Are you looking for a way to improve your customer relationships? An FAQ page might just do the trick. Not only is an FAQ area essential for guiding your customers around your site, but it can serve as a trust-builder, convincing customer to buy more products by giving them additional information. But how do you create the perfect FAQ page? Keep reading to find out.
The Perfect FAQ Page: What Can It Do For You?
Many ecommerce professionals consider an FAQ page an afterthought. They think it's a nice extra item to have on their online store, but not entirely necessary to get more business. That couldn't be further from the truth.
In fact, an FAQ page does several things to improve your conversions and even cut some costs.
- An FAQ frees up time for your support team, since the most common questions are published online for your customers to read.
- An FAQ page builds trust between you and your customers, because they see that you've taken the time to guide them and display your knowledge of your products.
- People are more likely to purchase from your store when they know as much information as possible. An FAQ page helps with that.
- Search engines see FAQ pages as high-information resources. They're bound to improve your SEO seeing as how it helps with navigation, purchasing knowledge and more.
How to Construct the Perfect FAQ Page for Your Ecommerce Store
The first step to a solid FAQ page is to ask yourself whether or not you need one. Most of the time the answer is yes, but sometimes it may just clutter your website and make your customers more confused. For example, if your product is straight forward, and everyone knows how it works (like coffee,) there's no reason to explain how coffee makes you focus and wake up in the morning.
However, the FAQ provides the opportunity to explain what makes your coffee so unique. Therefore, the FAQ either functions as a way to talk about what makes a seemingly basic product unique, or it's a page for explaining a lesser known product, like a completely new invention.
Finding the Right Questions for Your Perfect FAQ Page
Making up your own questions is not a good idea. A startup might feel like they're left with no other choice, but you need to get feedback from testers or real customers before writing up the questions.
Whether you're getting emails from customers or selecting a focus group to test out the product and give you feedback, your questions should be structured around real people and their thoughts.
For the Perfect FAQ Page: Talk to Your Customers the Way They Want to Be Talked To
All customer-bases have their own language. A snowboarding company might realize that its customers are more laidback, with certain jargon being used by the people who shop from the store. A company that sells school supplies to students and parents might stick to more professional, yet fun communications.
The language you use on your ecommerce site should reflect your brand and the type of message you're trying to communicate to the customers. If your customers are serious professionals, speak to them like that. If they are younger gamers, use some language that might apply to them. This can be utilized in product pages, homepages, category pages, and much more.
But don't forget about your perfect FAQ page!
One way to make it even more perfect is to speak the language of your customers. How do your customers phrase the questions when they come in through email, phone, or chat? Why not phrase them just that way and try to write the questions in a similar fashion?
For example, McDonald's knows that its customers are coming into the store for a delicious meal. McDonald's has always marketed about fun, family, and enjoying the good things in life. So, it makes sense that there's a more casual tone when you look at the McDonald's FAQ page.
They talk about how serious they are about the coffee, but they also go into the specific details that customers want to know. It makes customers feel as if they're hearing the answers from a friend as opposed to a computer or corporation.
The Perfect FAQ Page: Format Your FAQs Properly
FAQs look different on all ecommerce websites, but the good ones follow similar formatting models to ensure that customers are getting valuable information and not becoming more confused. As we'll discuss further into the article, it all starts with locating your FAQ page in reasonable positions on your website.
After that, we recommend taking a look at your list of FAQs and deciding if you need to categorize or not. As a rule of thumb, anything more than 10 questions is enough to make categories. No one wants to read through dozens of questions, so your best bet is to make headings that categorize each topic, with relevant links to the questions below that.
Great FAQ pages have hammer down effects, keeping the primary information consolidated and the overall look of the page clean and not intimidating. Therefore, the customer can quickly scroll through the questions, locate what they need, then only open up the question that relates to their problem.
We also recommend utilizing pictures whenever needed. Sometimes pictures are a little overkill, but visuals often help out your customers more than words do. For example, you may have an FAQ that explains the return process. If that's the case you should have links to the full return policy, along with some visual steps to complete the return.
Finally, branding and your company's voice comes into play far more often than you may think with an FAQ page. These questions are an opportunity to let your voice shine and either represent a professional or fun tone. For example, the folks at Poo-Pourri make jokes throughout the FAQ, most of which relate to stinkiness in the bathroom. It's a playful take on the product, and it makes people feel more comfortable with a subject that probably isn't talked about much.
