“I’ve got a great product. Now, how do I support my customers?”
Customer support is not a hard concept.
When someone has a question or a problem, it’s your job to fix it and make them happy.
When done right, it can set you apart from the competition. An app that does something can be recreated easily, but a rocking support experience is much harder to copy. When customers know they’re going to get better support, they’ll usually choose you over the competitor.
But if you do it wrong, it can undo everything that you’ve worked so hard on. Customers will start leaving you behind as they find a company that can provide the support experience they’re looking for.
So, you must dedicate yourself to prioritizing great customer service. There are three key times to do this:
In this post, we’ll start by covering one of the key items you’ll have to address before you launch your new product. Let’s dive right in to planning your help site.
A customer’s first stop should be your help site, where they can find the answers they need themselves. A solid help site, inclusive of a frequently-asked questions (FAQ) page, should help many of your customers find the answer without having to contact you.
The key to setting this up is to do so in a way that your customers get answers and you don’t get bogged down in support tickets all day. If every support ticket takes you five minutes to address, a help site that does the work for you can save you a lot of time, quickly.
First, don’t get too cute with naming it. Call this part of your site what it is. Clearly label it “Help,” “Support,” or another term that immediately communicates its purpose. Then, place this section of your site at an obvious URL, such as yoursite.com/help.
Your help site should be simple and streamlined, to start. Consider launching it with the following three areas:
When customers are on your help site, they’re already confused… and in need of help! Don’t make it worse with a complicated page. Focus on keeping it:
This seems like a no-brainer, right? You just take a screenshot of what you want to show, and you throw it on your help page. Easy!
You’ve taken care to craft every word on that page. Take the same pride and professionalism in your screenshots.
Consider the following:
Questions you expect to be routine are best handled through self-service. “How do I” questions, such as change account information, update an email address, change my preferences, etc. are questions that can be answered in a FAQs section. This empowers the customer to do simple tasks on their own terms, with immediate answers available to them any time, day or night.
Still not sure what else to include? Show your product or service and your website to a few friends, family members, and trusted colleagues. Write down the questions they have, and put those questions and their respective answers on the site. You don’t have to keep those questions there forever. Once you launch your product, you’ll quickly see what other questions need to make their way onto your help page(s).
Your website needs to have a solid search tool. We live in the days of Google search results – people aren’t as used to referencing a book’s index, anymore. No matter how well-organized your website is, or how clear cut your FAQs are, customers often go straight to searching for the information they need.
Put the search box prominently on your site. Customers should find it as soon as they land on your help site, and if they don’t, many will immediately go ahead and send you a support ticket – causing you to do the heavy lifting and answer their question. By having the search box in a prominent location, customers will be more likely to use that first, and in many cases, they’ll find their answer without ever emailing you.
If the help site doesn’t have the answer they’re looking for, the customer will need a way to quickly get in touch with you. To start, a simple contact form will do the trick.
Your form should ask for:
You can also ask them to pick a category, as well. For instance:
Those will come in handy after launch, if and when you have a lot of support cases being initiated. Have that form send all inquiries to your dedicated support email address.
By following the recommendations above, you’ll be well on your way to creating a help site that proactively provides great customer support. In our next customer support post, we’ll focus on one more area you must prepare for before you launch your product: how to streamline your responses to support emails.