A checklist for choosing advanced Knowledge Management software

To ensure the success of your Knowledge Management ventures, there are some features that you should consider when choosing Knowledge Management software (KMS). Here’s what we think are the most important features and why.

1. Supports your chosen Knowledge Management strategy and method

First of all, you should clarify whether the Knowledge Management software supports your Knowledge Management strategy or methodology, such as KCS® (Knowledge-Centered Service). There are examples of KCS Verified software that are proven to support best practice. Technology is an enabler for a strategy. Easy-to-use technology that is aligned with your Knowledge Management strategy enables you to help people follow the strategy without even knowing it.

2. Search-search-search

A powerful and intelligent search engine is arguably the most important feature of Knowledge Management software. Everything starts with a search when capturing, structuring, improving, and reusing knowledge. If no one can find the knowledge, no one will use it, regardless of how many relevant knowledge articles you have. All of the Knowledge Management software solutions you’re considering probably have search functionality, but not all of them work as fast or as accurately as you’re used to when using other search engines like Google. The knowledge base and self-service portal should be your organization’s own Google, offering relevant knowledge adapted for your organization, customers, and partners. Look for software with search engines with advanced technologies such as a language analyzer using NLP, full text search, auto-corrected search, facet navigation, etc. When supporting external customers, the Google indexing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) could be crucial for expanding the search capabilities of Google itself.

3. Interactive decision trees to guide you

In addition to the search engine there are interactive decision trees to help guide you. Decision trees help customers progress through a series of steps to resolve a problem or find information on what they want to achieve. Decision trees have a conversion-like structure that uses a series of steps to guide customers to an optimal solution or answer.

4. Visibility and permission control to manage one knowledge base

Although everyone – including employees in different roles or departments, as well as customers and partners – should be able to see and access the same knowledge base, not everyone should be able to access or have permission to do everything. You should make sure your Knowledge Management software is able to personalize the content and the rights for knowledge creation for different audiences, without the creation of multiple portals or knowledge bases. This not only saves time and effort, it also simplifies the promotion of just one knowledge base and self-service portal.

5. Language support for improved customer experience

It’s essential to have multi-language support for your knowledge base and self-service portal, especially if you’re a global organization, in order to offer customers a great experience in the language of their choice. Auto-translation functionality is a gamechanger, because it cuts translation costs and the knowledge will reach and help the target group much faster.

6. Prepopulated knowledge base for getting started quickly

You can start your Knowledge management and self-service journey more quickly by using a prepopulated knowledge base that contains certified knowledge articles on standard applications, for example.

7. Intelligent swarming – collaboration to solve complex issues faster

Collaboration features for the customer support and service teams, such as group chats connected to knowledge, can help solve complex issues more efficiently. This is called “intelligent swarming”. The end result is an increase in first-time resolution frequency, as well as increased job satisfaction and engagement.

8. Chatbots, virtual support agents, websites, and business software connectors

It’s essential that your Knowledge Management software is part of and connected to the organization’s infrastructure, such as business software and websites, as well as chatbots and virtual support agents. Having knowledge close to the customers and the support and service teams streamlines work and support flows. Look for Knowledge Management software with ready-to-use connectors and a strong API platform that gives you flexibility.

9. Business intelligence for optimized decision-making

In order to get feedback on the value of your Knowledge Management efforts and preventive measures, you need advanced reports that track historical, real-time, and forecast data of all customer interaction and behavior. For additional business value you should look for Knowledge Management software that has an analysis service that connects the organization’s knowledge data to your existing business. This will accelerate and improve organizational decision-making, as well as optimize internal business intelligence processes. Data will help you improve your products and services.

10. Scalable software for growing organizations

If your organization is expanding into more divisions or countries, you need scalable software that can be easily upgraded as you grow and that has the ability to reuse a similar setup and structure. This ensures that you can continue to develop your Knowledge Management adoption instead of starting over and doing a total relaunch.

11. The latest technology for smarter knowledge output

As stated above, technology is an enabler for a strategy. The latest technology enables smarter technology, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. These make it possible for Knowledge Management software to learn, predict, and surprise by providing relevant knowledge before we even know what we need or what we need to act upon. Look for Knowledge Management software that not only supports the way you work today, but that is prepared for the needs of tomorrow as well.

How ComAround can help

I hope this article inspires you find the optimal Knowledge Management software for your organization. Read about our powerful AI and cloud-based Knowledge Management software, ComAround Knowledge™. Find out about our Knowledge Management and KCS training and consultancy services.

Author of the blog article: Therese Walve, ComAround, KCS Practices V6 certified.

Related links:

Whitepaper: Top ten reasons why Knowledge Management initiatives fail

Blog article: How to increase knowledge base searchability

Case study: Ale Municipality – A central cloud-based knowledge and digital support hub  

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