Knowledge Sharing

What is knowledge sharing?

Knowledge sharing—or otherwise known as knowledge management—refers to the tools, processes, and systems used to share and store information within an organization and externally with customers or partners. That knowledge includes expertise that would otherwise remain locked inside the head of a subject matter expert (SME), training documents, industry research, and any other information that would help your organization work more efficiently and serve its customers better. That's where Zendesk Guide comes in.

Management systems

CRMs are usually SaaS software that helps marketing, sales, and customer-service teams track prospects and customer information over the course of a relationship. These tools enable management to understand how a prospect came to the company, what information they have consumed on your site, which interactions occurred with the sales team during the buying cycle, and whether customers make repeat purchases. Basically, it captures data and knowledge about the context of a customer relationship.

Often embedded in other knowledge management systems, an LMS manages employee training and the education process. Organizations will often use an LMS for sharing online training modules and other job-related resources, such as documents about the company culture and efforts to shape employee behavior. These systems are often used to create courses that educate users about important compliance issues in their industry. They can also be valuable repositories of SME knowledge, providing access to information that can improve how a company’s employees work.

Knowledge bases

A knowledge base such as Zendesk Guide offers individuals the ability to search a directory of content about your organization’s products and how they’re used. That might include technical content about troubleshooting software, answers to commonly asked questions, and other information aimed at helping people use your products. With Guide, you can restrict who can see content in your knowledge base or even open it to the public.

An internal knowledge base is a good way to share important information with employees that shouldn't be accessible by the public--for example, commuter benefits and human resources policies. By centralizing information for your employees, you will increase productivity and reduce the number of demands placed on your HR team.

A knowledge base also gives agents a powerful tool for researching how customer issues were handled previously by documenting common (and uncommon) problems and their solutions, meaning your teams can use the system to help customers faster.

With Guide you can also create an IT knowledge base (aka an IT support knowledge base) that stores and distributes information about technical support, giving employees (and sometimes customers) the ability to solve an issue through self-service rather than reaching out to one of your busy IT workers. Password protocols, software licenses, and instructions for wi-fi access are all common topics for IT knowledge bases. Ideally these systems feature content that is easy-to-read, addresses common problems, and exchanges data with your ticketing system and internal social networks. An easy-to-use tool like Guide encourages members of your employee community to add and edit content.

Help centers

One of the most effective ways you can help your customers is by giving them the tools to help themselves (recent research shows that 67 percent of customers prefer self-service to speaking with an agent, and 91 percent said they would use a robust knowledge base to answer their questions). With Guide's Help Center feature, you can create an online destination where users can search for content that is relevant to their needs, freeing your agents to handle requests that prove more challenging. Guide is fully customizable and works on any device, so your customers will see the familiar branding they expect. You can start with the pre-designed layouts or take full control with powerful customization tools including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and a theming framework.

In addition, Guide supports more than 40 languages, giving you the ability to publish a multi-lingual self-service options for your customers all over the world. In the event your customers don't find what they need in your self-service option, they will be able to contact you through a web form. That form can include intelligent help center answers that might deflect tickets or gather helpful context for your agents.

Community forums

Forums have been part of the web since its beginning. With Guide you can set up a forum that fosters conversations between your customers and highlights your brand on a customized platform. Advanced management features will guide new customers and empower longtime users, and your support team--or community managers--will be able to moderate and keep conversations on topic. Users can sort and follow posts to stay informed with latest updates.

Community in Zendesk Guide gives you full control of your community design; start by adding a logo and changing the colors, or go further with custom HTML and Javascript.

Community is designed to encourage sharing, and the intuitive contributor tools ensure that content stays relevant. When a contributor creates a post, Community scans through content to find similar posts, which makes it easier to discover existing solutions and avoid duplicate information. The easy-to-use WYSIWYG editor makes it simple to format and post comments.

Because the forums are built directly into Guide, your agents will be able to view user activity and even escalate posts into tickets.

Customer portal software

A customer request portal allows a user to track activities that matter to them: the status of support requests, review updates to the knowledge base or forum posts, and track content they are following. Your users will be able to search previous interactions or tickets and find answers to questions they've already asked, saving your team time responding to repetitive queries.

The customer portal can be customized to fit your brand--add a logo, use a custom theme, and deliver a seamless experience by using your own domain and single sign-on functionality.

Customers will also be able to create new requests on the Zendesk client portal. Pick and choose which fields a customer needs to complete so support agents have the context they need when resolving a request.

Guide's customer portal also supports shared organizations, which means better visibility: members can see each other's requests and increase transparency when the customer is more than one person.

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