CRM Tips: How to Create an Effective Help Documentation for Users

Companies are experts when it comes to developing ground breaking technologies. But when it comes to educating the users on the basics, they stumble around blindfolded. In-house experts never spent enough time to draft help guides, resulting into content being inconsistent and often, repetitive. Searches (used most by users) are usually cluttered and to put it mildly, very slow.

Don't let the successful implementation of your CRM solutions deflect attention on the need to provide up-to-date knowledge for user onboarding. Documentation is a perfect way to set up your team and customers for business success.

The main aim of documentation is to solve the problems and help clients get what they need. People usually have a set of principles to how they like things presented to them. Once people have chosen to use your documentation, it should provide what they need. No one likes to set up a call center that receives disruptive and recurring concerns from clients who do not understand what to do. It is, therefore, better to create an effective help documentation that can solve all the problems, along with self service portal, of course. It is a way of reducing workloads and time consumption. 

Below are the different ways you can create an great help documentation

1. Conduct an extensive research
You need to dig deeper to find out what your customer need and require help with. It may include the frequently asked questions. Try to focus on such topics and give a detailed explanation. This way, you make your documentation helpful to your target users.

2. Provide clear steps to each problem
Before creating any help documentation, you should think of it as a lesson. Your intention of documentation is to help all users understand what to do. Step by step instructions should be provided in a clear way. For example, creating rule engines in your CRM should be properly documented along with screenshots.

You do not want to end up with information clutter. So, provide a separate section for all your topics or steps. You can use hyperlinks or even appendix. Try putting yourself in the shoes of the end user. Do not assume that the end user understands everything in a bid to avoid certain steps. The help documentation should aid the user read and understand how to use it.

3. Clarify everything
The help documentation should be detailed enough to allow new users understand what it is trying to do. It is not wrong to over-communicate but at least teach everyone what they need to need know. Do not assume that the users understand everything you are saying. If you use an acronym, make sure to clarify what it stands for. 

Pepper with examples. For example, write how a certain CRM tool can aid the business user (sales CRM), preferably in a story format. You do not want to end up confusing the users with terminologies they are unfamiliar with. Write as if the target markets are users with basic computer knowledge. Use of examples will make your clients grasp the information better.

4. Utilize multimedia 

Your documentation should not be oriented in writings only. Try out other ways that can grab the attention of users other than just texts. Pictures are good ways of showing what you are explaining. It can be a graphic interchange format [GIF] or any other form of imaging.  Experiment with infographics. 

The addition of step by step videos can help reduce the complexity of your help documentation. Other types of visual elements that can be added include tables, diagrams, and many others.

5. Make use of new tools

The format in which your document appears is important. It is crucial that you employ new updated software that will make it easier to create an internal system of documentation. This way, you can share information on other related documents as you create the new help document. Most of the new documentation tools come with robust compatibility capabilities. It is one way of ensuring that no important points or topics are left out due to legacy issues. You should look to look to build a DMS platform  that adapts quickly. 

6. Make it collaborative
Anyone should be able to suggest changes, whether they be internal teams or customer. Using a collaborative CRM platform is advised. When a new functionality or feature is released, make it known in the help system. Collaboration will help in improved categorization and navigation. It will have the bonus of quick answers to troublesome issues.

A great help resource base, particularly in CRM solutions, is robust, faster and just plain more helpful than previous basic document management systems. The end result is a focused knowledge base that meets the needs of your end users.