Using Zendesk Internal Knowledge Base? Here are the Pros and Cons

|  Posted: December 6, 2018  |  Categories: Knowledge Base Software Documentation
Establishing an open and collaborative environment is crucial for any organisation. However, your most knowledgeable employees can spend as much as 28 hours per week writing emails and collaborating with their peers, which can have a huge impact on their individual performance. For this reason, you need to focus on creating an efficient method to disseminate information that doesn’t hinder your team’s output in any shape or form. Internal KB Setting up an internal knowledge base is a great way to encourage your employees to cooperate in an efficient manner. While you’ll still rely on the most knowledgeable members of your staff, you’ll give them the tools they need to share information without sacrificing their own performance. There are dozens of internal base providers out there, so choosing the best one for your company may be challenging. A great example of this is Zendesk, a full-blown customer support solution that offers a variety of powerful features that include a knowledge base. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a great fit for all companies. In this article, we’ll examine Zendesk’s internal knowledge base, discuss its benefits as well as disadvantages, and compare it to Document360’s standalone platform.

Table of Contents

What Defines a Good Knowledge Base?

Internal knowledge bases are unified information repositories that are only accessible to your employees. But, simply creating a page or platform that’s full of articles and videos won’t do the trick. A great knowledge base needs to work as a collaboration tool where your team can discuss and share ideas. Plus, it should have supporting features, like a powerful search engine, machine learning, and security elements that characterise high-quality business software. This is the same reason why free or Wiki-based knowledge bases leave a lot to be desired. Free platforms may provide some security but often provide lacklustre supporting features. Likewise, Wiki knowledge bases can have great search and editing capacities, however, they don’t allow streamlined collaboration and can pose a security risk.
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Is Zendesk a Good Internal Knowledge Base?

Zendesk is an extremely popular customer support platform that’s used by some of the biggest enterprises in the world. The company has earned a reputation as a superb help desk provider that offers a variety of packages that include call centre and chat support as well as an internal knowledge base. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of using the internal knowledge base that comes with Zendesk’s support solutions.

Pros

Pros of Zendesk as internal KB

Comprehensive Analytics

One of the biggest benefits of Zendesk is that it provides a myriad of analytics that helps companies manage their internal support. Whilst it does rely on their ticketing system, businesses that deploy the support system internally can see the performance and overall satisfaction levels of each department individually. Besides giving valuable insights into the information your team uses the most, this feature can also allow you to streamline and develop new operations.

Integration Capabilities

Zendesk offers a huge collection of integration options, including a large list of REST APIs. In other words, you’ll be able to integrate Zendesk into your business software so it works as a tailored solution. It’s worth noting that the JSON-based API also allows you to leverage external information within the internal knowledge base. You’ll be able to include necessary content that comes from sources other than your own, like legal documentation or financial benefits from different providers.

SaaS Deployment and Mobile Apps

Small startups and medium-sized companies don’t usually have the budget to maintain high-performance servers or large IT teams. Zendesk is extremely accessible thanks to its SaaS deployment, which means companies don’t have to worry about hosting their own knowledge base or investing in expensive installations. Additionally, Zendesk’s entire help suite can be accessed via a mobile app, so your team members can reference your internal knowledge base on their preferred channels.

Provide Extensive Training Materials

Like most business software, Zendesk may take some getting used to especially for teams that have never used an internal knowledge base of any sort. This is the reason why the company provides a series of training videos and materials that are accessible from their own help desk portal. Not only will your team have access to how-to videos, but they can also access forums and start discussions in order to see what the community has to say.

Great Customer Support

Not all problems can be solved via training videos, especially if they are extremely technical. The Zendesk team understand this issue, so the company provides around the clock customer support. You can get in touch with their customer service team during day or night and request assistance from a representative that can walk you through the best solution. Not only are their support teams available around the clock, but you can also reach them via email, chat, over the phone, or even browse through their self-service portal for your answers.

Cons

Cons of zendesk as Internal KB

Built as an Add-On to a Flagship Product

The most obvious disadvantage of Zendesk’s internal knowledge base is that it’s an additional part of a larger flagship product rather than a standalone platform. Despite the fact that they offer different packages and integrations, the knowledge base only compliments the main support products and works best when paired with them. This means that in order to get the most out of Zendesk, you’ll need to embrace the entirety of their business solutions. These may not be suitable for all companies, especially smaller SaaS startups with a limited budget and a sound internal structure, which diminishes the value for the knowledge base itself.

