Author: .

You don’t realize the importance of a good background color until you stumble on a website with a bad one. The right background color is subtle, and seamlessly captures your brand without distracting the user. The wrong background color … well, it’s all the user will notice, probably.

Since the birth of search engines like Google and Yahoo in the early 1990s, the never-ending battle between creativity and SEO has been a hot topic. And finding a balance between the two has never been more important, whether you run a small business or a global organization. But what does “good” mean, and how do you achieve it?

Ever experienced a tech problem that restarting your device just doesn’t fix? We’ve all been there. If you love fast resolutions like I do, you’ll do a quick Google search related to your problem. As long as the device manufacturer has done its job right, you’ll find a solution within seconds — on the company’s knowledge base.

Over the years, I’ve visited hundreds of knowledge bases, and I’ve helped design and write plenty, too. So what have I got to show for it? More product information and the ability to tell good knowledge bases from bad.

If you’re curious about knowledge bases, stick around. I’ll explain what they are and why you need them. Then, I’ll share the best help desk knowledge base examples to show you what an excellent knowledge base should look like. Let’s dive in.

→ Access Now: 5 Free Customer Support Templates

Table of Contents


What is a Knowledge Base?

A knowledge base is a hub for information related to a company’s product or service. There are no clear-cut rules for the type of content a knowledge base must contain. What’s more, it’s often called help, support, or documentation.

Regardless of what a knowledge base is called, here’s what you can expect to see:

  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs).
  • Informative articles about a business (e.g., blogs).
  • Troubleshooting guides (e.g., how to fix a Microsoft Word error code).
  • Step-by-step guides (e.g., how to change my password).
  • Complete user manuals for products or services (e.g., iPhone user manual).

These examples are relevant to customer-facing knowledge bases, but you can also have internal knowledge bases for your employees. For example, your company could have a knowledge base that covers onboarding, work policies, standard operating procedures (SOPs), and guides for using software or machines.

Most companies you interact with online will have some type of knowledge base, which they may have built using knowledge base software. Before I share some stunning help desk knowledge base examples, let’s look at why they’re important to businesses today.

Why Your Company Needs a Knowledge Base

Whenever I have an issue with a company’s product or service, I almost always head to their knowledge base for solutions. In most cases, I don’t even have to contact customer support at all.

Most customers are like me. We prefer finding solutions ourselves. It saves us the time we’d otherwise spend submitting tickets in hopes of getting a quick resolution. With an effective knowledge base, you can meet customers’ needs without wasting too much of their time and your support team’s time.

When I spoke to Amanda Gulley, chief of product and user experience for EdPlus at Arizona State University, she agreed that a knowledge base is no one-trick pony. She said, “An intuitive knowledge base is not just a tool for information dissemination; it’s a strategic asset that significantly enhances customer satisfaction and organizational efficiency.”

Not convinced you need one yet? Here are the key benefits of creating a knowledge base:

Around-the-Clock Support

While your support team sleeps, your knowledge base can help customers fix their problems and learn more about your products. Think of your knowledge base as an extension of your customer support team that’s available 24/7.

Quick Resolutions

I like a fast solution to my tech problems, and most of the time, I don’t really mind if it comes from an explainer video, a how-to article, or a support representative. Sure, it’s nice to chat with a real human, but it’s also great to have a problem fixed without a support ticket.

Boosting SEO

A well-structured and expertly written knowledge base is a great marketing asset. If you provide high-quality information that benefits customers and general audiences, Google could reward your knowledge base content with high rankings.

More Time for Support Teams to Focus on Complex Issues

While your knowledge base helps users solve simple problems, your support team can devote time to urgent, high-impact issues. Don’t forget that your support team can also link customers to knowledge base articles, saving even more time and resources.

Gain Powerful Insights

If your knowledge base software provides reporting and analytics features, you can discover valuable information about customer trends and pain points. Plus, you can spot areas of your products or services that confuse new customers.

1. HubSpot

Since you’re on the HubSpot website ( … great to have you here!), is it safe for me to assume you know a bit about what HubSpot does?

