through which users can browse from one topic to another?

Taking questions like this into consideration will help you in designing your knowledge base.

As we said earlier, the way the knowledge base is structured and presented depends on the end-user of the information.

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