KM Software

Updated On: Jan 16, 2024

Google Drive Vs. Knowledge Management: Choose The Right Platform For Your CX Goals

Reading-Time 18 Min

google drive alternative

Can you think of any business that does not deal with information daily?

No? We thought so!

This is because every business today, big or small, deals with knowledge and data in some form or the other regularly. 

In fact, IT Chronicles reports that companies generate around 2,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes of data a day!

The tricky part is organizing and managing this MASSIVE information effectively to ensure it reaches the right person at the right time for a seamless knowledge experience.

In this blog, we’ll analyze the key differences between Google Drive and a dedicated knowledge management platform and understand why KM is the best Google Drive alternative. By the end, you can make a confident choice for your business’s CX needs and goals. If this sounds good to you, let’s get started!

What is Google Drive?

A classic tool, Google Drive is a cloud-based personal storage and file-sharing platform by Google. The tool syncs documents, spreadsheets, photos, and more across your device with a simple login. 

Google Drive includes Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Drawings that comprise the Google Office Suite. Once you create a Google account, all your documents, sheets, slides, etc., are automatically stored in Drive in real time. 

Additionally, Google Drive allows you to easily collaborate on projects by simply inviting collaborators through a shared link with customized open access. This enables users to make real-time edits and provide actionable feedback via comments, suggestions, and edits.

How does Google Drive help in knowledge management?

Let’s look at some of Google Drive’s standout features and analyze its use case below.

1. Storage and Organization

Google Drive allows you to store, organize, and share information with your teams organization-wide. It opens up to 30 file types and stores content as folder hierarchies with elastic search to retrieve files.

2. Content Creation and Editing

Google Drive allows you to create and edit content easily through the Office Suite containing the following applications:

  • Google Docs to create and edit text-based content with the option to embed photos, GIFs, links, etc.
  • Google Sheets to organize numeric data in spreadsheets and tables 
  • Google Slides to create presentations and slideshows with various samples, themes, and templates to choose from
  • Google Drawings to create flowcharts, mind maps, and wireframes 
  • Google Forms to take surveys and customer feedback 

3. Collaboration and Sharing

Google Drive makes content sharing and collaboration easy with custom links for each content piece. You can control who you share your content with and select collaboration specifications as Viewer, Commenter, or Editor. You can also open public access to your links for anyone online.

4. Easy Accessibility

Google Drive is easily accessible on any device with an internet connection. You can also make your files available offline and have the option to store files as PDFs, Word Docs, Excel Sheets, and Presentations.

Google Drive Apps Use Case

Google Drive is a great tool for personal data storage. With a free plan of 15 GB storage (and additional storage as a paid option), Google Drive makes it easy for individuals like entrepreneurs or small businesses to organize and manage their data without hassles. 

For example, Docs is a great tool for creating articles or guidelines, Sheets helps you track and organize your budgets and workflows, and you can use Slides to present case studies, portfolios, or roadmaps with your team.

Google Drive Apps and Uses

google drive apps and it uses

Limitations of Google Drive for knowledge management in customer-first enterprises

With all these features and benefits that Google Drive offers, you must wonder what the possible limitations are. We’ve researched thoroughly to present the main issues with Google Drive.

1. Failure to deliver guided knowledge

As mentioned above, knowledge stored in Google Drive, whether PDFs, photos, or Google Office Suite formats, is often clunky and tedious to read. Scanning through long text documents or ensuring SOP compliance through workflows stored in spreadsheets is cumbersome and time-consuming, making agents prone to mistakes and longer handling time

To combat these challenges, customer-first companies should ensure the delivery of guided knowledge for their reps. This will include empowering agents with simple next-best actions so they know exactly what to say and do during customer interactions. Unfortunately, Google Drive fails to deliver the guided knowledge and context agents need to solve customer problems. 

2. Potential Security Risks

Google Drive offers high security to protect your data with top encryption levels among non-military environments. However, it is not without loopholes. 

The most common risk is sharing data with the wrong people through custom links, who can pass editing rights successively. This is especially concerning in cases where companies store sensitive and confidential information. This means that once a link is shared with open access, who it is further passed to is out of your control.

google workspace security risks

3. Prone to higher agent errors

In customer service scenarios, prompt access to relevant knowledge is crucial to provide quick and accurate solutions to customers. However, multiple issues arise if knowledge is stored in clunky files, lengthy workflows, and buried deep in a Drive folder. 

