Helpstream bridges knowledgebase and community content gap
With the rush to leverage Web 2 and implement customer forums, companies are finding that a mature forum can have the same problem as a mature knowledgebase: lots of noise, making it hard to find useful content. I’ve written in the past about the importance of including results from both the knowledgebase and the forum when customers or agents search for content, and while the leading KM players have partnered with community platform vendors to enable this, it is still requires a professional services integration project.
The other wrinkle in all this “search, search, where should I search?” confusion is that according to member conversations and survey results, both agents and customers are looking to Google as their starting place for a knowledge search. And as much as this irritates support management who have spent $100k or more to create a knowledgebase, you can’t argue that Google does turn up some amazing problem/resolution information.
I spent some time last week with Helpstream, a new player in the Web 2 KM world, and to my knowledge, they appear to have the very first product that solves all of these issues with a single, out of the box, intuitive product and user interface.
As you can see in this screenshot, when a customer executes a self-service search, or in this example, when a support engineer creates a new support case, they are presented with content from both the knowledgebase and the community, with both sets of results labeled so there is no confusion. Don’t trust forum content? Check out the knowledgebase results. More interested in what peers have to say? Go right to the community content.
Also very slick is that all you have to do is click on the ‘Web Search’ tab, and you see results for your search string via Google.
Add to this some strong KM features, such as support for versioning on content, and detailed user profiles defining who can access, edit, etc., what content, and you have a great product that looks and feels nothing like a Web 1 KM solution. And with a team of veterans from first generation KM vendors, these folks know the ins and outs of most of the products on the market, and have made decisions along the way to solve some inherent limitations common to other solutions.
How are you bridging the KM/community search gap? Are your agents/support reps using Google as a starting point? Please add your comments, or shoot me an email. And as always, thanks for reading!