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How knowledge base software enhances customer service

In today’s fast-paced world, customers demand highly responsive, near-immediate answers. They don't want to waste time navigating through a labyrinth of resources or waiting on hold for 25 minutes. They crave the freedom and autonomy to solve problems independently, at their own pace, and on their own timelines. 

According to our Customer Service Trends Report 2024, empowering customers to self-serve answers to their own questions is a top priority to 40% of C-level support executives.1 Failing to meet these rising expectations translates to lost revenue, significant customer churn, and a tarnished brand reputation.

So, if your business intends to provide better customer service – while simultaneously empowering your support team – you need a robust technological solution. Enter knowledge base software – a tool that helps you create, manage, and share self-service content for your customers and employees.

But what exactly is knowledge base software, and how does it work? What are its primary features? And how can you choose the best one for your business? In this article, we’ll answer these critical questions while also exploring the key benefits of this increasingly vital business solution.

What is knowledge base software?

At its core,  knowledge base software is a digital repository – a centralized hub of self-serve content – customized for your business. It's your proactive solution to customer queries, ensuring that information is not just stored but dynamically accessible, evolving with the needs of your clientele.

Think of it as a virtual encyclopedia that empowers your support team and gives your customers a level of autonomy and control when looking to find solutions. It includes a deep trove of practical, actionable information, including but not limited to frequently asked questions (FAQs), troubleshooting guides, articles, and product tutorials that your customers and support teams can access as and when needed to fix issues or learn more about your products or services.

You can use knowledge base software both internally, for staff, and externally, for customers. It offers features like content creation tools, search functionality, workflow management, artificial intelligence (AI) tools, analytics, and integration with other platforms. This comprehensive system allows you to build a searchable library of resources, personalize content based on user needs, and track the overall performance of the self-service content to ensure effectiveness.

Learn how a knowledge base brings strategic value for businesses attempting to build trust and engagement with their customers and prospects.

How does knowledge base software work?

Customer support knowledge base software enables you to translate your institutional knowledge into helpful content intuitively organized in a searchable database. Support reps and customers can then access this centralized database to find practical information and answers to inquiries quickly.

The most advanced, leading-edge knowledge base software goes beyond the role of digital library, though. For instance, our customer service platform  leverages automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to take customer experience (CX) to the next level. Here's how:

  • Contextual understanding: As customers ask questions through email, chat, messaging apps, or even AI-powered virtual assistants, the software analyzes the content and context of the inquiry. This includes understanding the specific keywords, phrases, and sentiments used.

  • Smart recommendations: The software identifies the most relevant articles based on analysis and existing data. These recommendations are presented to the customer or support representative in real time, offering potential solutions without requiring lengthy searches.

  • Continuous improvement: The system learns and adapts over time. Feedback from customers and usage data inform further optimization of content and search algorithms, facilitating an ever-evolving repository that can recognize and rectify its own knowledge gaps and be dynamically responsive to user needs.

By automating the process of suggesting relevant information, knowledge base software empowers both customers and support teams. Customers gain rapid access to self-service solutions, while support reps can commit their time and cognitive bandwidth to complex issues that require their high-level expertise, leading to greater efficiency and satisfaction.

Here’s your guide on building a knowledge base from scratch.

Benefits of implementing a knowledge base software

Imagine an organization where customer service thrives on self-sufficiency and information is easily accessible. It’s exactly this reality that awaits you when you implement a customer support knowledge base software.

The benefits of knowledge bases extend far beyond mere convenience, though. Let’s take a look at some of the other clear advantages offered by the software. 

Increased customer satisfaction

Elevating customer satisfaction requires more than just improving interactions between customers and support representatives. Knowledge base software provides customers with self-service resources, enabling them to find answers swiftly, independently resolve issues, and take greater control of their relationship with your product or service. This empowerment not only increases CSAT but also reduces frustration and gradually builds a lasting sense of loyalty among your customers.

