12 min

How to Improve Your Customer Support Content

Is your support inbox overflowing with requests? Are your phones ringing off the hook? Does it seem like users entirely bypass your FAQ pages or knowledge base?

Those are all telltale signs you’ve outgrown your customer service and support systems. It’s a common problem for companies that set up support and service documentation in the early days of business.

But your business has evolved since, and support content should evolve too.

Without regular updates, your support content stops doing its job. Your customers can’t find answers, and the support team has to deal with repetitive queries all day long.

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to level up your customer service strategy. 

We’ll show you eight tips to improve customer support content that won’t just save you time and money; they’ll also give your customer retention and satisfaction a healthy boost.

Adopt Your User’s Point of View

Let’s start this journey of improving customer support content right where the actual support begins: the customer.

From the moment the customer starts looking for support, you need to put yourself in their shoes. 

Rather than focusing on your product, your content should focus on what the customer is experiencing and how they describe it.

For instance, do you think that an actual customer would describe their issue as “password authentication failed”?

Probably not.

Instead, they’d simply say, “I can’t log in.

Look at some more examples of a misaligned point of view in customer support:

Location permissions disabledThe app isn’t showing my location
Invalid characters used in nameI can’t use non-English characters

Don’t worry; you can adopt this approach even if your product is complex.

The biggest SaaS companies, serving millions of users, have mastered effective communication in customer support by turning to the customer’s POV.

For instance, here’s how Microsoft practices the customer-centric approach.

example of customer support from microsoft: troubleshooting guide
Source: Microsoft

Now, how did Microsoft and other tech moguls achieve such a straightforward way to phrase the issues their customers might have?

You’ll be glad to know that you already have the answer at your fingertips. It’s in the support tickets you already received!

Clever, right?

Diving into support tickets shows you the authentic language customers use when describing their challenges.

apple customer support content example
Source: Apple

The tickets are your roadmap to the customers’ perspective and their language. But you can also collect customer feedback and conduct surveys or interviews to hear how customers describe the problems.

Apply that knowledge to your customer support, and you’ll be able to write support content from the customers’ POV and provide solutions that truly resonate with their experiences.

Simplify the Language

If you’ve ever read your credit card contract, you’ve noticed how complicated the language is. It almost seems like it intends to confuse rather than inform.

Well, support content should be the opposite of that.

8 tips to improve customer support content

You don’t want to confuse your customers, so you have to avoid the pitfall of “assumed knowledge” in your content. This happens when experts in a field craft content from an advanced knowledge standpoint but leave the average person feeling a bit lost.

So, just because your developers or product managers think the instructions in your support content are clear, that doesn’t mean customers will feel so too.

Luckily, you can clearly explain even convoluted processes. One of the best tips to improve your customer service content is to introduce basic concepts before diving into complexities.

For example, here’s how Atlassian describes the difference between two types of Data Center architectures.

example of customer support content from atlassian
Source: Atlassian

Atlassian doesn’t assume that its customers know what a cluster or node is. They provide explanations that anyone can understand.

As you can see, an illustration or two also does wonders to make complex topics more approachable. 

Self-service content isn’t the only area where simplified language is crucial for an excellent customer service experience. You should also apply the practice of respectful, customer-centric language to customer service interactions.

In fact, 65% of customers prefer a casual tone in customer service over a formal one. So, don’t hesitate to use a friendly and conversational style in your content, as long as it’s appropriate for your brand and context.

casual and friendly tone example in messages from support teams
Source: Help Scout

All in all, whether you’re creating new content or looking to improve what you already have, embrace the principles of simplicity, respect, clarity, and brevity in your customer support language.

These principles will help you provide great customer service in all areas, from live chat to help centers.

Personalize Your Support Content

There’s a saying that content made for everybody is content for nobody. In line with that, personalizing your service content is key to creating meaningful connections with customers.

Personalization isn’t just a buzzword in the world of customer service—customers expect it, too. According to McKinsey, 71% of customers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions.

personalization in customer support content statistic

And if you still think personalization is just an option, remember that 76 percent get frustrated when it’s not there.

