Article

Knowledge is power—the many knowledge management system benefits

Learn the many knowledge management system benefits, and why everyone wins when knowledge is shared freely

By Tara Ramroop, Senior content marketing manager

Published July 19, 2017
Last modified July 27, 2020

Equipping support teams with the knowledge to assist customers is essential. But support is just one function that benefits from proper knowledge management. The truth is that everyone in a company can reap knowledge management system benefits.

Learn more about the many benefits of a knowledge management system, and how gathering, organizing, and using tacit knowledge empowers teams across a business.

Knowledge management system benefits

Knowledge management is a term that describes how information is gathered and shared across an organization.

Poor knowledge management is linked to low customer satisfaction ratings, lower agent productivity, siloed organizational knowledge, and inefficiency, because no one knows who to talk to about what. On the other hand, good knowledge management improves the customer experience, it improves the support agent experience, and it breaks down internal silos of information.

Let's go into the knowledge management system benefits in more detail.

Knowledge management is a win for customers

Good knowledge management is the foundation of good self-service, and we know customers largely prefer to self-serve on simple queries. Yet, the 2020 Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report finds that companies are still missing opportunities to connect with customers via self-service. High-performing companies in the Zendesk Benchmark were 76% more likely to offer self-service, but the CX Trends report indicates that only a third of companies offer some form of self-service, whether through a help center, knowledge base, or FAQ.

Knowledge management is a win for support agents

When agents struggle to find knowledge, it impacts their experience in a bad way. This is why improving the flow of contextual knowledge can improve organizational efficiency.

Support agents are some of the best people to talk to when gathering knowledge. Firstly, they provide an important point of view from the front lines of customer service. Secondly, contributing to knowledge enhances their skills and opens them up to new opportunities. According to the CX Trends Report:

  • High-performing companies are more likely to let both agents and customers access self-service.
  • High-performing companies are nearly three times more likely to have enabled features that allow agents to capture their knowledge and add to, or update, help articles.
  • High-performing teams are more than twice as likely to have a help center or knowledge base available across multiple channels.

Data shows that improved agent experience improves agent retention. A defined customer service career track means good things for agents, as well as for companies scaling their customer service operation.

Good knowledge management is a win for the business

Good knowledge management breaks down internal silos of information. These silos can reduce productivity. When people in an organization can't share information, it can impact everyone's ability to do their best work. Think about every time you contacted someone at work searching for information or context around an issue, only to go down a rabbit hole of leads and piecemeal knowledge. A lot of people in a company probably know a little bit about what you need, but without a knowledge management system in place, those pieces don't come together as a whole. A knowledge management system that surfaces knowledge throughout the organization can fill those gaps.

Furthermore, having a process around knowledge-gathering and knowledge sharing also helps prevent tacit knowledge from falling through the cracks when people leave the company or move to other departments.

Establishing a knowledge management process

Ready to take the next step? Keep knowledge management best practices top of mind when establishing processes and evaluate knowledge management tools:

  • Identify knowledge management role model companies at which knowledge is an enterprise-wide initiative, and study up. Seek connections within that company to discuss their knowledge-management experience and how they got started; doing so may lead to the ideal knowledge management tool.
  • Identify individuals with essential knowledge management skills: project management, content management, or technical writing are good candidates. Partner with people in these roles on content creation and maintenance.
  • Measure and track how long it takes to find the right information, whether the person searching is a customer or an internal business partner.
  • Consider how to share the new knowledge management process with the whole company. Create a mission statement, identify stakeholders, and start putting the message in motion.

Tracking knowledge management metrics

The knowledge management benefits become crystal-clear once a process is rolled out and knowledge management metrics, which include self-service metrics, are being tracked.

Identify knowledge management KPIs that best capture the business' goals with knowledge management. Measure and track changes in customer satisfaction, such as CSAT score and other metrics that might improve with easy access to tacit knowledge.

Establishing a knowledge management process and tracking its success puts these knowledge management system benefits well within reach.

Is your self-service scaling with your customer base?

One of the biggest benefits of knowledge management: its impact on scaling support operations.