Pricing

Another reason why smaller companies tend to veer away from Zendesk is the platform’s high price tag. The company’s pricing structure allows you to acquire basic service at a reasonable price and gives you the ability to add more features at an extra cost. This may seem viable, but as you grow the extra costs can quickly add up and put a significant dent in your yearly budget.

User Interface is Not Always Intuitive

One of the main issues with providing an omnichannel solution is the inevitable complexity that also comes with all the features. Although Zendesk has aimed to keep the user interface as simple as possible, the platform isn’t always intuitive and may require extensive training. This represents a downside for a couple of reasons. First off, you’ll have to invest additional resources in preparing your team to use all of the platform’s features. And even after training, you may find that your employees simply refuse to adopt the knowledge base if it’s too complicated.

Requires a Highly Technical Setup

Even though Zendesk doesn’t require installation as such, you should keep in mind that it does require a highly technical setup. This is especially true if you’re looking to take advantage of the integration features and connect it to other platforms within your company. It can take some time to deploy and incorporate all features and they may need to get in touch with Zendesk’s support department for technical assistance.

Feature Request Option Doesn’t Work

One of the most innovative features Zendesk attempted to deploy was the feature request option. In theory, this allows their customers to request specific features they would like to see in future rollouts. However, reports indicate that this feature doesn’t work as there are hundreds of request that have been pending for some time, which can be a problem for companies that may have special requirements in the future.

Regular Updates that Affect Functionality

As with most large software companies, Zendesk is constantly working on improving their services. Unfortunately, these regular updates may also affect functionality and present a significant delay for your team, especially if they are communicating with a customer while trying to access the knowledge base.
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A Brief Comparison of Document360 and Zendesk Knowledge Base

There are many fundamental differences that set Zendesk apart from standalone knowledge bases like Document360. Generally speaking, standalone internal knowledge bases are designed to fulfil a single goal, so their features are geared solely towards building a robust database. Zendesk does offer a reliable knowledge base, but it usually works best when deployed along the platform’s entire support suite. An independent knowledge base provides more flexibility without compromising the features it offers or the quality of the platform. Document360 alternative to zendesk To put it in perspective, let’s compare Document360 and Zendesk’s internal knowledge base capacities.

Search Engine

An internal knowledge base that features a powerful search engine can save your employees a significant amount of time tracking down specific resources. Both Document360 and Zendesk are backed by robust search engines that feature artificial intelligence (AI) in order to improve each user’s experience through personalised results. That said, Document360 goes beyond tags or categories as it analyses all words in a specific resource, so you can find the right piece even when it’s not properly labelled.

Collaboration and Communication

The main purpose of any internal knowledge base is to improve internal operations by opening up communication and collaboration lines. Zendesk is a great communication tool as it allows both casual exchanges as well an internal ticketing system that can be used to track different interactions. Document360 also allows collaboration and communication via direct messaging as well as the ability to leave comments on each piece, which usually benefits smaller organisations that don’t have large departments.

File Formats Allowed

Document360 and Zendesk allow a huge variety of file formats to be uploaded onto each platform. This includes simple text files, PDFs, images, videos, and other rich formatting options that allow you to build a complete library of resources.

Rollback and Other Advanced Editing Features

Advanced editing features such as rollback and versioning allow you to see the change history for each piece within your knowledge base. Even though Zendesk offers editing features, it doesn’t offer rollback, versioning, and other options that make editing a breeze. Document360 provides a series of benefits that allow you to access previous versions and reduces the amount of work your content team has to do, even if you change developers regularly.

User Interface

The user interface is extremely important for the success of any SaaS platform. Zendesk delivers a clean interface, but it also offers a variety of options that make it harder to manoeuvre than most knowledge bases. Document360 features a slick interface that’s intuitive and easy on the eye, which automatically reduces the stress of using it for longer periods of time.

Identifying the Best Knowledge Base for Your Business

Getting the right internal knowledge base for your company can help improve productivity. However, there are many different providers, so don’t get carried away by reputation. In order to find the right knowledge base, you should identify the features that will benefit your company the most and weigh all the different options you have available. Zendesk is a great alternative for established companies with larger budgets. It can also be a great choice for companies that lack internal structure and are looking for an all-around customer support solution that serves as a pillar to their operations. On the other hand, small and medium-sized SaaS companies may benefit more from finding a standalone internal knowledge base that is affordable and effectively improves their operations. Document360 is a feature-packed standalone knowledge base that’s designed to grow with your company without costing you a small fortune. If you’re interested in learning more about our internal knowledge base, get in touch with us and our team will be happy to answer your questions today!