Here’s the gist if you arrived through a Google search: HubSpot is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, meaning it provides a suite of tools that helps businesses grow while prioritizing their customers. Whatever tool or hub (e.g., marketing, sales, or operations) you’re interested in, HubSpot Knowledge Base is a great place to learn about it.

You’ll find plenty of images to help you navigate through your chosen tool. And then, there’s HubBot, the friendly AI chatbot on the right side of every page, eager to answer your “how-to” questions.

HubSpot Knowledge Base offers various information sources, including Help Center and Documentation.

Image Source

What I like: HubSpot Knowledge Base makes it super easy to find any information I need. I love exploring the handy search bar, the quick list of all product/service categories, and even the glossary. But most times, I simply hop on a chat with HubBot to get answers faster.

HubSpot Glossary defines common terms used in HubSpot tools.

Image Source

2. Slack

Slack is a workplace messaging app that’s used by 77 of Fortune 100 companies. I’m no stranger to Slack’s iconic messaging sound and its stunning brand colors — I’ve used it to communicate with teams in different companies. But how does its knowledge base stack up?

Slack Help Center provides all the information you need to understand the app.

Image Source

Slack’s knowledge base displays a prominent search bar as well as direct links to common troubleshooting topics. It also has shortcuts that help users save time — I just found out that pressing the “Up” key lets me edit my previous message.

What I like: I find Slack pretty intuitive, so I don’t use the knowledge base very often. That said, I think the short YouTube explainer videos in some sections of the knowledge base are great for explaining Slack to new team members.

3. Confluence

As a collaboration and knowledge sharing tool for companies, you’d imagine that Confluence’s knowledge base would be a sight to behold. Spoiler alert: it is.

Confluence Resource Center offers product guides, demos, and more.

Image Source

If you’re thinking of using Confluence to create your own knowledge base, visiting this Resource Center is a must. You’ll see what a great example looks like, and you’ll learn the steps and best practices for knowledge base setup.

Beyond the clear and helpful main page, you’ll find well-structured documents containing all the information you need, alongside high-quality images and GIFs.

What I like: I think Confluence’s knowledge base is a great example of how marketing efforts can slot into an information site. Alongside easy-to-access demo videos and product guides, Confluence adds customer success stories to reel you in.

4. Apple

When something goes wrong with my iPhone, I usually head straight to Apple’s knowledge base, which links to great YouTube video tutorials with subtitles for enhanced accessibility. And, if I can’t find what I’m looking for, the knowledge base conveniently directs me to human support.

apple-1Image Source

What I like: Apple displays all its products in its self-service knowledge base, letting users choose the products they’re interested in. I love how this filtering mechanism ensures I only see relevant content when I select “iPhone.”

5. Amplitude

Amplitude aims to make digital analytics accessible to every business, and to achieve this, it needs a solid knowledge base for users to turn to.

Apple Support showing various Apple devices and how to solve common issues.

Image Source

Amplitude’s help desk knowledge base has a user-friendly layout that’s easy to navigate, providing a great customer experience. If you’re new to this platform, the “Start Here” section is the ultimate guide to get you up and running.

What I like: Amplitude categorizes common questions under five main sections, which makes it easy for me to find the solutions I need.

6. Airbnb

Love it or hate it, Airbnb is a huge player in the tourism industry, and the company has made it super easy to book vacation rentals. With its knowledge base, you can find answers to common questions, whether you’re a long-term guest or looking to start an Airbnb.

Airbnb’s knowledge base helps with reservations, accounts, and more.

Image Source

I played around the knowledge base and found that the most popular topics appeared as suggestions when I clicked the search bar. Impressively, these lists differ depending on whether you’re a guest, host, experience host, or travel admin.

What I like: Airbnb prominently displays in-depth content related to anti-discrimination and accessibility policies, tips for avoiding scams, and advice on what to do in an emergency.

7. 1Password

1Password is a top password manager that’s trusted by millions of customers, including 100,000+ businesses. If you’re just getting started, you’ll find everything you need once you hit the “Start Here” button. For more experienced users, the knowledge base offers useful tips on getting the most from 1Password, like using apps, browser extensions, and vaults.

1Password Support is a great help desk knowledge base example.

