What is a Knowledge Management System (KMS)?

9 min read

Knowledge and collaboration are essential for any organization. When your teammates and clients have more information at hand, they’re able to work smarter and more efficiently. Knowledge management systems come with powerful features to enable internal and external knowledge transition and collaboration.

In today’s guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about knowledge management systems, as well as the criteria you need to select one for your business. Let’s begin with a definition.

What is a knowledge management system?

A knowledge management system (KMS) is a software application that helps organizations capture, store, and share knowledge and information. A KMS can help organizations manage their content, process customer inquiries, and track the performance of their employees and can help an organization significantly improve its decision-making by providing easier access to the right information at the right time.

The purpose of a KMS is to make knowledge easier to find, use, and share. It can help employees to find the information they need to do their jobs, and it can help managers to make better decisions by providing access to data and insights that would otherwise be hidden in the depths of an organization's email archive or file server.

Why your organization needs a knowledge management system

The Key Management System has benefits for different parties in an organization:

  • External: prospective and current customers, partners, and vendors
  • Internal: knowledge managers, content creators, customer support team, sales teams, field service teams, learning and enablement teams

Adopting Knowledge Management System allows your teams to share knowledge without changing their workflows and systems they have adopted and for other teams to access all information from different sources in one place.

What is the difference between a knowledge base and a knowledge management system?

Knowledge Management systems and Knowledge base are related but have different meanings.

A knowledge management system (KMS) is a software application that helps an organization collect, store, and share knowledge. A knowledge management system typically includes features such as search, categorization, and annotation. They are designed to represent a single source of truth for both external and internal parties and enable organizations to segment information based on different user groups.

A knowledge base (KB) is a collection of articles, documents, or other types of information. KB has content authoring, editing, and collaboration features.

Benefits of using a Knowledge Management System

A knowledge management system (KMS) is a system used by organizations to capture, store, and share knowledge and information. There are many benefits to using a KMS. Some of the benefits include:

Knowledge Management System helps you improve customer self-service

A knowledge management system can help improve customer self-service. By making it easier for customers to find the information they need, they can solve problems on their own, without having to contact customer service. This can save time and money for both the customer and the company. A knowledge management system can also improve customer satisfaction by providing accurate and timely information.

Knowledge Management System helps you reduce customer support costs

A knowledge management system can help you reduce customer support costs by up to 50%.

A well-designed knowledge management system can promote self-service by customers, thereby reducing the number of inquiries that reach customer support representatives. KM system centralizes information and makes it easier for your customer to find the answers they need quickly reducing their need to rely on the customer service team.

A properly implemented knowledge management system can also help customer support representatives access the right information quickly and easily, leading to faster and more accurate resolutions to customer problems. As a result, your team can address customer questions and issues more effectively and efficiently, improving speed to resolution, and customer satisfaction, and reducing your overall support costs.

Knowledge Management System helps you speed up employee training and onboarding

When your company is expanding quickly and new employees are joining all the time, it's important to have a good system in place for training them quickly and getting them up to speed. A knowledge management system (KMS) can help you do just that. It's a system that stores and organizes information about processes, procedures, and other key knowledge so that employees can access it quickly and easily. KMS software allows you to create new employees, give them access to information and training they need, track their progress through the company on-boarding, and give them right-in-time access to relevant content when they need it most.

Knowledge Management System helps you improve communication and decision making

A Knowledge Management System (KMS) helps employees to share knowledge and ideas more effectively, improving communication and decision-making across various teams, which may otherwise not always be in the loop. It can also help you identify best practices, resolve conflicts more effectively, and develop a corporate culture of learning.

Knowledge Management System helps you with organizational knowledge sharing and retention

A KMS can help to ensure that critical knowledge is not lost when employees leave the organization.

When an employee leaves an organization, best practices and critical knowledge of how certain products, services, and processes work leave the company with them. A knowledge management system (KMS) can help to ensure that this information is not lost, and is instead recorded and easily accessible by other employees. By doing so, a KMS can help to improve process efficiency and maintain continuity within an organization.

Who in your organization should use a Knowledge Management System?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the use of a knowledge management system (KMS) will vary depending on the needs of your organization. However, there are some key roles that are typically well-suited for using a KMS.

