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What Is an Online Help Manual?

A help manual is an online document that provides customers with the assistance they need to use your products and services successfully. It imparts knowledge on basic and complex topics and explains concepts through a brilliant combination of text, images, and videos. The primary purpose of a help manual is to make help instantly available so customers do not have to use the time-consuming routes of emails and calls to get their queries resolved.

Online help manual template

What Can an Online Help Manual Do for You?

A well-written, searchable, and structured online help manual brings three substantial benefits:

Reduces Support Tickets with online help center

Reduces Support Tickets by Up to 80%

An online help manual is available 24x7 for your customers. With help available at their fingertips, customers become more self-reliant and less dependent on your support team. They are less likely to raise tickets for basic or trivial issues, reducing your ticket volume by up to 80%.

Helps You Serve a Diverse Customer Base

Whether you are a small startup or a multi-million dollar business, chances are your customer base is spread across geographies, speaking different languages. An online help manual can be translated into the native language of your customers, providing them with a localized problem-solving experience.

Helps You Serve a Diverse Customer Base
Helps in Customer Onboarding

Helps in Customer Onboarding

New customers need proper training to get started with your product. An online help manual guides customers through the product’s features, benefits, use cases, and much more. It provides them with step-by-step instructions, demonstrating each step with visuals so that they understand your product to the core.

What to Include in an Online Help Manual?

An online help manual consists of critical product and service-related information that customers need to solve their problems. It includes:

What to include in an Online Help Manual

About This Template

Creating online help manuals gets a lot easier with the right template. Our professionally designed template comes with a predefined structure that includes a table of contents and various sections and subsections to help you get started quickly. It is super easy to customize and looks great on multiple devices, be it a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.

Online Help Manuals Template

Steps to Create an Online Help Manual

Creating an online help manual is not a cakewalk, but it’s no rocket science either. Just follow the steps mentioned below, and you are good.

Step 1: Plan

Planning is the first step to create anything. Before you kick-start the process, chalk out what the manual will include, how it should be structured, who will create the document, and what customer problems it will be solving. Have clarity around these and other such aspects before beginning with content creation.

Step 2: Write or Import Content

Once you have the plan, it’s time to get started with the real work - content creation. This can be done in two ways - you can either write everything from scratch using a built-in editor or import content from existing files such as Word Docs, PDFs, PPTs, and Excel.

Step 3: Focus on Design & Structure

With the right help manual software, it is easy to give the manual the look and feel you want using your favorite fonts, themes, and colors. For structuring the manual, you can create a home page and divide online help manual content into different sections and subsections.

Step 4: Review the Content

Before going live, it’s crucial to check the content thoroughly for any errors. Writers and editors can work together during all stages of content creation to ensure top-notch article quality. They can set the status for each article depending on its stage and keep everyone updated with the review process.

Step 5: Preview & Publish

It’s finally time to publish the help manual for your customers. Make sure to preview your online help manual before making it public.

How to Use This Template

Consider half of the job done with our ready-made online help manual template since you don’t have to design and create everything from scratch. The template comes with a table of contents and a predefined structure to make the process easy for you. Just add your company branding and color scheme, add more categories if you want, fill it with useful information, and you are good.

How to use online help manual template

Best Practices for Creating Online Help Manuals of Top-Notch Quality

Follow these tried and tested best practices to level up your help manual.

Add Visuals to Your Help Manual
Add Visuals to Your Help Manual

A visually rich manual is always better than a manual with plain text. That’s because visuals in the form of images, videos, and screenshots make it easy for customers to grasp concepts and understand your product. While creating manuals, add relevant images that complement the written information, demonstrate steps using screenshots, and use videos to increase clarity.

Provide Complete Clarity With Contextual Help
Provide Complete Clarity With Contextual Help

Customers can have a hard time grasping the technicalities of a product. An ideal approach is to explain such technical concepts and terms with the help of tooltips, lightboxes, and popups. You can also use these tools to deliver key information, explain product features, and give pricing disclaimers. Delight customers with the right help at the right time!

Make the Manual Easy to Search & Navigate
Make the Manual Easy to Search & Navigate

Search and navigation are the two crucial elements of an online help manual. The manual should have a powerful search function that shows relevant article suggestions at lightning-fast speed. For frictionless navigation, you can create a logical structure and use internal links to direct customers to the right section.

Update & Improve Consistently
Update & Improve Consistently

An online help manual should always be up-to-date with the latest information. With built-in reports, you can get a bird’s eye view of which articles are old and need improvement, which keywords do not return the right results, and which links are broken. Tap into these insights to keep your online help manual updated and relevant for customers.

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