Why you Need a Customized Zendesk Guide

Zendesk’s full suite of customer service software helps businesses to make their customers happy. Zendesk Guide is the smart knowledge base solution that creates better self-service and empowered agents.

How can your business get the most out of Zendesk Guide to lower support costs and increase customer retention?

Easy. Think bigger!

By customizing Zendesk Guide, your brand can move beyond a business transaction, to becoming a trusted Guide (pun intended) on your customer’s journey. Read on to learn how everything from simple branding adjustments to full-on, boundary-stretching customizations will have your customers singing your praises.

If you’re already fully on board the self-service train, you already understand all of the positive returns it will bring for your business, skip ahead.

If you’re still considering making a real investment in self-service, read on.

Self Service Lowers Costs & Increases Retention

Before we get into the real fun, did you know that it costs FIVE times as much to attract a new customer than it costs to keep an existing one?

Even if you didn’t know that figure, I bet hearing it felt about right, based on how hard your marketing, PR, sales, and advertising groups work to continually drive in more leads and customers to your pipeline.

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Customer service is the epicenter of customer retention.


If you want to actually grow your customer base without also spending a growing chunk of your budget on customer service agents, infrastructure, and incentive programs, you should be taking a pretty close look at investing in your customer service experience some other way. (cough…self-service…cough)

Otherwise, as far as your marketing and sales investments go, you might as well be throwing your money into a bucket with holes in it.

Think about it: your customers come on board with the hope of solving a problem they were having, making their lives better somehow, or making their own company run better. If the moment they hit a snag and reach out for help, they are not having a satisfactory experience, why would they want to stick around? Why would they refer a friend or colleague?

Investing in a better customer service experience is investing in building loyal and trustworthy relationships with your customers (while also saving money in the long run). That is just what you can do with a customized Zendesk Guide experience.

How Can You Create A Great Customer Service Experience

Okay, okay….we’re all on the same page now. Customer service is really, really important. So how can you provide a satisfactory customer service experience for your customers and reap your rewards?

Customers are craving self-service! It’s been found that 91% prefer self-service over contacting a support agent, so you’re in the right place with Zendesk Guide. You can install a system like Zendesk Guide, add some helpful content, and start deflecting tickets.

Let’s start by assuming that you actually want to do more than just satisfy your customers, though. Of course, if satisfactory or “getting by” happens to be where you’re at right now in your growth as a company, we get it. We even have a few Zendesk Guide Themes, thoughtfully created by our team of Master Zendesk Partners and UI/UX experts, that can help you do a bit better than just satisfactory (shameless plug).

However, if you find yourself in a super competitive market and you are eager to maintain your place among the top ranks, or looking to reach the top ranks in your industry, you’ll have to do better than just satisfactory.

Build Customer Trust with a Consistent Experience

Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit. Matching the Zendesk Guide to your brand style is the first step towards inviting customers into a consistent experience. But it’s not simply about the colors and font; it’s about customizing the entire user interface experience as well.

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Customer service is the epicenter of customer retention.


Creating a consistent interface will make it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for because they’re already familiar with how to navigate your content. Every customer question becomes another confidence-building encounter with your brand.

Free Up Your Team Without Letting Down Your Customer

Taking self-service a step further, one of the biggest challenges our customers face when planning out their Zendesk knowledge base is how to structure the content in a way that their customers can intuitively navigate. Zendesk provides a clear, hierarchical structure right out of the box that’s great for companies with little complexity or crossover in their categories. We offer tips for how to best structure your Zendesk Guide content in another article.

A lot of customer service requests are repetitive. By capturing the most common issues and issues with the biggest impact from customer inquiries, you can include those in your help center and ensure those are the quickest for customers to access.

In some instances, you may find yourself needing more flexibility than the standard theme allows to present content in a way that makes the most sense to help your customers. A custom theme can help bubble up key topics and place them right at your users’ fingertips. The other solution is to add your own customizations to Zendesk Guide to offer a truly personalized experience.

With a Zendesk help center that is easy to access, navigate, and understand, your customized Zendesk Guide will increase ticket deflection, and make for happy customers and a happy customer support team.

Elevate The Customer Service Experience

This is where the excitement really happens. This is where thinking bigger can really pay off.

Let me tell you the nutshell version of a story of how a client of ours took customizing Zendesk Guide to the next level. They didn’t just provide the standard support services and knowledge base. They created an active and engaged community with Zendesk Guide.

This particular customer came to us with a vision of the experience they wanted to provide for their customers, partners, and employees. They wanted to create a system that really helped to walk customers and partners through the adoption lifecycle of their product.

As with many of our customers, they needed a way to aggregate, organize, and present a large amount of information from disparate systems in a useful way. Their goal was to present help center content according to persona and workflow. Then, they wanted to gamify the users’ journey, so they could earn badges and track their progress as they completed workflows and reached milestones along the way.

Their project stretched the boundaries of Zendesk’s platform in order to create a single source for customers and partners to access all information in a seriously engaging way.

They created an experience above and beyond the competition.

You can read the full story of their Zendesk Guide customization in our portfolio.

Now It’s Your Turn

How might you implement self-service features in a way that empowers your users and makes workflows that are normally seen as tedious fun and even exciting? How will you put powerful tools in the hands of your customer service agents that enable them to excel at their roles?

While customization isn’t free, your company can hardly afford to ignore the type of customer experience that intentional customization provides. In a competitive market, the companies with the best customer service experience will come out on top.

How will you delight your customers with a service experience that really does put you at the top of your industry?

If you want to be the best, you need to work with the best. 729 Solutions has over 150 implementations under our belts, earning us the coveted status of Zendesk Master Partner. As a full-spectrum technology consulting agency, with complete design and development capabilities, we offer unique competencies to connect Zendesk with any other business tools. That’s why companies like Universal Music Group, Sundance Institute, Suzuki, AT&T, Verizon, and so many more consider us their trusted partners.

Get a Vision For Your Future Self Service Experience

Hopefully you have some ideas flowing now and you’re thinking bigger about what it really means to provide an excellent and competitive customer service experience for your customers.

If you’d like to brainstorm with someone who eats this stuff for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we’d like nothing more! Reach out and we’ll set up a call where you can share your ideas and hear more of our (unpublished) inspiring customer stories.


Yes! I want more inspiration!

What’s the right level of customization for you? In our experience, companies tend to fit into one of three levels.

Want to know which level of customization fits your needs?

Take our Zendesk Guide Customization quiz!