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Build A Help Center Without Hassle With HelpCenter.io

Build A Help Center Without Hassle With HelpCenter.io

Roberto Popolizio
Website Planet had the chance to sit down and chat with Ivan Penchev, founder and current CEO of HelpCenter.io. We discussed how the company started, the challenges they faced, and what are the key factors for their success.

Let’s introduce HelpCenter.io to our audience. What is it and how does it work?

In brief, HelpCenter.io is a knowledge base builder that makes it easy to get all your help content in one place. Documentation, help articles, FAQs, you name it. It might not sound fascinating, but there is still a need for great products in this space. Most of the knowledge base builders out there are just a part of a larger offering of a bigger company. If you try them, you will find they lack the functionality you need to build a great knowledge base. And what these big companies certainly miss to provide with their service is good customer experience.

On the features side, some focus on AI but lack a good content editor, others have a full-featured content editor that gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of content, but it is generally slow. Third, the template could be challenging to customize if you do not have web development skills. And there are those where you have to purchase expensive third-party templates, if you would like to have a nice branded look.

This is where HelpCenter.io comes in. We do our best to give you all the essentials so you can build a help center without hassle.

WSP Interview HelpCenter.io

As a start, you have a full-featured fast content editor. A must is our built-in good knowledge base template you can customize without any code and see a live preview of your changes as you go. And finally, a smart widget will bring your content closer to your customers and make it even more helpful with relevant and timely suggestions.

Using our JS widget, you can also get parts of the content from your knowledge base directly to your website or app. For example, you know all those static FAQ sections you can see on every website. Now you can have them in your help center and render them on your website with our widget.

And all of this comes packaged in a pleasant and intuitive UI. Our happiest customers often praise us for how easy and familiar it is to work with HelpCenter.io, compared to other products in the space.

How did it all start, and what are your achievements to this day?

It all started a long time ago as a simple idea and a nice domain name I happened to find when the idea popped into my mind. Back then, there were just a few other products in this space. I renewed the domain name for two years before getting to this idea and started implementing it. The idea appeared from a need we had back then in the company I worked for. Once I left that job, I decided to spend six months unemployed and get HelpCenter.io going. Our first early adopters rolled the ball, and several months later, we got our first customer who purchased a subscription plan. And this is how it all started.

In the first few years, HelpCenter.io was just a side project I enjoyed working on and polishing in my free time. During that time, it attracted attention organically. I did almost zero promotion.

At some point, it started getting hard to keep working on HelpCenter.io as a side project. The upsurge in customers and their demands pushed me to take the decision and get fully onboard.

The countless happy customers and the positive feedback we have received is what I consider our most notable achievement. When I hear a customer say they have tried them all and nothing could beat HelpCenter.io, it is worth more than any pricing plan.

How does your mission differ from the other companies in your niche?

I could talk a lot about technology, but every day I find a new and different competitor that does something I thought nobody else was currently doing. Nowadays, good ideas are everywhere.

Our mission is to help and provide a usable and intuitive product that customers love to work with. We are genuinely excited about our product and our customers. I believe a lot of the other businesses in the space, and in the technology sector in general, are either there only to make money which could never be a good approach, or are already bored by what they are doing and have lost direction.

To this point, we are entirely bootstrapped, already profitable, and self-funded, so we can keep showing care to our customers and for the product we are building instead of constantly focusing on growth and making even more money. We could say, HelpCenter.io is a boutique knowledge base company which, I believe, gives us a nice competitive edge.

Who are your typical clients and what problems do they have when they come to you?

Our typical clients are usually two types:

  1. Companies that still do not have any knowledge base. They are looking to create one because they are rapidly growing and cannot keep up answering all the repetitive customer support requests they get.
  2. Established companies that already have a knowledge base in place with a different provider, or custom-built by their internal team but are looking to migrate for some reason.
All of them are looking for a better way to organize and present their help content, educate their customers, lower costs, and streamline internal processes.

And what makes them eventually choose you over your competitors?

Our customers often praise us on how easy to use and intuitive HelpCenter.io is, so they usually choose us having that in mind and because of our impeccable customer support that always walks the extra mile to help the customer achieve their job.

Can you share one success story from your customers? What was their pain point, and what results did they get thanks to HelpCenter.io?

Our most prominent success story is often repeated with different customers. They have been struggling for a long time with another big vendor, and they were dissatisfied with the rate of updates to the knowledge base solution and their customer support. However, despite their dissatisfaction, because of the huge amount of content they had and the work involved with moving everything, they kept working with that provider for a very long time.

When they found HelpCenter.io, as they said, we were like “a breath of fresh air” to their business and to their customer support team. We completed a seamless migration for that customer in less than four days, including moving all files, images, setting up redirects, etc., and doing advanced template customizations so the help center matched their brand better. The business was able to get their hands on the new help center in no time. Moving the help center with us not only lowered their costs but also showed as more effective both to customers and to the internal team.

What do you see in the future of your industry, and how do you plan to cope?

I am pretty sure the future of the industry involves a lot of AI. Self-help solutions will get smarter and smarter to the point where they can understand what the user is currently struggling with and offer timely help instead of waiting for them to look for help. At least this is our direction, and I suspect many other businesses will follow.

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