What is a Help Center and the Tools You Can Use to Build One

11 min read
Apr 20, 2023
People working in the office

If you've ever tried to contact a customer service team, you know it can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience. You call, wait on hold, and get transferred multiple times before finally reaching someone to help you with your issue. But what if there was a way to get the answers you need without picking up the phone or waiting for the reply to your email?

Enter the help center. This centralized resource hub answers many of your customer service woes. It's a place where customers can find answers to common questions, troubleshoot issues, and get help with their queries without reaching out to customer support. And if you're a business owner, a help center can be a game-changer for your customer support operations.

Imagine a world where customers can access a comprehensive, self-service support system available 24/7. With a help center, that's exactly what you can offer them. No more long wait times or frustrating phone calls. Just fast and reliable self-service support that's always there when your customers need it.

Now that you know what a help center is, let’s go deeper.

Features of a good help center

When it comes to providing exceptional customer support, having a help center is a no-brainer. But it takes work to create a good one. To make your help desk stand out and provide the best experience for your customers, you must ensure it has all the necessary features.

We take a look at a few essential elements below.

User-friendly navigation

When designing the navigation of your help center, it's essential to keep it simple and intuitive. Make sure it is well-organized and easy to browse. One way to achieve this is by creating categories or sections that group similar articles or topics.

For instance, if you run an ecommerce store, you could create categories such as "Shipping and Delivery," "Returns and Refunds," "Product Information," and so on. This lets your customers easily find the information they want without sifting through irrelevant articles or pages.

Search functionality

To provide effective search functionality, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Firstly, make sure your search bar is prominently displayed on your help center's homepage, and use clear and concise language to indicate what customers can search for.

For instance, if you run a SaaS business, you could use a search bar that says "Search our knowledge base" or "Find answers to your questions." This will make it clear to your customers that they can use the search bar to find the necessary information.

Secondly, you must ensure that your knowledge base search results are accurate and relevant. Use accurate keywords and phrases throughout your content to make the search and self-service help center's results helpful.

Finally, you can use analytics to track which search terms are used most frequently and which results are clicked on.

Categorization and organization

Categorization and organization are critical features of a help center. They help customers find the information they need quickly and easily, leading to higher customer satisfaction. They can also help your customer support team by reducing the number of received support tickets.

There are a few things to bear in mind for this part. Firstly, make sure your helpdesk is well organized and easy to browse. Secondly, don't forget the message, which should be as clear and straightforward as possible. This will help customers understand what they can find in each section and ensure they can easily find the information they need.

Then regularly review and update your categorization and organization to ensure your help center is always relevant. This can help you identify gaps in your help center content and improve the user experience. Here you can learn more about knowledge management.

Effective help center content

One of the most important contents to include in your help center is frequently asked questions (FAQs). It allows customers to quickly find answers to common questions without submitting a support ticket. Keep your FAQs up-to-date to ensure they remain helpful.

Another important type of content to include is product documentation. This can include user manuals, guides, and tutorials that provide step-by-step instructions for using your product.

Video tutorials are also becoming increasingly popular in providing helpful content to customers. It can be engaging and informative, giving customers a visual demonstration of how to use your product.

When creating content for your help center, use clear and concise language that's easy to understand. Avoid using technical jargon or complex terminology that may be confusing.

Best practices for creating a help center

Designing an effective help center can be a challenge. That's why it's important to follow best practices when creating user-friendly, informative, and relevant help centers.

Analyzing customer support tickets

Analyzing tickets is important in creating an effective help center.

By examining customer issues and their questions, you can identify areas where your help center can be improved. You can use one of these methods:

Conducting user research

One way to conduct user research is to send surveys to your customer base. These can help you understand how customers use your product, their pain points, and how they prefer to receive support.

Another way is to analyze customer feedback. This can include reviews, ratings, and comments on your website or social media channels. By paying attention to what customers say, you can identify areas where your help center may fall short and create content to address these issues.

Finally, you can observe how customers interact with your product or service. This can include conducting usability tests or monitoring customer behavior through analytics tools. By seeing how customers use your product or service in real-time, you can identify areas where additional support may be needed.

Creating comprehensive content

Here are some tips to help you create content that's informative, engaging, and easy to understand:

  1. Use plain language - Avoid technical jargon or industry-specific terms that customers may not understand.
  2. Provide visuals - Adding images, diagrams, or videos can help customers understand complex concepts or processes.
  3. Be concise - Customers don't want to read long, rambling explanations. Keep your content concise and to the point while still providing all the necessary information.
  4. Use headings and bullet points - Breaking up your content into sections with headings and bullet points can make scanning and finding the necessary information easier for customers.
  5. Cover all possible scenarios - Consider the different scenarios your customers might encounter and create content addressing each.
  6. Provide examples - It can help customers understand how to apply your information to their situation.

