TL;DR: An internal knowledge base is for employees inside the company to use and share information. An external knowledge base is for customers and the public to get information.
Best for: Internal knowledge base for customer support & success teams
Tettra stands out because of its search functionality, Slack/MS Teams integration, and intuitive UI. It possesses all of the important attributes in a knowledge base solution.
It has strong search and content management functionalities; it has good access and permission controls; it integrates with popular enterprise apps like Slack and Google Docs; all wrapped up in an easy-to-use interface that is intuitive even for non-technical users.
- Instant answers with AI, directly from your company knowledge
- One source of truth for correct answers every time
- Get answers fast without waiting on team leads or managers
- Intuitive interface
- Native Slack and MS Teams integration
- Less learning curve
- Unique knowledge management features
- Q&A features
- Lacks support for forums / discussion boards
- Limited document formatting
Tettra makes knowledge sharing easy by making their experience seamless and easy to use, even if you have never done any documentation before! You can get started without needing any expertise in Knowledge management and even share docs directly in communication channels like Slack to better promote your referenced information.– G2
- Basic: Starting at $4 per user/month
- Scaling: Starting at $8 per user/month
- Professional: Starting at $12 per user/month
Confluence is a wiki software platform designed for knowledge management. It is the oldest wiki solution, having launched in 2004 but still remaining strong today.
Its popularity lies in its flexibility. The software includes an internal wiki, collaboration tools, and even a project management app. Confluence uses “spaces”, which are essentially workspaces for teams. Each space can house its own knowledge base, documents, project trackers, and more.
Other key knowledge base features are anonymous access, page-level analytics, and integration with other JIRA software tools.
Popularly known for its helpdesk solution, Zendesk offers what’s typically an external knowledge base tool that can be adapted for customers, internal use, support agents, and IT. The interface is lean and easy to use, and the software boasts AI and machine learning, analytics, and community forums support.
Content can be translated to over 40 languages for localization, and the product can also be customized to match the company’s branding.
Like Zendesk, Bloomfire has AI search capabilities and crowd-sourced FAQ contributions. What sets it apart is its social media-like interface: users can like, comment, and follow entries.
Other features include auto-tagging, usage and content reporting, and API access for customized applications.
The key feature that distinguishes Guru from its competitors is that it unifies contextual information from productivity tools like the organization’s CRM, emails, and messaging apps. The contextual knowledge and relevant suggestions also improves over time, once the AI establishes individual and company-wide patterns.
Guru is primarily designed as an internal knowledge base, but the API can be modified to turn into an customer-facing knowledge portal. Want more Guru alternatives?
6. Stack Overflow for Teams
Mostly known among developers, Stack Overflow now offers its iconic question and answer interface as internal knowledge base for enterprise use with the Stack Overflow for Teams.
The app possesses the same attributes that made its parent portal a huge hit with the dev community, including the answer ranking system and clean interface.
Document 360 is both a knowledge base and file manager in one. It includes several content management features like a markdown editor, version control, secure file management, and user feedback.
Features Released in 2023:
- AI-based content suggestions: Document360 offers real-time content improvement suggestions using machine learning, ensuring your documentation remains relevant and top-notch.
- Advanced workflow automation: Adapting to dynamic team structures, they introduced custom workflows, allowing businesses to streamline their documentation process effectively.
- Real-time collaborative editing: Teams can edit simultaneously, allowing for a seamless collaboration experience.
This flexible app can function as a knowledge management tool, project management software, or collaborative writing space. It’s geared more towards internal use and lacks many of the features possessed by dedicated customer-facing solutions. It has a markdown editor, categorization, and content management. While it can be repurposed for knowledge management, setting the right admin settings on different pages can get wonky. It’s hard to force it to do something it wasn’t built for.
Nuclino is an internal knowledge base and fan favorite due its clean user interface and intuitive navigation. Criticisms often leveled at bigger tools can generally be avoided with Nuclino since those two features are a strength. Nuclino even supports real-time editing so users can work together on the same document without any issues.
- Visual board view for documents: This view makes document organization visual and intuitive.
- Enhanced integrations with project management tools: This ensures documentation processes align with project milestones.
- Document clustering using AI: This intelligent feature automatically groups similar content, decluttering the workspace.
Slite has carved out a niche for itself as a collaborative documentation tool, tailored particularly for dispersed teams navigating the remote work landscape. By streamlining documentation, it emphasizes simplicity, real-time collaboration, and efficient knowledge sharing.
Slite excels in multiple key areas that make it a standout choice for teams and organizations. Its user-friendly interface ensures that adding content and adjusting the hierarchy is both effortless and swift, simplifying the document management process. With over two decades of experience, Slite has been tested against various wiki platforms, and it consistently distinguishes itself through its ease of input and formatting.
One of Slite’s remarkable strengths is its widespread utilization across various company departments. Its intuitive design and user-friendly approach have led to its adoption as a crucial business tool. Furthermore, Slite prioritizes security and project management by offering nuanced access permissions. This feature enables teams to have granular control over channels and ensures that specific staff members can access only the documents that are relevant to their roles.
