Guide: Help Center
Jessica Rangel
Jessica Rangel

Guide: Creating a Support Help Center

Tips for creating a help center and support documentation.

October 19, 2023

Providing top-notch customer support means being accessible to customers. Given the time and personnel limitations of chatbox and social media support, having a help center is essential for SaaS and digital products. 

A customer support help center serves as a centralized hub for customers to find answers to their questions and resolve issues independently. Below we’ll explore what should be included in a customer support help center — including support tools and content ideas — to ensure your help center meets the needs of customers effectively.

We’ve covered:

  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

  • Knowledge Base articles

  • Interactive Tutorials and Videos

  • Community Forums or Discussion Boards

  • Contact Information

  • Feedback Mechanisms

  • Tips for your help center

1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A robust help center should start with a comprehensive FAQ section. Frequently Asked Questions provide customers with quick answers to common queries, reducing the need for them to contact support. To create an effective FAQ section:

  • Identify common customer inquiries

  • Provide clear and concise answers

  • Organize questions into categories for easy navigation

Tip: If you are using a customer support platform, use tags to track and identify common problems. This can help your product team prioritize bug fixes or new features. Common tag categories for SaaS support could include: 

  • Sign up and login issues

  • Product and technical 

  • Billing and subscription issues

  • Account setting issue

  • Reporting issues

  • Exporting/importing issue

2. Knowledge Base Articles

In addition to FAQs, having a knowledge base is helpful to address a wide range of customer issues and topics. These articles are more detailed than FAQs and are focused primarily on your product.

Common categories includes:

  • Category: Getting started

    • Introduction

    • What is [product name]?

    • Glossary

    • Signing in 

  • Category: For users

    • Getting started for users

    • Accessing your account

    • Join your organization

    • Adjust notifications 

  • Category: For admins

    • Setting up your account

    • Create a workspace

    • Managing permissions and roles

    • Inviting your team

  • Category: Settings, billing, invoicing

    • Sales tax and VAT

    • Monthly and Annual Plans

    • Limits on free plans

    • Supported payment methods

  • Category: Technical documentation

    • Product features

    • Connect apps

    • Set automations

    • API integrations

    • Share and export files

Knowledge base articles are typically written in a clear and concise style, and they are often accompanied by screenshots or videos to help illustrate the steps involved.

3. Interactive Tutorials and Videos

Visual aids such as tutorials and videos can be invaluable in helping customers understand complex processes or features. Consider creating video tutorials or interactive walkthroughs that guide users through common tasks or troubleshooting procedures.

Topics to cover in SaaS tutorial videos:

Onboarding Help new users learn how to use your SaaS product for the first time. Cover the basics of your product and teach users how to perform specific tasks. 

A good example of this is from Zapier’s YouTube Playlist: Getting Started with Zapier.

Blog: Help Center Guide - Zapier Example
Zapier's YouTube Channel featuring onboarding videos for customer support.

Introducing new features When you release new features for your SaaS product, you can create tutorial videos to show users how to use them. This will help users to get the most out of your product and improve their user experience — plus it's a great way to show improvements made, especially if requested by customers.

Troubleshooting problems If users are having problems with your SaaS product, you can create tutorial videos to show them how to troubleshoot those problems. It’s best to use a screen recording of your website or app so customers can see a real-life context and use narration to show the steps while you click. 

Tip: Use playlists on YouTube to categorize your videos based on topic. This makes videos easily accessible, regardless of when videos were published. Common categories include:

  • Getting started

  • Product Features

  • Webinars

  • Customer Stories

  • Tips & Tricks

4. Community Forums or Discussion Boards

A community forum provides a platform for your customers to interact with one another and share their experiences and solutions. It can be an excellent resource for user-generated content and peer-to-peer support. 

Active participation from your support team can also help address customer queries in these forums. A great example is Figma’s Community Discord channel.

Blog: Help Center - Figma Example
Figma's Community Forum on Discord for Customer Support

This could be hosted on your own website — however this would require a level of maintenance in managing the comments and ensuring the content is relevant. Another option would be a less hands-on approach such as a third-party forum like Discord, Reddit, Linkedin Groups. 


5. Contact Information

While the goal is to empower customers to find answers independently, some issues may require personal assistance. Make it easy for customers to reach your support team when needed.

This doesn’t need to be complicated. You can just include basic contact information such as:

  • Support email

  • Live chat (including operating hours)

  • Phone number

  • Social media profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)

  • Contact form

6. Feedback Mechanisms

Include feedback forms or surveys within your help center. This allows customers to provide input on the helpfulness and effectiveness of the provided resources. Use this feedback to continually improve your help center and enhance the customer experience.

The most common feedback survey for SaaS companies is Net Promoter Score (NPS). This is a good starting point and is industry standard for asking in general: “how satisfied are you”.

However, to pinpoint exactly what your customers need, consider more specific prompts such as:

  • How did you hear about us?

  • How easy was it to get started with our product?

  • What feature are you using the most?

  • What are you missing from our product?

  • What features would you like to see added to our product in the future?

  • Did you experience any problems with our product? If so, what were they?

Useful resource: Customerly’s feedback survey templates

Tips for your help center

Use clear language and avoid jargon

  • Provide step-by-step instructions and visuals if applicable.

  • Keep articles up-to-date to reflect changes in your offering

  • Include search functionality 

Ensure your help center includes a robust search feature. This allows customers to quickly find the information they need by entering keywords or phrases related to their issue. A powerful search function can significantly enhance the user experience by delivering relevant results promptly. Multilingual Support If your customer base is global or multilingual, consider offering support content in multiple languages. This could be a big project based on your organization's size, especially for live chat support. 

However, AI translation tools like Google Translate and Deepl are pretty advanced at translating and localization — and could be used for translating help center articles or creating tutorials in different languages.

Analytics and Tracking Implement analytics tools to monitor user behavior within your help center. Tracking user interactions, search queries, and navigation patterns can provide valuable insights into which topics are most relevant to your audience.

Use this data to refine your content and optimize the help center's effectivenes — including what other content types you can use to help customers in addition to standard articles.

The customer is always…helped. 

A well-structured customer support help center is a valuable asset for any business aiming to provide excellent customer service. Prioritizing your help center's development and maintenance will ultimately lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, setting your business on a path to success in today's competitive landscape.

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