21/03/2023

14 min

16 Customer Service Content Types: Which Format or Type to Choose?

đź’ˇ TL;DR: We list all the different content types and formats you can create to help your SaaS customers. These types encompass all aspects of customer care: customer support, service, and success. The article also lists the main considerations for making the right choice, which are:

  • Customer channel preferences and accessibility
  • Complexity and nature of the issue
  • Urgency of the issue
  • Your support and service setup
  • Regulatory compliance and data protection

You can also download a cheat sheet with an overview of different customer service content types and where they’re applicable.


customer service content types and formats header image

Which customer service content types work best? How do you choose the right formats for customer support content for the situation at hand?

As you’ll see, there are plenty of customer service content formats to choose from. Ultimately, they fulfill different purposes and help in different situations. To ensure excellent customer service, you must pick the most effective one.  

So to help you narrow down, we examined 17 different types and formats for service and support content. We also made sure to include plenty of examples so that you can draw inspiration for your own support content.

SKIP STRAIGHT TO THE SECTION: How to Decide Which Content Type to Choose?

CTA download sheet with content types overview and considerations

Let’s start with the most common types of content for customer service.

FAQs

Instead of letting your customer service teams answer the same questions over and over again, create a prominent FAQ section. It will reduce the problem-solving time for customers and your support workers alike.

Here’s how Ahrefs, one of the best SEO tools on the market, structures their FAQs.

To simplify navigation, Ahrefs has a dedicated FAQ section for each different feature of their product.

ahrefs faq section
Source: Ahrefs

This type of organization works great for Ahrefs. It’s a versatile tool, and jamming all Q&As would probably overwhelm new users. 

However, if you carefully plan and organize your content, it prevents confusion and quickly guides users to an answer.

Knowledge Base

Knowledge bases are the most comprehensive way to organize all content related to a product or service. That way, all information is within reach for the customers in a single spot.

To make your knowledge base extra helpful, supercharge it with a search function for easier navigation. 

Check out how Crisp did it in the example below:

crisp knowledge base
Source: Crisp

The search yields a ton of helpful results, like step-by-step instructions, videos, and FAQs. Users can learn all about Crisp’s features at their own pace and convenience.

Needless to say, a knowledge base also eases the pressure on your customer support agents. Crisp noticed a 40% decrease in customer support requests after releasing their knowledge base!

Glossary 

In jargon-heavy industries, a glossary helps users understand the specific language around the product or service. 

However, you want to make sure your glossary is easily searchable and provides explicit definitions and examples.

One of our favorite glossary examples is this one from Webflow.

Webflow is a no-code website builder for non-experts in the field of web design and coding. As such, advanced coding or design terminology might confuse them.

webflow user glossary
Source: Webflow

But if users run into unknown terms while building their website, Webflow has their back. Users will search the glossary to find the meaning of a word and get back to building quickly. Nifty!

Troubleshooting Pages

When there’s a problem with your product, your users are losing time and money. Forcing them to write emails, wait for a reply, or endure long phone hold times just adds salt to the insult. 

With dedicated troubleshooting guides, users can quickly diagnose and resolve issues on their own. This prevents lots of friction and minimizes the number of tickets customer service teams receive.

Quick and concise troubleshooting resources shorten the resolution time and boost the user’s confidence. Just make sure to keep the language short and simple.

See how simply Canva formulates a user problem using straightforward language:

canva troubleshooting pages
Source: Canva

Canva makes it easy for users to sift through various potentially problematic topics, but the user can also submit a detailed ticket if none of the offered articles help. 

Blog Articles

A SaaS blog or article hub is probably a considerable part of your content marketing strategy. So why not use it to also provide service to your customers? 

For instance, you can write about new features or educate users on alternative ways to use your product. 

Check out this article from Wistia, a video marketing SaaS platform:

wistia educational article
Source: Wistia

After releasing a new editing feature, Wistia published this article to teach users how to improve their videos using the new feature.

So, if you think your blog is only good for padding your SEO strategy or sharing company news, think again. 

Blog posts can address and resolve common obstacles users encounter while using your product. It can also accelerate new feature adoption by showing the value and benefits to the user.

Communities and Forums 

A brand community or forum is a convenient place for users to connect with each other and with your support team. 

Users can share experiences, get assistance, and give feedback without the background noise typical of general forums.

using online communities for support purpose

User-generated content aside, your support team can also use the platform to address common concerns and issues publicly and transparently. 

Atlassian, the leading provider of collaboration tools, has created such an environment for its users.

atlassian community
Source: Atlassian

The Atlassian community is an excellent place for users to exchange best practices with peers and professionals. 

Atlassian also uses the platform to publish engaging and helpful content created by the company. You’ll find update notes, useful articles, event announcements, and much more.

eBooks

Ebooks are a common type of content used in lead generation. But they’re not just useful to move customers through the sales funnel. You can also create ebooks as manuals on best practices and similar service topics to help your customers.

eBooks can also cover industry or market circumstances that affect how customers use your product. 

