Today, self-service is in high demand online. Customer service as we know it is also changing, and more rapidly than ever before. Today’s consumers expect—nay, demand—a personalized, connected experience from start to finish, including the research stage of the process all the way through to the purchase, after-sale, and beyond. If you don’t deliver that, you’re not only missing the mark, but you’ll be missing a big chunk of the profits available from the thriving market of online consumers.
Thanks to the evolution of digital technology, it’s easier than ever for people to have instant access to the answers that they seek. They can simply perform a basic Internet search and then they’ll be connected to an endless source of answers. Of course, the validity of those answers will vary, but that’s where you can take the upper hand.
Creating an FAQ page (or database) for your audience will do you several favors, and all while providing them with answers and a valuable resource they can rely on when they need the facts. According to research, the FAQ page is the single-most used self-service tool online today. Not only that, but the numbers show that having the right self-service solutions for your audience can make a big difference:
So, how can you save time, deliver a resourceful self-service solution, and ensure that people’s needs and demands are met?
Yep, you guessed it: the FAQ page.
It might seem like a simple tool at first, but that’s the beauty of it. When you do it right, this “simple” resource can become a dynamic tool that shapes the way people view your customer service and your brand as a whole. In the sections below, we’ll talk about setting up a proper FAQ strategy and creating a page that’s successful from the start.
By the time we’re done, you should have all the insight that you need to create a dynamic resource for your audience, no matter what business you’re in. Let’s get started.
You can’t just dive into this and start posting a bunch of questions and answers on your website. First, you need to come up with a strategy for your FAQ page. That includes deciding how you’re going to set the page up, what navigation style you’ll choose, and the million-dollar question: one FAQ page or multiple pages for separate topics?
Part of this answer is personal preference. The other part comes in how many questions you have. If, for example, you are a solo business consultant and only have a handful of FAQs to start with, a single page organized by topic would do the trick. If, on the other hand, you’ve got an enterprise with so many possible topics and categories for FAQs that they number in the dozens or higher, it would make more sense to make multiple pages.
Categories, topics, what do we mean—yeah, we know, it’s a lot. And, while categories can vary in their specifics from one industry to the next, there are some fairly standard ones:
The exact categories that you end up with will be up to you, but this is a general idea of how to start your page. Over time, you’ll be able to make changes and switch things up accordingly so that you can continue to deliver a more dynamic resource with each passing day. Strategy goes a long way in getting you set up for success and even when it seems like it will take a while to get results, you have to remind yourself that you’ll notice the changes in metrics like customer retention, lead conversion, and other related areas faster than you might think.
There is a lot to be said for the prep work that comes with setting up your FAQ page. However, you will be rewarded with instant results and much better success if you have a page that’s well-planned, well-designed, and well-executed. That all starts with creating the strategy that works for your business when it comes to FAQ pages.
Once you have a solid strategy in place, then you can move on to setting up the actual questions and figuring out how to provide the best answers possible. To assist with that, let’s go over some tips and tricks for your Frequently Asked Questions database.
There is a lot that goes into planning a solid FAQ page. However, some elements are more critical than others. Here’s a big tip for setting up your FAQs: use dropdowns or hyperlinks to provide easy access to all the questions and answers. No one wants to have to scroll for days just to get an answer to a simple question.
Here are some more quickfire tricks and tips to keep in mind when creating your FAQ page:
We could go on for days listing tips that will improve your FAQs, but these general ones will get you on the right track and you’ll eventually find the way to the rest on your own. There are a lot of people out there trying to offer advice on how to write an effective FAQ page, but most are focused on the “sales” aspect of it and not just information for information’s sake.
That’s why you can count on us. We’re less worried about the connections and profits and more concerned with helping your business set up effective self-service solutions, including an FAQ page, that deliver the answers that people need. When you have that mindset, you’ll have no trouble creating a great FAQ database that reflects your company quite impressively.
There will be different questions that need to be covered for different industries, so we can’t just list out the “best questions” for everyone. As mentioned above, some of the most common categories include things like:
Of course, the categories can get much more specific when you focus on an industry. These are harder to share because they are too specific for everyone to use, but they do provide insight as to how to tie your specific business or industry into the question. For example, in the eCommerce world, you might have topics like:
If you want to make sure that you cover the most important questions and categories, see what other businesses in your industry are doing. Moreover, see what your audience is searching for and pose questions that match those searches. That will help you give people better questions and answers, and it will also improve your search rankings.
That’s right. Your FAQ page is a knowledge resource, but it can also be part of your marketing strategy when you do it right. Marketing is a big part of success in today’s Internet and sometimes you have to get creative with it because everyone has access to the same resources. Open-source technology and the advances in AI have made it impossible for one business to be more powerful than its competitor.
By doing this, they’re leveling the playing field and giving small brands the chance to catch up. The FAQ page isn’t the only resource that your audience will want to use, but it’s one of the most important ones to have on your list.
There are several different types of questions that people will ask, too. The best way to find out what people want to know is to see what others are doing with their FAQ pages and take notes from the best (and the worst) to build your own. You will often want to use questions like:
From here, you’ll be able to lead into several other potential categories and questions that can turn your FAQs into the dynamic database that your customers demand. No matter what industry you’re in, setting up the page and getting the questions right are the two biggest elements to success here. That is, next to actually building an effective FAQ page in the first place.
It's no longer like the old days—if you build it, they may come. However, they may not even know that you exist because you didn’t market your efforts properly. To some, it’s just an FAQ page. To others, it is the window to their business, the heart and soul of their financial hardship, and so much more. Make sure that your FAQ page gets the right treatment and is built to reflect your brand accordingly.
When you want to stay ahead of the game in today’s market, you have to be communicative and consistent. You can’t have mixed messages or a lazy website design that’s outdated just because you don’t “feel like” changing it. People want consistency. They want instant answers. They want it all and they want you to never drop the ball along the way.
Speaking of which, let’s talk about how we can help you with that.
To follow the trend of the statistics that we started with, let’s end with one more:
69% of American adults that use the Internet say that they will shop more frequently with a business when its customer service is consistent.
When you hire the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai to act as the face of your brand, you’ll be able to ensure that your customer service is seamless across all channels and platforms, from live chat to incoming calls and everything in between. We can even handle lead qualification and intake, scheduling, payment collection, Facebook and SMS message answering, and so much more.
Plus, our team will collaborate with you to create a strategy to manage all of it so that you can focus on growing your business and building your self-service solutions. There’s nothing we can’t handle and when you put our team to work, you’ll get 24/7 customer service and support that’s consistent, communicative, and created just for your business.
To learn more, schedule a consultation to find out what the 24/7 virtual receptionists can do for your business, from answering after-hours calls to fielding live chats and more. You can also reach us at email@example.com or (650) 727-6484.
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Contact us at (650) 727-6484 or schedule a call.