Image Source

What I like: When I navigated to the support hub (i.e., knowledge base), the option to contact support directly was right there in front of me. This was refreshing — some companies seem to bury their contact information to discourage you from getting in touch.

8. Canva

This popular design platform has over 170 million active users. Without a great knowledge base, Canva’s support personnel would be inundated with questions on everything from templates to teams.

Canva’s knowledge base lets you browse by topic.

Image Source

For creatives, this is one of the best knowledge base examples out there. I’ve learned a lot from Canva’s Design School tutorials, and the blog is a great resource of relevant information for designers, marketers, and businesses of all sizes.

What I like: Canva’s knowledge base has drop-down menus that provide all the information I need, from designing to sharing my creations. The Design Spotlight section is particularly useful for creating website and social media images.

9. Google

As the world’s top search engine with a market share of 90.91%, Google provides customer self-service options through an extensive knowledge base.

Google’s knowledge base content for Chrome, YouTube, and more.

Image Source

Instead of a table of contents, the knowledge base displays a group of icons associated with popular Google products and services (e.g., Chrome, Gmail, and YouTube) for consumers, businesses, and developers.

What I like: The support homepage is on-brand and uncluttered — with a few simple clicks, I can find whatever Google service I need help with.

10. Netflix

Generally, Netflix works well for me, so I rarely have to head to its knowledge base. If my TV binge session is interrupted by technical issues, it’s usually something I can fix with a quick refresh.

When I do need to look up Netflix support, it’s usually due to suspected password sharing or using Netflix on too many devices (I’m innocent, Netflix!).

Netflix’s knowledge base with search bar.

Image Source

I noticed that the account and billing section is high up on the knowledge base, which makes sense to me — it’s pretty much the only section I need to read. Once you click a section heading, you’ll find a drop-down list of useful explainer articles.

Personally, I’d like to see snippets of these articles displayed here, but I don’t have any major issues with the bare-bones layout.

What I like: I really appreciate that a section of Netflix’s knowledge base lets me suggest TV shows or movies. It means I can hold out a tiny bit of hope that they’ll take my suggestions on board.

11. OpenAI

Open AI, the company behind ChatGPT, has a good knowledge base that’s mostly dedicated to account information and using ChatGPT. As you might expect, the company uses an AI chatbot as a knowledge base tool.

openai-1

Image Source

When I browsed some knowledge base articles, I was impressed to see that they were recently updated. The knowledge base makes effective use of hyperlinks within articles, which helped me navigate to sections of interest.

What I like: OpenAI’s knowledge base is transparent about the limitations of ChatGPT, including its Western bias and the fact that it can be very convincing while providing incorrect information. I think new users should study ChatGPT’s knowledge base to ensure they’re using the tool effectively.

12. Asana

Asana is a work management platform with features such as workflow automation and project management. Its knowledge base has a clean layout with lots of whitespace, and the chatbot powered by Forethought AI is a nice addition.

Asana’s knowledge base, which is the ultimate guide to this product.

Image Source

But, the benefits of this knowledge base extend beyond a minimalist layout and chatbot charms. Asana provides helpful use cases, screenshot-assisted help articles (I love these!), and even courses on the product, including self-paced, pre-recorded, and live training.

What I like: I think the explainer videos in Asana’s knowledge base strike a great balance between funny and informative. Even if you don’t plan on using Asana, check out these videos to see how knowledge bases can have real entertainment value.

13. Dropbox

If you’re among the 700+ million people who use Dropbox, you might have used its knowledge base to find solutions to common issues like syncing, sharing, and organizing your files.

Like many of the best knowledge bases, the search bar is at the top of the page. When you click on it, you’ll get suggestions for top searches, guiding you to the solutions you seek.

Dropbox’s knowledge base provides information on apps and integrations.

Image Source

What I like: This knowledge base prominently features the Dropbox Community Forum, which I’m a big fan of. It has specific groups for beginners, photographers, and musicians — shout out to Community Manager Graham for some great posts on music-related topics.

Stay Relevant with Tech Trends

In my examples of help desk knowledge bases, you might have noticed that many companies use AI chatbots to share knowledge — this is no coincidence. Businesses are reworking their knowledge bases in response to technological advancements, making them much easier to manage and navigate.

