The demand for self-serve information is at an all-time high. The value of the customer self-service software market is expected to reach 35.90 billion US dollars by 2028, and end-users are driving that demand.
The need for knowledge base software has spread across all industries. In response, there is now an abundance of tools offering solutions. Since every company has a different set of needs in terms of answering questions about their product and processes, each tool tailors its software to meet specific needs.
What are the best knowledge base software platforms in 2021?
- Wix Answers
- Hubspot Service Hub
- ProProfs Knowledge Base
- Intellum Platform
What Is a Knowledge Base?
A knowledge base is a centralized repository that stores information and content about a particular subject or topic, typically a product. Companies produce this informational content to help customers and employees find answers without picking up the phone, waiting for an email response, or bugging someone around them.
A knowledge base can exist on its own as software, live on a website, or integrate into other systems such as a CRM or help desk ticketing system.
Customer Self-Support Knowledge Base vs. Internal Company Knowledge Base
As mentioned above, knowledge bases can serve both customers and employees.
- A customer self-support knowledge base includes information, guides, and answers to help customers make better use of a product or service. They can also give prospective customers a deeper look into the kinds of problems a product or service solves. You can see these in action by viewing the best knowledge base examples.
- An internal company knowledge base serves employees, not customers. These knowledge bases aren’t shared outside of the company and include information about company policies, guides explaining company software and processes, and anything else that helps employees do their job.
What Is Knowledge Base Software?
Knowledge base software is a specific type of knowledge management platform for storing and sharing self-serve information and can be cloud-based, self-hosted, or hosted by a third party. This category of software creates searchable, easy-to-update knowledge bases, and some include extra features such as FAQs, tutorials, and internal wiki page creation.
Features of Knowledge Base Software
Today, there are many knowledge base software options on the market with different characteristics or specializations, but they all have commonalities. The best software for building a knowledge base will be:
- user-friendly and fast interface for both your employees and customers
- easy to integrate with other tools and software in your tech stack
- optimized for SEO
- easy-to-use search engine
- simple content authoring, editing, and updating
- analytics on knowledge base usage
- enterprise backup and security features
15 Best Knowledge Base Software Tools in 2021
Here are the top 15 best knowledge base platforms you can use to create informative self-serve content for employees or customers:
Whatfix is a robust Digital Adoption Platform that includes several features for helping your customers make the best use of your products. The platform offers a unique feature that lets you aggregate your existing knowledge base by displaying your documentation in a self-help widget. For example, if you have your help content in Freshdesk, and your application is Microsoft Teams, the Freshdesk articles can be shown as links in the Self Help that appears in Microsoft Teams.
Zendesk is one of the earliest but still popular customer service software solutions on the market. It offers a knowledge base that can target employees or customers, and their software integrates with many different applications. Its list of knowledge base features includes customizable branding, content management, analytics, customer feedback, and full-text search. Zendesk also offers a community forum option so you can create a place for your customers to connect.
Software company Atlassian offers robust knowledge base software called Confluence. Atlassian describe their software as a team workspace that delivers dynamic pages to allow teams to collaborate on projects. It works for teams of all sizes, and it’s available on the cloud, through the Confluence data center, or you can set it up on your own server. If you require a high level of security for your documents and have your own development team, Confluence is a good option.
Guru is a low-cost knowledge base platform for internal use that lets you combine existing internal and external knowledge bases. It can capture information from Slack or the internet and convert that information into “cards” that are accessible by other team members. Guru’s most unique feature is an AI that will help you find people within your company who are most likely to have the answer to a question.
5. Wix Answers
Customer support solution Wix Answers includes knowledge base software that lets you create a self-service center for your customers, an internal knowledge base tool for your customer support reps, and content hubs. With Wix Answers, you can create help widgets and embed them anywhere inside your product. An interesting feature is the ability to help customers describe their own issues through the use of custom fields and predefined options that give support reps the information they need to provide quick answers.
Bloomfire is a knowledge-sharing platform designed to assist employees in quickly finding the information they need. A unique feature of its software is its AI-powered search engine that can index every word in the system and transcribe videos. You can also create custom questions and answers then turn both into searchable content.
Unlike many of the other tools on this list, Document360’s specialty is knowledge bases. It offer plans for small teams up to enterprises, and its software provides a robust file comparison tool for viewing older drafts against current versions. If your team has several people accessing the content, you can see which version is the most recent and who edited that version. Its software is known for being user-friendly and having powerful features that need little to no customization.
HelpCrunch is a customer communication platform that offers a knowledge base as part of its suite of tools. Its search function automatically suggests relevant articles based on keywords, and you can include a live chat widget on knowledge base pages to provide additional customer support. It also offers the ability to code in custom images and include CTA buttons using CSS and JS.
Helpjuice is a cloud-based knowledge base software used for both in-house and external solutions. It’s a popular choice for teams with limited developer support because it offers dozens of pre-made themes, and they will customize templates for you at no extra cost. One unique feature of Helpjuice is its analytics feature, which will display what your users are searching for and not finding, show you who is searching, and offer suggestions for improving content.
10. HubSpot Service Cloud
HubSpot Service Hub is well-known for its customer service software, including a knowledge base tool that brings all your customer service data together if you are already using their CRM. With Service Hub, you can convert any frequently asked questions into a searchable library of help articles and even include video in your articles. In addition, its built-in reporting dashboards provide information on terms your customers are searching for, and a critical feature for international teams is its support for multiple languages.
Slite is knowledge base software that lets teams share and collaborate on notes. It has many features that are helpful for customer support and customer success teams, including collaborating with people outside your team. For example, you can create documents, share them with your clients, and invite them to a channel. It’s also enterprise security-ready because it’s compliant with Google and Slack SSO, OAuth, OKTA, and OpenID.
ServiceNow is a more traditional solution that offers both team and customer-facing knowledge bases. It integrates with Microsoft Word Online to give team members a familiar feel, and you can create reusable content blocks for articles to speed up productivity. Additionally, for organizations that require KCS validation of their knowledge base, ServiceNow will fulfill that need.
13. ProProfs Knowledge Base
ProProfs is another suite of tools that includes a knowledge base where teams can create secure internal resource centers and customer-service help options. ProProfs state its software will let you create a knowledge base in minutes using their templates or from scratch. In addition to knowledge base creation, you can use ProProfs to design training manuals and product guides.
14. Intellum Platform
The Intellum Platform provides tools to create highly-personalized learning experiences for both customers and employees. While it is first and foremost a learning management tool, it offers a knowledge management platform as part of its toolset. This platform is best suited for large enterprises that want to reach 10,000 or more customers or employees.
Notion calls itself “the all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.” The platform offers a collaborative workspace that includes customizable components that connect to create a knowledge management system. Notion’s flexibility makes it popular for creating internal-facing wikis and knowledge systems, and they offer certified consultants who can help you set up your knowledge base.
According to Gartner, many self-service flaws trace back to three points of failure:
- external search
- site navigation
- self-service capabilities
Make sure customers can easily find your knowledge base when they land on your website from an external search so they don’t tie up your customer support team with calls or tickets. A good rule of thumb is to place the link to your knowledge base in your top-level navigation.
In addition, your knowledge base needs to be genuinely self-serve — audit your content regularly to confirm it is comprehensive and includes every single step your customers need to resolve issues on their own.