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Online retail sales have amounted to 4.9 Trillion U.S dollars worldwide, with experts predicting a 50% increase in growth within the next four years. With this staggering number in mind, brands must look into growth optimization for all facets of their online business, including looking at their help centers. Here are some holiday tips and tricks to get your help center in tip-top shape just in time for the holiday season.
10 Holiday Tips and Tricks for Your Help Center
Help centers are customer-facing support destinations on websites, also known as FAQ pages, that enable customers to self-serve frequently asked questions. Not only do help centers give customers access to easy, quick information, but the benefits of a well-oiled help center machine to the business are equally as important. If set up correctly, a help center can lower inbound requests and increase efficiency, all while keeping customers happy and improving satisfaction. Not to mention, a solid help center will improve overall website SEO.
Enabling brands to help their customers help themselves is fundamental to Gladly’s customer service experience. Check out the following holiday tips and tricks to get the most out of your help center.
A single knowledge base that scales
1. Author once, publish everywhere
First and foremost, having consistent answers across every touchpoint is vital to having an excellent customer experience and a consistent brand tone of voice. Gladly’s Knowledge Base feature allows you to publish standardized answers across all channels (both internal for agents to reference and externally for your help center), and enables you to author questions once and publish them everywhere. That means what your customers see on your help center is the same information they hear if they call in to speak with an agent.
2. Formatting your answers
The way you format answers to frequently asked questions is crucial for readability. Shorter, pithier answers are easier for customers to scan and digest over long, verbose answers that might cause key information to get lost. For example, the way that Eddie Bauer formats their answers provides information in a clear, simple way, making it easy to quickly skim and find what you need.
3. Leveraging keyword groups
Gladly’s Knowledge Base also gives you the ability to create keyword groupings. Keyword groupings enable customers (and even agents) to find answers more quickly and successfully, even when they aren’t using exact language. For example, if your company sells shoes, “sneakers” may be a more common term for some of your customers. In a case where you’re not leveraging keyword groupings, results on sneakers might not appear. Aside from pure synonyms, for questions on “returns”, you might also want to serve information on how to “exchange” with the hope of a customer purchasing something else in its place. Keyword groupings ensure that customers spend less time searching for what they are looking for and get access to what they need more quickly.
4. Hierarchy of answers
It seems like a no-brainer to put the most critical questions at the top of your help center page, but it’s also helpful to highlight your most important categories of questions and put those at the top of the page. Having strategic categories listed in order of importance, with related questions listed in order of importance, helps customers find what they need without having to search for it.
If there are timely events that might impact your business, like a seasonal flash sale, you’ll want to rearrange your categories to ensure they aren’t lost in the rest of the information or placed at the bottom of your help center. This ensures that things that are top-of-mind for customers are easily found. Hoka One One does a great job of prioritizing what matters most — they even go the extra mile by ensuring the top three categories are front and center.
5. Always include a search bar
When your help center is full of tons of information — from returns to garment care and shipping policies — including a search bar is crucial for efficiency. Rather than scrolling through a long list of questions, customers can simply search for what they need. In addition, including double quotes (“”) around certain terms or phrases allows you to find content that includes all of those words (e.g., “dress,” “shrinking,” “wash,” “instructions”) or particular phrases (e.g., “washing instructions”).
6. Account for multiple languages and locales
If you’re a global brand with a global audience, it’s important to have your help center tailored to different languages and locales unique to your customers. In the case of Allbirds, their business spans across the US, New Zealand, Japan as well as France. Each region has a help center with answers that are specific to their language and locale. This global approach means that customers don’t have to translate information to their native language and provides an overall better experience for them when looking for help.
7. Prioritize SEO
Sometimes, SEO can be an afterthought when developing a content strategy. In most cases, it might not even be considered when creating content for your help center. Minor optimizations to your content can yield significant improvements for SEO. For example, changing the URL structure to include answer titles could maximize search results. Rather than the URL structure ending with /5362059 you should change it to /what-is-your-return-policy. In addition, including some of your FAQ content on your homepage can also help improve SEO overall.
Customers of ours have seen a +1,500% increase in Ranking Keywords since implementing these SEO improvements
8. Make sure your help center is easily accessible
Now that we’ve touched on a few strategies surrounding optimizing help center content, where you place your help center on your website is essential as well. Aside from linking your help center clearly and conspicuously, such as your navigation or main menu, including another link above your contact information (like your business hours and phone number) will help prioritize self-service. If a customer didn’t initially see your help center page, it’s one last effort to get them to help themselves before initiating an inbound call.
9. Optimize for mobile
Make sure that the design and functionality of your help center on mobile will be just as great as it is on desktop to support the surges in customer traffic.
While we aren’t recommending a “mobile-first” strategy, it’s important to not forget about mobile when building or optimizing your help center from a content and aesthetic standpoint.
10. Continuously monitor search performance
The last important piece of the puzzle is to test and retest your help center’s search performance. Periodically reviewing your search performance reports will help you find opportunities to improve your help center, such as adding missing answers or keywords for top search phrases.
Holiday Tips and Tricks That Will Serve You Year-Round
A strong and well-thought-out help center will help customers find information, keep them happy and reduce inbound requests to your contact center. With Gladly, not only does the content that customers see in your help center power other self-service opportunities, like on chat, but it also powers the same content that agents can reference when helping your customers on other channels. For more holiday tips and tricks, sign up for Gladly’s community newsletter.