Gone are the days of cluttered email inboxes, sifting through thousands files to find that one document you need, wasting hours of each work week searching for information, and desperately tracking down information as people leave the company.
More and more organizations are turning to knowledge sharing solutions to promote collaboration and productivity in the workplace, but research must be done to ensure you choose the right software to serve your business needs.
Purchasing a knowledge sharing solution is a lot like skydiving for the first time. You’re not going to reach for any old parachute without triple-checking that each piece is present and functioning and making sure the harness fits. Choosing a knowledge sharing solution that’s the perfect fit for your company should be approached with the same level of care and priority.
If you’re just beginning your search for a knowledge sharing solution, the limitless sea of possible features can be overwhelming. But fear not, we have your back. We’ve compiled a list of seven key knowledge sharing features that, regardless of your goals, should be present in your solution to maximize ROI:
1. A Powerful Q&A Engine
Most questions employees ask have been asked before, will be asked again, and will continue to be asked until the end of time. So why not find a way to answer the question one time, and one time only? Answering the same question repeatedly wastes not only your employee’s time, but the valuable time of your customers. When a question is asked, post it in your knowledge sharing solution to crowdsource any new information needed in an informal, natural way that ensures the next person with the same question can independently search for the answer.
2. Robust Search
Speaking of searching for answers… solutions with powerful and dynamic search capabilities significantly reduce the time people spend looking for information. This feature benefits every single department in your organization. Sales can unearth marketing content immediately, customer support can provide more timely assistance, new hires can easily revisit training material, and the list goes on.
3. Reporting And Analytics
Looking to understand what questions customers ask the most? Which pieces of content enable employees to increase productivity and quality of work? Which employees are actively collaborating and sharing knowledge with others? Easy-to-understand analytics can help leaders identify irrelevant or outdated content and can also help pinpoint the most important issues for internal and external users to understand. If a piece of content has not been visited in over a year, it may be cluttering your knowledge sharing platform and slowing productivity.
4. Full Mobile Access
Like it or not, we live in a world on the go. The average American spends five hours a day on their phone. Mobile access means that your employees and vendors can quickly and easily access the information they need to do their jobs from any device, at any time, from any location.
5. Knowledge Where Your Team Is Working
Given the rate at which your company tech stack is growing, you need a knowledge sharing solution that works where your team is already working.
The right knowledge sharing platform will solve this with integrations that allow teams to access knowledge without having to switch apps. Sales reps will save time by never having to leave the CRM or email, customer support employees can pull up relevant information faster than ever before to assist customers, and marketing can access the most up-to-date company knowledge to product content to drive prospects down the funnel. With integrations, you get the most out of your entire tech stack.
6. Ability to Share Content with External Users
Your marketing team spends hours upon hours crafting the perfect customer email or document. Your sales representatives lose sleep over drafting a flawless RFP. Your customer support employees slave over a FAQ document that answers every possible question a customer could have. But what’s the point of all this incredible content if no one is reading it?
Knowledge sharing solutions with the ability to send content to external users gives your employees the power to track who has opened that email or content and how long they spent reading that content. This way, you always know what content is successfully driving prospects down the funnel, and what content could use some adjustments.
7. Ability to Create Customer Communities
If you want to build customer loyalty, your dedication to your customers should not end when they purchase your product. Consider purchasing a knowledge sharing solution that functions as a forum or support portal where industry members, leaders, your customers, can interact, collaborate, and expand knowledge. Creating communities of learning for your customers will quickly establish you as a leader in your industry and offer benefits to your customers to keep them coming back for more.
Trendy features will come and go. Some will eventually be considered essential, and some will not. But these seven key features will never go out of style. As you continue your search for the perfect knowledge sharing solution for your organization, if these features are lacking, run fast in the other direction. Happy knowledge sharing!