Salesforce Knowledge – The Basics

Knowledge management helps capture and preserve the experience accumulated by employees during the performance of their functions within an organization. That’s what Salesforce Knowledge is focused on. It brings together the basic functionalities to manage the knowledge of your organization.

This tool is especially important in situations where key employees retire, leave the organization, or change roles. By retaining critical knowledge, the company can ensure its transfer among other team members. The same happens with the information associated with the characteristics and specifications of the products and services offered.

Don’t miss this brief tour of this useful tool and the benefits that its use can bring you.

What is Salesforce Knowledge?

Salesforce Knowledge is a solution for creating knowledge bases around the services or products you provide. It offers you the necessary options to be able to capture, centralize, organize and safely share the knowledge accumulated by your company’s specialists. Therefore, it constitutes a powerful user assistance and self-service tool.

With this Service Cloud functionality you can collect, through different types of articles, key information for your company, very useful during support functions. In a simple way, it allows you to manage the entire life cycle of an article: its creation, publication, update, archiving and deletion. It even allows you to meticulously control its visibility.

It is available in Essentials and Unlimited editions where Service Cloud has been implemented and therefore you will only need to activate it. In the case of other editions such as Professional, Enterprise, Performance and Developer, you can access it for an additional cost. It is important that you know that once you activate Knowledge you will not be able to deactivate it.

Classic Knowledge and Lightning Knowledge currently coexist. As you can imagine, Lightning Knowledge is nothing more than the redesigned and renewed version of Classic Knowledge for Salesforce Lightning Experience. A redesign not only in the user interface, but also in the functionalities that it offers. In the article Compare Lightning Knowledge with Classic Knowledge, from the official Salesforce help, you can delve deeper into this topic.

Lightning Knowledge Setup
Lightning Knowledge Setup. Source: Trailhead.

To facilitate and encourage the evolution of users from Classic Knowledge to Lightning Knowledge, Salesforce offers you the Lightning Knowledge Migration Tool. This tool ensures that you can move all your articles from one version to the other.

Why use Salesforce Knowledge?

The content collected in Knowledge can be very useful for customer service agents, sales teams, other employees or users who need to solve problems, or simply obtain information regarding the products you provide. Additionally, in Salesforce Knowledge you can find the necessary options to computerize the following processes in your organization:

Creation of the knowledge base.

It allows you to establish and maintain a centralized repository of information and resources such as documents, guides, procedures, and solutions to known issues and frequently asked questions. All of them classified by categories. This knowledge base serves as a reference source for technical support teams and end users.

Knowledge capture and documentation.

Facilitates identification, capture and documentation through the creation of articles, knowledge and experience of service agents. This may also include the import of information in .csv and .zip format as well as Knowledge articles from external databases.

Create Knowledge Articles. Source: Trailhead.

To share the knowledge.

It ensures that the captured knowledge is always accessible. This involves establishing mechanisms to ensure that everyone who needs to use the knowledge base knows of its existence, how to access it and how to use it.

The articles will be available, without the need for a special license, to all internal users in your organization. You can also share them with external audiences through various communication channels. Knowledge is very flexible when it comes to configuring access to articles. Beyond standard Salesforce sharing options, Knowledge uses data categories to control access to data.

Salesforce Knowledge integrates tightly with other Service Cloud features and Salesforce products like Experience Cloud. This allows easy access to knowledge across different channels and applications, as well as sharing articles on customer and partner sites, public websites, social media posts and through emails.

Continuous knowledge improvement.

Salesforce Knowledge offers options that allow you to create mechanisms to improve the quality of articles in your knowledge base. Some article fields such as: the last modification date, number of associated cases (refers to the number of times an article has been useful in solving a customer’s problem) and the star rating that users have given it, can be useful for creating custom reports on article quality.

These reports will guide you towards those that you should carefully review and evaluate to decide which ones should be updated. These mechanisms are important to ensure that the knowledge base maintains quality and remains up to date.

What benefits does Salesforce Knowledge offer to you?

Control and easy access to the greatest amount of documentation possible about your company and your products is very useful to:

  1. Promote the correct management of your documentation: allows you to store and manage documents and files related to the company, such as policies, procedures, forms, data sheets, among others, guaranteeing that the information is available and updated in one place.
  2. Improve efficiency in customer support: your customer service agents can access an updated and complete knowledge base. Here you can find answers to frequently asked questions, solutions to known issues and more relevant information. Quick and accurate responses help improve the quality of support.
  3. Promote the Self-Service model for both users and clients: Self-Service options allow both visitors to your communication channels and your clients to find answers and solutions for themselves. This reduces the workload of agents and gives independence to your clients, which can be very satisfying for them.
  4. Enhance collaboration and knowledge sharing among your company’s employees: Salesforce Knowledge facilitates knowledge sharing. It allows the generalization of good practices and the sharing of useful information for solving problems and cases. This enhances the flow of knowledge within your organization.
  5. Improve internal training: You can use it to provide internal training materials and resources to facilitate the acquisition and updating of knowledge and skills relevant to the work performance.

Essential Steps to Implement Salesforce Knowledge

At this point you already have enough elements to be motivated about the implementation of Salesforce Knowledge. It is time to make a plan. Here is a list of steps to keep in mind:

1- Define the type of information you want to publish in the knowledge base.

It is important, based on the audience to which the information will be directed, to identify which needs this knowledge base should satisfy. Once identified, it is then defined what type of information is directed through each channel. It may be information aimed at resolving cases, or updated user manuals that you want to share by email with clients. It is recommended to create a record type for each type of information.

2- Identify and collect the information that the organization has.

The information may be scattered and unrelated across different websites, applications, personal notes, or even come from other knowledge bases. Once identified, it must be considered whether it is imported into the system or not.

3- Design the structure that the different types of articles in Knowledge will have.

This will allow you to have a homogeneous, organized knowledge base that is easy to manage and control. In Knowledge, record types determine how each type of article is structured and the information visible to different user profiles.

4- Identify the data categories by which you will classify your articles.

With Salesforce Knowledge you can group similar articles into a single Data Category that in turn will belong to a broader group of categories, a Data Category Group. This makes it easier for users to search for articles of interest.

5- Create the workflows that are necessary to manage the creation and publication of certain types of articles.

Some items may require legal approval because they contain confidential information. Or it may be necessary for them to be reviewed by experts who guarantee the quality of their content. You can then add approval processes to a record type to ensure that reviewers approve that type of article before it is published.

6- Determine which users will be involved in each phase of an item’s life cycle.

Different users in the company, depending on their experience and skills they have developed, may have different permissions to interact with articles in Knowledge. A user can be: reader only, contributor or administrator.

Users Permissions
Readers only Reading permission
Contributors Article management permission and read, create, modify and publish permissions
Knowledge Manager Article management permission and read, create, modify, archive, publish and delete permissions

In short, Salesforce Knowledge is a solution that can help you organize work in your company, improve productivity, service quality and decision making based on knowledge.

At SkyPlanner, we have the certified experience to advise and guide you if you are interested in getting into Salesforce products. Contact us now at and let us help you make the most of your knowledge!

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