Having how-to and troubleshooting guides for your products is an important part of customer service. It allows customers to resolve problems or questions that they have with your product without having to call customer service. Having a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, or as a part of your how-to and troubleshooting page, can help with this. This article will discuss and provide tips for how to create a useful FAQ page.
Creating Your FAQs
When considering the questions to include in your FAQ page, ask yourself, “what is important for the customer to know?”
Here are some questions to help you get started:
- What are any common issues with your product?
- Are there changes or updates that customer need to know about?
- Are there common procedures that customers should know how to do?
Check with your customer services, IT, and engineering teams to see if they have any requests for information that should be included in the FAQ page. These teams should have a list of issues that customers frequently ask about. Ask your engineers or IT experts if there are any issues that the customer should be aware of, or if there are any workarounds to common problems. Also, they can give you a heads up on any current issues that are unresolved.
What would a customer who is using your product for the first time want to be able to do? Are there instructions available on how to do this? If they having trouble using a feature or a service, or it isn’t available, explain how they can resolve the issue, or explain why they cannot use this service or feature.
Keep in mind that the people behind each question is real, and so are their questions. Posting questions that customers do not have defeats the purpose of the support documents, and the page on the whole. It’s important to have customer service keep you updated on customer call trends, and use webservices to track page visits to see what questions are most popular. You can also ask the visitor if a how-to or troubleshooting document was helpful through a survey or feedback form.
Organizing Your FAQs
Make the information in your FAQ page or any support document easy to find and easy to understand. This will help to avoid annoyed customers and overwhelming your customer support system.
For example, retirement planning company Guided Choice organizes its page into topics and common questions:
(Image Source: Guided Choice)
Make sure options are clearly marked, either on the menu, your homepage or the Help page for FAQs. Keep in mind that people skim pages to find what they’re looking for quickly. A table of contents listing either topics or questions will help customers accomplish that. Another good idea is listing commonly asked questions at the top of the page. If there’s a high number, group questions together by topic, or consider listing the topics in your table of contents. Once the customer has found the question they want answered, keep the information simple and easy to understand.
A search box is also a good way for customers/site visitors to quickly find their question without having to scroll a lot.
Making it Visual
The visual aspect of instructions is very important. Set off sections headers and notes or warnings using different fonts, sizes, and colors. Pictures and screenshots are especially important for instructions using software and will help the customer confirm that they are following the steps correctly. This makes the text visually interesting.
A video of someone doing the procedure, or following the steps, is helpful for people who prefer to watch rather than read. TransUnion’s Shareable For Hires, for example, includes a section on its how-to page dedicated to video tutorials:
(Image Source: Shareable For Hires)
Keeping it Up-to-Date
Keep your FAQ page up-to-date. Any software updates can change how you perform steps. If an issue with a new product occurs regularly with a new or old product, include the steps to work around or resolve it on the FAQ page. Make sure you are keeping up with changes in information and regulations as well.
Thinking about Your SEO
You can also use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to help customers find your support documents using Google or other search engines. Customers will sometimes search third-party search engines rather than your website to find support documents. This makes your use of SEOs critical to ensuring they find reliable support. For a detailed guide on how to include SEOs to make sure your site comes up first in search results, The Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
If a support document has already been created and it contains the answer to a frequently asked question, you can simply link to the existing page from your FAQ page rather than creating a whole new page. If you have information that applies to multiple products, create one document and then provide a link to that document on the various product pages that apply to it. If your document set gets large, you might consider getting a content management system to help manage them. A CMS can also help you manage what products apply to certain documents.
You can also set up a forum where customers can post questions and get answers from certified experts. You can also link to third-party blog posts on the forum but be sure to verify the information before linking to it. A forum can also be a great place to find common issues to put solutions to on your FAQ page.
Improving the Customer Experience with FAQs
Having important information available on your website that is easily found and understood is an important part of customer service for your clients. Putting some time into figuring out what information customers are frequently asking about, what information they need to know (either updates or current issues) are great items to put on your FAQ page. With a little time and effort, this will be a great resource for customers to help themselves and increase your product’s usability!
Haku Kapule is a contributing editor at 365 Business Tips, a new blog that prides itself on presenting the best advice and practices for small and medium sized businesses everywhere. He’s passionate about finding and offering useful tips to small business owners. He is an expert in digital PR and marketing strategy and has assisted with the increase of digital presence and customer support for small and large companies alike.