November 13, 2019 | By

5 Factors of Successful Knowledge Management Systems

Today, knowledge bases (KB) are critical for successful customer service interactions. A robust repository of company knowledge is a driver for both improved customer satisfaction and agent efficiency. Given the importance of knowledge bases, you need to be sure to have an effective knowledge management (KM) system that allows you to build the best set of data you can, keep it optimized, and get the most out of your data.

But how do you choose the right one? What are the features of a good knowledge management system? What should you consider?

Successful knowledge management starts with an effective knowledge management system. Here are the top 5 factors to look for:


1. One common knowledge base for all.

Consistency is the key to clarity. With an effective knowledge management system, you’ll have one common KB that serves agents and customers across all channels, including self-service. This consistency from one source of truth ensures everyone has access to the same information. No matter how or where a question is asked, it’s answered in the same way every time.

This results in less work for you. Anytime you need to create or update an article in your KB, it’s instantly available everywhere. You don’t have to repeat the process for individual silos. This also lets you deliver a consistent customer experience. Customers won’t be told one thing by a chatbot only to hear another thing from an agent. A knowledge management strategy with a centralized KB arms your business with the power to quickly and efficiently provide customers with consistent answers across all touchpoints to create better outcomes.


2. Easy to populate and update.

Effective knowledge bases aren’t static. They continue to evolve to better serve the needs of customers and agents. To do that, a successful knowledge management system should make it easy for any business user to create or update content.

If you have existing FAQs on your website or as a CSV file, an effective knowledge management system should make it easy to import this data with a simple URL or file upload. Once that’s done, those answers are now part of your centralized KB and immediately available to customers and agents across channels.

When you need to create articles from scratch or make changes, a simple interface should allow you to just type it in and move on with your day. Having this quick and easy access to your knowledge base articles means content managers can update them on the fly, so you are always serving up the most current information.


3. Immediate analytics and insights.

You should be able to learn from an effective knowledge management system on day one and continuously after that with one-shot learning. How? Your system should show you what questions your customers are asking – and where – to give you a clear view of the customer journey. If you see a bunch of questions come in on the same topic at the same point in the customer journey, you know where to focus efforts. You may need to create or update a KB article to answer these questions, or even nip them in the bud by optimizing content on your site.

A knowledge management strategy that includes immediate analytics and insights lets you begin with what you have and improve over time. You don’t have to frontload your system with guesses on what customers might be looking for. Build your KB on actual customer questions to ensure relevancy. A successful knowledge management system should have a visual dashboard that makes this easy. It will group questions, red-flag priorities, and let you drill down into the data to see exactly where you have knowledge gaps.


4. Feedback system for rating helpfulness of content.

How do you know if your answers are working? An effective knowledge management system should offer a simple way to allow customers and agents to rate the helpfulness of the answers they receive. This is a big way that artificial intelligence (AI) learns what’s working and what’s not. If an answer to a question gets a good rating, it will know to serve that answer the next time.

This is also how AI learns intents. Questions may be asked in different ways, but if the same answer satisfies them all, AI learns that these question variations share the same intent. Because AI is doing this work, you don’t have to manually go in and script all the question variations. AI does it for you based on these feedback ratings.


5. Natural Language Processing (NLP) for understanding intent.

Humans aren’t robots, so we don’t ask questions the exact same way every time. An effective knowledge management system should be built with NLP to take into account the various ways users phrase a question and consider alternate phrases, synonyms, misspellings, and other language idiosyncrasies. By utilizing NLP, a successful knowledge management system will understand intent – the intention of a customer’s question, regardless of how it’s asked – to serve up the best answer.

Here again, an effective knowledge management system should keep learning and improving over time, and that includes its NLP algorithm. Language naturally changes over time, plus your customers will have new questions to ask. Your system should keep up with it all without you having to worry about it.


All of these features of a good knowledge management system ultimately allow you to build, strengthen, and execute an impactful knowledge management strategy. Learn more about Bold360 and take advantage of all 5 of these factors for successful knowledge management.

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