One of the biggest challenges to successfully running a company or a business is managing your time. In today’s world, it seems like we never have enough of it.
You must have heard that time is the most valuable asset as a business owner, yet it is fleeting. Luckily, there are ways to help you get organized through implementing effective documentation, such as a knowledge base.
A knowledge base is your best friend, and it solves all your problems, improves your processes, does your research, and a lot more.
In this age of information overload and knowledge management, finding time to create a knowledge base for your business can really pay off. It’s not that you don’t know enough about your business; it’s just that there is too much information, and your current systems don’t help you organize it.
This blog post will review a system you can use to help you manage your knowledge base and learn new information about your business.
Let’s start by understanding what a knowledge base is.
What is a knowledge base?
A knowledge base is an online or offline repository of documents, videos, frequently answered questions, how-to guides, and other collateral. Knowledge base content is created to explain the functionality, components, codes, and troubleshooting instructions of the product, or it could also contain company policies, a handbook, etc. based on the company’s needs.
A knowledge base basically acts as a self-serve repository for the company’s employees as well as customers and prospects.
Based on the documents, the view access is given to the users, and other customer-centric content such as product manuals, self-help books, product FAQs, etc., that could help the customers is made viewable to all on the internet. It is created to help people find solutions to the problem easily, from anywhere, and, more importantly, without having to ask anyone.
As discussed earlier, the view access can be given as per the confidentiality of the documents, while the edit access for knowledge base software can be given to a few people. It’s done in order to ensure the quality of the documentation and should be updated regularly by the editor.
We’ll touch on how you can ensure the quality of your knowledge base or the best practices for managing a knowledge base, but first, let’s talk about why creating a knowledge base is so important and how creating a knowledge base can help with time management.
Bonus: Time blocking templates
Why is a knowledge base important for managing time?
Knowledge removes any access cost time involved in creating and recreating content. You’ll need to create the documents once, then update them as necessary, and if applicable, you can share them with your audience.
Secondly, any user can access the documents from anywhere and anytime in a knowledge base dashboard. With a knowledge base that’s updated as processes evolve, employees will be able to maximize their productivity by reducing time spent on researching related documents to complete their work. They’ll be able to easily search by keywords and access all supporting documents within the knowledge base.
Another advantage of a knowledge base is that it improves communication within an organization. Training, customer and employee inquiries or any other quick answers can be handled with a knowledge base software that automates the entire knowledge sharing and collaborative work for all employees so that they can use their time more effectively.
Moreover, Harvard’s latest study suggests that having a help section can help reduce calls by 5% because customers can get the most answer queries resolved. And this, in turn, reduces the toll of repetitive calls on customer service agents, which helps better manage their time for more important and urgent calls.
But having a knowledge base alone is not enough—managing a knowledge base or following the best practices can only aid you in getting the results.
So here are a few tips about efficiently using a knowledge base for managing your time that you can follow.
8 Knowledge base best practices to follow
1. Invest in a cloud-based software
Before you start the process of structuring and creating content, choosing a knowledge base is the key part of the process. You have to do your due diligence and find out the following:
- Is the solution compatible with your other stack?
- Does it have limited view/edit access?
- Is the solution centralized?
- Should you go for a compass solution or a cloud solution?
Investing in a centralized cloud-based knowledge base software can be beneficial to you and your teams because it can be accessed and viewed by anyone from anywhere—even from the comfort of your sofa.
2. Ensure articles and assets are easy to understand
Before you start writing your articles for the knowledge base, set the purpose of your content. It would set the goal for these articles. The tone of your article should dictate the purpose of the article and it should be simple that even a child can understand.
Adding supportive assets like images, videos, flowcharts, algorithms, etc. should also help guide readers especially if your knowledge base covers a complex topic with instructions or manuals.
For instructional content, try to add supportive videos, flow charts, or images with every instruction.
Well, instructions with visual aids are easier to understand, statistically speaking. Bonus visual aids also get ranked in Google, so why miss that opportunity?
3. Structure your content and organize your content
Set the pillar pages of your knowledge base and its supporting related pages based on the focused keywords and LSI keywords to make it easier for your users to search for information.
Rather than having long paragraphs, divide your content into smaller paragraphs, bullet points, and subheadings to increase its readability score.
By dividing your content under headings and subheadings, you will make it easier for users to find the content rather than having to read the whole article.
The key point here is to make your content as navigational as possible.
4. Use knowledge bases for training sessions
For your new hires as well as old employees, run training sessions in regular intervals so that they are aware of what documentation is available in the company deck and how they can access it.
Access to documents 24/7 allows your employees to learn at their pace and from the comfort of their couch, without overstressing them to learn and perform at the same time. Moreover, your employees don’t have to keep asking others for any information, and the same applies to your customers as well. Your customers don’t have to wait in long call queues to get their query resolved if they have access to the faqs anywhere and anytime.
You can use the knowledge base for self-training, helping customers with their queries, and even building customer trust.
5. Keep it up to date
It’s important to maintain a current knowledge base to prevent your employees from using obsolete information that can increase the chances of making mistakes, double work, and missed communication about the company, products, services, etc.
Make it a process for your engineering, development, HR, finance, and marketing team to update the knowledge base with every new research, product, policy, budget change, and product branding change or update, respectively.
6. Communicate updates
Automate updating your customers via email, Slack, or any other messaging platform whenever your documents have been updated to inform your customers and employees are aware of the changes.
You can also run regular feedback regions with customers and employees to know customer’s queries and employee’s queries, respectively, so you can update the FAQ section based on that.
7. Collaborate about new updates with the help of a knowledge base
In previous work settings, you may have alerted your team members about updates verbally; all you had to do was ping or walk to the desk of your team member and let them know. But working remotely, you don’t have the luxury of walking to your team members’ desks anymore or sitting with them for helping them.
This is where a centralized knowledge base comes as a blessing.
For documents, instead of collaborating on siloed word documents and pdf, use the centralized knowledge base system to improve and ease the team collaboration process. Team members can also leave comments for the editor where edits may be needed, making it a collaborative effort to keep the information in the knowledge base current at all times.
8. Integrate your knowledge base with your CRM
Integrate your knowledge base with ClickUp CRM to enable knowledge or hint pop-ups to help employees search for any information from anywhere. This also ensures that your employees have the information handy when handling a customer request.
Your knowledge base should have an omnichannel presence so that your employees can search for answers to their queries from their preferred platforms. If you can’t provide the answers on their preferred platforms, you can at least utilize the customer’s omnichannel presence to initiate a conversation.
Utilize a knowledge base to save time and find information instantly
Managing time is a challenging aspect of our jobs.
Using a knowledge base helps us manage our time by creating solid, streamlined, and reliable processes that help everyone in the organization to stay connected, organized, and updated despite working from a remote location.
Knowledge bases facilitate task tracking, streamline responsibilities, and help us understand each task’s status, saving us time and reducing the likelihood of miscommunication.
And when working with hybrid and remote teams, turn to omnichannel tools to provide features to help your team stay connected, improve collaboration, and up to date about all the latest news about your company.