Worldwide pandemic affected the number of tickets and increased the popularity of online help centers by 65%.
COVID-19 benchmark data, Zendesk
The COVID-19 crisis, along with the quarantine measures, left no other choice to people in many countries, but to rush into the web, where they started to use online resources more actively. Unfortunately, many companies weren’t ready for it. They got overwhelmed with the volume of incoming inquiries because their online help centers weren’t user-friendly, or they didn’t have any at all.
The importance of self-service optimization and help center design has boomed accordingly. Businesses have to adapt to the new online reality to survive. Here is a simple guide that shows how you can cope with the increased number of tickets by using your help center:
- Analyze and pick the categories with the most significant amount of tickets (higher than average).
- Study the tickets from those categories more precisely to understand how the users describe their issues and what stage exactly causes problems.
- Analyze the content you have in the help center and find ways to improve it;
- Monitor the statistics to see the outcomes of the recent changes;
- Keep on optimizing your Zendesk help center.
- Focus on the help center design. A user-friendly look and simple functionality encourage your customers to self-serve instead of contacting your support team.
Key principles for help center optimization
Generally speaking, the right way of treating the online help center is as a tool and a resource that works to your advantage. Just like every investor dreams about a passive income, you can have an automatic assistant that can handle many customer-related processes. All you need to do is focus on developing and improving your self-service tools. It’s absolutely worth the efforts and time not only today but also weeks and months after.
Let’s run through the key areas of the help center optimization.
You should really think through the structure of your online help center for the best user experience. The content organization may sound like a piece of cake, but different people prefer different categorizing methods. Similarly to a wardrobe, some people like classifying clothes by occasion, others by colors and materials, and so on. The same applies here. For example, you may come up with organizing your content based on:
- type of user
- purpose (instructions, problems, reference articles, etc.)
- tasks your customers want to accomplish (basics about the user account, subscription, etc.)
You can choose any method, but it should be relevant to your end-users.
Furthermore, you should give your categories, sections, and articles clear and distinct names. Use plain English instead of professional jargon unless your customers are comfortable with it.
Let users find what they need in just a few clicks!
The most effective help center is easy to navigate. Try to optimize it to let users find what they need in just a few clicks!
Help center design plays a significant role here. You can visually attract users to the most important parts – the search bar, promoted articles, the category list, contact details, and so on.
Help users get to the articles in a couple of clicks from any page or section in the article. Side Navigation, for instance, can help browse the knowledge base without having to come back to the homepage. At the same time, Table of Contents inside the articles simplifies the navigation locally by allowing a user to jump to the right section at once.
Increasing the readability of your articles is another art that you need to learn. A long block of text is unattractive and difficult to scan and digest. So, try to present the information in paragraphs, divide content by subheaders, bullet points, and use various formatting components like icons, tables, images, videos, tabs, accordions, etc.
The main page should be a favorite hub and epicenter of your online help center with a smart layout containing the main categories, sections, promoted articles, and custom blocks. Imagine it to be like a reception desk of the resort with thousands of guests. It should be highly resourceful.
A smart layout can save more than half the user's time.
The worst thing you can do with your homepage is to create a messy, all-inclusive, poorly structured page without prioritizing the commonly used information blocks. A smart layout requires analysis, but what if we tell you that it can save more than half the user's time if he/she finds what’s needed right away and resolves the issue or finds an extensive answer to the question without contacting your agents?
Way too often users don’t see the search bar and thus don’t use the search functionality.
One of the best things you can do is make the search bar stand out visually from the background because way too often users don’t see it and thus don’t use the search functionality. Additionally, we recommend you test different options for highlighting it to make it more user friendly, visible, and intuitive.
What else? You can go ahead and make it sort of “inviting” to use and stand out from the background with a question, “What are you looking for?” You can also make the search bar in the sticky header to keep it on the top at all times regardless of scrolling actions down the page.
Consistent help center design
Another crucial aspect of an effective help center design is the same look with the main website. You definitely don’t want your users to bother with the question where they actually landed after clicking to the online help center link. Thus, the logo, colors, fonts, and look and feel should be in line with the main website. That’s the rule.
Choose a Zendesk help center theme, which is already optimized according to the UX and UI principles.
So, if you are ready to improve and have human resources available, you can develop a new design based on the Copenhagen theme for Zendesk. However, you can also choose a ready-to-use Zendesk help center theme, which is already optimized according to the principles listed above and other UX and UI parameters. Plus, you can get affordable customization services from Lotus Themes.
Now is the right time for optimizing your Zendesk help center since way too many people switched from offline to the online world. Some simple actions and key elements can really transform your Zendesk design and bring it to a new level.