5 Internal Knowledge Base Software Options Reviewed

|  Posted: November 29, 2018  |  Categories: Knowledge Base Software Documentation
Great products are necessary, but they don’t guarantee success. This is why SaaS companies of all sizes are scrambling to find a way to deliver a great overall experience for their customers. With one out of every three people saying that they are not willing to be put on hold at all, delivering timely and reliable support is definitely part of the equation. Internal knowledge bases are outstanding tools that can help improve the quality of your customer service. Below, we’ll take a look at 5 premium knowledge base options, compare them head-to-head, and give you tips on choosing the best platform for your company.

What is an Internal Knowledge Base?

InternalKnowledgebase As the name suggests, an internal knowledge base is a collection of resources that a company puts together in order to help their employees. These unified information repositories work as the first point of reference whenever your team have questions they don’t know the answers to. Internal-facing databases can vary in design and capabilities. They can be extremely complex, so you should learn as much as you can about internal knowledge bases before making a final choice. Furthermore, these informational databases may feature intricate technology like artificial intelligence and powerful search engines. Remember that a knowledge base, whether internal or external, needs to be properly built in order to be successful. This means that you need to find a reliable platform, but you should also take the time to put together a complete library of resources. This empowers your employees as you’ll be giving them all the information they need at their fingertips.

Benefits of Using an Internal-Facing Knowledge Database

There are many different benefits to using an internal knowledge base. These will depend on the specific use you give it and the industry you’re in. With this in mind, all knowledge bases provide a set of three basic benefits, which in turn can bring a series of additional advantages.

Enhance Internal Communications

Keeping open communication lines is extremely important, especially when it comes to sharing knowledge. The problem with using conventional methods like email is that they don’t make the information accessible to everyone or easy to find. An internal knowledge base allows discussion on each piece, which is visible to all your employees. This will encourage them to participate in the exchange and give your other team members solutions when faced with a similar scenario.
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Increase Your Team’s Productivity

Productivity is a key element of any successful SaaS company. With this in mind, it’s normal for your team members to stop and help each other out periodically. But you should encourage them to be self-sufficient in order to reduce interruptions and increase productivity. A knowledge base poses a great solution because it can cut down the time your employees spend looking for information. And, you’ll also reduce the amount of time they spend answering each other’s questions.

Improve Customer Experience

Besides keeping your customer happy, improving their experience can reduce churn and increase the profitability of your company. Customers appreciate being treated well and are usually more inclined to spending money on a company when they feel appreciated. An internal knowledge base is a great way to improve the quality of your customer service. It can help cultivate a knowledgeable team that provides swift service, making you a thought leader in your industry.

Going Head-to-Head: 5 Internal Knowledge Base Software Reviewed

Like most business software solutions, there is no magic-bullet solution to choosing the best knowledge base provider. You’ll have to weigh your company’s needs, your budget, and the platforms you have available to find the right fit. But, you’ll also want to stay away from knowledge bases that are simply bundled or included as a small part of a bigger flagship product. Below, we’ve put together a list of 5 superb knowledge bases and compared them head-to-head to help you zero in on the best choice.

Oracle RightNow

Oracle RightNow is a comprehensive cross-channel customer service solution that aims to empower users, whether it’s your employees or customers. The platform is extremely flexible and can be used as a standalone knowledge base when necessary. Created by Oracle Corporation, RightNow can work as an internal knowledge base that relies on emerging technologies to deliver the best experience.

Features and Benefits

Mostly employed by larger companies, RightNow offers an intuitive platform that packs a lot of power under the bonnet. It can be customised and it’s accessed via the internet so you won’t have to worry about installation or server requirements. What’s more, RightNow provides great customer service that’s available around the clock via telephone. Companies with an active subscription can also submit tickets through their online portal and access their learning centre. RightNow can be integrated with popular business solutions like JIRA and Salesforce thanks to its REST API. Because it can be integrated with sales processing software, the platform is also ideal for ecommerce companies.

Areas of Improvement

Despite the fact that it doesn’t require installation, RightNow does have an intricate setup. This is not a problem for companies with large IT departments, but small businesses can struggle with the technical side. In addition to the above, the search engine powering RightNow doesn’t recognise all works in each article, which limits its usability. Finally, some companies veer away from this option because of its high price tag and aesthetic appearance that resembles older software.

Confluence

Confluence is a cloud-based collaboration tool that was built by Atlassian, one of the biggest business software providers. It features its own knowledge base that can be used for both internal and external purposes.

