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How to build a help center from scratch

Main illustration: Kelly Carpenter

Great customer support is all about empowering your customers to find answers when they need them. Today, we’re releasing The Help Center Starter Kit to get you up and running.

If you want to take a person who has never played the piano and turn them into a virtuoso, how do you do it? You teach them. How does a newborn child learn the alphabet? You teach them. Software follows this principle too. If you want to turn a new user of your product into an expert, you have to teach them.

Personally assisting every single person who uses your product is beyond the resources of almost every software company. But what you can do is give them the learning material they need to turn themselves into experts. Teachers call this “scaffolding”. We call it a help center.

It’s designed to set your customers on the path to expertise.

A help center is the hidden workhouse behind the flashy product. It’s the humble text, videos and GIFs that give your customers the knowledge they need when they need it most, getting your customers unstuck from their immediate problems (“Where can I update my settings?” “How do I update my password”).

But FAQs alone aren’t going to inspire any new usage with your product. Your most impactful content, the content that turns trialing customers into paying, ones is enjoyable and motivational too. It’s designed to set your customers on the path to expertise.

Not only does a help center allow you to provide great customer service at scale, but the cost of this self-service model is much lower than every other channel of support. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at the numbers.

Our new starter kit outlines a complete strategy for building your help center from scratch, from choosing the right type of media, to writing your very first FAQs, all the way through to writing motivational best practice articles to level up your seasoned users. By the end of the guide, our hope is that you’ll be equipped to start creating a fully formed educational archive that’s accessible and practical. (And if you want to build it with Intercom Articles, all the better.)

Get it right, and you’ll be on your way to providing 24/7 help for your users while saving time and money, and relieving the pressure on your support team.

Ready to get started? Check out the guide now.