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Why it's important to brand your help center

Posted on 29 Jun 09:46 PM

Branding your Zendesk help center shows your customers you can offer them excellent service. Think of your help center as your customer’s panic button. They typically go to this area of your site when they can’t find what they want. They’re stressed and want a good result quickly. Your mission is to create a rich resource that they can navigate with ease.

An online help center is part of your company’s customer service experience. Forty percent of customers purchase from a competitor because of the competitor’s reputation for great customer service. A good branded help center is accessible24/7 to give a customer what they need.

What Is Help Center Branding?

The default help center theme acts as the framework for your branding. This template has an unremarkable design on its own, but you have several ways to work your company's brand into the design.

Your logo takes a prominent place at the top of the page, and the main elements of your help center, such as the search bar, get a makeover with your brand's colors. Fonts and icons change to reflect your company's style. Finally, a branded favicon and hero image tie everything together. These basic changes make a big difference for your customers.


The Disadvantages of Unbranded Help Centers

Unbranded help centers cause significant problems for your company. You have a template used by thousands of businesses — and possibly your competitors — so your customers may lack confidence that your help center represents an official support channel. They may leave the page quickly and increase your bounce rate. Even worse, customers may distrust the information provided on the page or think it's outdated, leading to lower engagement. When consumers avoid your self-service options, your other support channels, such as your phone lines, may experience a higher volume of calls.

Adweek discovered 81 percent of shoppers perform online research before making any purchase decisions. Your help center contains extensive product information, so it's likely they find this section through Web searches. Their first impression of your company comes from their experience on your knowledge base. A default template with little to no changes conveys a lack of professionalism and low effort, so you may lose those prospects to a different company.

You spend a lot of resources creating a memorable brand for your company. Don't restrict these efforts to your marketing and sales department. Brand consistency across every channel lets you excel at a quality customer experience. Your help desk spends significant time in front of your current and future clients, so give it the branding overhaul it needs.


Branded vs. Non-Branded Help Centers: See the Difference!

Voxer’s one-page help center, which contains a search bar and icons, is a good example of an easy-to-use site. The page uses few colors, with its bright orange icons, grey fields and black text against a white background. The user can navigate the help center by category (“desktop”) or type in a unique question. Strikingly’s more complex help center also contains a relatively clean image and just a few colors. It has much more detail, which requires the user to scroll down. Yet, like Voxer’s page, the help center has a search bar and a guide to different areas of the company.

Now look at Audioboom’s help center, which has no distinctive colors, style or font. The site is very plain, with small and hard-to-read black text on a white background. Lacrosse Footwear’s help center employs a similar strategy although it contains the company logo.

In Branding, Everything Has a Purpose, from Logos to Fonts

Branding is essentially good style and design. Without it, a help center will flat. You can make your help center friendly and welcoming by giving it the tone and warmth of your products and services. Here are some general tips.

Logos

Use only one logo in your site, including in your help center. You want the icon, name and slogan that distinguishes you to be consistent across all your webpages. The logo also authenticates your page, showing that it belongs to your company. Get some advice if you’re picking a font specifically for a logo. Your logo forms an initial impression of your company. It should remain constant.

Colors

Choose a few complementary colors that are tailored to your user audience. You can even take a quiz on the best colors for your product or services. Do not choose too many colors, colors that look dull together or colors that your audience will not like. For example, if you have a kid-friendly website, grey, white and black would not be the best color combination. It would be too serious and sophisticated for your audience.

Fonts

Use a font that is easy to read and gives a sense of your product or services. For example, Combat Regular, a thick, militaristic typeset, would be excellent for a product aimed at veterans.

Icons

Create an icon that embodies the personality of your product or services and the mentality of your staff. It should be personable and memorable. Check out the whimsical, colorful icon within Loop’s logo in the company’s help center.



The Benefits of a Branded Help Center

Parature found 73 percent of customers preferred self-service customer support options when they need help with minor issues. This mean it's very likely that most of your customers will stop by your help center over the course of your business relationship. Your branded help center provides a consistent customer experience for your audience. As they see the same logos, fonts and colors you use on other channels, your customers know the help page is an official support channel maintained by your company.

McKinsey reports consistency throughout the business is the key to improving client trust, satisfaction and retention. You don't need sweeping changes to your help center theme to make a big difference in your customers' perception. Cosmetic updates give you the virtual curb appeal you need without changing your layout.

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