While I think AI is a great addition to knowledge bases, it’s no substitute for expert-backed content. Ideally, AI should complement rather than replace your support team.

If you’re interested in creating your own knowledge base, check out the examples I’ve provided to see what your competitors are doing. But don’t forget — your customers will ultimately decide if your knowledge base is useful.

New Call-to-action

You probably can recall at least a handful of times when you’ve waited on the line to speak to customer service while calling a bank or your internet provider. The longest I’ve waited was 40 minutes — after which my call was automatically dropped. How did that make me feel? Upset, to say the least.

 

Luckily, nowadays calling isn’t your only option to get in touch with brands. Most businesses offer a digital customer experience and offer multiple communication channels to choose from (thank you, technology!).

Without a doubt, online customer service will only continue to grow in importance — and AI will pave the way.

Benefits of Digital Customer Service

1. Boosting Service Quality by Analyzing Feedback

Interacting with clients through a digital channel has one major advantage over face-to-face contact, i.e., you automatically retain a record of your communication.

Now, consider a period like last year. Think of all the chatbot interactions that took place during this time, all the emails you’ve exchanged, or the customer satisfaction surveys you’ve run. This data is a goldmine, which can help paint an accurate picture of your clients.

The great thing is that AI can help you analyze all these vast records for you. It can derive information on the most common customer concerns, or what they say they particularly love — or dislike — about your business. Better yet, you could also set up automatic surveys in the future to continue gathering information.

42% of respondents in HubSpot’s State of Service 2024 report say that they already do this to learn how they can improve their customers’ experiences.

2. Improving Response Time

I can still remember how many hours I’ve spent listening to music while waiting on hold after calling a business. It’s hard to believe that it was the only way to get in touch with many local businesses just a decade ago.

Luckily, this is now a tale of the past — in big part, thanks to AI. To manage customer queries at scale without sacrificing quality, you can set up a chatbot and train it on your FAQs and knowledge base. This lets you automate answers to the most common questions. You’ll only need to engage a customer service member if the topic truly requires human expertise.

If you’re wondering if it pays off to invest in such tools, the short answer is — yes. In our report, 92 percent of specialists say that introducing AI and automation speeds up response times. And half of those respondents described the acceleration as “significant.”

3. Reducing Customer Effort

In my opinion, this benefit deserves special recognition. Let me tell you a story.

Before becoming a marketer, I co-ran an online bookstore that offered a premium service — finding collector’s editions at small stores across the globe and shipping them to the customer.

There was one client who dreamed of a Japanese photo album but knew it was nearly impossible to find it as an individual. He reached out via email and we exchanged a few messages, back and forth, over the course of a few weeks.

He said that he appreciated the opportunity to contact the store online, as he was currently in a completely different timezone and wouldn’t be able to make a phone call. The ability to speak to me asynchronously was the reason why he decided to shop through the bookstore.

This example shows that not all digital customer service interactions must be around instantaneous communication. While a massive advantage in most cases, some clients will appreciate the flexibility that comes with messaging a business and replying at their own pace.

4. Meeting Customer Expectations and Improving Satisfaction

Back in the day, calling customer service was the only option people had. But times have changed drastically, and clients now have plenty of other channels to choose from. They can go with email, live chat, or messaging apps like Facebook.

If brands want to keep their customers satisfied, they must offer multiple communication channels and be available 24/7 — and that’s where self-service comes in.

This is something that a lot of businesses are already aware of. In fact, 64% of companies surveyed by HubSpot say they will increase their investment in self-service options.

5. Establishing Global Reach

Digitizing customer service has another major benefit, and that is offering global reach. Companies can now provide customer support without having a physical office or employing hundreds of people in every market they serve.

Thanks to the use of technology they can effectively answer queries irrespective of where their customers are. What’s more, they can retain the same standard of customer service, which positively reflects on their brand image.

According to HubSpot’s State of Service report, 88% of businesses were able to scale their customer service operations thanks to the use of AI.

Digital Customer Service Examples

Live Chat

digital customer service, live chat

Image Source

Our report found that 42% of respondents currently use live chat, i.e., an online chat with a human representative on the other side. And out of them, 90% agree that they’re effective in serving customers at the right standard.