Features and Benefits

This platform has a robust build with a plethora of features. That said, it’s still a suitable pick for small companies thanks to its affordable pricing model. Confluence also allows a variety of files that include simple text, word documents, images, video, rich media files, and other formats. Your employees can also comment on each piece individually, which promotes discussion and creates a more transparent environment. Atlassian have also implemented a potent search engine whilst allowing access via desktop as well as mobile platforms. Finally, the knowledge base can be integrated with other platforms in order to create a synchronised repository.
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Areas of Improvement

Like RightNow, Confluence has an intricate backend setup, so you have to be prepared to invest the time or hire an IT specialist. This can represent a significant setback for smaller companies, especially startups that want to migrate from another knowledge base. Managing users and editing the articles can also be challenging on Confluence, which can potentially cut into your team’s work time. Ideally, you should have a team of employees constantly updating your repository without having to spend a lot of time editing or managing accesses.

Helpjuice

Founded in 2011, Helpjuice is now one of the most well-known knowledge base and customer support tools out there. The platform is built from the ground up, basically producing a customised version for each individual company according to their requirements.

Features and Benefits

The Helpjuice knowledge base allows a variety of file formats and an intuitive user interface. It allows collaboration by multiple users and a timestamp for each edit that’s made so your team won’t have to share login details. Backed by a superb search engine, the knowledge base allows readers to rate each piece and provides analytics for effective optimisation. You can easily give different permission levels to various different users and you can track their activity individually.

Areas of Improvement

The company’s customer support team is a little slow to respond, sometimes taking days to send the initial response email. At the same time, the article preview tool may look slightly different to the live version, which has forced some of their customers to keep their pieces simple. It’s also worth noting that the platform may experience sporadic downtime and may require additional steps for integration to popular business solutions.

Bloomfire

In recent years, Bloomfire has established itself as one of the leading business collaboration solutions available. It’s accompanied by a superb knowledge base that can help your team create, upload, and share informational in several formats.

Features and Benefits

One of the most attractive features Bloomfire offers is its automated posting. Running a knowledge base is similar to managing an internal blog, so allowing the content managers to write in bulk and automate posting can help save a lot of time. Bloomfire also boasts of a great search engine and a clean, simple design that is easy to use. Additionally, the company’s customer support has earned a reputation for their fast response time. And, thanks to its proprietary AI technology, Bloomfire also delivers a personalised experience to each user. What’s really impressive about Bloomfire is its comprehensive set of knowledge base features that include screencast, bookmarking, and bump to top of the feed. The company also offers a 14-day trial at no cost, although organisations looking to keep costs low can look into free knowledge base alternatives.

Areas of Improvement

Even though Bloomfire strives to provide a simple solution, its basic structure foregoes information silos, so it’s not ideal for most large organisation. It also carries a hefty price tag, which means it’s only suitable for organisations of a certain size and internal framework. Some reports also suggest that Bloomfire is still rough around the edges, from a functional point of view. The software is regularly down for maintenance, and although it’s usually scheduled, it may still cause delays for your team or customers.

Document360

Document360 is a feature-packed knowledge base solution that can be used for both external or internal purposes. Since first launching, its main goal has been to provide a robust knowledge base without the unnecessary frills. This standalone repository offers all the capabilities you need to create a reliable self-learning hub through a platform that grows with your company. Advanced features of Document360

Features and Benefits

Document360 is suitable for all types of businesses because it’s highly customisable. It allows easy article editing and user management, so your knowledge base content team won’t have to spend hours editing each piece. Additionally, the platform boasts of a powerful search engine. It leverages artificial intelligence and employs a structure similar to SEO which scans all the words found in each piece. This ensures the most accurate results, even when the information required isn’t properly labelled. With a SaaS setup, you won’t need to worry about installation time or expenses. Unlike low-budget, Document360 also has efficacious security features, so it can be accessed via mobile or desktop devices without compromising privacy. Lastly, the software has a relatively low price tag but it doesn’t compromise the quality of the knowledge base, so it’s ideal for all organisations — from large enterprises right down to young startups.
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Areas of Improvement

One of the downsides of using Document360 is that there is no free version available. Regardless of the size of your operation or how many accounts are linked, you’ll need to invest in the platform to use it long-term. That said, you can take advantage of the 14-day free trial that consists of a personalised demo where you can experience the real impact the knowledge base can have. Although it allows integration to popular business platforms, Documen360 doesn’t offer an API at the time of writing this article. The knowledge base doesn’t provide scheduling features, so even though articles can be created and saved as drafts they need to be published manually. Unlike many of the knowledge bases on this list, Document360 is a relatively new player in the industry. That said, its developers are constantly working to deliver a superior knowledge base experience for the companies that employ it and its end users alike.

Finding the Ideal Internal Knowledge Base for Your Company

Benefits of Document360 Choosing the best internal knowledge base may not be straightforward. But, as long as you invest the time to weigh your options, you should be able to find the ideal fit at the right price. Remember that a high price tag doesn’t mean a knowledge base will be a good fit for your company. Focus on your creating a sustainable work ecosystem, whether it means finding a repository with a powerful search engine, multiple format allowance, or a simple editing process. Despite the fact that Document360 is relatively new, this robust knowledge base is already creating a buzz for being an intuitive, cogent platform that doesn’t sacrifice quality for affordability.