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Is Salesforce Knowledge Right for You?

Salesforce is a customer relationship management software system that has helped companies of all sizes maintain, track, and achieve their business goals.  With sixteen years of proven client success under their belt, Salesforce has expanded to include multiple user-friendly features, allowing customers access to a wealth of information.  One of those features, Salesforce Knowledge is an internal knowledge base repository where your employees (Salesforce users) can easily create and store content, known as articles, and then quickly find them when they are needed.


Will Knowledge help your organization? Revolution Group’s Salesforce Services Consultant, Ashley Knott, answers some key questions to help you decide if Salesforce Knowledge is right for you.


How do you use Knowledge to control your content lifecycle?

Salesforce Knowledge provides the ability to set up custom review, publication, and translation approval processes to ensure that the right people review content before being distributed.  From there, you can specify which Knowledge users should be managers of specific content and define separate approval processes for each type of content.


Can you display content in multiple formats?

Salesforce Knowledge utilizes Article Types to allow you to control the look and feel of each collection of content.  Article Types should be viewed as containers for different types of content providing your users consistent views when looking at the information.  This consistency allows them to quickly access the information they need.  Some examples of Article Types are a “Frequently Asked Questions” page or “How-to” pages.


Can you target certain types of content to individual audiences?

Salesforce Knowledge utilizes Data Categories to give you control over the visibility of your content for specific groups or audiences.  Data Categories assist in your search for specific articles based on words and groupings you previously attached to each article. Within Data Categories, you can have category groups (example: location) and under each group you can define a more detailed field (example: states).  To add another level of specificity, you can continue adding information (example: cities under each state) making searching for articles as broad or as targeted as you need. In addition to providing an easier method of searching for articles, Data Categories also allows Salesforce Admins to control access to specific articles.


Are you able to rate your content for usefulness?

Salesforce Knowledge provides an article rating system allowing you to monitor the usefulness of content so you can proactively manage your articles. Your users can rate articles on a scale of 1 to 5 or by using a thumbs up/thumbs down system.


Does Salesforce Knowledge include reports and metrics regarding your content?

Salesforce Knowledge allows you to run reports and metrics on your content.  You can create custom report types or download and install the Knowledge Base Dashboards and Reports app from the Salesforce AppExchange.  Salesforce Knowledge will allow you to view content ratings, usage, and search statistics to manage your articles. This will allow you to monitor which articles are helpful to users or which can be improved upon.


Can users efficiently locate and distribute content?

Salesforce Knowledge has a robust search engine that is continually evolving as your users are searching, rating, and attaching articles to cases.  Over time, the articles that are used more frequently will start to appear higher in search results.  The search also allows your Article Manager to attach promoted search terms to articles so they appear when those words are searched.  To make searching simpler, users can tag Knowledge articles making them easier to locate.

The search engine function also uses stemming and synonyms when providing results.  Stemming is a search process that uses the root of a word. (Example: a search on running would return run, running and ran.)  Synonyms allow your users to define words that are treated equally when utilized in a search.

Salesforce Knowledge allows users to quickly send applicable articles to customers directly from the case they are creating to document their request.


Are there multiple channels for sharing?

Salesforce Knowledge gives you the ability to share articles with various internal and external organizational groups.  Internal users can directly access articles in Salesforce.  For external user access, you can publish articles to Customers and Partners via Salesforce Communities or by using the Public Knowledgebase for Salesforce Knowledge App from the AppExchange.


Can you collaborate on content using Chatter?

Salesforce Chatter allows for real-time collaboration from any device in any location.  Salesforce Knowledge allows users to collaborate and share ideas on articles in the system to provide feedback on their usefulness.


Is Knowledge available in multiple languages?

Salesforce Knowledge allows you to display your articles in various languages by providing articles in the language your audience prefers. Knowledge provides the ability to translate articles internally or sending them to a localization vendor.


Is Knowledge available for Salesforce service cloud users?

If you are utilizing the service cloud console, the Salesforce Knowledge sidebar will appear when users are viewing and creating cases.  As you type in the subject of the case, the sidebar is automatically searching for knowledge articles with those keywords. Your users can also add or remove additional search criteria in the Knowledge sidebar. Articles that are being used to resolve the case can then easily be attached to the case.


How do you get access to Knowledge?

Users who will be creating and maintaining Knowledge need a license, so contact your salesforce account executive for access. You can also set up your own development org to review Knowledge; however, development orgs only allow for two licensed users.  Salesforce Knowledge comes included in the Developer and Performance editions of Salesforce and is available at an additional cost for Enterprise and Unlimited editions.


To learn if Salesforce Knowledge is right for your business, call our expert consultants at Revolution Group, 614-212-1111 or fill out the form below.  Click here for Knowledge Part 2 blog, “You’ve Implemented Salesforce Knowledge – What Now,” where we discuss what to do once your company decides to implement Knowledge.