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Adding humanity to your self-service support options

Laura Ballam | Jun 4, 2016 379 views No Comments

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These days, many customers prefer to tackle their own issues before contacting your customer support team. They do this through the use of self-service support options. It’s important that self-service entries are written less like a computer manual and more like an introductory textbook, taking complicated information and introducing it in a manner that is engaging and easy to grasp. Not only does this maximize satisfaction, but it also further emphasizes the fact that your business puts customers first. Here are a few tips for adding humanity to your self-service support options: 

Apply your buyer persona
Many businesses create an idealized customer and use that profile to guide their marketing, design and other business choices. Business2Community suggested taking this persona and applying it to your content, including your self-service support options. Your marketing team already has tons of research on this type of person, including metrics such as how they search for information, how much time they spend on each page of your website and how their eye travels from top to bottom. This will guide the style, tone, look and keywords of each support entry.

Keep things clear and simple
Short sentences organized in clearly defined sections are easier to read than long paragraphs. Make good use of headlines to summarize each section so your customers have an idea of what they’re reading at first glance. Also, break detailed tutorials down into bulleted or numbered step-by-step lists to make the elaborate instructions simple to understand. B2B customer support software that provides self-service options helps your agents arrange, manage and maintain entries so they remain up to date.

Be sure not to overwhelm your customers with unnecessary technical jargon. If you must use industry terms your customer might not know, define them on the same page or link to another support entry with additional information.

Use anecdotes
As Kissmetrics noted, writing stories helps customers better understand the point you’re trying to make. Anecdotes present abstract concepts and customer support solutions as the answer to actual queries. Additionally, real-life examples help the customer apply knowledge to their own situation, whether or not the case provided matches their current issue.

Include video and images
Using videos of your agents, developers or technicians puts a human face on what might otherwise be a boring topic. The actual words might not be the most interesting, but the gestures and facial expressions people make engage customers and help them follow the video content. You can combine these videos with graphics, screenshots or statistics to better illustrate your point.

Images are another way to provide customers with the answers they need. You can outline solutions with a series of screenshots which are easier to understand than paragraphs of text. If that’s not practical for certain entries, basic pictures of people or custom illustrations break the monotony of a page full of text. 


Engage with customers in real-time across every channel, no matter the medium. Use visitor tracking and email analytics to know what your customers are seeing.

Your business needs self-service support options that help customers, not ones that leave them even more confused. Making the right choices in terms of style, tone, content and organization ensures your FAQ section, wikis, knowledge bases or other options are written to meet your customer’s needs. 

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Republished with author's permission from original post.


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