Patricia Iyer

By Patricia Iyer

Why Your Website Needs an FAQ

Why Your Website Needs an FAQ 150 150 Patricia Iyer

You probably know that few businesses can thrive these days without an online presence. Sometimes, though, even the largest corporations neglect to have an essential web site element: a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. All web sites need one for a number of reasons.

It Answers Questions

How much of your employees’ time gets spent answering potential customers’ questions by phone or email? How much time can be saved through a thorough FAQ page? The answer to both questions is: a lot.

In addition, an FAQ can answer questions during the hours when your business is closed, thus allowing you to serve potential customers 24/7. People can get to know your company better by studying it.

What Goes on Your FAQ?

 The specifics depend, of course, on the particular nature of your business, but some general principles apply.

A good web site will have a lot of information about products and services, but the information in it can’t answer every question. In addition, the information is often spread across a number of pages.

An FAQ provides a highly condensed distillation of the most important facts for your customers and potential customers to know. If you’re not sure what’s important, do this:

  • Ask those who answer customer questions what the most commonly asked questions are.
  • Take this a step further by brainstorming additional possible questions.
  • Study your competition’s FAQ pages. This gives you ideas.

Sometimes it’s best if your answer is a link to another page. For example, if your company sells vacuum cleaners, people might ask the difference between Model VC-20 and VC-30. This tells you the benefit of a page dedicated to a chart that clearly shows the different features of various models. Your FAQ can link to that page.

Basic and Essential Questions

  •  What payment methods do you accept?
  • What warranties and guarantees do you offer?
  • What are your return policies?

This last question is very important and a subject in itself. I recommend that every page have a link to your return policies page and the information on it be repeated on the FAQ page.

An FAQ Page Tells More About Your Company

 A common question in FAQs is “Why is your product better than X’s product?” This provides a great opportunity to both show your expertise and praise your product.

A question about how fast you ship products allows you to state that customer satisfaction is your highest priority.

Demonstrate Your Company’s Unique Qualities

 Make sure that your answers are engaging in character. Show a sense of humor when appropriate. Create answers that use the simplest and clearest language possible. Make it clear that you care about communicating to your customer.

People Will Still Call

 You won’t be shutting down your customer service lines. Some people won’t understand the answers in the FAQ. Some will have questions you never dreamed anyone would ask. Others find it important to speak to a live person because it gives them more confidence in your company.

Nonetheless, having an informative and engaging FAQ can do a lot to help you attract—and keep—customers.

Pat Iyer is an editor, book coach, ghostwriter and online course creator who assists busy business executives share their knowledge. Find out more about her services by visiting www.patiyer.com

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