Last updated on Jul 29, 2021
Could you explain your job to someone else inside of twenty seconds?
How long do you think it would take to train them to the level you were when you’d been working for a month?
How about when you’d been there for a year?
That time discrepancy between “describing the job” and “getting someone to be able to do the job” is the reason why knowledge management is such an important concept. Having a central place for your company knowledge to be organized, revised, and expanded is extremely valuable in this new world of fast-growing companies competing for the best rising talent.
That’s why, in this article, we’ve put together a solid ranking of the best cloud platforms that let you build just that.
Knowledge management software is a database that stores, shares, and manages all of the information gathered. Many businesses use it as a brain since it allows them to instantly access and transmit data. The data is consolidated, making it easy for everyone on the team to find the information they need, and allowing you to share information with individuals both internally and externally the company.
The Things You Need in a Knowledge Base
Nine times out of ten, a dedicated knowledge base is going to be your best bet for knowledge management.
You may have heard before about company wikis running on open-source platforms, which can often be set up for just the cost of the server time and the labor of the person who gets it running.
The key advantage of knowledge bases is their streamlined ease-of-use and robust search abilities to get information anywhere, at any time, and to easily share critical information with their staff and consumers. People can work more efficiently since information is conveniently accessible with knowledge management software.
Some key features of knowledge management software includes:
Document360 specializes in knowledge bases. The software package offers a powerful yet intuitive Markdown editor, designed for people with no experience using customer support systems to master the design language of user documentation.
As your company grows and expands, you’ll definitely end up making regular additions and edits to your knowledge base articles. With Document360, it’s easy to compare the changes side-by-side and see exactly what edits were made and by whom.
The analytics offered by Document360 are also top-notch.
It’s simple to find out what articles are being seen and interacted with the most. This information is perfect for you to figure out which articles need regular updates, and which are becoming SEO-optimized mainstays of your website.
For example, you can quickly pull up a list of the most common search terms, and then compare it against the search terms which returned zero results. Those two lists should be able to guide a major part of your customer service actions, because they give you insights into what customers want to know about and what they aren’t getting answered.
As you update your articles, you may want to roll back changes or compare different versions of each article. The Document360 editor lets you keep unlimited drafts of each article stored and accessible at the click of a button, then compare between any two. If you have multiple people on the team, you can see who edited which version most recently.
There’s a 14-day free trial to get started on Document360, and the lowest price tier is $49 per project per month, going up to $499 per project per month for the enterprise scale.
HelpCrunch offers a clean interface designed to scale from the needs of small businesses to large enterprises.
It’s an ideal platform for newcomers to customer service management, since it also includes a user chat function.
For each article, HelpCrunch offers a useful SEO optimization panel where you can add tags and other metadata to each article for better ranking in the search results for each term.
This dovetails nicely with the ability to see useful metrics from each search performed, such as how many searches produced no results. That list is very valuable as it shows you exactly what users are likely to be unsatisfied with in your customer service self-help platform.
Flowlu is a CRM, project management, and collaboration program in addition to a knowledge management solution.
The interface is based around cards, kind of like a Kanban board in contrast to the encyclopedic design of most knowledge bases.
Another useful feature that they’ve had the foresight to develop is the concept of knowledge transfer. When an employee leaves the company, all the little tips and tricks they’ve learned over time are usually lost forever and the new hire has to spend a lot of time getting up to speed.
Flowlu has developed a protocol to quickly capture that kind of knowledge from employees who are about to leave the company.
Pricing for Flowlu starts at $0 for a free tier with just two employees. The internal knowledge base is available at that tier, but moving up to the Business tier grants access to 16 users for $59 per month, and adds an external knowledge base functionality.
Tettra is another standalone internal knowledge base not marketed as part of a larger CRM. From their website, they were clearly created by people with real-life knowledge management needs.
Therefore, it comes automatically set up to import information from Google Docs, GitHub, and Dropbox, including direct file transfer.
There are also a number of templates, for example for employee profiles or for typical processes that your team has to go through.
It offers a fuzzy search able to handle the occasional typo, and includes a way for employees to easily make suggestions inside the knowledge base instead of having to go through another channel to suggest a new article. Finally, it integrates with Slack, so that you can answer employee questions with an automatic link to the knowledge base instead of typing out the same answers over and over.
