What is a Help Center? Its Importance and BenefitsEstimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes
Often referred to as support, help desk, FAQ section, knowledge base, or even a portal, a help center is known to serve as an extension of a website or application. It is solely dedicated to solving customer queries and doubts. A help center doesn't have a set pattern or format and could be in the form of a list of FAQs, help articles, or tutorial videos. It might have a LIVE chat option, email us or contact us button to address further queries.
The most important and distinguishing factor of a help center is that its primary purpose is to provide a self-service option to the customers.
Help Center vs. Knowledge Base
Although these terms are often used interchangeably, there's a significant difference between a help center and a knowledge base.
Help Center is built solely to assist customers. It aids them in self-service. A help center is nothing but a superset of several support options such as LIVE chat, email support, video tutorials, FAQs, knowledge base, etc.
On the other hand, a knowledge base is considered a subset of the help center. It holds together important reference documents such as how-to guides, troubleshooting articles, product information, etc. A report by Forrester states that customers prefer knowledge base the most over all other self-service channels.
The primary reason why a knowledge base is mistaken as a help center is that many businesses use their knowledge base itself as self-service customer support or help center.
What does help center software do?
A help center software is a platform that powers a knowledge base or a help center. It enables you to quickly create and publish articles to answer common questions that come up about your company’s products or services. The result is an online library full of guides, tutorials, and videos that answer common questions customers might have as they use your business’ products or services. It can be searched and used by customers as an external knowledge base and employees/agents as an internal knowledge base while answering customer queries or support tickets through email, phone, or live chat.
In short, a help center is good for you because it reduces your support burden and it’s good for your customers because it lets them find answers on their own.
Why should you use a Help Center?
If you own a business and still haven't built a help center, you are missing a crucial customer support tool. A help center plays a vital role in guiding and assisting your customers in case of doubts. It is a must-have for every brand.
Here are the top three reasons every business should have a help center.
1. Customers can choose self-service without having to call.
Did you know that according to a report by KPMG, a whopping 90% of consumers consider issue resolution to be their most crucial customer service concern?
Shocking, yet true. Imagine the process to be followed to reach customer care. First, customers have to spend time finding the customer care number, then getting through to a customer care executive, mentioning the problem, and then waiting for an appropriate response. And amid all this, what if the call gets disconnected? Or what if a customer care executive puts them on a long hold or doesn't understand their query? Such instances can result in a lot of frustration for your customers.
It would be much simpler for customers if they could search and find the required answers by themselves. This can be done by referring to the credible help center of the organization.
2. Aids the customer service executives
The chances of customers reaching out to customer support executives are comparatively less in the presence of a help center. However, if they do reach out for assistance, it will be easier for your support team to browse through the knowledge base articles and answer customer queries quickly.
They could also link them to relevant articles, tutorials, FAQs, and images for further assistance. Not only does this save the time and effort of your customer executives, but also money on support hours. It undoubtedly keeps the customers happy with prompt service.
3. Creates uniformity and organizes the data
Websites cannot be loaded with all the data on a single page. This will result in a long scroll for the users, and messy websites can also be challenging to navigate.
For example, many websites have a long list of FAQs on the main page, and below that is a "contact us" button, which is hardly visible. This can cause the customer to get irritated quickly.
A help center can consist of several tabs that provide relevant information to the customers. It can help you categorize all the data and organize it easily and navigably.
According to research from American Express, 6 out of 10 U.S. consumers report that their preferred channel for simple inquiries is a digital self-service tool, such as a self-service portal with a knowledge base or help center.
Best Help Center Software in 2022
Now that you know the importance and functions of a help center, let us browse through the most popular help center software you can implement for your customers.
An all-in-one knowledge base with highly customizable features and flexibility to integrate with 3rd party tools, PHPKB is the top choice to create a help center for small and big brands alike.
It provides a range of features like multi-lingual support, advanced security, backup options, a high-level text editor, SEO support, and in-depth analytics that make it an all-around application.
It is easy to upload all customer-related guides, data, and tutorials on PHPKB and update them regularly. It is easy to navigate, and its user-friendly interface also makes it a platform that doesn't require any training for usage.
Helpcenter.io is a software that helps businesses efficiently manage an unlimited number of help centers. It caters to customer support by helping businesses build help centers. With helpcenter.io, you can also get your knowledge base content on your website.
It helps you create, edit and manage your articles with advanced tools. Whether you need to translate the content of a help center, migrate it or install a whole new one, you can do it easily with helpcenter.io
A knowledge base as effective as an entire help center itself, Helpjuice is what businesses need to enrich their customer support by several notches.
It provides in-depth analytics, insights, and customization options to users. It has flexible article writing features that make it easy to create engaging content.
Primarily a help desk software, Zendesk is focused on catering to the customer support team. It can be used as a help center to provide blog and website content searches.
One of its best features is that knowledge base articles can be linked on the help desk and in tickets for easy reference. It is easy to create, correct and maintain articles on Zendesk with the content block feature it provides.
5. Hubspot service Hub
Hubspot service hub too can be used as a help center. Not only does it help you create high-ranking help articles, but it also provides analytics and insights.
It can be used for 3rd party integrations as well. Some of its best features include ticketing, feedback monitoring, and automation.
'Help center' is a broad term and is often used interchangeably with other terms, but hopefully, this article has shed more light on the actual purpose, function, and importance of a help center.
While no brand would want their customers to ever need a help center when using their products or services, building a help center for their convenience is a much more realistic, practical, and proactive approach to customer satisfaction!