So, for happy customers, start addressing them with their names instead of using generic salutations. 

You can do this in all places you provide customer support, such as live chat, social media interactions, and beyond.

customer support on twitter
Source: Twitter

Of course, you don’t have to wait for something to go wrong to start personalizing your interactions.

Proactive personalization can also lead to stronger customer relationships.

For instance, you can send personalized thank-you messages after a successful onboarding process.

Or, you can provide tailored feature recommendations based on a customer’s specific needs and usage patterns, which makes them feel like you take good care of them.

personalization in support content example from notion
Source: Notion

However, be careful not to overdo it.

Especially in proactive service and support, where there are plenty of personalization opportunities, you have to think from the user’s perspective: “Why am I seeing this right now?

So, don’t bombard the customers with too many messages, no matter how relevant they are. Also, don’t use customers’ personal data without their consent.

At the end of the day, personalization serves to enhance the customer experience, not invade it.

Optimize Content for Fast Solution Times

When customers seek support, they value speed and convenience. The shorter it takes to get an answer, the better. 

Therefore, you should optimize your content presentation for fast solution times.

You can start by prominently linking to your FAQs, guides, and troubleshooting resources that customers use a lot.

Using a hub-and-spoke model to organize your content into central topics and related subtopics helps a lot to improve the user experience as well as SEO.

hup and spoke model for support content organization
Source: NN/g

To see what this looks like in practice, take a look below.

Here’s a screenshot from Figma’s resource center, where central troubleshooting points link to more specific materials.

content example from figma
Source: Figma

That way, customers can quickly find the information they need without browsing through multiple pages.

And since saving customers’ time is a priority, it’s also a good idea to opt for a checklist format to present your information logically and systematically.

This approach simplifies complex or lengthy instructions by breaking them into manageable steps. Additionally, it allows customers to quickly scan the text.

support content from revolut
Source: Revolut

Aside from customer-facing content, don’t forget about content used by chatbots, your customer service agents, or social media responses.

To ensure consistent and efficient responses across channels, you can prepare a template for each recurring customer issue or question.

These templates should be clear, friendly, and provide actionable steps or solutions for the customers.

Lastly, remember that the search field is your best friend.

Sometimes, customers may not find what they need in your predefined categories or menus.

A search function can help them quickly find relevant content on your website, especially if you complement it with suggested queries to guide users to the best results.

This often gets pushed to the backburner; however, customer service content statistics show that the search functionality is one of the most common complaints users have when accessing support content.

Improve Content Formatting

Back in 2006, the Nielsen Norman Group found that people scan websites in the shape of the letter F.

In other words, the parts of content that receive the most attention are the first few lines of text on a page and the first few words on the left of each line of text.

eye tracking heatmap: f-reading pattern

Source: NN/g

Why are we mentioning this?

Well, the NN Group revisited the findings in 2017. Guess what changed over these 11 years?

Absolutely nothing!

People still only scan parts of content, and that includes text on both mobile and desktop devices.

Knowing this, another step in your customer service content strategy should be to format your content in a user-friendly way.

This will make more sense if you first know what to avoid. For example, take this entry from the Visual Studio Code FAQs.

You don’t need to be an expert programmer; we’ll just look at the structure.

example of support content format that's not scanable
Source: VS Code

As you can see, there are several blocks of text. Despite bolding and highlighting certain phrases, it’s still difficult to scan the text.

Let’s compare that to a similar how-to entry from Unity’s help pages. See how clean it looks!

example of easily scanable support content formatting
Source: Unity

And, yes, the text follows the shape of the letter F.

In addition to breaking down content into short paragraphs, bullet points, and subheadings, it’s also helpful to use whitespace to avoid clutter.

The font choice is important as well. 

You’ll ensure a good customer service experience if you select legible fonts and sizes, maximizing your content’s readability. Bonus points if it makes your content more accessible for people with various impairments, too.

Sorry, cool Gothic fonts, we’ll see you in Instagram bios!

Add More Visual Elements

Now that we’ve stepped into design territory, let’s address another important tip for improving customer service content. Hint: it involves the power of visuals.

Visuals are not only appealing. They also help you convey information more effectively.

