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How Help Centers Help Support

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Support folks, be wary of measuring the health of your desk by the number of support tickets you solve.  While it’s great that your agents can handle a profusion of support needs, the fact that there’s lots of tickets to solve points to an underlying problem with your service.

Here’s what’s really going on:

The customer has encountered an issue and tried to fix it themselves, but failed.  Next, they’ve gone to your website looking for help, but found none. Now they’re frustrated and irritated, so they begrudgingly turn to customer service as a last resort.

The reality is that customers don’t like engaging with customer support unless it’s absolutely necessary.  It doesn’t matter how wonderful your help desk is; customers always prefer the quick answer they can find on their own.  Companies that acknowledge this and create ways for users to solve their own problems always thrive more than those who put that burden on their support team.

A Help Center is the happy tool that can make this happen.  It provides your community with the ability to educate themselves and solve issues without the assistance of a support agent.  Typically, these take the form of an FAQ, forum, or other instructional material that they can turn to for answers.   It takes a bit of effort to set it up properly, but the payoffs are invaluable.  Here are just a few advantages you’ll experience:

 

It’s Fast.  Very Fast.
A lot of companies boast about response times that are less than six hours.  Well, guess what?  A Help Center takes seconds.  It’s literally a click and a scroll away.  And you’re done.  Fast response times are great, but they can never match the expediency of a help center.  And if a good help center is part of your support, response times will actually improve, because your support agents will have fewer tickets coming in each day.

You Save Money.
A good Help Center can save you a happy bundle on customer support costs.  The math is pretty simple:  Self-serve answers means fewer tickets.  Fewer tickets means smaller support costs.  Smaller support costs means more dollars in your company’s pockets.  That’s always a good thing.

Your Support Gets Smarter.
There’s an old cliché about the benefit of a good challenge: it can make you stronger.  That’s hard to do when most of your time on the help desk is spent answering simple, menial questions that don’t build expertise.  A good Help Center shifts a good portion of the simple answers away from support, so that only the more challenging issues go to agents.  This allows support agents to specialize in the complexities of your products, which only strengthens your support.

Everyone Is Treated the Same.
Here’s the good thing about words on a page:  Everyone reads the same thing.  With a help center, every user gets the same information.  There are no variations.  You don’t get more consistent than that.  And if you need to make any changes to the help center, you just tweak the words, and it’s done.  If you have a product that’s got a habit of changing, a help center is the best way to get new information to users quickly and consistently.  It’s a must have.
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