Reduced support ticket volume

Our Customer Service Trends Report 2023 indicates that 75% of support leaders plan to increase technology spending over the next 12 months to help them manage conversation volume.

A knowledge base can help customers find solutions to many common problems on their own, reducing the need to contact support for every minor issue. This can lead to a substantial decrease in ticket volume, allowing agents to focus on providing higher-quality support for more critical or complex inquiries.

Improved efficiency and productivity

By providing agents with a centralized repository of information, businesses can streamline their support processes and improve their service efficiency. Support teams can quickly access relevant information to answer customer questions, resolve issues, and provide accurate guidance. This results in faster issue resolution, higher morale and lower stress levels among agents, and a more efficient support operation.

Preserved company knowledge

Knowledge base software can help you capture and store the knowledge and expertise of an evolving business. As employees contribute and update content, the digital library evolves into a living document, carefully reflecting the organization's collective expertise. This prevents knowledge loss during employee transitions and ensures crucial information is readily available to new hires.

Increased accessibility and availability

Customer support knowledge base software can help you make your information and resources accessible and available to your customers and employees, anytime and anywhere. Users get answers 24/7, regardless of time zone or agent availability. This convenience and customer-centric approach helps increase trust, loyalty, and retention, thus reducing the chances of negative feedback, complaints, or other varieties of ill will from employees. 

Better collaboration and knowledge sharing

Collaboration is a cornerstone of successful organizations. Knowledge base software allows every member of your organization to learn from each other and contribute their knowledge, fostering a culture of continuous learning and information-sharing. Over time, the platform can become a space for exchanging insights and experiences, pooling expertise, and thriving through shared intelligence.

Consistency in communication

A knowledge base can help you ensure that your communication with your customers and employees is consistent and clear, regardless of the channel or agent they interact with. Using features such as templates and formatting, you can create and maintain a uniform and professional style and tone for your content, avoiding confusion and misinformation. This fosters a more reliable and uniform customer support experience.

Continuous learning

Successful organizations always prioritize learning, making it an ongoing journey for individual employees and the firm as a whole. Knowledge base software helps support and advance this ideal by allowing you to generate insights and feedback from your customers and employees. Using analytics, reports, and surveys, you can measure and evaluate your content's effectiveness and impact and identify your support team's strengths and weaknesses. 

Improved brand reputation

A knowledge base can help you improve your brand reputation and the overall awareness of your company by providing customers and employees with positive and memorable experiences. Customers (and employees) that are impressed with your knowledge base are more likely to recommend your business to others, leading to increased brand awareness, a stronger customer base, and overall growth.

Advanced functionalities

Beyond the fundamental features, knowledge bases offer more advanced functionalities that elevate their usefulness and capabilities for your business. Features like multilingual support and proactive suggestions can help you provide more relevant, personalized, and engaging content and service. This allows businesses to establish credibility and value, differentiating themselves from competitors.

When leveraged fully, a customer support knowledge base creates an evolvable foundation of unified information that can dramatically improve – even transform – how organizations empower and connect with their customers.

Customer satisfaction (CSAT) is just one of the many performance metrics. Delve deeper into the most critical KPIs with our blog: How to keep customer support KPIs meaningful for your support team.

Types of knowledge base software

There are two main types of knowledge bases: internal and external. These categories are broad and encompass a wide range of different knowledge management systems.

  • Internal knowledge base software: This is designed for use within an organization, typically by employees. It serves as a centralized source of information and resources for your workforce to find answers to their questions, learn about company policies and procedures, and access troubleshooting guides.

  • External knowledge base software: This type of software is developed for customer-facing scenarios, providing a resource for clients to access information independently. The external knowledge base includes FAQs and troubleshooting guides, with the goal of becoming the go-to resource for customers seeking answers.

In addition to these two primary categories, knowledge bases usually come in three distinct types, adapting to specific needs:

  • On-premises: This self-hosted option offers complete control and security but also requires dedicated IT resources.

