If you tried to give your customers every piece of information about your business and processes within the body of your website, you’d end up with something confusing, long and incredibly tedious.
That is why the humble FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page exists.
It is a simple way to communicate simple pieces of information to your reader quickly. Most websites include one these days because:
- They provide an extra level of support for your customers
- They save you time by posting answers to questions you are constantly asked therefore reducing email and phone calls
- They show you care about your customers by providing them with as much assistance as possible
Of course, for it to be a truly effective page you must ensure you include questions that people want to know the answers to. Look back through your email correspondence with customers and pull out all the questions that crop up time and again.
That’s all well and good, but how do you make sure you write a good FAQ page?
Well these 6 pointers will get you started in the right direction.
6 ways to write a winning FAQ page
1. Forget the fuss
The first thing to remember is that your FAQ page is there simply to provide information. It is not one of your main sales pages. So, although its content should still be clear and informative, it is the content that matters so forget images and other distractions. Make sure it is well written and easy to follow and that there’s no ambiguity.
2. Simplicity is key
Providing an FAQ page and then making it difficult to find answers is rather counter-productive. Make it easy for your user by categorising your Q and As. Cluster all questions relating to similar topics together. That way it will make your customers life much easier because they’ll be able to find the information they need quickly.
3. Information overload
The number of questions and answers you have will depend on your business. Some of you may only have half a dozen or so. But for those who are likely to have ten or more questions, gather all the questions together at the top of your page and link each one to their answer. That way your reader can scan down the list of questions, find the one relevant to them, click on the link and be taken to the answer. This will make it much easier to use than if you merely list all Q and As together so they have to scroll down your mammoth list until they find the one they want.
Just bear in mind though, if you do list your questions and link them to the answers, make sure you provide a ‘return to top’ link at the end of each answer so they can easily return to the top of the page.
4. Start with the easy stuff
Another good way to make sure your list of questions is useful is by placing the simplist and most often asked questions at the top of the list. The more complex questions should then come further down the list.
5. You’re not writing a novel
However tempted you are to write something literary and indepth, keep your answers short and to the point. Now’s not the time to show off your writing skills (in fact, that is something you should never do when writing any type of marketing materials. Your writing should be secondary – it is your marketing message that should be noticed), keep your answers simple, short and to the point.
6. Be available
One thing that really bugs me are websites without any contact details. It is so frustrating especially when the FAQ page doesn’t answer my particular problem. Like many people, if I find a site that makes it virtually impossible to get in touch with the company I’ll hit the back browser and find someone else. My instant reaction is what are they trying to hide? If you are a genuine company why isn’t your address, phone number, email address clearly marked on your website? Make sure you provide a link to your contact page from the FAQ page in case someone has a question that’s not listed.
So as you can see your FAQ page really is important and shouldn’t be thrown together as an after thought. It is your extended online customer service portal providing information that your customers need. By making it easy to find, easy to follow and easy to read, you are adding another layer of customer service. Plus, just think of how many emails and phone calls you won’t have to field because your customers can find the answers to their questions for themselves.
Remember to also keep it updated. It is unlikely you’ll predict every question you’ll ever be asked, so as new questions arise add them to your page. Over time you’ll accumulate a valuable bank of information for your customers.