It’s free for five users, but from five to ten users the pricing jumps up to a total of $99 per month. Beyond ten users, you’ll have to contact them directly for a quote.
Bitrix24 is chiefly a collaboration system with knowledge management features.
Its most attractive feature is its price point – for up to 12 users, the service is completely free. In 2020, Bitrix24 actually removed the user limit for free plans because of the pandemic. This free tier includes one knowledge base.
Of course, all the features don’t start getting unlocked until the $55 per month plan.
However, those features include a fully-functional CRM with task management, voice and video chat, online storage, and unlimited knowledge bases (at the highest tier).
Intercom is another customer support and CRM solution with a bit of knowledge management built in.
For example, you can integrate automated customer chat with the knowledge base. Let’s say your support team is away or a query comes in when everyone’s asleep. The automated message service can pick up the gist of the user’s query and serve them back a series of suggestions for matching knowledge base entries.
Intercom also prides themselves on multilingualism, so they include a built-in platform for localizing your content into various languages. Their own documentation is available in five languages as well!
Pricing starts at $39 per month, but to unlock the knowledge base among other features you have to move up to the $99 per month plan. There’s also a free trial.
Zoho is a full CRM designed for customer-focused businesses that find themselves having to answer a high volume of customer queries.
Their Desk platform, known as Zoho Desk, is a combination of a ticket management system and a knowledge base, able to provide instant answers to customers and keep everyone happy – as automatically as possible.
Zoho supports domain mapping, where you’re able to use your own domain but seamlessly transition users to Zoho’s platform – which itself is fully customizable with HTML and CSS functionality.
The free tier allows you to set up an internal knowledge base for your own team’s use and give access to three agents. For $12 per user per month, you gain access to the public knowledge base.
Helprace is a knowledge base solution designed around ease of use for your team and the users themselves.
It offers a couple of unique features – take article suggestions, for instance. On the side of the article, instead of a table of contents, users will see a list of articles with similar content. This list is automatically updated, so if you add a new article similar to an old one, the “related” section for each will automatically update.
This auto-suggest can also pop up in the “contact us” field. As a user starts writing a query to send to your team, you can display some relevant knowledge base articles right there on the same page.
There are also comments open underneath each article. This is a good addition to article ratings, because if someone is motivated to rate your articles as “helpful” or “not helpful,” they’ll probably also be willing to write a comment explaining why.
Pricing starts at $18 per agent per month for a plan with the knowledge base unlocked.
ProProfs is an all-in-one solution for building a help center, a documentation platform, and both internal and external knowledge bases.
With ProProfs, there’s a big emphasis on collaboration and integration.
They connect well with Zendesk, Freshdesk, and other customer service platforms, as well as their own chat and helpdesk software offerings.
A team starting from scratch with ProProfs can access a library of pre-written and pre-designed templates when getting started. Afterwards, it’s easy to edit the font, colors, and other graphical elements to match the rest of your software content.
There’s also a strong emphasis on localization, with 90 languages supported.
Pricing starts with a free tier. Unlike other solutions which charge per user working on the documentation, ProProfs charges based on the pages you write. It’s $0.30 per page per month, moving up to $0.50 per page per month with the ability to remove ProProfs branding from your knowledge base.
Zendesk as a company is probably one of the best known names in the customer service management space. It’s not that well-known for its knowledge base, though that’s hardly a marker of what features are available.
The knowledge management system at Zendesk is called Zendesk Guide, and as you’d expect it integrates with other customer service tools like the pipeline manager or the chat function.
Finally, you can easily import documents as help desk articles. Still working with Google Docs as a knowledge management system? It’s a snap to import your articles into Zendesk instead.
The Lite version of Zendesk Guide is included with Zendesk Support, starting at $5 per agent per month. The standalone package is called Professional, and that itself is $15 per agent per month. You only get multiple help centers or theme templates by upgrading to a $29 per agent per month plan, though there is a 30-day free trial for the Professional plan.
Still haven’t found the right knowledge management solution for you? Try breaking down exactly what it is you’re looking for in a knowledge base software. This article has only given a general overview of several different platforms, so try picking one and testing out the free trial to see if it works for you. Our money’s on Document360 as the best bet for your knowledge management needs.