4 Essential steps for creating consistent support content (and happy customers)

How many times have you searched a company’s support site, but their help info didn’t answer your question, or worse – the information you found lacks sufficient detail? Then, you call customer service and they confuse you by giving conflicting information. Now what to do?

Or what about ‘web-only’ offers? You know the deal – it’s a nice offer for a product or service, but it’s only available online. Only online support is available for this deal – that’s how the company can afford to make the offer, and how you can save money. The accompanying support content is still likely to be lacking. You’re going to have to call them up. Only this time the customer service representative doesn’t know anything about the offer – it’s an online only offer after all!

Consistent ContentWe’ve all come across these situations. As a knowledge management professional, how can you make sure your customers don’t face these type of experiences when dealing with your organization?

Create a strategy to sync online and offline content

Following these simple steps will ensure your support channels have the same information to keep your customers (potential or otherwise) from getting confused and frustrated.

Identify and engage your content sources

Your content sources will most likely be Marketing, Customer Service, and a Communications team, if you have one. Remember that your customer service support teams have a lead time to get their content ready and their reps informed. Engage them early so they can prepare for the content updates, and update them as new developments occur.

Secondly, if you frequently make last minute adjustments due to the competitive landscape, you’ll want to consider establishing a fast-track publishing process. Identify the team, or a dedicated person, who can support this process.

Understand your lead time

Find out how long it takes for content to be created, approved and published. Ensure that anyone in your organization who makes changes to products or services builds this lead time into the project plans. This will make sure launches don’t occur without sufficient support content.

Collaborate with content creators

Build the right team of people to create the support content, both for the internal methods and procedures your support teams use, and for your external-facing support content.

Now that you know who’s involved and how long it takes, what about synchronizing the content between online and customer service? Easy. You need to collaborate! Sure, the content has different audiences and different levels of detail, but if both teams collaborate on the content together you’ll ensure they communicate the same message consistently.

Partner with your secret weapon

There’s one thing that will elevate your support content ahead of your competitors – incorporating the voice of your frontline employees. Your customer service representatives talk with customers all day, every day. They’ll know, more than anybody else in your company, the questions customers will ask. Create content that answers those questions and you’ve cracked it.

Improve customer experiences through internal engagement

A robust content process is consistent across channels. It answers the real world questions your customers have – not just the marketing driven questions. It helps your customer service representatives feel their opinions and knowledge are valued. Those agents will go to their peers and evangelize the work they’ve been doing, and everyone who supports your product or service directly with the customer is fully engaged.

If you’ve optimized your content to align customer-facing support with internal support, your customers won’t have to call you. But if they do, they’ll still get the timely and accurate information they need.