With web-based software-as-a-service available for a low-cost monthly subscription, knowledgebase software isn’t a huge investment. But it is still an investment and, as for any business expenditure, you want to ensure you are getting the most value for your money. Here are five strategies to maximize the ROI of your knowledgebase software. #1. Use it. This may sound silly, but it is actually the key to getting value out of your investment: you must use the software. That means using it to collect, organize, and distribute all of the knowledge housed in your organization, not just for customer service or other customer-facing roles. The more high-quality knowledge that is contained in your database, the more you will be able to benefit from the reports and other strategies on this list. #2. Practice active content management. While you should endeavor to use the knowledgebase across your entire organization, that doesn’t mean that it should become a general dumping ground for all documents and resources. Knowledgebase software has a variety of features that can assist with content management, such as ratings systems that allow users to identify the most (and least) helpful content and tracking algorithms to determine the frequency with which various resources are used. Content management also involves improving existing resources. Some systems can even identify when content needs to be updated or new content needs to be created and trigger users to do so.In addition, many knowledge base software systems support user comments and community forums. These comments and forums should be actively monitored and managed. The goal is not to have a lot of resources, but rather to ensure those resources are of the highest quality so they are maximally useful for employees and customers. #3. Leverage data about knowledgebase use to adjust customer service protocols. Knowing how users interact with your knowledgebase can help you improve the efficiency of your customer service department. For example, if certain questions and problems come up repeatedly, consider creating resources to address those questions in the external knowledgebase. Providing a self-service option both increases customer satisfaction and reduces employee workload. You can also use this information to reallocate resources in your customer service department, such as reducing the size of your customer service team or transferring some members of your phone team over to social media and online chat. #4. See the knowledgebase as a marketing opportunity. Customers who interact with your knowledgebase are doing more than just searching FAQs, reading manuals, and watching video tutorials. They are also spending time on your website and learning about your products and your company. You already have the attention of your target audience, so use this opportunity for cross-selling or up-selling. Look for a knowledgebase software system that can be integrated with application modules that allow you to make product and service recommendations. #5. Leverage your knowledgebase for employee training. A robust knowledgebase can reduce the time and resources that must be devoted to employee training, while also providing superior training opportunities. A searchable, high-quality knowledgebase is the best source for just-in-time training materials and performance support. It also provides a forum for social learning as employees can ask and answer questions, create sharable resources, and develop personal learning networks, all using the social and sharing features available in most knowledgebase software systems. A primary goal of building a knowledgebase is to keep information from becoming siloed. The same goal can apply to knowledgebase software. Rather than viewing it just as a storage system for knowledge resources, think of it as an application that can be used to enhance operations across an organization (marketing, training, etc.). Taking this perspective will do wonders for your ROI. Images: ”A blue road sign with white text saying Knowledge Base/ Shutterstock.com“ __________________________________________________________________________________ Connect with Tweak Your Biz: Would you like to write for Tweak Your Biz? Tweak Your Biz is an international, business advice community and online publication. Today it is read by over 140,000 business people each month (unique visitors, Google Analytics, December, 2013). See our review of 2013 for more information. An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.