Although consumers and business clients are much more tech-savvy, in general, due to an increasing use of technology, it’s still important to provide services like a help desk, knowledge base and technical tutorials because these help your customers get the assistance they need, whenever they need it, versus waiting for a live support person to arrive.
Prior to my current position, I had not done this for the startups I had developed. Not only has it been a learning experience, but I also now see how it improves the customer experience. Since implementing technical tutorials and a help desk for our company, we’ve seen a sharp drop in customers who don’t renew their monthly subscriptions, an increase in new customers and a higher overall satisfaction rating from the last survey we conducted earlier this year. .
Here’s what I’ve learned about creating a help desk and technical tutorial content that drive enhanced customer experiences.
Content That Helps
However, before sharing my tips on how to create this content, it’s helpful to disseminate the difference between each type of technical assistance content. All three provide some level of support to customers.
First, a help desk provides information about your company’s product or services, usually directed at some type of troubleshooting device that the customer can implement without needing support from a tech support person on the phone or chat message. Although a help desk can also be via phone and messaging, my focus here is on creating the help desk content for websites, allowing customers to get help on their schedules.
Then, there is what is known as a knowledge base, which is a self-serve online library where your customers can find additional information about your products, services or departments. Also, it doesn’t have to just be technical information in your knowledge base; instead, it can offer tips-based content that informs the customers on how to get the most out of your product or service.
Within the knowledge base, there are often technical tutorials – recipes or step-by-step instructions – for how to do something with your product or service. For example, our company’s technical tutorials include how to enable payments, how to add a team member, etc.
Now, here are some tips on how to create and manage this type of content.
1. Pick A Platform
Rather than creating something from scratch, our help desk and knowledge base were created with the help of existing software that integrates with our WordPress website. There are many help desk software platforms to choose from, including Zendesk, Zoho, Freshdesk and Salesforce Desk. While I am not going to recommend one over the other, it is important to find one that can scale as you grow, integrate with your website platform and fit your budget.
Using a platform for the help desk has enabled us to get it set up quickly and offer something that looks professional. It also makes it much easier to continue adding to it or updating existing content.
2. Develop Topics That Matter
To pick the most relevant topics for knowledge base articles, help desk answers and tutorials, consider running a list of customer questions and group them into the ones most asked. For us, those concerns became the priority content we created for these content areas.
3. Have A Standard Format For The Content
To optimize the results for the customer, it’s important to have a standard format for the content that focuses on what’s most relevant. That means these pieces do not have to be very long. If anything, keep them as brief as possible. This is especially true of the tutorials, which should be in a recipe format with just the action steps listed. Customers want to get in, get the information and get out to fix their issue as quickly as possible so they can finish everything else on their list.
Usually, we create content from a list of bullet points so only the key information is included, rather than a warm-up introduction or conclusion. Divide the content into sections that offer digestible points with subheads to cue the reader to what’s coming next. It is a good idea to provide definitions for technical terms or any industry jargon. Don’t assume they already know what those words mean.
Lastly, use links to other helpful content so they can easily move on to another tutorial or article that might be relevant to them. Also, include screenshots that accompany each main point, tip or action item. The visuals are a way to help customers further understand without resorting to a lot of words.
4. Assign Content Writers (And Reviewers)
Designate people on your team who can write the content. While some of the content is not as technical, other answers might need someone on the information technology (IT) side to provide assistance to your content writer. Alternatively, you can work with a freelance technical writer on all of this content.
Once you have writers to work with, give them the topics and clear instructions, formats or templates, as well as the expectations for what the content should focus on. Even an outline for each article or tutorial can mean they nail it the first time so you can get this helpful content in customers’ hands as quickly as possible.
Additionally, it’s very important to have a technical reviewer to go through all this content carefully. The last thing you want is technical content that is full of mistakes or misinformation, including links that don’t go anywhere.
By following these steps for creating technical tutorials, knowledge base and help desk content for your company, you can provide customers with the information they need, right when they need it.