  • Cloud-based: This SaaS model offers flexible access and scalability without the hardware burden. It's the best option for dynamic organizations.

  • Hybrid: Mix on-premises control with cloud benefits – ideal for organizations with complex requirements.

The main features of a knowledge base software

Despite their varied use cases and tech stacks, most varieties of knowledge base software share a few important  standard features. 

  1. A content editor: Every knowledge base comes equipped with a content editor – a versatile tool that allows users to create and modify articles, guides, videos, and other types of content. The content editor also offers additional features such as formatting, multimedia support, templates, and version control, enhancing the content creation process.

  2. A content management system (CMS): The CMS acts as the organizational backbone, allowing users to manage and organize knowledge base content. Categories, tags, search, filters, and permissions are integral components that ensure structured and accessible content.

  3. A content delivery system: This feature enables users to access and view the content in the knowledge base through various avenues like web portals, mobile apps, chatbots, or widgets. This allows users to seamlessly view and engage with knowledge base content.

Next, we have the core features. These include:

  • Search and navigation tools: Intuitive search and navigation features are essential for users to find the information they’re looking for in the most efficient way possible. Intricate search functionalities, categorization, and tagging systems provide a seamless user experience.

  • Access controls: Security and access control mechanisms protect sensitive information. These features allow administrators to define who can view, edit, or delete specific content within the knowledge base.

  • Version control: This feature is critical for maintaining accuracy and reliability. It tracks changes made to articles over time, enabling users to revert to previous versions if needed.

  • Multimedia support: Many of the best knowledge bases go beyond text, accommodating multimedia elements such as images, videos, and interactive content. This makes all the educational and instructional material in your library appealing and accessible to the widest possible audience.

  • User feedback mechanism: A system for gathering and analyzing customer feedback effectively facilitates continuous improvement. Plus, by allowing your clients to rate and comment on articles, you’ll be better equipped to identify areas in need of updating or other types of improvement.

  • Analytics and reporting: With built-in analytics, you'll gain insights into how users interact with your knowledge base. This data will help you better understand the most valuable articles, content that is not connecting with readers, and overall usage trends. You can then use the accumulated data to further optimize your self-service solutions.

  • Collaboration tools: Add-on features like shared editing, version control, and discussion forums allow your team to work together on content, ensuring consistency and accuracy. This fosters a culture of knowledge sharing and continuous improvement, making the collective expertise of your company readily available to all your employees and teams. 

Additional features like multilingual support, AI-powered recommendations, and integrations with other business tools may also be assets to your organization, depending on your specific needs and target audience. 

Here's a quick rundown of some advanced functionalities businesses can leverage with state-of-the-art knowledge base software from Intercom:

  • Integration capabilities: Seamless integration with other tools is the cornerstone of operational efficiency. Some, if not all, knowledge bases facilitate smooth collaboration by effortlessly connecting with customer support systems, CRM platforms, messaging apps, and various other technologies crucial to optimizing your organizational workflow.

  • Customization options: Tailoring the knowledge base to align with your organization's unique needs is paramount. Powerful solutions offer extensive customization options, allowing you to brand the interface, structure content according to your workflow, and adapt nearly every aspect to reflect your organizational identity.

  • Automation: An advanced knowledge base software leverages workflow automation frameworks to streamline repetitive tasks – from content creation to user interactions. This saves time and ensures consistency and accuracy in information delivery. 

  • AI-powered enhancements: Infusing artificial intelligence (AI) into your knowledge base can enhance the overall experience for customers. AI algorithms analyze user queries, predict information needs, and suggest relevant content. At the same time, it helps businesses generate new, personalized material quickly, meeting the ever-escalating customer expectations for comprehensive and immediately available help content.

