Customer Support Help Desk Pages is a self-service method for the customer to resolve his or her own concern without having to chat with a customer service agent, call customer service, or email customer support.
Sometimes, self-help methods are not very helpful. But, one way to make them more helpful than they are is to apply the Five Whys (5 Whys).
5 Whys and Customer Support
Five Whys or Root Cause Analysis is a perfect complement and aid in writing customer support help pages. But, in actual implementation, there will be several steps that will be kept encapsulated or hidden from the customer because it’s added complexity that they don’t need to know about or care to know about. Also, rather than starting with a defect, the customer perspective will almost always begin with a question.
Here’s an example:
- Why does my Dell XPS 7100 Desktop unexpectedly crash, blue screen of death?
- Because graphics card driver that was updated recently is not compatible with the current Windows 7 sound driver. Why?
- …it doesn’t really matter, from the customer’s perspective.
- …they just want a solution. So,
- Update the Windows 7 Sound Driver to be compatible with the current updated graphics card driver.
Several steps in the root cause analysis are important for the content creators of customer support help pages, but the customer doesn’t need to know them or really care. Indeed, we must protect the customer from the unnecessary complexity.
But, the 5 Whys can be a good exercise to frame our thinking around the right structure for help pages.
A Case Study: NuDred Hair Twisting Device
I’m not black, but I have four kids that are. Caring for Black hair is a big deal and a lot of work. Recently, my wife bought NuDred, a Hair Twisting Device, thinking that it would make our kids’ hair look nice and allow my wife to do it in a shorter amount of time.
In the NuDred package we received, also came this checklist that illustrates what I share above:
What it says in customer support help pages language is:
- Why is there difficulty twisting?
- Because Hair is too damp
- Because Hair is not damp enough
- Because too much pressure with circular motion
- Because too little pressure with circular motion
- Hair too long (one inch maximum length for NuDred)
- Need new NuDred (your is worn)
Essentially, NuDred skipped the middle steps in the 5 Whys and jumped straight to the solution. But, this is appropriate, since the customer doesn’t want to be bombarded with information they don’t need or want. The customer just wants a solution.