We all know the business advantages of adopting an authoring functionality to help manage online help content, create and format content, and monitor and review content usage.
The payoff for business from an effective system comes in the form of productivity gains, cost efficiencies, and a skilled workforce.
One of the enduring keys for sustainable business success is to deliver exceptional customer service.
Help documentation is one of the unsung heroes of customer support as it is often the first point of contact for information about a product’s features, user manuals, schematics and similar FAQs.
Increasingly, we are seeing Help Authoring Tools (HAT) play a productive role in creating a logic-based system that helps both customer service agents and customers understand the often-complex features and benefits of the products and services they purchased.
Once the user guides and instruction manuals have been drafted, they need to be configured in the different software formats to ensure they are easily accessible to customers.
HATs allow an easy transfer of information into these different formats.
When a knowledge base is complete and populated with its information and documents, it will receive constant updates and frequent revisions.
This may involve totally restructuring the information and documentation held in the knowledge base.
A Help Authoring Tool can streamline this process, significantly reduce both the conversion time and resources required to complete the update process.
13 Reasons Why You Need HATs
There are many advantages of using HATs. They provide a working platform to create helping material such as articles and definitions.
They allow a business to improve its customer support and provide a method for future growth of information.
Here, are 13 reasons to take advantage of HATs in your business:
1. Handles Data in Different Formats
Almost all HATs are capable of multiple format creation.
A HAT ensures the hassle is taken out of the conversion process and all information and documentation are readily converted to the desired software program and format required.
2. Build A Knowledge Base
Clearly when information is not centralized and less readily available then problems start to happen.
Help authoring tools allow teams, particularly geographically dispersed teams to centralize information, create guides and manuals, which in time will turn into a dynamic knowledge base.
3. Collaborate In Real Time
Help authoring tools provide collaborative options, which stakeholders and team members to come together to revise, edit and structure information in real time.
Providing organizations with the option of “creating collaboratively” creates a strong incentive to improve learning and reduce the time it normally takes to create manuals, guidelines or other documentation.
4. Add-On Features
HATs are software programs designed to help make the creation and updating of help content easier and less time intensive.
HATs software programs come with many add-on features such as media libraries and listed elements to extend their functionality.
5. Powerful, Intuitive Search
As content grows, retrieving information often becomes more difficult. By incorporating search engine technology, help authoring tools significantly reduce the time it takes to search for content.
For Help Centers, this means users can just type the word or phrase they need to look up and the HAT displays their answers instantly.
6. View Content From Any Device
Help authoring tools have also adapted to the multiple formats and devices that users use to access content online such as smartphones and tablets.
This allows content to be viewed from a desktop, tablet or smartphone. Hence, help authoring tools can be consulted on demand.
7. Create Content In Multiple Formats
Whether you are authoring an eBook or a PDF file, help authoring tools allow content to be published and shared using multiple formats including the web (HTML).
This provides organizations with the flexibility to create the information they require based on context and user demand.
8. Trouble Spotting
Many instruction manuals and help documentation are lengthy and convoluted, as they strive to document a range of content topics.
Most HATs comes bundled with built-in analyzers.
These tools automatically run checks on the documents for broken links and flag duplication even as it clusters media elements together in easy to read lists.
9. Eliminating Language Barriers
Imagine that you are working on a project in Japan and need to consult a design manual.
If that document is written in a foreign language, it may be difficult to understand.
Help authoring tools integrate with specific translation add-ons, which automatically translate the content.
Images are an important part of any help documentation as visual representation is often the only viable method of communicating the information to the end user.
HATs have built-in image resolution tools change image size and resolution.
11 Relevant Content
One key function bundled into help authoring tools is enabling users to comment and provide feedback on the information they use.
In design environments, often processes are updated or modified as new solutions emerge.
When teams are given the opportunity to expand on this information and keep track of changes, organizations discover new ways to accelerate their learning cycle as knowledge is shared instantly.
12. Monitor Content Usage And Relevance
Although organizations are attracted to leveraging a knowledge base, organizations are similarly interested in identifying content reuse and relevance.
Help authoring tools help keep track of relevant content and monitor usage trends.
13. Reduced Customer Tickets
Your Help Center continuously encounters similar problems repeating over and over again.
Solving them rarely fixes the root cause, leading up pattern repeating.
HATs help structure and document FAQs enabling customers to self-serve for common FAQ s.
Over time this reduces the number of tickets generated and reduces dependency on human service agents.
For any knowledge base to be used effectively, it is essential that it should be accessible.
Online help systems improve customer support and ensure that users can learn directly about their products.
Help authoring tools encompass much more than simply FAQs.
They help create an online knowledge base, which can assist knowledge utilization and increase help team productivity.
Organizations can benefit greatly from the simple functions that they provide.