What I like: Personally, I don’t like speaking on the phone, so my favorite thing about live chat is that I can get an answer to my query fast, without calling customer service. And my conversation isn’t available to a third party, unlike when I use social media. It’s the perfect option for those who don’t fancy phone interactions but also don’t want to wait long for an email reply.

Chatbot

digital customer service, chatbotImage Source

In terms of popularity among customer-facing teams, AI chatbots are right up there next to live chat. Our study found that they’re currently used by 37% of global service specialists.

And this number is set to grow. 71% of respondents told us that they plan to grow their investment in this communication channel.

What I like: They’re available round the clock, so customers can try to find answers to their questions without waiting for your support team to come to work the following day. Chatbots have saved me several times. Not that long ago, I had an issue with my website and it turned out I could fix it myself quickly with the help of a helpful AI assistant. Genius!

Knowledge Base

digital customer service, knowledge base

Image Source

Having a knowledge base is another important self-service feature, right next to chatbots. It’s a collection of the most important information, such as FAQs, an introduction to your specific services or features, and quick step-by-step instructions. Customers can easily navigate the categories — or chapters — to find the topic they’re interested in.

Perhaps you’re wondering if customers really want to fix issues themselves. Our State of Service report found an answer to this question.

According to the companies we surveyed, 55% of customers say that they actually prefer to self-serve than wait for a real-life agent.

What I like: Investing time in setting up a knowledge base pays off for both sides. Clients can find answers to their questions, while the brand minimizes the number of incoming communication.

Social Media Management

digital customer service, social media management

Image Source

Currently, over 5 billion people use social media — half of the world’s population. So, it’s hardly surprising that many customers prefer to communicate with brands via Facebook or X, and expect to get their answers quickly. According to our report, 34% of customer service pros use AI to monitor social media for customer service-related issues.

What I like: Social media allows for more personalized communication. Brands can even use a bit of humor at times, which reduces distance and helps to build better relationships with customers. Also, companies can use insights shared by customers to improve the brand experience.

Digital Customer Service Tools

1. HubSpot Service Hub

digital customer service tools, hubspotImage Source

Service Hub brings together all your customer service data and channels into one CRM platform, making it easy to support and grow your client base.

You can connect your live chat, emails, chatbot, and customer feedback tools, among others, and bring all customer messages and tickets into a single place. This is also where you and your team manage all ongoing communication. That’s right — no more back-and-forth between channels.

By clicking on a customer’s ticket, you can assign a specific customer service representative to the query. You can also access all the messages, phone calls, and other interactions that have taken place between the customer and your service team so far.

Unsurprisingly, Service Hub also hits the top marks when it comes to AI and automation features. You can create automation rules, such as which types of topics should be assigned to a specific agent or scaled to the customer service team lead.

However, my absolute favorite feature is HubSpot AI, which is a great assistant for customer service teams. One of the things it can help you with is rephrasing your reply.

You can turn a terse turn of phrase into a more conversational, heartfelt, or professional tone of voice. This can be a blessing, particularly if you’re handling a difficult issue or are simply having a bad day but want to ensure you’re empathetic and professional.

What I like: Service Hub covers all the use cases I could possibly think of, drawing on my experience as a customer service team member. I particularly love all the handy sidebars and options, like inserting knowledge base articles, answers to FAQs, or rewriting messages with AI for better impact.

All this happens within the chat text field. Bonus points for allowing customer service to enhance knowledge base articles live, based on their interactions with clients.

2. Ada

digital customer service tools, adaImage Source

Ada is an AI-powered customer service automation platform, which features a generative AI agent that is able to answer client queries accurately and in real-time.

It’s fast and can come up with relevant responses every single time, thanks to the use of Ada’s Reasoning Engine. It offers personalized responses, learns from previous customer interactions, and can be deployed across multiple digital channels without worrying about losing communication consistency.

What I like: Ada’s ability to understand specific needs and provide answers, which aren’t generic but personalized, is impressive. It makes customers feel valued. It’s always available and ready to assist, so you don’t have to wait in a queue, listening to one tune for 10 minutes (or longer). And the fact that you can deploy it across various channels without compromising response consistency or accuracy is just great.

