Knowledge is indeed powerful, but its true potential is only realized when it's accessible. Many organizations face the challenge of possessing vast amounts of information but struggling to distribute it effectively to employees and customers.
This is where knowledge base software comes into play. It acts like a company encyclopedia, centralizing all information and providing easy, fast access to what users need. Now, you might be curious about who typically uses knowledge base software.
Here’s what the data reveals:
- According to Forbes, 40% of customers prefer self-service to human contact
- 89% of millennials try finding the solution on the internet before contacting customer service
- Harvard Business Review found that 57% of calls come from customers who failed to find their answer on the company’s website
- Document360 reported a 36% decrease in support tickets after they made their knowledge base software
So, let's unlock the power of knowledge together. This guide will introduce you to the 6 best knowledge base software options, showing you their strengths and weaknesses and reviews so you can pick the perfect fit.
What is Knowledge Base Software?
Knowledge base software transcends a simple FAQ page; it's a centralized repository for all your critical information. This includes FAQs, detailed how-to articles, step-by-step video tutorials, and other pertinent documentation, all on a searchable, easy-to-use platform. Picture it as a tailored self-service library designed for both your customers and employees, offering benefits that go beyond just storing information.
Here's how knowledge base software shines:
- Empower self-service: Minimize endless phone calls and confusing email threads. With powerful search capabilities and user-friendly interfaces, customers can independently find answers at their convenience and pace.
- Reduce support burden: Take some load off of your customer support team. Fewer repetitive basic tasks will inquiries flood their inboxes, freeing them to tackle complex issues and personalize interactions.
- Increase customer satisfaction: When customers quickly find their answers, their frustration melts away – and is replaced by satisfaction.
- Proactive support: Embed links to relevant knowledge base articles within your call scripts and empower your agents to guide customers to a self-service knowledge database to streamline interactions and improve call efficiency.
- Easy knowledge sharing: Break down internal information silos and ensure everyone – from sales reps to product developers – has instant access to the latest knowledge, reducing redundancies and confusion.
- Streamline onboarding: No more frantic document hunts for new employees. A well-crafted knowledge database serves as a comprehensive onboarding guide, accelerating understanding and boosting productivity.
- Cost savings: With fewer support tickets, shorter call times, and improved employee efficiency, knowledge base software can deliver significant cost savings over time.
Do you want to know what a good first call resolution rate is?
Types of Knowledge Base Software
But before we dive into the specific contenders fighting for the title of your perfect knowledge base match, let's explore the different types of software available.
Internal knowledge base software
While much emphasis is placed on customer self-service, knowledge base software is equally valuable internally. An internal knowledge base is tailored for your employees. It functions as a comprehensive database, containing crucial information required to perform effectively.
Employees can bypass the hassle of searching through emails, documents, or relying on second-hand knowledge. With an internal knowledge base, they have direct access to the answers they need - clear, concise, and instantly accessible.
Hosted knowledge base software
Hosted knowledge base software is cloud-based, meaning it's maintained by a service provider rather than on your local servers. This setup removes the responsibilities of installation, maintenance, and updates, allowing you to concentrate on creating and sharing knowledge.
Self-hosted knowledge base software
Self-hosted knowledge base software offers full control over your data and platform. Installed on your servers, it requires you to manage maintenance and allows customization to meet specific needs. You have complete oversight of your data's location, ensuring it stays within your servers, which facilitates seamless integration with existing internal systems and tools.
Open-source knowledge base software
Open-source knowledge base software is like a community-built library, developed by a collective of programmers. These platforms are free to use and highly customizable, but they depend on community-driven support for updates and troubleshooting. They come without licensing fees or recurring subscriptions, but using open-source solutions necessitates additional attention to data security.
Customer service knowledge base software
Customer service knowledge base software is designed to streamline interactions and enable self-service. It usually features robust search capabilities, user-friendly interfaces, and integration with ticketing systems. The primary aim is to deflect common queries and issues by guiding customers towards self-help options, freeing agents to tackle more complex problems while having easy access to necessary information.
Enterprise knowledge base software
Enterprise knowledge base software is tailored for large organizations, offering advanced capabilities for handling extensive data, user-level permissions, and secure access controls. These platforms are designed to support sizable user groups and expanding knowledge resources efficiently. However, they tend to be more costly due to their comprehensive features and scalability.
