It's a challenge for support teams to keep up with ever-changing products. Keeping your team members trained is hard enough, let alone making sure your Zendesk help center is updated with the latest information.
But having an up-to-date and accurate help center is crucial for providing excellent customer support. It’s a foundational pillar for effective self-service and for scaling your business efficiently.
In this guide, we'll explore five strategies for managing your Zendesk help center to keep content updated, even when your product is in a constant state of flux.
1. Create a content management strategy
Keeping your Zendesk help center content current and relevant, requires a robust content management strategy. Your help center strategy should facilitate the creation, organization, and publication of your help center content.
With Zendesk, you’ve got a powerful platform that enables you to easily organize your content. Zendesk Guide includes some native capabilities that enable tracking updates and changes to your help center content, and you can supercharge those abilities through apps like Help Center Manager. The right tools make it simple for you to maintain a well-organized and up-to-date customer knowledge base.
Internal knowledge management: In addition to customer-facing content, you can also build robust internal resources like step-by-step guides, training materials, and more. Customizing permissions for your agents can ensure that your internal resources are kept secure and confidential, enabling your team to consistently provide excellent customer support.
Structured knowledge management: Categories are broader topics that sit at the top of the knowledge hierarchy, such as “Billing”. Break each category down into individual sections — within “Billing,” you might have Subscriptions, Payment Information and Cancellations. In each section, create individual articles to help customers. A structured approach makes it easier for customers to find answers and for your team to keep track of what articles need updating.
Versioning: Zendesk natively enables you to view and restore previous versions of your help center articles. This make is easy to see past changes and to keep track of what’s been updated (and when).
Audit and (quickly) improve: Help Center Manager makes it easy to audit your Zendesk help center articles and update them in bulk through features like find and replace (for finding outdated text), automatically identifying broken links, and managing images and videos within your articles.
Help Center Manager automatically detects broken links in your Zendesk help center
2. Get smart about the tools and apps you rely on
There are a variety of tools and platforms that can help you automate updating your help center content.
Zendesk provides tools that can automate repetitive tasks, such as article verification rules, or triggering notifications when changes are made.
One simple way to ensure that your Help Center is easy to navigate and that articles are easy to find is to add internal reference tags to each article. While adding these tags can be a manual process, it allows team members to quickly search the help center using tags or keywords to find relevant articles that require updating.
Another core Zendesk app to consider is the Knowledge Capture app. The Knowledge Capture app brings a bunch of benefits:
It provides instant access to the relevant help center content agents need to resolve a ticket, making their process way faster.
It searches and suggests articles based on the brand and language of the ticket.All the agent has to do is click once to link the article to their response.
It makes it easy for agents to flag articles they find that have grown inaccurate or outdated. This simple feature makes it far easier to keep your help center updated, because your whole team is able to participate.
3. Collaborate with your teams
Collaborating with teams across your organization is crucial to keeping your help center content updated.
Partnering with product development or engineering teams keeps the help center updated with product changes, bug fixes and new features.
The marketing team inputs information on past or current campaigns, promotions and brand messaging.
The sales team can provide insights on pre-customer questions and pain points to ensure the help center better addresses initial FAQs prior to signing up.
Plus, there are known benefits to a knowledge sharing work culture,where employees are encouraged and empowered to share their skills, expertise, and experiences with one another.
In this type of culture, information is freely shared across the organization and employees are encouraged to collaborate and learn from one another in order to achieve common goals. These companies are characterized by open communication, trust, and a focus on continuous learning and improvement. A knowledge sharing work culture is beneficial for organizations because it promotes innovation, increases efficiency, and helps to build a strong sense of community among employees.
An easy way to share ownership of knowledge within your customer service team is to implement Knowledge Centered Service (KCS) in Zendesk. KCS is a proven methodology that — when adopted correctly — shares the responsibility for creating and sharing knowledge across your entire team. Adopting KCS takes some time and a strategic approach, but the positive impact on business and your customers is well worth the effort.
Zendesk also makes it easy to allow the creation of support tickets from comments on a help center article.
By establishing rules to direct these tickets to specific agents or teams, you can involve your whole team in providing quick help while ensuring that comments are effectively moderated and tracked. You can also track trends and identify gaps in your help center that require improvement.
4. Make use of help center analytics
Zendesk's analytics tools provide valuable insights into the performance of your help center articles, helping you understand which articles are the most popular, which ones are being viewed frequently, and which ones may need to be updated.
If you use Zendesk Explore, you’ll have access to a separate pre-built help center dashboard that includes a variety of real time reporting. If you’re not using Explore, you’ll have access to help center analytics on your core Zendesk Support dashboard.
Zendesk’s native analytics are a good starting point, but many support leaders find themselves trying to hack together more detailed reporting using Google Analytics.
But there’s a better way: the Help Center Analytics app makes it easy to understand how users are engaging with your content and where you need to improve. Check it out by starting a free trial today.
As a baseline, I’d recommend tracking the number of views, clicks, and searches for each article, as well as the overall engagement rate for your Help Center. This information is essential for understanding what customers are looking for and what’s working well.
For example, if you see that an article is receiving a high number of views but a low number of clicks, it may be time to update the content or improve the article's design. On the other hand, if an article is consistently popular, you may want to consider creating additional articles on a similar topic to further help your customers.
5. Incorporate customer feedback
By taking the time to listen to your customers and understand their needs, you can make important changes to improve their experience. That’s true across the board, including when it comes to building and improving your help center.
Many companies allow commenting directly on help center articles as a means of gathering customer feedback. This allows your customers to voice their opinions, ask questions, and provide suggestions for improvements. It’s an unfiltered and unbiased look into where your customers are struggling and how you can help them better (just make sure you’ve got a process in place to follow up on those comments!).
And if for some reason you don’t want to allow comments within your help center, you can use the Help Center Analytics app to collect direct feedback on articles from visitors who found the article unhelpful. This feature adds a simple feedback form, allowing customers to share why they found the article unhelpful — so you know exactly what you can do to improve it. Customer feedback is collected and displayed directly in your Analytics dashboard, making it easy for you to consistently react and improve your Zendesk help center.
Help Center Analytics enables you to collect customer feedback on unhelpful articles, showing you exactly how you can make them better.
Constantly changing products require a constantly improving help center
An effective help center has a huge impact on your business: it reduces customer support requests, increases customer satisfaction, and ultimately drives better business outcomes.
Keeping your Zendesk help center content updated doesn’t have to be painful. With the right combination of careful planning, modern tooling, and smart processes, you can build an incredible help center, even when it feels like your product is moving at a million miles per hour.
If you’ve been struggling to keep your knowledge base up to date, start a free trial of Help Center Manager today. It’s the fastest and most effective way to understand where your Zendesk help center needs to improve and how to make it work better for your team and your customers.
Written by Jenny Dempsey
Jenny is a freelance contractor and consultant who assists businesses in enhancing their customer experience and community management. She co-founded Customer Service Life, a blog focused on service excellence and teaches a beginner customer service course on Udemy. She believes that customer service is just people helping people and strives to keep that at the forefront of everything she does.