We’ve found an ebook that helps Dixa, a customer service platform, deflect user churn even before they purchase the product.

example of ebook from dixa
Source: Dixa

Chatbots are part of Dixa’s offering, but they understand that chatbot benefits and ROI vary from case to case.

Hence, the ebook addresses questions such as whether you even need a chatbot and how you would measure its success.

This way, Dixa helps users make an educated purchasing decision. It also prevents dissatisfaction and churn once the user realizes a chatbot is not a practical addition to their business.

Checklists

Checklists ease the mental load and simplify things. Following a checklist ensures you miss no vital steps and that you meet all key criteria. 

SaaS users can find checklists useful in many scenarios, for instance, when migrating data or setting up multiple user accounts.

Let’s say you need to choose a CRM that meets the right requirements for your business. Here’s a helpful checklist from Pipeliner, a CRM provider, that also doubles as a lead magnet:

example of checklist from pipeliner
Source: Pipeliner

Checklists are also handy during diagnostics; they help customers identify and resolve issues in a structured way. This reduces the frequency and severity of client complaints and errors.

Case Studies

Case studies reflect a real-life problem and the path to a solution featuring your product. They can show a potential user that your product does, in fact, deliver what you promise.

To exemplify, check out the case study descriptions from Semrush.

semrush case studies
Source: Semrush

These case studies spotlight very specific types of businesses, such as “UK family eCommerce”, or “Italian fashion eCommerce”.

Other similar businesses can use these studies to overcome similar real-life, niche-specific problems.

Video Tutorials

Videos are probably the most versatile of all the customer support content types we list in this article.

We’ll focus on video tutorials because they are hands down the preferred format for customers when looking for instructions.

video instructions and tutorials statistics

Video tutorials are a user-friendly way to address common support topics. Visual instructions help break down complex concepts and improve information retention. 

For service teams, this reduces the handling and response times for complex setups or issue resolution.

For inspiration, check out Buffer’s help center videos. They answer very specific questions in bite-sized videos that are rarely longer than five minutes.

Source: YouTube

Buffer publishes the videos on their YouTube channel, but you also find these videos in relevant knowledge base sections.

Video content should be top of mind once you start creating service and support content. Users can quickly find and follow instructions to complete a task. And you can reuse videos for knowledge bases, social media, or other customer support purposes.

Courses

Every new SaaS product entails a learning curve for the user. So to simplify learning and shorten the time to results, you can create courses.

Courses educate users on how to use your product in a structured and formalized way. This benefits your bottom line through higher customer satisfaction, lower support costs, and overall more revenue.

statistics about courses and customer education programs

Courses teach users how to use your product, but they do more than just show users which buttons to click.

Sometimes, users need other skills and knowledge to benefit from the tool. That’s where you can employ courses most effectively.

Take a hint from HubSpot. It’s a CRM with a host of different hubs that you can use separately, but it works best when all these hubs are used in connection.

So HubSpot created courses around topics related to its main hubs. This way, they upskill users and empower them to adopt and use other hubs as well.

hubspot courses
Source: HubSpot

It’s a smart lead generation and upselling strategy, but there’s no denying that courses are also one of the most valuable formats for customer service content.

In the end, they help customers get more value out of the tool and work more efficiently and productively. That’s what good service and support are all about.

Webinars

Webinars are a more direct, hands-on way to interact with and engage your audience than prerecorded tutorials or courses. 

You can use webinars to train users on new features, walk them through best practices, address common roadblocks, etc. But one of the most powerful aspects of webinars is the Q&A session.

q&a sessions statistics

Customers appreciate the opportunity to exchange feedback and address concerns firsthand. Moreover, they benefit from networking with successful peers and learning from them.

monday.com often features VIP users and champions in their webinars, like some of those pictured below:

monday webinars examples
Source: monday.com

Such webinars provide tremendous value because they help users get the most out of your product.

Ultimately, the satisfaction and ROI users see will help you generate more customer loyalty.

Social Media Support Content Types

Customer support and customer service are essential parts of brand social media accounts nowadays. Resolving a customer inquiry via social media can be significantly cheaper than, say, resolution via a call center agent.

You can use a whole range of content formats on various social media channels: images, reels, surveys, live streaming—whatever you find most effective for the platform and target audience.

A common challenge is aligning marketing staff (who handle the brand account) and customer support teams (who are better equipped to resolve product-specific issues). 

That’s why more and more brands, like Adobe, dedicate separate social media accounts to assisting customers .

adobe twitter customer support
Source: Twitter

Your social media content serves both types of customer service: reactive (responding to issues) and proactive, e.g., announcing downtimes, patches, or updates.  

Let’s talk a bit more about proactive support in the next section.

