We get it – the help site is not the most glamorous part of your organization. But, help sites are a prime place to build trust and a good reputation with your users. It’s where you can really show your expertise on your product, and how much you care about your users.
But too many help sites are making the same mistakes and setting themselves up for failure.
Information is outdated
There’s just no reason for your help site to have old and outdated information. It’s frustrating for both users and employees. Imagine looking for a solution to a problem, finding it, and then realizing that you’ve just wasted your time because the answer you found was for a past version. Not only does this annoy your user, but it also makes your website, and therefore your business, look unreliable.
Information changes all the time, and that’s not a bad thing. You just have to figure out how to keep current on your help site.
It’s tempting to put “update the website” at the bottom of your long to-do list, but you really shouldn’t. Make updating information part of the process so that changes are made as soon as they are made official.
Real people and the website have different information
Anna read online that she needed three documents to open a new bank account, but when she talked to a person on the phone they said she needed four. Who’s right?
Discrepancies between online information and information from customer service agents can create a world of confusion. This can happen because employees don’t have access to the correct information, or because the website isn’t up to date.
Creating a knowledge base where all important company information is stored can help. Your knowledge base should contain the most important information your users need.
Everything is long form content
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – no one wants to have to scroll through a 100+ page manual on their phone just to find a single paragraph. Long form content is great for some things, but it’s not great for your help site.
On a help site, content should be broken up into small, focused, and easily searchable chunks. Structure content into categories that contain the most important and commonly asked questions.
Nothing is branded
You spent lots of time, effort, and financial investment into your brand. Everything from the colors used to the images on your website all communicates a story about who your organization is and what you do. Branding is such an important part of a website, but unfortunately, sometimes the help site gets left out.
Visiting your help site shouldn’t feel like visiting some dark basement that hasn’t been cleaned in years. When it does, it creates a disjointed customer experience.
Not only is this puzzling to users, but you also miss out on another opportunity to showcase the brand you’ve worked hard to establish.
Brand it up! The best help sites are the ones where you don’t even notice you’ve left the main website.
A better help site is within reach
How does your help site measure up? Are there a few places you could improve it?
Thankfully, help sites don’t have to be complicated. Most of the problems here can be addressed pretty easily, and the results will benefit your company for years to come.