How to Write an Effective Support Article

by | Sep 10, 2021

With the sheer amount of information on the internet, customers now fully expect to have access to helpful content that will explain the product or service they’re spending money on. In other words, they want to find at least one educational support article that will guide them through the use of new products and services. Having a knowledge base full of quality content centering on what you sell is a good idea. But let’s face it—It’s hard to get started writing knowledge base articles if you’re not used to providing this kind of content. That’s why we’re sharing the following knowledge base article best practices with you.

Understand the user’s pain points.

The best way to write a helpful knowledge base article is to make sure you truly understand the problems you’re trying to solve. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a document that sounds nice but doesn’t answer any of the customer’s questions. So, as you’re writing knowledge base articles, always keep the pain points in mind.

Make sure that you understand the full process of the support request before you start writing. And once you do, remember to only write about the features and how to use them, rather than spending time highlighting the benefits. The readers already bought the product or service, so you don’t need to sell them on why they need it—and you don’t need to sell them upgrades right now. Instead, focus on ensuring they know how to use the features they need to solve their problems.

Write for the average user.

While writing knowledge base articles, remember that the customers don’t typically know as much about the product or service as you do. That means there may be some processes you think the customers understand, but they might not, which is why you should explain everything without skimming over the details.

You should also be writing knowledge base articles in a tone that supports the end-user. Show empathy for their pain points as you write, reassuring them whenever you can and letting them know you realize when a process is confusing. Similarly, when you write a support article, you should talk like your user talks to better relate to the content. Look at reviews and posts on your help desk to get an idea of words and phrases customers use to discuss the product or service. Then work those into your content to increase its appeal to readers.

Provide different learning methods.

Everyone learns differently, and each knowledge base article you write needs to reflect that. Some people are visual learners, and you accommodate them by including pictures and videos in your knowledge base content. Others would rather read and therefore appreciate written content.

Just make sure you keep that written content easily scannable. Visual learners and avid readers alike will shy away from big blocks of text, so break up your content with subheadings, bullet points, tables, and pictures. And keep sentences and paragraphs short and actionable when writing knowledge base articles.

The last of the knowledge base best practices to consider is interlinking. Make sure everything you state in each support article has a comprehensive explanation or provides further opportunities to learn through links. For example, link to more in-depth articles if you’re discussing a complex process that deserves more time and attention than you can give in a single support article.

Essentially, your content should not have any dead ends. If something isn’t fully explained in the article, you should make it easy for readers to learn more by clicking a link to another support article. You don’t want your readers to have questions when they’re done reading your support article. You want them to feel armed with the knowledge they need to use your product or service to make their lives easier.

Let Capacity’s Articles help you.

Now that you know some knowledge base article best practices consider making this job even easier by using Capacity to publish support content seamlessly. When you use Capacity Console, you’ll have access to Articles, a self-service support publishing platform. Through Articles, you get the ability to build and publish your collection of knowledge base articles within days, even scheduling articles to go live on a certain day based on your needs.

Another benefit of this option is that the Articles component works seamlessly in the Capacity ecosystem, meaning all your support tools are easily integrated on the same platform rather than being siloed.