Typically, KMS users include employees who need to find or share knowledge to do their jobs, such as knowledge workers, managers, and executives. However, other employees may also find a KMS useful. Below we explore some of the groups of users, that may find using Knowledge Management System particularly beneficial.

How Customers can benefit from a knowledge management system

Customers prefer to use customer self-service before reaching out to the contact center for support. Knowledge management systems can provide customers the same quick, accurate, and consistent answers that they offer agents. The role of AI-powered knowledge base in customer service is rapidly growing. They provide a helpful interface for customers, automating conversations and providing intelligent guidance that improves the success rate of self-service.

How Customer Service Teams can benefit from a knowledge management system

Customer service teams can benefit from a knowledge management system in a number of ways. A KM system can help customer service teams to:

  1. Store and access customer information more easily
  2. Track customer interactions and queries
  3. Identify and track common customer queries
  4. Find solutions to customer queries more quickly
  5. Share knowledge and solutions with other team members

A KMS can also help customer service managers track the performance of their team. By understanding what questions are being asked most often, and how long it takes customer service reps to find an answer, managers can evolve knowledge and content and improve the overall performance of the service team.

How Field Service teams can benefit from a knowledge management system

Field service teams can benefit greatly from a knowledge management system. A knowledge management system is a platform that allows team members to share and access knowledge and information easily. This can be extremely helpful for field service teams, as it can allow them to complete tasks more efficiently and effectively. Some of the ways in which field service teams can benefit from a knowledge management system include the following:

  • Sharing knowledge and information between team members
  • Accessing important information quickly and easily whether in the office or on-site with the customer
  • Reducing or eliminating the need for paperwork
  • Eliminating the need for team members to return to the office frequently

Additionally, field service teams have a lot of knowledge and expertise within their team. Often, this knowledge is not documented or shared in a way that is easy for other team members to access. A knowledge management system can help field service teams capture and share this knowledge easily and effectively. Specifically, it can help field service teams by:

  • Capturing knowledge as it is created, so it is not lost when team members leave or move on to other roles
  • Making knowledge easily accessible to other team members, without requiring them to search through email or chat logs

How Training and Enablement teams can benefit from a knowledge management system

In order to keep up with the fast-paced and ever-changing business world, many companies are turning to knowledge management systems (KMS) to help manage and store employee knowledge. KMS can help Training and Enablement teams by:

  1. Making it easier to find and share information
  2. Allowing for the creation of reusable content modules
  3. Reducing the need for face-to-face training
  4. Helping to identify gaps in knowledge

How IT Teams can benefit from a knowledge management system

Information technology (IT) teams are under constant pressure to keep up with the latest changes in technology. They also have to manage and store an ever-growing amount of organizational information. A knowledge management system (KMS) can help them overcome these challenges.

  • Makes it easier to publish timely and relevant information about different systems, policies, and procedures and makes it available to all employees across the organization and externally to various partners and customers
  • Makes it easy for IT teams to find the information they need when they need it. This can save them time and money, and help them stay competitive in the industry.
  • Helps improve communication within IT teams, as well as between IT and other parts of the company

Information technology (IT) teams typically have a lot of knowledge and expertise within their team. However, this knowledge is often siloed and not accessible to other parts of the company. A knowledge management system (KMS) can help to solve this problem by making it easy for team members to share and access information.

How product teams can use a knowledge management system

KMS platforms can be used by product teams to store and access product requirements, user feedback, and other knowledge about the products they are building. Storing information in a KMS can help product teams make better decisions, faster.

Using a KMS can help product teams work more efficiently and effectively. By storing all product information in one place, team members can easily find what they need and collaborate on projects. Additionally, a KMS can help teams track and analyze product data to make better decisions about future products.

Conclusion

A knowledge management system (KMS) is a software application that enables an organization to capture, store, and retrieve knowledge and information from a centralized location. A KMS can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization by providing employees with easy access to the information they need to do their jobs.

There are many different types of KMS, but all share the same goal of helping organizations capture and store knowledge. Some common features of KMS include document management, search capabilities, version control, and collaboration tools. Read our article on how to select the best knowledge management system for you here.

Victoria
I love to write with one goal in mind - to help you build amazing customer experiences. Our content is tailored to help you understand your customers, design great products and deliver world-class customer self-service. I share my knowledge and experience through my articles, videos, podcasts, templates, and more - so you can take your customer experience to the next level.‍

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