3. Intercom

digital customer service tools, intercom

Image Source

It’s hard to find a customer service pro who hasn’t heard of Intercom. It’s an AI-first customer service solution, which among others features a live chat, chatbots, and targeted messaging capabilities. Their Fin AI Agent provides 24/7 support and is able to resolve 50% of support volume instantly.

What I like: What’s truly amazing about Intercom is that it’s a complete service platform that caters to clients, agents, and leaders alike. Their AI agents answer queries quickly and only pull answers from your support content — so you don’t have to worry about accuracy.

The AI Copilot makes pulling answers really easy, and you can even change the tone of voice to make it sound more like you. And it’s got access to all the questions and answers that have been generated in the past so you can get a more accurate response. When you want to raise a ticket, their AI automatically describes the issue, which is a real-time saver.

4. Help Scout

digital customer service; Help Scout is an example of a digital customer service platform

Image Source

Help Scout lets you bring all your client communication into one platform and keep a handy record of previous conversations. Among others, you can add tags and internal notes to client messages to make it easier to handle communication now and in the future.

This communication platform also lets you set automation rules that will accelerate the time to resolution. For example, if a customer asks a question about international shipping, you’re able to automatically draw relevant information from your FAQs.

I also appreciate the fact that the platform is keeping up with the times and uses AI to help the support team. Among others, you can ask AI to read a long email, or even an entire thread, and condense it into a high-level summary.

It can also adjust your tone of voice or message length.

What I like: One feature that caught my eye is ‘real-time collision detection.’ It shows you if someone else is also replying to a request or viewing it, preventing you from sending two responses. This could happen if you handle tens or hundreds of messages every day.

Digital Customer Service — Multichannel is The Way to Go

Each customer has their own preference — I, personally, really dislike calling brands. Whenever possible, I go for email or chat, but I can’t say the same of my parents. They’ll always choose to speak to a brand over the phone. It’s how they’ve been getting answers to questions for decades.

Less-tech-savvy clients will tend to choose face-to-face and calls, but Millenials and Gen-Z will prefer getting things done on screen.

What I recommend is choosing an omnichannel communication approach, so that you can resolve issues for everyone, faster and more efficiently.

New call-to-action

You probably can recall at least a handful of times when you’ve waited on the line to speak to customer service while calling a bank or your internet provider. The longest I’ve waited was 40 minutes — after which my call was automatically dropped. How did that make me feel? Upset, to say the least.

 

Luckily, nowadays calling isn’t your only option to get in touch with brands. Most businesses offer a digital customer experience and offer multiple communication channels to choose from (thank you, technology!).

Without a doubt, online customer service will only continue to grow in importance — and AI will pave the way.

Benefits of Digital Customer Service

1. Boosting Service Quality by Analyzing Feedback

Interacting with clients through a digital channel has one major advantage over face-to-face contact, i.e., you automatically retain a record of your communication.

Now, consider a period like last year. Think of all the chatbot interactions that took place during this time, all the emails you’ve exchanged, or the customer satisfaction surveys you’ve run. This data is a goldmine, which can help paint an accurate picture of your clients.

The great thing is that AI can help you analyze all these vast records for you. It can derive information on the most common customer concerns, or what they say they particularly love — or dislike — about your business. Better yet, you could also set up automatic surveys in the future to continue gathering information.

42% of respondents in HubSpot’s State of Service 2024 report say that they already do this to learn how they can improve their customers’ experiences.

2. Improving Response Time

I can still remember how many hours I’ve spent listening to music while waiting on hold after calling a business. It’s hard to believe that it was the only way to get in touch with many local businesses just a decade ago.

Luckily, this is now a tale of the past — in big part, thanks to AI. To manage customer queries at scale without sacrificing quality, you can set up a chatbot and train it on your FAQs and knowledge base. This lets you automate answers to the most common questions. You’ll only need to engage a customer service member if the topic truly requires human expertise.

If you’re wondering if it pays off to invest in such tools, the short answer is — yes. In our report, 92 percent of specialists say that introducing AI and automation speeds up response times. And half of those respondents described the acceleration as “significant.”

