Self-service customer support is table stakes in today’s world. Digital-first customers like to find their own answers, and most would rather use self-service than pick up the phone.

Building a customer-friendly support center is an effective and cost-efficient way for growing your business. You just have to do it right. Here are six ways to deliver an awesome self-help center experience:


1. Send customers to your support site


Sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s true: Your support site can only be successful if customers know it’s there. This can be especially challenging for established companies needing to transition customers over to a newly launched support site.

Self-service calls-to-actions are the way to go. The easiest way to do this is by placing links to your support center throughout your corporate website. And if your product is online, weave links into it, too. Make it as easy as possible for your customers to find your self-service offerings.


2. Create the right support content


Your support center is only useful if it has the answers your customers need. For starters, keep a record of what questions your customers ask most often. Use this information to create articles and other self-help content that addresses these common support requests. FAQs, a knowledge base with detailed product information, community bulletin boards, and videos with step-by-step instructions for resolving a problem are all great ways to deliver self-support content.


3. Keep your knowledge base fresh and relevant


Your knowledge base is never really “finished.” To get the most out of it, you need to continuously improve your articles. Plan periodic reviews of all of your knowledge base content (including graphics and video) and set expiration dates that force you to revisit everything you’ve already created. This is especially important for FAQ-oriented content. Additionally, giving customers the opportunity to rate your content is another great way to find out what needs improvement, and keep things fresh.


4. Make it easy for customers to find what they need


Once you’ve filled your support center with great content, make sure it’s easy for customers to find. Include a search bar, and make sure every topic and article is clearly labeled and properly tagged. This will help customers find the content they need easily, whether they’re casually browsing or searching via the search bar. And make sure your content is crawlable to ensure it pops up in Google search results. Also, don’t forget to add links leading back to all available support channels and even include a contact form in the footer of your knowledge base. This builds trust by making it easy for customers to contact support through email, chat, or phone if they can’t find the answers they need from searching your knowledge base alone.


5. Make sure your support center is on-brand


You want customers to feel comfortable with your support experience. Make sure your support center uses the same header and footer as your corporate site, and that the domain and subdomain are consistent (i.e.: and Adopting a style guide ensures consistency in the tone, voice, and formatting of all the content across your sites. Save time by finding a public style guide that works for your company; many larger companies make their guides publicly available for use.


6. Optimize your support content for all devices


Research shows that 50 percent of smartphone users prefer using mobile customer service apps to resolve customer service issues before calling a contact center. Responsive design — meaning, no matter what size screen your site is viewed on, the content automatically reformats itself to fit on the screen — needs to be the standard for your product interface, your corporate site, and, of course, your support site. Also be sure to integrate support into any mobile experiences that are directly part of your product or service.

Ready to take your self-service customer support to the next level? These six steps will help get you there. Create your own today with Salesforce Essentials, bringing the #1 CRM to small businesses.



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