One form of customer service on the rise is self-service support - a cost efficient and effective way to provide accurate product information to customers. In fact according to Forrester, 72% of customers prefer self-service to resolve their support issues over picking up the phone or sending an email. However, only about 52% of customers actually find the information they are looking for. Customers are keen to abandon an online center whether or not it is beautiful and enticing. The key is to optimize the layout to the customer's journey and keep knowledge base content constantly relevant.

Below are six steps to creating amazing self-service support so your customers have a stellar experience:

1. Do a periodic review of all knowledge base articles

Make sure every knowledge base article has an expiration date on your content calendar. No matter the circumstances, products will change or interfaces will occasionally get a facelift. According to Support Engineer, Dianna Potter from the Customer WOW team,
"In addition to tracking what people are searching for in the support center, we try to read between the lines and get a feel for what might be lacking based on those searches (or what needs new keywords to show up better in search). Anything identified is added to our projects."
  By setting an expiration date, support teams are constantly encouraged to return to knowledge base articles and make sure they are updated.

2. ALWAYS improve your knowledge base articles

Embed a rating button at the bottom of each article so that customers can give their input if the content was helpful or not. By gauging the consensus of each article, support managers can understand whether or not the content is engaging. At, we eat our own dog food by using our Content Management features to understand the feelings TechStars Mentor and Customer Service Expert, Greg Meyer, gives a great tip to fully utilizing the power of a rating system when he states: "
Identify the top 10 highest rated and lowest rated knowledge base articles that your customers use, and rewrite them on a content calendar."

3. Keep the customer's journey in mind when writing a knowledge base article

Make sure your knowledge base content and online support center layout are optimized for the customer's journey. Typically this is what a customer's journey looks like:


A: A customer searches for an article in a knowledge base, does not find the answer he/she is looking for and exits. 

B: A customer searches for an article in a knowledge base, finds a relevant article he/she is looking for but does not find the answer and exits. 

C: A customer searches for an article in a knowledge base, finds a relevant article he/she is looking for but does not find the answer and returns to the search bar.

Keep this journey in mind when constructing or revising an online support center so that they can go all the way and find the solution!

4. Example of an awesome online support center

Spaces Heroes is a great example of an awesome online support center. Here are 3 reasons why:
  1. The Space Heroes support center is fun and designed around their brand. The customer feels they are in their element and overall comfortable with the support center.
  2. If a customer can not find the article he/she is looking for, Space Heroes’s contact information is only a click away. Make sure an escalation path is easily laid out for the customer.
  3. "Browse by Topic" is a simple and effective way layout for customers to easily navigate. With just a few clicks, customers can locate and read the article they are looking for

5. Proactively flag cases that need self-service content

According to the Director of Customer WOW, Graham Murphy,
"Make sure you’re flagging cases that have a need for self-help content. Keep a list and keep writing up those articles."
Here at, when a Customer WOW agent experiences multiple customer inquiries with the same question, they label them as “Support Center Candidates” using our labels feature. At the end of each week, the support team huddles up and reviews these specific labels and makes an evaluation if there needs to be a knowledge base article or not. By flagging cases, agents are proactively serving customers the knowledge they need to serve themselves.

6. Optimize your support center for all devices

According to EchoResearch, 50% of smartphone users would prefer to use a mobile customer service app to try to resolve their customer service issue before calling a contact center. Provide a consistent multichannel experience and allow customers to solve their own problems on the go!

Check out's latest Slideshare to learn more.