3. Reducing Customer Effort

In my opinion, this benefit deserves special recognition. Let me tell you a story.

Before becoming a marketer, I co-ran an online bookstore that offered a premium service — finding collector’s editions at small stores across the globe and shipping them to the customer.

There was one client who dreamed of a Japanese photo album but knew it was nearly impossible to find it as an individual. He reached out via email and we exchanged a few messages, back and forth, over the course of a few weeks.

He said that he appreciated the opportunity to contact the store online, as he was currently in a completely different timezone and wouldn’t be able to make a phone call. The ability to speak to me asynchronously was the reason why he decided to shop through the bookstore.

This example shows that not all digital customer service interactions must be around instantaneous communication. While a massive advantage in most cases, some clients will appreciate the flexibility that comes with messaging a business and replying at their own pace.

4. Meeting Customer Expectations and Improving Satisfaction

Back in the day, calling customer service was the only option people had. But times have changed drastically, and clients now have plenty of other channels to choose from. They can go with email, live chat, or messaging apps like Facebook.

If brands want to keep their customers satisfied, they must offer multiple communication channels and be available 24/7 — and that’s where self-service comes in.

This is something that a lot of businesses are already aware of. In fact, 64% of companies surveyed by HubSpot say they will increase their investment in self-service options.

5. Establishing Global Reach

Digitizing customer service has another major benefit, and that is offering global reach. Companies can now provide customer support without having a physical office or employing hundreds of people in every market they serve.

Thanks to the use of technology they can effectively answer queries irrespective of where their customers are. What’s more, they can retain the same standard of customer service, which positively reflects on their brand image.

According to HubSpot’s State of Service report, 88% of businesses were able to scale their customer service operations thanks to the use of AI.

Digital Customer Service Examples

Live Chat

digital customer service, live chat

Image Source

Our report found that 42% of respondents currently use live chat, i.e., an online chat with a human representative on the other side. And out of them, 90% agree that they’re effective in serving customers at the right standard.

What I like: Personally, I don’t like speaking on the phone, so my favorite thing about live chat is that I can get an answer to my query fast, without calling customer service. And my conversation isn’t available to a third party, unlike when I use social media. It’s the perfect option for those who don’t fancy phone interactions but also don’t want to wait long for an email reply.

Chatbot

digital customer service, chatbotImage Source

In terms of popularity among customer-facing teams, AI chatbots are right up there next to live chat. Our study found that they’re currently used by 37% of global service specialists.

And this number is set to grow. 71% of respondents told us that they plan to grow their investment in this communication channel.

What I like: They’re available round the clock, so customers can try to find answers to their questions without waiting for your support team to come to work the following day. Chatbots have saved me several times. Not that long ago, I had an issue with my website and it turned out I could fix it myself quickly with the help of a helpful AI assistant. Genius!

Knowledge Base

digital customer service, knowledge base

Image Source

Having a knowledge base is another important self-service feature, right next to chatbots. It’s a collection of the most important information, such as FAQs, an introduction to your specific services or features, and quick step-by-step instructions. Customers can easily navigate the categories — or chapters — to find the topic they’re interested in.

Perhaps you’re wondering if customers really want to fix issues themselves. Our State of Service report found an answer to this question.

According to the companies we surveyed, 55% of customers say that they actually prefer to self-serve than wait for a real-life agent.

What I like: Investing time in setting up a knowledge base pays off for both sides. Clients can find answers to their questions, while the brand minimizes the number of incoming communication.

Social Media Management

digital customer service, social media management

Image Source

Currently, over 5 billion people use social media — half of the world’s population. So, it’s hardly surprising that many customers prefer to communicate with brands via Facebook or X, and expect to get their answers quickly. According to our report, 34% of customer service pros use AI to monitor social media for customer service-related issues.

What I like: Social media allows for more personalized communication. Brands can even use a bit of humor at times, which reduces distance and helps to build better relationships with customers. Also, companies can use insights shared by customers to improve the brand experience.

Digital Customer Service Tools

1. HubSpot Service Hub

digital customer service tools, hubspotImage Source

Service Hub brings together all your customer service data and channels into one CRM platform, making it easy to support and grow your client base.