Service agents lose time searching for the right files, then reading through tedious documents for the right information. Under high-stress situations, this makes agents prone to error and increases handling times, leading to poor customer service.

4. No self-service capability

In an age where 81% of customers try to solve problems independently before calling a live agent directly, making sure you choose the right platform to integrate with your self-service portals is necessary to meet customer needs. However, using Google Drive as your knowledge base will hold you back as it does not support integration with self-service channels, resulting in your business’s failure to deliver what customers want. 

5. File size limits

Google Drive allows a daily upload limit of 750 GB per day. You cannot upload additional files that day if you’ve reached this daily limit.

Google drive size limit

Now that we know the limitations of Google Drive in managing knowledge for customer-focused companies, let us look at how a dedicated KM can address these challenges.

What exactly is a dedicated KM platform?

A knowledge management platform, or KM platform, is an IT system that allows companies to store, manage, and share knowledge effectively across an organization. It is a single source of truth to ensure seamless knowledge experiences among you, your teams, and your customers.

Present-day knowledge management platforms are cloud-based services that make knowledge sharing effortless via a single knowledge portal. It eliminates data silos and reduces time spent searching for information. This lets you and your team dedicate precious time to high-cognitive, priority tasks.

Knowledge Management Platform

Top 9 reasons why KM is the best Google Drive alternative

You can make your knowledge work for you using a dedicated KM platform. Let’s take a look at the top nine reasons why switching to a KM platform as a Google Drive alternative is the best bet for any customer-first company. 

1. Captures and retains expert knowledge 

When employees leave your company, they leave behind more than an empty chair and desk. They also take with them their expert knowledge and experience. And no matter how good your company is, employee turnover is inevitable.

In this situation, capturing their expertise is crucial to ensure your business is up and running despite employee exit. This is where a knowledge management platform becomes a must-have tool to ensure knowledge retention within your organization.

Additionally, a dedicated KM platform ensures the retention of intellectual property so that knowledge is preserved securely in its truest context. This eliminates data silos and information duplicity by empowering your CX teams with a single source of truth.

Captures and retains expert Knowledge

2. Promotes effortless and quick content findability 

In addition to offering a single source of truth, a dedicated KM platform makes contextual and actionable knowledge readily available and usable for your agents. 

A dedicated knowledge management solution provides dynamic content formats that can transform information into actionable knowledge. For instance, you can organize content into easy-to-use formats like guided workflows, help articles, FAQs, picture guides, etc., according to use cases. 

Armed with a semantic search that interprets users’ search intent, dedicated KM solutions surface the exact content piece to improve agent experience and boost their productivity. 

A dedicated KM platform like Knowmax provides in-document search, enabling your agents to access the exact content they need on demand. They will no longer need to wade through large chunks of information till they find what they need. They can also leverage filters like content type, title, and publishing date to fast-track their information search. 

3. Secures user management and sharing rights 

Contrary to the limited sharing and managing capabilities of Google Drive, a KM platform makes managing roles and responsibilities more streamlined and secure. You can assign creating, editing, approving, and publishing roles to your team members to stay organized, making the process seamless and user-friendly.

This way, you can ensure top-notch content quality and rest easy knowing that knowledge access is controlled internally. So whether your team creates new content or edits an existing one, you have clear visibility into their activities on the platform to keep track of your content library.

4. Organizes complex SOPs into guided workflows 

Every business has SOPs that they follow religiously to ensure quality standards are met. But if you have hundreds and thousands of SOPs to adhere to, ensuring they are well organized is essential to ensure SOP compliance.

With a dedicated knowledge management system as a Google Drive alternative, you can organize complex and lengthy SOPs into guided workflows. This enables service reps to guide customers to solutions through a series of next-best actions based on the customer’s input.

