You’re probably thinking, “Google’s just a search engine. It can’t be stealing my traffic. I’m ranked really high in a Google search.” Well, you might well be wrong. When users can’t find answers to their questions on a company’s support site, they will often turn to Google instead. If they do find what they’re looking for there, they may well never to return to your own product help. In fact, I’ve done this myself. I’ve even gone so far as to think that I can’t possibly find useful product documentation on a company’s actual site.
So How Do You Keep Your Customers on YOUR Site?
The answer is simple. Make your help documentation social, collaborative, and engaging. Instead of just providing information about your products, turn product documentation into a social experience between your brand and the customer. Socially enabled help sites allow you to gain insight into the wants, needs, and expertise of your users and then leverage that to deliver the best support documentation possible. Moreover, social help sights can deepen the user’s engagement with your brand when they are enabled as collaborators. A collaborative user help center ensures that your documentation is accurate, up-to-date, useful and understood by the user; and where to improve documentation that falls short. Social help centers will also inform your product roadmap by making it possible to know your customers sense of product fulfillment.
For example, MindTouch TCS combines a Wiki-like editing structure with a powerful adaptive search tool that allows you to quickly publish and revise content in an environment users can find what they’re looking for quickly. MindTouch also fosters collaboration by allowing you to enable to contribute their own experiences and suggest their own edits as part of a moderated workflow. As a result, users not only have the power to take control of their support experience by editing the product help, but you also benefit from their experiences. You will have the opportunity to learn how they’re using the product and what they’re having issues with.
Create a Social Help Center
Social networking has completely changed the way that consumers think about the products they spend their time on. If consumers can’t engage with a product fully, if they feel disconnected and cut off from the rest of the user community, the resulting frustration and disappointment often pushes users to outside forums where answers are nested with product and brand complaints and poor reviews. Ultimately the result is often product abandonment. You can ensure that your users are fully engaged by providing them with tools, such as collaborative content authoring, customer feedback on documentation, adaptive search, self-organizing content, and more. Such tools make it easier for users to navigate through your product help. They will then tend to stay with your product rather than going to Google for their answers. Collaborative content authoring, as well as community ratings and feedback, establish a more social style for your support center. Users will feel welcomed and valued as part of your community.
Steal Your Customers Back From Google
The best way to keep your users away from Google is to give them everything they need right in one place. Provide them with an easier-to-navigate product help, as well as a social help center through which they can collaborate with you, and your product will stand out from the competition. You want to give customers more than just an application. Leverage your product documentation and give them a community that they will want to engage with.