You can connect your live chat, emails, chatbot, and customer feedback tools, among others, and bring all customer messages and tickets into a single place. This is also where you and your team manage all ongoing communication. That’s right — no more back-and-forth between channels.

By clicking on a customer’s ticket, you can assign a specific customer service representative to the query. You can also access all the messages, phone calls, and other interactions that have taken place between the customer and your service team so far.

Unsurprisingly, Service Hub also hits the top marks when it comes to AI and automation features. You can create automation rules, such as which types of topics should be assigned to a specific agent or scaled to the customer service team lead.

However, my absolute favorite feature is HubSpot AI, which is a great assistant for customer service teams. One of the things it can help you with is rephrasing your reply.

You can turn a terse turn of phrase into a more conversational, heartfelt, or professional tone of voice. This can be a blessing, particularly if you’re handling a difficult issue or are simply having a bad day but want to ensure you’re empathetic and professional.

What I like: Service Hub covers all the use cases I could possibly think of, drawing on my experience as a customer service team member. I particularly love all the handy sidebars and options, like inserting knowledge base articles, answers to FAQs, or rewriting messages with AI for better impact.

All this happens within the chat text field. Bonus points for allowing customer service to enhance knowledge base articles live, based on their interactions with clients.

2. Ada

digital customer service tools, adaImage Source

Ada is an AI-powered customer service automation platform, which features a generative AI agent that is able to answer client queries accurately and in real-time.

It’s fast and can come up with relevant responses every single time, thanks to the use of Ada’s Reasoning Engine. It offers personalized responses, learns from previous customer interactions, and can be deployed across multiple digital channels without worrying about losing communication consistency.

What I like: Ada’s ability to understand specific needs and provide answers, which aren’t generic but personalized, is impressive. It makes customers feel valued. It’s always available and ready to assist, so you don’t have to wait in a queue, listening to one tune for 10 minutes (or longer). And the fact that you can deploy it across various channels without compromising response consistency or accuracy is just great.

3. Intercom

digital customer service tools, intercom

Image Source

It’s hard to find a customer service pro who hasn’t heard of Intercom. It’s an AI-first customer service solution, which among others features a live chat, chatbots, and targeted messaging capabilities. Their Fin AI Agent provides 24/7 support and is able to resolve 50% of support volume instantly.

What I like: What’s truly amazing about Intercom is that it’s a complete service platform that caters to clients, agents, and leaders alike. Their AI agents answer queries quickly and only pull answers from your support content — so you don’t have to worry about accuracy.

The AI Copilot makes pulling answers really easy, and you can even change the tone of voice to make it sound more like you. And it’s got access to all the questions and answers that have been generated in the past so you can get a more accurate response. When you want to raise a ticket, their AI automatically describes the issue, which is a real-time saver.

4. Help Scout

digital customer service; Help Scout is an example of a digital customer service platform

Image Source

Help Scout lets you bring all your client communication into one platform and keep a handy record of previous conversations. Among others, you can add tags and internal notes to client messages to make it easier to handle communication now and in the future.

This communication platform also lets you set automation rules that will accelerate the time to resolution. For example, if a customer asks a question about international shipping, you’re able to automatically draw relevant information from your FAQs.

I also appreciate the fact that the platform is keeping up with the times and uses AI to help the support team. Among others, you can ask AI to read a long email, or even an entire thread, and condense it into a high-level summary.

It can also adjust your tone of voice or message length.

What I like: One feature that caught my eye is ‘real-time collision detection.’ It shows you if someone else is also replying to a request or viewing it, preventing you from sending two responses. This could happen if you handle tens or hundreds of messages every day.

Digital Customer Service — Multichannel is The Way to Go

Each customer has their own preference — I, personally, really dislike calling brands. Whenever possible, I go for email or chat, but I can’t say the same of my parents. They’ll always choose to speak to a brand over the phone. It’s how they’ve been getting answers to questions for decades.

Less-tech-savvy clients will tend to choose face-to-face and calls, but Millenials and Gen-Z will prefer getting things done on screen.

What I recommend is choosing an omnichannel communication approach, so that you can resolve issues for everyone, faster and more efficiently.

New call-to-action