  • Multilingual support: In a globalized world, language diversity is a crucial consideration. Modern knowledge bases leverage AI to break language barriers by allowing support teams to translate their content at scale. Users can access content in their preferred language, fostering inclusivity and expanding the overall reach of your business.

  • Omnichannel compatibility: User interactions span multiple channels – from traditional support tickets to chat, email, and social media. A robust knowledge base software embraces omnichannel support, ensuring a consistent user experience across all touchpoints.

Understanding the synergy among these features is vital when choosing a customer support knowledge base software. Businesses seeking optimal information management and exceptional support should choose a solution that aligns with their specific needs and encompasses the most essential features. 

Use our guide – Embrace knowledge base automation to boost customer service – to deliver memorable experiences and stand out from the competition.

Considerations when choosing the right knowledge base software

Our 2023 Customer Service Trends report shows that 81% of support leaders believe that technology – mainly automated tools – can be a catalyst for boosting employee engagement and reducing attrition rates in support teams.2 

The linchpin to realizing these benefits lies in selecting the right solution that empowers your workforce and customers. But navigating the sea of options can be overwhelming. To help you overcome the challenges of distinguishing between different platforms, we’ve put together quick guide to finding the perfect knowledge base software for your business:

Target audience and needs

Identify the primary users of the knowledge base – whether they’re customers, employees, or a hybrid audience. Consider their technical skills, preferred learning styles, and everyday challenges. Understand each user group's needs and expectations to tailor the content and features accordingly. This involves addressing their pain points and frequently asked questions (FAQs) with precision and thoroughness. 

Content management capabilities

Evaluate the user-friendliness of creating, editing, and managing content within the software. Assess the availability of rich text formatting, image and file uploading options, and visual editors for a seamless content creation experience. In addition, consider the collaborative aspects of content creation and editing, especially when multiple team members are involved.

Scalability and security

Choose knowledge base software that can scale with your business, accommodating growing content volumes and user bases. Consider cloud-based options for flexibility and scalability. It's also a good idea to prioritize security features, such as the availability of access controls, encryption mechanisms, and compliance with data protection standards.


Assess the built-in analytics capabilities of the knowledge base software you’re considering incorporating into your business. Comprehensive analytics provide insights into user interactions, content effectiveness, and overall performance. Without a data-driven approach, you'll find it exceedingly difficult to make the kind of highly precise, informed decisions that further the overarching objective of continuous optimization.


Delve into specific features offered by the platform. This includes role management, integration capabilities with other tools, availability of widgets for seamless embedding, and the incorporation of AI tools for enhanced user experiences.

Once you’ve evaluated the features and narrowed your choices, test drive the final candidates. Most offer free trials or demos, so take advantage of them to see if they fit your needs and resonate with your audience.

Above all, remember that the most suitable customer support knowledge base software for your needs will be a harmonious blend of features, functionality, and user experience. By considering these factors and tailoring your search to your specific needs, you can find a solution that streamlines your operations and helps you deliver memorable customer experiences.

Check out this in-depth guide on the best practices to get the most out of your knowledge base.

Empower your customers and employees with Intercom

Over the course of 2023, 87% of support teams have witnessed a surge in customer expectations – further growth from the previous year’s already-high 83%.1 The demand for exceptional customer service is growing, and businesses must be fully prepared to meet and exceed it in order to succeed.

With Intercom, you can create and manage a fluid and comprehensive knowledge base that meets the needs of your customers and employees. Our integrated solution offers an array of features:

  • A centralized hub for all information and resources

  • Omnichannel optimization

  • Simple interface to create, customize, and publish content at scale

  • Multilingual capabilities

  • Built-in feedback loops

  • Automated feedback collection

  • Outbound messaging (targeted banners, chat messages, tooltips, and more)

Sign up for a free trial or book a demo. It’s time you joined over 25,000 prominent brands who are already raising the bar of customer self-service.


  1. Intercom, Customer Service Trends Report 2024.

  2. Intercom, Customer Service Trends Report 2023.