For instance, step-by-step guides are much easier to follow if you complement important steps with screenshots, gifs, or diagrams that demonstrate the action the user needs to take.

anottations in discord support content
Source: Discord

If you’re using screenshots, remember to annotate or highlight the important parts.

Attaching a screenshot of the entire screen could confuse customers, so it’s better to draw their attention to the relevant part. No need for a Photoshop certificate—a simple red square or an arrow will do.

Bear in mind that most people prefer watching videos when looking for instructions.

So, if it makes sense within the context of your product or service, use video tutorials like this one from Usetiful to enhance user understanding and engagement.

However, there’s more to visuals than the images you insert into the instructions.

You can also use icons or illustrations to represent different parts of your customer service center. Icons are simple, universal, and they help users navigate through your content more easily.

For example, everyone understands that a magnifying glass means a search function and an envelope icon stands for email or contact. Can you spot some more examples in Google Translate’s help center?

example from google translate with plenty of icons (search, group, menu)
Source: Google Translate

A single screenshot contains at least six icons.

You can see the hamburger button that reveals the main menu, a magnifying glass that lets you search for anything, an icon that represents the community forum, and a moon-shaped icon that activates the dark mode, to name a few.

All in all, whether your digital product is media-rich or mostly text-based, you can still make its service content better by showing, not telling, customers what to do.

Make Your Customer Support Content Interactive

Interactivity is the ability of the content to respond to user input or actions, such as clicks, taps, or scrolls.

A significant benefit of interactivity is that it simplifies the use and navigation of your content. You can use any of the following clickable elements to help users access information more easily:

  • Buttons
  • Links
  • Calculators
  • Simple diagnostic tools
  • Collapsible sections
  • Sliders and accordions
  • Interactive diagrams

Still, there’s a quality to interactivity that often goes unmentioned. Interactive content is also fun.

As you can probably relate, people (us included) will try to tap on anything that looks like a button. 

For instance, when looking for instructions on adding files in Slack, we weren’t necessarily looking for information about recording clips.

But there was a clickable tab leading to the topic right next to the Add files tab. Do you think we clicked it?

example from slack clickable tabs and elements
Source: Slack

You bet we did.

Now, not every piece of information that customers stumble upon is inherently vital or helpful; just see our example above. 

Still, interactivity makes content more engaging for your users, which contributes to better customer satisfaction, success, and overall experience.

Get Support Representatives Involved

We’ll finish the article with a vital tip that will help you create superior customer support content: include your customer service team members in the content creation process.

After all, service and support representatives have direct experience with customers. Arguably, no one in your company knows more about how customers feel and what they want than the service reps.

Your representatives also know what customers frequently ask and how to break down information for users. 

Most importantly, they know what questions to ask to uncover the underlying issue when the customer only says “It’s not working”.

So, let your representatives take a few hours a week away from the phone to actively contribute to your content creation process. You’ll tap into a wealth of customer insights and expertise.

Assigning representatives from calls to other projects is precisely what the PM software company Basecamp did. This unconventional move greatly improved their customer service quality.

screenshot of basecamp support page
Source: Basecamp

Inviting the support representatives to analyze data, collect research, and identify patterns isn’t only beneficial to the support content itself.

Basecamp noticed that reps became happier and less stressed. In turn, they could provide better support to customers.

So don’t overlook the potential of your service representatives. Instead, empower them to actively participate if you want to truly improve customer support content, not just refresh it. It’s a win-win for both your reps and the customers.

Start Creating Better Customer Support Content Today

Now that you’ve gone through all eight tips, can you tell what they have in common?

If you guessed customer focus, you’re right. Each tip is heavily focused on enhancing usability, utility, and empathy—all qualities that elevate the customer experience from okayish to solid. 

However, if you’re looking to bring your service content from solid to excellent, we’re here to lend our expertise and experience. 

We worked in customer support for years—you can bet customer focus is second nature to us.

customer service content guide cta

Ready to stop driving users away because of poor support? Reach out and we’ll assess your content, conduct an audit, and create a customized plan to improve your content’s quality, usability, and effectiveness. 

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: