7 Features of the Best Knowledge Sharing Solutions

July 28, 2016
Written by Lori Mankin

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, or making sure the harness fits, and jumping out of the plane (and if you are, you’re beyond our help). Choosing a knowledge sharing system that’s the perfect fit for you should be approached with same level of care and priority.

So, what exactly is a knowledge sharing solution?

If all goes according to plan, your knowledge sharing solution will provide immediate access to all company content, drive employee engagement, maximize productivity, easily search for documents or videos, streamline training and onboarding, demolish silos in your organization, and anything else you need.

That’s a lot of benefits.

With so many options available, you need to set aside some time to establish exactly what it is you want to achieve through knowledge sharing. Schedule a brainstorming session, identify major challenges the various departments in your organization face, and develop your goals with these challenges in mind. Although these goals may evolve as you learn more about what a knowledge sharing solution can do for you, starting out with a plan is crucial to picking the best product.

If you’re just beginning your search for a knowledge sharing system, the seemingly limitless amount of possible features can be overwhelming (you don’t want to be the only person checking your parachute for defects before your first jump). To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of seven key features that, regardless of your goals, should be present in your solution:

1. Q&A.

Most of the questions your employees receive will come up again, and again… and again. Answering every occurrence of the same question wastes not only your team’s time, but also the valuable time of your customers. The ability to post a question not yet covered in the knowledge management system is a great way to crowdsource any new information needed in an informal, natural way that ensures the next person with the same question can easily find the answer.

2. Robust search.

Solutions with intelligent search capabilities significantly reduce the time people spend looking for information. This feature will benefit 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.

What questions are customers asking the most? Which pieces of content are enabling employees to perform at maximum capacity? Easy-to-understand analytics help you see which issues are the most important for internal and external users to understand. If a piece of content has not been visited in over a year, it is cluttering your knowledge sharing platform and slowing productivity. Analytics will help you easily identify irrelevant or outdated content.

4. Full mobile access.

Like it or not, people are always on their phones. Mobile access enables both your customers and your employees to gain the information they need from any device, at any time, from any location.

5. Integration with solutions you’re using today.

Look for a tool that integrates with your CRM system, instant messaging tool, and anything other program that is critical to your company’s performance. Are your sales representatives constantly in Salesforce? Is your content already stored in DropBox? You need a knowledge sharing solution that has the ability to integrate with it.

6. Ability to share content with external users.

Your employees aren’t the only ones who would benefit from immediate access to up-to-date company knowledge. The right knowledge management tool will have the ability to send content to external users, track who has viewed that content, and for how long. This way, you will know how useful your external users find your content.

7. Ability to create customer communities.

Before you buy, explore the possibilities the product offers for connecting customers. Can it help you create a forum or support portal where people can interact with each other? Your customers should have the option of reaching out to each other for help and collaboration.

As you continue in your search for the perfect knowledge sharing solution, you will likely find additional features that are key to your success. But if these seven features are present, you’re on your way to being ready make the to jump.

Harness The Power Of Knowledge Sharing With Digital Transformation

Companies that grasp what the digital workplace is really all about are willing to change the ways people and applications connect across their organizations. By fostering a digitally driven culture of collaboration, they break down silos, share knowledge more effectively, and compete more successfully.

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