7 Tips for Writing Top-Notch Help Articles

7 Tips for Writing Top-Notch Help Articles

In a perfect world, every digital journey would be so clear and intuitive that your customers and prospects would never have questions. But the reality is your digital visitors do have basic, repetitive questions while transacting with you online. In fact, more than half of consumers struggle with avoidable service issues. When users come across basic questions, making them reach out to live support to get answers not only puts a damper on the customer experience, but it also clutters your contact center. Although the contact center is crucial when dealing with complex concerns, help articles are a more effective and efficient way to resolve common, frequently asked questions.

Help articles provide answers to basic questions, empower self-service, minimize support contacts, and improve customer experience. In a nutshell, good help articles are a win for your business and a win for your customers.

Here are 7 things to consider when writing help articles:

1. Know your customers’ needs

The first step to solving your customers’ issues is to understand what issues they’re actually facing. You can ensure you’re answering the right questions by using analytics tools that identify the common friction points in your digital journey. Use your findings to write help articles that will guide users through those barriers to success.

2. Keep it short and sweet

Your help articles should provide the maximum impact through minimum words. Keep your articles concise and use non-technical language, so visitors can find answers fast.

3. Remember formatting matters

Use headings to identify chunks of information and to facilitate scanning while reading. Lists or bullet points within categories help break up text. Keep these formatting tips in mind to create easy-to-read help copy.

4. Use rich media

Visual content provides information on the intended message easier, faster, and clearer. Rich media, such as images and video, can help break up longer copy to avoid overwhelming readers. Not to mention, statistics show that adding video to your website can increase conversions by 80%.

5. Prioritize mobile

Be sure to test articles on a mobile device. 83% of mobile users say a seamless experience across all devices is very important. Remember that visitors will frequently be using their phone or tablets while reading help articles, so cross-device compatibility is a must.

6. Don’t skip the review process

Make sure a subject matter expert reviews help articles. Customer support team members are a great resource for ensuring your article will meet the needs of visitors and avoid causing further frustration.

7. Understand where and when customers need help

The content of help articles matters, but where and when you serve up help is equally as important. Contextual guidance allows you to anticipate customers’ needs by their behavior and guide them with targeted, timely, and relevant information to avoid the struggle all together.