What is an help center and why you need one?

Customers can use your help center to solve their issues and learn how to use your product or service.

Luca Micheli
Written by Luca MicheliLast update 2 years ago

This is a help center! You are on the Customerly Help Center.

Customers can use your help center to solve their issues and learn how to use your product or service.

The Help Center is described as a centralized repository where information can be stored, organized, and shared.

If you've ever had a question about a product you're considering or have a problem with a product you've purchased, you've most likely found yourself in a knowledge base or help center on the company's website.

Help Centers are also incredibly useful for providing sales and customer support personnel with an internal database. They help close deals and provide more pleasant and educational customer support experiences, expedite information, share within the company, and provide greater overall efficiency.

While the concept of a help center is quite simple and straightforward, its implementation and management should be finely tuned. It will require continuous-time and dedication.

Some good advice to get started is to involve as many personnel from as many departments as possible, different employees from sales to marketing to customer service to production.

They need to have invaluable information on feature issues and frequent questions.

Their participation will stock your knowledge base with very, really useful, and personalized information.

With the collective knowledge, you'll be able to resolve and provide answers to common questions or problems and identify what current and prospective customers care about most.

It should go without saying that organization and user-friendliness are also key components to creating a helpful and pleasant environment. It's important to recognize that many customers don't want to be there in the weeds looking for information, so use a simple format with limited graphics.

Use hierarchical links and provide as many cross-references from one topic to any other pertinent topics.

Provide as much information as possible without being redundant and constantly update your help center. 

There are several things we suggest you keep in mind:

  • Understand your users' pain points: Anticipate user pain points and questions, and eliminate them in your article. Try the entire step-by-step procedure yourself; make a note down where you got stuck or which parts were confusing. Cover these scenarios in your article to help customers who are facing similar problems.

  • Write for the average user: A long-term user would know more about your product or service than someone new. You can cater to both categories by splitting your content into multiple articles. One can give readers a primer on the topic, while the others, linked to the first, can help those who want detailed information.

  • Cater to different kinds of learners: Some like to learn to use images, while others like to read. Your article can contain multiple elements that cater to these different types of learners. You can even add a video at the end of every article.

  • Eliminate the writer bias: Remember that your customers do not know the product as well as you do. Put yourself in your customers' shoes and rethink the assumptions you make while writing the articles.

  • Talk like your users talk. Do not use excessively complex language or technical jargon in your articles.

  • When you write for your support portal, keep in mind that you are not trying to sell. Selling or upselling in a support article is a bad idea.

  • Treat every article like a mini-onboarding process. Start by explaining the broader idea. Use examples and then dive into the specifics.

  • Don't make it hard for users to find out what a feature cannot do or what the service does not cover. If your app doesn't run on Windows, say it. If a service is available on the highest plan, mention it clearly.

  • Make sure your article is search engine optimized.

Help Center enables your agents to always give the latest and most reliable information to your customers. Of course, when customers get answers faster, that increases both your customer and agent satisfaction.

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