Not only will this approach put your customers at ease, but it's a method for clearly stating what your customers need to know, while also telling them a little story about your company.
Make Sure All FAQs Lead to Something More
Answering each question then leaving it at that isn't exactly the point of an FAQ. Like we stated before, these questions offer a wonderful chance to cut down on support resources and build trust right before customers want to buy. That's why FAQs should have additional links leading to relevant products, support areas or even blog posts with more information on the subject. The example above even has a field for finding furniture store delivery locations.
The FAQ should act as a funnel, not a dead end. This will not only improve your SEO as a form of navigation, but you should start to see your customers feeling more informed right before making purchases.
Make Your Perfect FAQ Page Accessible
It's important to show that your FAQ page is a valuable resource to customers. If it looks like your company doesn't believe in the FAQs, your customers won't either. That's why it confuses me when I see a tiny little FAQ link in the footer area, and that's all.
As long as the FAQ page is justified, formatted properly and shows great value to your customers, it deserves a link on the main menu.
It's also not a bad idea to consider placing the FAQ in different locations of your website. For example, some businesses realize that these questions often arise when customers are working their way through the purchasing process. Therefore, they have FAQs on the actual product pages, below product descriptions.
Furthermore, you might think about integrating a customer support system like ZenDesk in with your FAQs. The whole idea behind this is that customers would look at the FAQs first. If those don't solve the problem, it would then offer options to submit a ticket, browse through forums or call the support team.
Think About Using Visuals If It Would Help
For some reason, most FAQ pages you see stick with text answers. That's great as long as they speak directly to the audience and remain short and sweet. However, media elements are bound to speed up the process as well. Think about it–videos are usually easier to consume than text. The same can be said about screenshots and audio. All the customer has to do is watch a two-minute clip or look at a picture to actually see the solution to the problem.
Sure, the text description is nice for those who want to read (and for the search engines,) but an image is bound to improve the customer's understanding of what they are supposed to be learning.
For instance, let's say you run a software company and one of the FAQs is about how to create an account. You can definitely write a step-by-step outline of how to create an account, but wouldn't it be nice to also have a screenshot with arrows pointing to the right buttons and tabs?
Simply put, people love pictures and videos, so give them what they want if it is going to help solve the problem.
Allow Customers to Search Your FAQ (Especially If You Have Lots of Questions)
You should try to keep your FAQ list to a minimum, but sometimes even shorter lists need some sort of search or filter functionality.
Adding a search bar allows customers the chance to quickly type in a keyword instead of scrolling through your list of questions. You also might activate the search for the answers, seeing as how there might be some relevant keywords in those as well.
Overall, a list of ten FAQs may not look that intimidating to you. However, the average customer is busy and doesn't want to look at every single question to find one in ten.
You defeat the purpose of an FAQ page if you have too many questions and too much information. If your customers have to search through paragraphs of information, even after going through a search field, you're technically making a knowledgebase and not an FAQ. Your FAQ page should be made with short, succinct answers to the most pressing of questions. Otherwise, you're simply going to confuse your customers and make it harder on your customer support representatives.
Consider Landing Pages for the Big Questions
This is one of the more unique tips for making the perfect FAQ page, but it ties into SEO and guiding search engine users to questions that pertain to them.
Let's say that you have one or two questions that are asked by customers far more frequently than the others.
Similar to category pages on your ecommerce site, dedicating a whole page to a question is a great way to boost your SEO–since many of these users are searching those exact questions through Google.
In addition, this gives you the opportunity to expand on the question and include a wide range of information that might be helpful. You're able to add tons of links, images, and videos that would typically clutter your standard FAQ page.
Are You Ready to Build the Perfect FAQ Page?
Have you walked through all of the steps? Start by figuring out if an FAQ page is right for you. Then find the questions that customers care about the most. Finally, walk through formatting, locations and the funnel that's going to lead people elsewhere. I would also recommend that you check out some of the FAQ pages from brands that you enjoy or those that run in your own industry. This should give you a great start.
After that, you should have something close to a perfect FAQ page!
Let us know in the comments if you have any questions about designing and writing the perfect FAQ page.
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