Want to Reduce Support Volume? Follow These 5 Steps

You already know the importance of providing self–service options—that’s why you built a knowledge base full of help articles with all the information customers need. But even when customers want to find answers themselves, it doesn't always mean they know where to look. If you don’t make it easy for customers to navigate to the information they’re searching for, your support inbox will be filled with the same questions over and over again. 

For example, one Help Scout customer, Spikeball, was receiving an influx of questions about shipping dates around the holidays. The information was available in their help center, but customers still wrote in asking if their purchases would be delivered by Christmas. 

The solution: Surface help content directly alongside key moments in the customer journey using Beacon, Help Scout’s help widget. Beacon makes it possible to display relevant content on specific pages on your website or within your app, so customers get their questions answered before they ever have to reach out to your team.

The Spikeball team added their holiday shipping guidelines to all their product pages using Beacon.

The result: They no longer had the same FAQs filling their inbox.

Beacon saved us time because customers were able to self-service and had their questions answered without relying on a support rep to email them back.


When you provide relevant help content exactly where your customers need it, you're not only helping your customers; you're also helping yourself. Your team will spend less time answering FAQs, and it can even save you money—one study found that more than 25% of companies reported a reduced cost per contact thanks to self-service.

Luckily, it’s easier than you might think to surface your help content along the customer journey. Follow these steps to reduce FAQs, boost your support team’s productivity, and give customers the experience they want.

5 steps to level up your self-service and reduce support volume 

1. Compile your FAQs 

Review your support inbox and survey customer support team members to better understand the topics customers are consistently asking questions about. 

Another way to more easily track trending topics in your inbox is with Reports and tags. If you’ve been using tags to categorize and sort conversations, the ‘All Channels’ dashboard will show you the top tags for the given date range and how they’re trending based on the comparison period. These trending topics will give you a good idea of what customers frequently need help with.

2. Identify where customers get stuck 

Use the topics gathered in the first step as a starting point for where to surface help articles. Lay out all your FAQs, and think about where customers might be on your website or app when they want those answers. 

For example, if you get questions about specific product specs, you could put articles with those details on the relevant product pages. If customers have finance questions, you could surface those answers where they pay their bill. If customers often struggle to update contact details, they might be trying to do that when viewing their profile. 

In Spikeball’s case, shoppers wanted to know what gifts would arrive in time for the holidays, so they added their holiday shipping guidelines to product pages. 

You can start small. You don’t have to map your customer journey overnight. Even one help article in the right place might save you hundreds of questions in the queue!  

3. Surface relevant content

Create and embed Beacon on your website or app pages where you want to feature your self-help content. Never used Beacon before? You can get started with the Beacon Jumpstart Guide, or register for a live class, and one of our support experts will walk you through everything you need to know. 

If you already use a Help Scout Docs site for your knowledge base, you can easily select which help content you want to surface. You’ll have the option to showcase collections, or highlight specific Docs articles. Customers can also search your full knowledge base directly in Beacon if they don't see what they need, without switching screens. If you have a separate knowledge base or other documentation, external pages can also be added to a Beacon.

Beacon can do more than just offer self-help content–you can also use it to show your customers your contact options, like live chat and email. If you’re showing content and contact options, you can still set your Beacon to “self-serve” mode so your customers view your help articles before seeing options to reach out.

4. Track and monitor performance

To determine if any new strategy is working, you have to track its success. Start with how many FAQs you are getting in your inbox—check out the same tags and Reports you viewed to identify FAQs, to see if there is a change in volume over time. You’ll be surprised by how a few articles surfaced in the right places can make a difference! 

In your Beacon Report, you’ll be able to view which articles are getting the most views. You’ll also be able to see failed searches—which show terms customers search your knowledge base for that don’t match any articles. Consider creating new articles for these topics so that customers can find answers when searching from your Beacon in the future.

Failed Searches-Image

If you also use Beacon to offer contact options, you’ll be able to track how many conversations customers start from each Beacon. If the number goes down after you add your help content, you’ll know that you provided answers people were looking for, before they had to reach out. 

5. Improve and repeat

Monitoring the above metrics will help you gather new insights into how customers interact with your help content. Ensure that you’re making adjustments based on these results, so your support team can be focused on answering complex questions and customers who need 1:1 care.

 Some adjustments to consider based on your results: 

  • If your inbox is still filled with FAQs, revisit the customer journey and add additional Beacons on your site or within your app. 

  • If conversations are still being started after customers view your help content, it might be time to update your help articles. 

  • If you don’t have help content for topics in the ‘failed searches’ metric, consider creating new articles for them so that customers can find answers when searching from your Beacon. 

Keep making improvements and changes as your business evolves or customer needs change. By regularly revisiting your self-service tactics, you’ll get into the habit of consistently enhancing your customer experience—which won’t go unnoticed. You’ll also keep your team focused on answering questions that truly need their attention.

Takeaway: Leveling up your self-service options results in fewer support conversations

There will be times when there are surges in your inbox, but with relevant content delivered to customers at the right place, and at the right time, you can ensure that every customer gets the help they need. 

If you’re not already using Beacon, register for a live class. During the session, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about setting up Beacon and getting the most out of the tool, with time dedicated at the end of class for questions.

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