Frequently asked questions – often referred to as FAQs – are those questions that you in your business are asked again and again. And again. They’re obviously important to your customers, but sometimes it seems like all your time is taken up providing the same answers over and over.
What you need is a way of answering all your business’s most common questions so that your customers get the information they need and you can spend your time working on other things. But what’s the best way of answering FAQs? Let’s take a look at a few ways you can respond to your customer enquiries without spending hours writing emails or taking phone calls.
Why You Need to Answer FAQs
Customers ask questions in order to help them make a decision. And if they’re asking you, chances are that they’re decision is whether or not to buy your product or service.
You could just ignore them, of course. It would save you time and you could focus on serving those easy customers who already know what they want and don’t need to harass you for answers.
But there are a few issues with this.
Firstly, customer service is important. If you want to build a strong, positive relationship, there are few better ways to do that than with excellent customer service. That person who’s asking a million questions may just be the person who makes a big purchase, leaves you a glowing review and tells all their friends how wonderful you are. And growing a business off the back of strong reviews and personal recommendations is a cost-effective and powerful way to go.
Secondly, answering FAQs means that you can help customers decide whether your product or service is what they really want or need. Nobody wants to waste money, so even helping a customer decide they DON’T want to buy from you may save you a bad review down the line. Think of a time where you’ve bought a product that wasn’t quite what you needed. Were you annoyed that the company had failed to give you relevant information, or that they made it very hard to find the information you needed to check it was right? Maybe you even left that company a bad review because of it? The problem could have been solved for both you and the company if they had anticipated your needs and answered the questions you had.
Thirdly, it doesn’t take much time! Yes, if you answer every single question every time someone emails or calls you, you’ll lose a big chunk of your day. But if you write up a good set of FAQs, keep them up-to-date, and present them to your customers so they don’t need to contact you directly, then you’ll save yourself much more time in the long run, while still providing great customer service.
So let’s look into ways you can answer FAQs to save you time, help your customers, and build a good reputation.
1. Create an FAQ Page
The first thing you want to do is create an FAQ page on your website. It should be easy to find and include all the most common question you’re asked, plus their answers. As far as possible, your questions should be phrased in the same way your customers ask them, and the answers should be clear and concise.
Not only does an FAQ page on your website make it easy for customers to find answers, it’s also excellent for your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). If people are searching for the answers to a question and you have a good answer there on your website, you have more chance of showing up well on search engines such as Google and Bing.
2. Use Video
Videos are a powerful tool for gaining attention from potential customers and for ultimately making sales.
43% of companies using video report that it has reduced the number of product support calls they receive, while 94% say that videos have helped customers understand their products better. (blog.hubspot.com)
By making a video of common questions and their answers, you increase your chance of engaging customers and encouraging them to make a purchase. You can either create a longer video with all (or a selection) of your FAQs, or a group of shorter videos covering individual questions.
The advantage of a longer video is that sites such as YouTube, Google and Facebook tend to prefer them (as long as they perceive that users find them engaging). You can make them work even better for you by creating a list of contents and linking your questions to specific time codes of the video. That way, users can skip to their preferred questions instead of watching the whole video.
The benefits of a shorter video is that they answer a specific question without the user having to search further or skip through the video to get to the right point.
3. Send an Automated Email Response
You probably find that a lot of your customers’ questions come to you via email. Perhaps you spend a huge amount of time in your inbox answering all the questions, and then dealing with more emails in the form of follow-ups because you haven’t had time to get back to the first message in time.
You can help yourself – and your customers – by setting up an automatic response (also known as an out of office message) with all your most frequently asked questions alongside their answers. That way, when someone emails you with a common question, they get an immediate answer and you can spend your time responding to more specific questions instead.
If you have lots of FAQs, think about including the most popular in your automatic response, and then directing users via a link to your FAQ page or FAQ video.
Remember to also let people know that, if their question isn’t answered in your FAQ, you’ll get back to them as soon as possible. That way, they know they’re still going to get an answer.
4. Respond on Facebook Messenger
If your business is on Facebook, you might also find you get a lot of messages asking those common questions. In fact, 64% of people prefer using Messenger to email or phone, and 65% of those are more likely to shop with a business they can connect with via the platform. (messengernews.fb.com)
Like in your inbox, it can be time consuming to respond to Facebook messages, and you can remedy this by setting up automated responses.
Facebook Messenger allows you to set up automated FAQ responses for up to five questions via your Business Settings. That means that Facebook will send the appropriate reply if anyone messages you asking one of those FAQs. Or you can add four to the start of any conversation so that users can select the question they want to ask, and get a response there and then.
Facebook also allows you to personalise this further by including the name of the user, adding an attachment to the question’s answer, and/or including a call to action. So you’re not only able to answer burning questions, you can encourage this now-engaged user to take further actions such as visiting your online store!
5. Include Specific Answers in Your Customer Journey
Another great place to include FAQs is during the customer journey.
You customers will no doubt have different questions depending on the stage they’re at in purchasing from you. If they’ve just discovered your site, the will want different information to when they’re about to head to the checkout. By highlighting specific questions at different stages of this journey, you can anticipate your users’ needs and help them get the answers they need when they need them.
For example, if someone has a couple of items in their basket, they may now want to double-check that you deliver to them before they start the checkout process. By including this question on the page, you help them get the answer quickly so they are confident in their purchase, can take the action now before they change their mind or get distracted, and save you a phone call or email.
It’s important to answer your customers’ questions in order to build trust, encourage purchases, and avoid negative reviews. Save time by creating a selection of common questions, along with their answers, that will help users get the information they need while you avoid spending lots of time answering each individual enquiry.