In addition to these advantages, Slite has introduced Kanban Boards, a newly integrated feature that proves to be highly valuable. These boards facilitate the management of documentation gaps and contribute to ensuring timely additions and updates of content, further enhancing the overall efficiency of knowledge management within an organization.
- Real-time Collaboration: Work simultaneously on documents and see live changes from team members.
- Document History: Track changes and revisions, ensuring no content modification goes unnoticed.
- Shortcut Commands: Accelerate the writing process with handy shortcuts for efficient formatting.
- Mobile Accessibility: Access, edit, and share documents on the go with Slite’s mobile application.
This prototypical external knowledge base has a lot to offer with its dynamic and design-oriented editor, allowing you to customize typeface, palette, and layout according to your company’s branding. Users and customers can go directly to it for answers.
When you really need help fast – technical support teams are just a few clicks away as shown by its impressive G2 rating (an impressive 4.2 out of 5)!
However, its one major setback lies in pricing structure. There aren’t any freemium options and prices start from $120 per month for a base team of four users.
What should you look for when selecting an internal knowledge base?
Think about these 5 factors when evaluating your next knowledge base.
1. Does it have a good search function?
A knowledge base is only as good as its search capability. To be effective, it should be able to answer the query posed by the employee or customer accurately. To do this, it should ideally support deep searches, and make use of detailed search parameters.
2. How is the knowledge base UI?
The software or portal must be easy to use and have an intuitive interface, even for novice users.
3. Can you manage content easily?
Contributors should be able to submit and edit content quickly, while editors and admins in charge of the knowledge base should be able to edit and publish content efficiently and conveniently.
4. How are its access controls?
For internal knowledge bases, you’ll want software should possess adequate access and permission controls for information security. For customer service knowledge bases, the portal should be protected from unauthorized revisions by external actors.
5. What does the knowledge base integrate with?
Make sure your chosen vendor integrates with your existing productivity tools. This could be anything from your CRM software to messaging tools, like Slack, MS Teams, or Google Docs.
What’s the difference between internal and external knowledge bases?
The creation and management of a knowledge base channel is part of the broader field of knowledge management. Knowledge management aims to collect all the valuable knowledge, best practices and routines of the company for the benefit of the entire organization.
In terms of the audience, there are two types of knowledge bases:
The internal knowledge base is designed for use within the organization. As such, it usually possesses data security features like log-on credentials, permissions and access management.
On the other hand, an external knowledge base is meant for use by customers to find answers to common problems. As an open resource, it may not require a log-in credential. External knowledge bases may also be linked to other customer support channels such as chat support or contact pages in case the information displayed is insufficient, or doesn’t solve the customer’s issue.
Who uses an internal knowledge base software?
The knowledge base is a very useful resource for different types of audiences. These include:
Customer support teams: An internal knowledge base provides your customer support and success teams a secure space to store sensitive or internal information that shouldn’t be shared with customers. It also contains procedural documentation, troubleshooting guides, and internal FAQs that assist support agents in resolving complex issues efficiently. Additionally, an internal knowledge base fosters collaboration among support team members, allowing them to share insights and solutions, ultimately enhancing the quality and speed of customer support.
Employees: In the course of their everyday tasks, whenever they need to look up data, a procedure, or information possessed by other departments. These are mainly for internal knowledge bases.
Customers: A self-help channel can help clients solve issues on their own instead of going through a customer support agent. External knowledge bases are set up for this.
New hires: For onboarding, training, or company culture
Promotions or lateral transfers: Allows them to get up to speed quicker
Inter-department collaborations: When different teams or departments need to work together, the knowledge base offers a reliable source of information.
External partnerships: With the appropriate clearances and restrictions in place, external users like business partners, consultants, suppliers and agencies can also find the knowledge base useful.
What are the benefits of a good knowledge base software?
A good knowledge base software can bring a ton of benefits to your business, making it worth more than the initial time and investment required. These benefits include better customer service, higher productivity, and a connected source of truth. This article about choosing knowledge base software has more info.
How do I keep my knowledge base up-to-date?
There are two ways:
- Assign a panel of moderators to manage the content, including updating, revisions and approval of submissions.
- Crowdsource the content creation by letting employees submit new topics, revise or update existing material, just like a wiki.
To ensure that your knowledge base stays relevant and updated, it is useful to have a knowledge management strategy.
Who is in charge of managing the knowledge base?
A knowledge manager should be appointed to oversee the implementation and maintenance of the knowledge. The knowledge manager will ideally come from a related field, such as project management, training and development, or IT.
For more information, see our article “What is a Knowledge Manager, and Why Do You Need One?”
What software integrations should an internal knowledge base software have?
The internal knowledge base should integrate with your organization’s preferred messaging app like Slack or MS Teams, so that employees can quickly share and collaborate knowledge.
Likewise, it should ideally support productivity tools, so that users can look up information without leaving the tool or app they are currently using.
Why Tettra Should Be Your Internal Knowledge Base of Choice
Creating a centralized knowledge base has never been easier. Tettra empowers you to take your existing knowledge documents from Google Docs, Notion, and more, and bring them into one accessible hub.
Imagine the convenience of having everything in one place – no more document chaos! You can also craft new content effortlessly with Tettra’s user-friendly page editor.
Let Tettra help you build a knowledge hub that makes sense and boosts your team’s productivity.