These guided workflows take the guesswork out of troubleshooting processes and power your agents with quick, error-free solutions. Contrary to lengthy documents and cluttered SOPs on Drive, guided workflows help reduce handling time by delivering guided knowledge to agents during customer interactions.

guided workflows for agents

5. Reduces employee time to proficiency

Every new hire needs thorough and active training to ensure they are set up to succeed in their role. However, frequent in-person training is costly and time-consuming for businesses.

This is where using a KM platform as a Google Drive alternative aids in helping agents reduce their time to proficiency. With a ready repository of training resources, agents can get up to speed with company policies, SOPs, and guidelines more conveniently at their own pace without worrying about missing any important information.

Furthermore, because content on a KM platform is stored in more intuitive and easy-to-consume formats, it makes learning simpler and faster for agents than tedious documents and lengthy flowcharts on Drive.

Unlike Google Drive, advanced KM platforms also have quiz options to test agent knowledge and boost learning by brushing employee knowledge and providing additional training where needed.

6. Powers seamless integrations with your existing tech stack  

To maximize the output of your tech stack, it is crucial to ensure that they work synchronously in unison. A KM platform enables seamless integration with your in-house call center tools like CRM, telephony, ticketing software, etc., to ensure knowledge is disseminated seamlessly across systems.

This ensures that your knowledge ecosystem is unified across systems to supply contextual knowledge right where your employees need it, unlike the disconnected journey in unintegrated knowledge sources like Drive.

7. Delivers omnichannel customer experiences

One of customers’ most frustrating issues is repeating information from one support channel to another. And an angry customer spells trouble for your business.

To solve this problem, integrating a KM platform into your service channels ensures that your customers experience an omnichannel experience across touchpoints and interact with your brand as a unified unity. 

This means that your customers receive consistent information irrespective of the service channels — whether on chat, email, phone, or social media, which preserves context and allows customers to pick up where they left off.

omnichannel cx vs multichannel cx

8. Integrates with self-service channels for 24/7 support

As we’ve mentioned above, self-service is the demand of the hour for present-day customers. Over 80% of them take matters into their own hands before contacting a live agent.

With customers now preferring to access support in their own time and convenience, expecting your agents to provide 24/7 support is a direct recipe for agent burnout and attrition.

Unlike Google Drive, a KM system solves this problem as it integrates with self-service portals to provide uniform, round-the-clock support to your customers. This way, customers can access guides and FAQs and interact with chatbots to get consistent information across touchpoints for a superior customer experience.

9. Optimizes content usefulness through quantifiable insights

Lastly, let’s talk analytics. The only way to gauge if your content is useful to your target users is to measure its performance.

Tracking the performance of the content organized and used in Drive is difficult as it does not relay any quantitative analytics. This creates staggering bottlenecks in analyzing your content’s usefulness.

The added advantage of opting for a KM platform as a Google Drive alternative is that it usually comes with in-built analytics. This makes it simple and straightforward for you to analyze user engagement patterns, track workflow journeys, determine time spent on each content piece, and get user feedback on its helpfulness. This way, you can identify loopholes in your content strategy and make necessary adjustments for improvement. 

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Unlock the true power of your knowledge with Knowmax

Knowmax is a full-suite knowledge management platform and the best Google Drive alternative that allows you to efficiently create, manage, and disseminate knowledge across your organization. It is a single source of truth that empowers your agents and customers to find the right answers anytime and everywhere.  

The platform comes with unique content modules for effective content management. They are:

  • Decision Trees to organize complex SOPs into guided workflows 
  • Picture Guides to breakdown complicated problems into stepwise solutions with the help of relevant graphics 
  • Dynamic Knowledge Base of articles and FAQs for straightforward customer questions and sharing regular updates 
  • Micro-Segmented Analytics to improve content performance and usefulness 
  • Lite Learning Management system (LMS) to conduct quizzes and provide quality training

Knowmax also powers seamless content migration from your existing knowledge base, including Google Drive. It uses an advanced AI-content migration engine to ensure a hassle-free and seamless migration. You can learn more about how a Fortune 500 global telecom player saved $60k in support costs and reduced migration from 360 to 60 man-days effort here.

Kamal Pathak

Lead Product Manager

Kamal Pathak has over 10 years of experience as a product manager building successful B2B SaaS products in customer experience space. He enjoys writing, speaking, and coaching aspiring product managers.

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