Managing Your Knowledge Base in Your Zoho CRM
Intellectual capital often describes the special sauce that your company and employees bring to the market. Your team’s knowledge, expertise, and professionalism in your market are why someone pays you or your company instead of a competitor.
Your CRM can be used to store this knowledge in an easily accessible format, connecting your internal processes and documentation. The way you manage your sales, marketing, and operations with your CRM is unique to you. The better you document the way you do business, the easier new people learn your processes and the faster your team can look up helpful reference documentation. A knowledge base is a searchable database of useful processes, facts, and documentation for your team to use. This chapter covers how to set up a knowledge base for you and your company. When directly integrated into your CRM, a knowledge base provides access to information when needed, without overwhelming your team with massive, hard-to-find documents. You can also control access to your company’s documents, by using the same permission systems you use for your sales, marketing, and operations teams.
Knowing what to put in Your Knowledge Base
Your knowledge base is an extension of the collective knowledge of your team. It’s important to document anything you can, to avoid the possibility of employees taking their knowledge when they leave your company. Store publicly distributed information in your knowledge base. Public corporate documents such as your mission and vision statements, company history, organizational chart, and frequently asked questions are all useful.
In many ways, a knowledge base parallels your CRM, where you store useful information into a software system for easy recall. Rather than storing sales data about contacts, or marketing data about campaigns, your knowledge base is similar to a company-wide resource for documentation and process.
Building Access Levels for Information
Making articles public versus private
Giving access to editing your knowledge base makes it easier to add more content to it, but you must also be aware of the risks. Have an employee you absolutely trust review updates to ensure the information stored is relevant and useful.
Making articles public versus private
When you build your knowledge base, you may want to share some of it with the public through a URL. Documentation on how to use your product or service is a common application for a public knowledge base. Other articles are for internal use only. These would be operational guidelines for accomplishing common tasks, organizational charts with employee information, and other things you and your team reference on a regular basis. CRM software comes with an editor in which you can compose your documents. Editors allow you to control who can contribute or edit, designate whether the article is public or private, and wherein the hierarchical structure the article should go. If you’re writing for external consumption (people outside your company), spend more time to ensure proper grammar. You also want to write with a friendly tone, which takes more time than straightforward language. Keep your messaging in mind, as any public documents reflect your brand,
basis, take the time to intelligently design the structure of how it’s built. A good design for a knowledge base minimizes the effort required to look up
Sharing Knowledge with Leads and Clients
Your knowledge base for external consumption is just as important as your
marketing messages. Bad spelling and grammar, nonintuitive structure, or misinformation reflect on your brand just as outbound messaging does.
Oftentimes, companies share product details, features, and capabilities with the general public. This information helps answer questions that your leads and clients have without burdening your customer service team. If someone does ask a question of your customer service professionals, they can suggest that the information is available online through the knowledge base. Giving access to information empowers the public to conduct research on their own, allowing you to work more efficiently.
Two actions can save your employees time:
Integrate your knowledge base with customer service.
Your chat and support ticketing systems should be able to reference your knowledge base. Even if not directly integrated into the software, if your support team can easily find, copy, and paste information from your knowledge base into responses to customers, your organization saves time and ensures consistency.
Link to your knowledge base from your website/emails.
Prospects and clients should be able to gain easy access to your publicly available content with a URL directly linking to your public-facing knowledge base. Direct access to information provides a convenient, useful way to educate people. By embedding these links in your emails and web content, your contacts can find that information on their own, limiting the burden on your support team. In turn, you can handle support with fewer resources, saving you a considerable cost.