If you want to learn more, here's a guide about writing knowledge base articles.

Test before launch

Testing your help center before launching is crucial to ensure it meets your customers' needs. Be sure to check the following:

Following these steps ensures that your help center software is fully functional and meets your customers' needs before launching.

Examples of help center software

There are plenty of tools and platforms available to make the process of building a help center for your business as smooth as possible.

These tools can help you create a user-friendly and visually appealing help center to meet your customers' needs. The options are endless, from all-in-one, help-center front desk solutions to dedicated help desk builders.

Let's explore some of the examples.


Zendesk is one of the most popular help desk software solutions available. It offers a comprehensive suite of support tools to help businesses manage customer support needs. Some of the key features of Zendesk include the following:


Freshdesk is another popular help desk software solution. It offers a range of tools designed to help businesses manage customer support, including an extensive Help Center builder. Some of the key features of Freshdesk include:


KnowledgeBase is a knowledge base software that allows companies to set up a customer help center. It can be packed with media-rich help articles, product usage guides, troubleshooting tips, and answers to frequently asked questions. 

The tool is easy to use and allows fast knowledge management and content creation using rich text editors with images, videos, and GIFs. Apart from that, KnowledgeBase offers a variety of features, such as a customizable help center, search functionality, analytics, and AI features to ensure that businesses can create an effective help center that meets their customers' needs.

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Examples of good help centers

Below, I have compiled some companies that have intuitively designed their help center. This makes it user-friendly and allows you to find answers quickly.


Regarding user experience, Dropbox knows how to make it easy for its customers to find answers to their questions. Their help center is clean, modern, and easy to navigate. Right off the bat, you're greeted with a search bar, allowing you to find what you're looking for quickly. But even better than that, Dropbox uses machine learning to suggest articles relevant to your search query.

From video tutorials to written guides, Dropbox has something for everyone. They even offer a community forum where customers can ask questions and get help.

Lastly, Dropbox's help center is available in multiple languages, making it accessible to customers worldwide. This is especially important for a global company like Dropbox, which serves customers in many countries.


If you're a Slack user, the platform can sometimes be overwhelming. But luckily, their help center is there to guide you through it. Rather than relying solely on written instructions, Slack includes screenshots and videos to help users understand how to use certain features.

Another thing that makes Slack's help center great is its use of FAQs and a community forum where users can ask and answer questions.

Lastly, Slack's help center is well-organized and easy to navigate. Whether you're looking for basic information or more advanced features, Slack's help center has you covered. And if you need help finding what you're looking for, their customer service team is always available to help.


Shopify's help center is top shelf through its use of step-by-step guides. Whether you're setting up your store, managing your products, or fulfilling orders, Shopify's help center offers detailed instructions to guide you through the process.

They also offer various resources to help online store owners succeed. From marketing tips to design advice, Shopify's help center is a one-stop shop for everything related to running an online store.

Shopify's help center also includes videos, support articles, and podcasts to help users learn about different topics. This variety of content makes it easy for users to consume information in a way that works best for them.


Etsy is an online marketplace where individuals can buy and sell unique goods. With millions of users, providing top-notch customer support is crucial. That's where Etsy's help center comes in - it's an excellent resource for buyers and sellers and designed to the team's needs.

A great feature of Etsy's help center is its focus on education. Etsy understands that many of its sellers are small business owners who may need more experience in customer service. That's why their help center offers many resources, from basic tutorials to more advanced strategies.


Miro is a collaborative online whiteboard platform that enables teams to work together from anywhere in the world. With such a complex and versatile tool, users must have access to high-quality support. Fortunately, Miro has an excellent help center designed with the support team's needs in mind.

Miro's help center is exceptional because of its robust knowledge base. It is a treasure trove of information about the platform, including everything from basic tutorials to advanced features.

Another thing that makes Miro's help center different is its personalized support options. Users can submit a support ticket or chat directly with a customer support representative from the help center. This ensures that users can get the needed help and that their issues are resolved quickly and efficiently.


Creating a complete and well-developed help center is crucial for providing top-notch customer support.

Many alternatives exist to traditional help center software, including knowledge bases, chatbots, and customer support platforms. Each tool has unique features and pros and cons, and choosing the one that best suits your business support team's needs is important.

Remember, a well-designed help center can improve customer satisfaction and save time and resources for your support team. Keep exploring and experimenting to discover new ways to improve your help center and take your customer support team to the next level.