Cloud knowledge base software
Float above the limitations of physical servers, Cloud-based knowledge bases are accessible from any device, anywhere, at any time. Imagine your customer support team answering questions while on the go.
Whether you're a small startup or a sprawling enterprise, your knowledge base adapts, ensuring your information palace never becomes cramped.
Learn more about the legal consequences of recording calls without consent in this article about call recordings and GDPR.
Best knowledge base software in 2024
Now it’s time for a rundown of the top contenders in the 2024 knowledge base software arena, complete with features, pros, cons, pricing, reviews, and reasons why they made it onto this list.
Guru is an AI-driven platform transforming the way organizations gather, share, and use information. It integrates effortlessly with existing workflows, capturing knowledge from Slack, emails, and web pages, turning dispersed team knowledge into a centralized, easily searchable hub.
- AI-powered knowledge capture: Guru captures knowledge directly from emails, Slack conversations, and even meetings, automatically building your knowledge base without extra effort. It also has a browser extension that makes data capture easier.
- Expert verification & updates: Ensure your knowledge base stays accurate and current with automated expert verification and collaborative updates.
- Intuitive search & navigation: Effortlessly find the right information with Guru's powerful search engine and filtering tools.
- Seamless integration: Guru connects with your existing workplace tools (Slack, Google Drive, etc.) eliminating data silos and making information readily available.
- Customizable workspaces: Tailor the platform to your specific needs with customizable workspaces for different teams and projects. Keep your information kingdom organized and accessible to the right people with roles and permissions.
- Reduced support volume: Empower customers with self-service and free up your team.
- Increased employee productivity: Access to accurate information speeds up workflows.
- Improved customer satisfaction: Faster answers lead to happier customers.
- Centralized knowledge repository: Eliminate information silos and ensure everyone's on the same page.
- AI-driven insights: Gain valuable data on user behavior and improve your knowledge base over time.
- Limited customization options: Guru focuses on user-friendliness over in-depth customization.
- Pricing can be higher for larger organizations: Subscription costs scale with user base.
- AI-powered features are still evolving: Expect further development and refinement in the future.
Guru has 3 plans.
- A free plan for 30 days for 1 user
- The builder plan starts at $10/month per user
- And custom pricing for larger organizations
Guru has an average rating of 4.7/5 from 1,592 ratings on G2.
- Most reviews say that they don’t have any negative thing to say about Guru which is reflected in its astounding 4.7/5 rating
- One user referred to it as "Google for my support team"
Why is Guru on this list?
While some downsides exist, like limited customization and AI features still under development, Guru's overall efficiency, ease of use, and AI-powered features make it a strong contender for organizations seeking to transform their scattered knowledge into a centralized, searchable knowledge database.
Its low pricing makes it ideal for startups and mid-sized companies.
Intercom is a knowledge base that not only houses answers, but actively guides your customers through those answers.
- Fullview integration: Integration with Fullview allows agents to cobrowse. This integration makes Intercom unique.
- Live assistance at the ready: If users get stuck while reading a help article, a single click connects them with a support agent, and a cobrowsing call is initiated in-app, thanks to the seamless integration with Fullview. The agent can then take control of the user’s screen and solve the issue that had them looking up help articles to begin with.
- AI-powered chatbots: Automate repetitive inquiries and guide users to relevant knowledge articles, freeing up your team for complex issues.
- Personalized content delivery: Target specific articles based on user behavior and purchase history, offering laser-focused information.
- Automated workflows: Guide users to relevant articles based on their actions and questions.
- Analytics and reporting: Track user behavior and measure knowledge base effectiveness.
- Seamless integration with Intercom's other tools: Live chat and co browsing support create a unified experience.
- Reduced support tickets: Empower customers to find answers quickly and easily.
- Increased customer satisfaction: Happy customers who can solve their own problems leads to increased CSAT.
- Improved agent productivity: Agents focus on complex issues instead of repetitive questions.
- Primarily customer-centric: Internal knowledge-sharing features are limited compared to dedicated internal platforms.
- Limited customization options: Design and functionality adjustments are somewhat limited compared to more open-source options.
- Pricing scales with user base: Costs can climb for larger organizations with high customer volume.
Intercom has multiple plans.
- The essential plan starts at $39/month per user
- The startup plan starts at $65/month for 10 users
- Expert plan starts at $139/month per user
Intercom has an average rating of 4.5/5 from 2,927 ratings on G2.
- Most users praise its simplicity and ease of use
- Some users mention its Fullview integration as a highlight among other apps
- Others mention the integration of chat and email support
- Many users think it’s an expensive option
Why is Intercom on this list?
The startup plan is a highlight for most companies. However, if internal knowledge management is your top priority, other options on the list might offer better solutions.
The Fullview integration can level up your support with cobrowsing and session replays to help users beyond text articles, providing real-time assistance and valuable user insights.
HelpScout integrates with its already-popular helpdesk platform, creating a unified hub for knowledge and support.
- Integration with HelpDesk: Effortlessly share knowledge base articles within customer conversations, reducing response times and streamlining support.
- Versatile web widget (Beacon): Embed a chat-style widget on any page of your website or app to provide instant access to your knowledge base without disrupting the user experience.
- Built-in SEO: Ensure your knowledge base articles are easily discoverable through search engines, attracting more visitors and empowering self-service.
- AI assist: Get suggestions to adjust article tone, length, and even translate content into multiple languages, making your knowledge base more versatile and accessible.
- Great mobile experience: Customers can access your knowledge base seamlessly on their mobile devices.
- Multilingual support: AI-powered translation features make your knowledge base accessible to a wider audience.
- Ease of use: Simple interface with customization options to match your brand and style.
- Excellent search and organization: Powerful search features and intuitive navigation help customers find answers quickly.
- Customer-centric: Limited internal knowledge sharing features: Primarily focused on customer-facing information.
- Feature set limited compared: Lacks advanced features found in some platforms.
- Fewer Integrations: While HelpScout boasts numerous integrations with popular tools, it lacks connections to some specific platforms like Fullview that businesses might rely on.
HelpScout has 3 types of plans.
- The standard plan starts at $25/month per user
- The pro plan is $65/month per user for a minimum of 10+ users
HelpScout has an average rating of 4.4/5 from 400 ratings on G2.
- Reviewers praise its intuitive layout
- Users love that shared accounts are good for dealing with customer emails
- However, some complain that there is only one knowledgebase template available
Why is HelpScout on this list?
HelpScout shines for organizations seeking a user-friendly, affordable solution. However, if extensive internal knowledge sharing or advanced features are your top priorities, you might want to consider other options on the list.
Zendesk is the best enterprise knowledge base software. Think centralized content management, self-service solutions for everyone, and AI-powered tools – Zendesk has it all.
- Fullview integration: Use Fulview’s cobrowsing when the knowledge base fails – seamlessly guide customers through troubleshooting or complex processes by remotely viewing and interacting with their web browser in real-time.
- Integrated suite: Manage content, help tickets, internal communication, and more from one central hub.
- Internal and external knowledge bases: Create separate knowledge bases for your team and your customers, tailoring information to specific needs.
- AI-Powered insights: Content Cues suggest new content and updates, while Generative AI assists with article writing and revising.
- Collaborative editing: Team Publishing workflows streamline content updates and ensure accuracy.
- Multilingual support: Deliver knowledge in over 40 languages, making information accessible to everyone.
- Comprehensive platform: One solution for all your customer service and knowledge management needs.
- AI-powered efficiency: Optimize your knowledge base and deliver relevant information more effectively.
- Simplified content management: Collaborative editing and reusable content blocks streamline content creation and updates.
- Scalability and flexibility: Adjust the platform to your specific needs and languages, regardless of your organization's size.
- Complex pricing: With various tiers and add-ons, pricing can get intricate for larger organizations.
- Steeper learning curve: The comprehensive feature set might require more onboarding and training compared to simpler options.
Zendesk has several types of plans:
- Suite Team starts at $69/month per user
- Suite Professional is $149/month per user
- You can get custom rates in the enterprise tier.
Zendesk has an average rating of 4.3/5 from 5,788 ratings on G2. Some of the reviews mention that:
- Zendesk is good for large teams (50+)
- They love that it integrates email, chat, phone, social media, and self-service
- Its compatibility with so many other software tools
Why is Zendesk on this list?
Zendesk is a true contender for enterprise-sized organizations seeking a one-stop-shop for both customer service and knowledge management. Its comprehensive features, AI-powered insights, and focus on self-service empower both customers and employees.
Notion offers endless possibilities for internal knowledge base management. While not solely dedicated to knowledge bases, its adaptability and robust features make it a worthy contender, especially for those seeking a flexible platform that can cater to various organizational needs.
- Highly customizable: Notion has endless possibilities for layouts, formats, and content types. Think beyond text articles; embed videos, create interactive galleries, and even weave in code snippets.
- Collaboration powerhouse: Foster teamwork and shared knowledge creation with real-time editing, comments, and version control. Everyone can contribute and update information easily.
- Integration hub: Connect Notion with your favorite tools and workflows, bringing all your information into one central location.
- Mobile access: Access and update your knowledge base from anywhere with the Notion mobile app, ensuring information is always at your fingertips.
- Unmatched flexibility: Create a knowledge base as unique as your organization, tailored to your specific needs and information structure.
- Boosted collaboration: Encourage knowledge sharing and team contributions with its intuitive interface and collaborative features.
- Cost-Effective entry point: The free tier offers enough features to get your knowledge base started, making it a budget-friendly option for beginners.
- Steeper learning curve: Compared to dedicated knowledge base software, Notion might have a slightly steeper learning curve for its more powerful features.
- Focus on individual users: Notion, at its core, is designed for individual knowledge management and might require additional setup and organization for large teams.
- Potential information overload: With so much flexibility, it's crucial to organize and structure your knowledge database effectively to avoid information overload.
Notion has a few different pricing tiers. Two of the most popular are:
- The free plan allows 10 users
- The business plan allows up to 100 users at $15 per month per user
Notion has an average rating of 4.7/5 from 5,023 ratings on G2. Some of the reviews mention that:
- Notion can be anything you need it to be
- Automation options are limited
- Database permissions are limited
- Text formatting are limited
Why is Notion on this list?
While Notion might not offer the same extensive customer-facing features as dedicated knowledge base software, it excels in empowering internal teams to organize, share, and collaborate on knowledge effectively.
Document360 strikes a balance between offering an array of features and maintaining a user-friendly interface that's accessible to both tech-savvy and non-technical users. This makes it an excellent choice for organizations seeking a powerful yet easy-to-manage knowledge base software.
- Version control: Track changes, revert to previous versions, and maintain consistency with ease.
- Content categorization: Organize knowledge into clear categories and subcategories, making navigation a breeze.
- File manager: Store and manage images, videos, and other files alongside your articles for comprehensive content.
- Collaboration tools: Writers, editors, and reviewers can work together seamlessly with discussion platforms and comments.
- Knowledge base templates: Streamline content creation with pre-designed templates for various types of articles.
- Article view permissions: Control who can access specific articles, ensuring sensitive information stays secure
- User-friendly interface: Easy to navigate and manage, even for non-technical users.
- Comprehensive features: Offers a wide range of tools for creating, organizing, and managing knowledge.
- Flexibility for both internal and external use: Caters to both customer-facing and internal knowledge management needs.
- Affordable pricing: Competitive pricing plans that scale with your organization's size.
- Limited integration tools: Might not seamlessly connect with all of your existing workflows.
- Limited customization options: It gives users limited control over the look and feel of the knowledge bases.
Document360 has several pricing plans.
- It has a lifetime free plan of 1 project for 2 users
- It charges monthly $149/project for 3 users
- Other plans range from $299 to custom pricing for private hosting.
Document360 has an average rating of 4.7/5 from 378 ratings on G2. Some of the reviews mention that Document360:
- Listens to their community and regularly updates
- Has limited integration options
- Lacks multilanguage support
Why is Document360 on this list?
Its generous free plan makes it the perfect choice for smaller teams or trials.
Remember, the "perfect" software isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. Identifying your specific needs is crucial.
Do you prioritize customer self-service or internal knowledge sharing? Budget constraints or expansive features? Collaborative tools or AI-powered insights?
Define your priorities clearly, and let them guide you. Don't hesitate to leverage resources, explore free trials, delve into user reviews, and consult with industry experts.
Ready to dive deeper into the world of customer support software and explore solutions that can revolutionize your customer support experience?
Take a moment to discover Fullview, the innovative cobrowsing app that empowers agents to guide customers seamlessly through troubleshooting and complex processes. See how Fullview can enhance your knowledge base capabilities and create a truly exceptional customer support journey by clicking here.
- Harvard Business Review
Last checked on: 24-Dec-2023