By Sameer Bhatia
Implementing knowledge base software successfully can result in many benefits for an organization, including better employee productivity, improved customer service, and more satisfaction on the part of employees and customers. However, that doesn’t mean all you need to do is buy a software application and then sit back and wait for good things to come. Successful implementations require planning to make sure everyone is on board, on the same page, and working toward the same goals.
A handful of strategies help ensure your knowledge base software implementation a success, which include setting clear goals and objectives.
It is important to understand that organization change may be required to successfully implement knowledge base software. If your company already has a culture of knowledge sharing, then your employees may not need much coaxing to understand the importance of the software to that effort. But in many organizations, sharing is not currently the norm. Employees might be reluctant to share what they know—perhaps because they are afraid their personal value to the company might suffer, or they may worry that what they know is wrong.
Changing an organization’s culture can be a challenge, but it is a challenge that pays off in the end. The place to start is at the top. When employees see executives and managers adopting knowledge-sharing behaviors, they are more comfortable following suit.
Establish Clear objectives
Many companies jump head first into software implementations without establishing the goals of those implementations beforehand. Without objectives, how do you know what the software is supposed to achieve? More importantly, how do you measure those achievements?
Is your goal to gather information to reduce the effects of employee turnover? Facilitate knowledge sharing across departments? Provide a self-service customer service option? Knowledge base software helps you do all of these things and more, and establishing objectives enables you to communicate with employees about how you expect them to use the new tool.
Articulate Desired Behavior
After software objectives are established, it is essential to identify the behaviors necessary to meet those objectives. Who in your organization do you expect to contribute to or use the knowledge base? What kind of resources do you want to gather? How much or how often do you want employees to contribute? How will those contributions be tracked and assessed?
Knowledge base software makes it easy for everyone in your organization to contribute and access knowledge resources, but you will need to articulate and set clear examples of the behaviors you would like to see happen.
In order to know if your knowledge base software implementation is successful, a way of measuring success must be determined. This could include less time spent on customer service calls, improved productivity, or higher customer satisfaction ratings. The metrics you use to measure the results of using knowledge base software should directly tie to the goals established at the beginning.
Set short- and long-term goals and make them specific. Such as a 10 percent reduction in time per call over the next 12 months.
While online knowledge base software is designed to be intuitive and easy to use, organizations should still provide training to everyone expected to use it. This helps employees conquer any fears or hesitations they may have about using the new software. Training sessions also provide an ideal forum to share implementation goals, demonstrate desired behaviors, and explain how success is measured. The more your employees know about the software and how to use it, the better they will be able to help the business reach its goals.
While these five strategies may not guarantee a successful knowledge base software implementation, they will certainly set you on the right course. SW
Sameer Bhatia is founder/CEO, ProProfs, a leading provider of online learning tools for building, testing, and applying knowledge. ProProfs Knowledge Base Software creates searchable online FAQs to improve customer service and reduce tickets. It helps centralize access to organizational files, documents, and how-to articles ensuring they can be accessed across multiple devices and platforms.