Email Support

Email remains one of the most popular and effective communication channels for companies to respond to customer inquiries. 

Email support is very cost-efficient. Besides, you can automate almost everything, which is super practical for proactive support and service. 

proactive customer support

Proactive support means you anticipate a problem for the customer and alert them in advance.

For instance, warn customers of upcoming outages, remind them to update a critical feature, or renew billing information before their card bounces.

canva subscription renewal email

If you can expect and predict a disruptive situation, why wait and frustrate your customers? An email address is the bare minimum of contact details you have, so reach out beforehand. 

The investment is minimal in comparison to the customer experience you’ll provide.

Podcasts 

Podcasts are a great content type to build trust, thought leadership, and authority on a subject.

They help existing and potential customers better understand what you do. But more than just being instructional, customers expect podcasts to be entertaining or inspiring.

One such podcast is the “ How to Win” podcast by Peep Laja. Among other companies, Laja founded Wynter, a B2B message testing service.

Laja invites successful B2B SaaS founders to discuss how they set themselves apart. Sometimes it’s simply having a great product; other times, it’s strategy or some third factor. 

No matter how good your tool or service is, other things in the business need to align for success.

There’s a bigger picture your users need to be aware of to succeed in the industry. And your podcast can help them navigate the landscape with more ease.

Interactive Content

Interactive content types like quizzes, surveys, or calculators demand participation from the reader. They help your users experience parts of the product first-hand, or engage with it otherwise.

Content that consumers interact with boosts enjoyment. At the same time, interactive content can provide assistance and advice.

Here’s an example from Ceros, a cloud-based design platform for creating interactive content.

ceros interactive ebook
Source: Ceros

In this mini guide, Ceros demonstrates different interactive content types users can create for their marketing campaigns.

In addition, it answers the user’s question about what Ceros does, how it does it, and how to leverage the final product for marketing success. All that while seamlessly immersing the user in the product.

Fun and helpful—what’s not to like? 

Crafting Your Unique Blend of Customer Service Content Types

Now you’re probably wondering how to pick the most effective customer service content types for your business and customers.

You don’t need to go all in and check off every item on this list. Instead, here are some considerations for picking the right mix of support and service content types.

Customer Preferences

Most customers prefer self-service options, while others prefer phone contact or texting you for support. That’s why it’s important to vary your content types. 

Also, variety helps to improve the accessibility of your content. You don’t want to exclude users with disabilities. Provide alternative formats, such as text transcripts for videos or screen reader-friendly text.

Finally, as a SaaS provider, you might have customers from around the world.

Consider cultural nuances that impact the choice of content format (e.g., access to certain social media) or language barriers. For instance, a video tutorial might be easier to follow than a text-based piece of content.

how to choose the right content type or format for support and service content

Issue Complexity

The content type should align with the complexity of the issue. For simple inquiries, FAQs or chatbots are enough, while complex technical issues will require detailed documentation or live support.

Similarly, more complex products or services require more extensive documentation or in-depth tutorials. Consider what sorts of information customers need to use your product effectively at every stage.

Response Urgency

When creating content, think about how fast the customer needs a solution. Live chat support or phone support enables quicker responses for urgent issues. Users can handle less time-sensitive matters through email or self-service content. 

Your Support Infrastructure

Some types or formats (e.g., live human chat support) are harder to scale as your customer base grows. With some solutions, like chatbots and knowledge bases, you can handle larger volumes without a linear increase in costs.

Choose formats and types for which you have the technical conditions to maintain. For example, if you create a lot of video tutorials, make sure you can produce them at high quality and have the means to host them.

Different formats also require a different skill set from your support team. Consider which formats your support team can confidently create and maintain (e.g., moderating a community or producing video tutorials).

Regulatory Compliance and Data Protection

Stay compliant with relevant laws and regulations. Choose non-public channels for account-sensitive support. For instance, don’t ask users to publicly share data like billing or credentials when providing support on social media.

Whew—that’s a lot! But to keep loyal, long-lasting subscribers, you need to keep your customers happy. 

At the same time, you want to offer the highest quality service without overwhelming support teams.

Choosing the right approach for support content is a balancing act. You’ll have to consistently track and measure your content’s effectiveness to ensure great customer service—but the efforts will pay off multifold.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:


Are you in doubt about where and how to distribute your content efforts?

Content can fortify many facets of your business, from customer service to employer branding. But picking the right content to achieve your goals can be overwhelming at times.

We’re here to help you see through the challenges and prioritize content that supports real growth, not just vanity metrics.

Reserve your spot and let’s talk 👇

About The Author

Hi, I’m Ivana Maric Dugalic!

CEO and co-founder of Acomplix, content aficionado, language nerd. Got my Masters in German and English translation, spent years in customer service, and honed the art and craft of content marketing.Now I help businesses use content to create meaningful connections and exceptional experiences for their customers.

Here’s how to reach me: