Question: How do I create a good Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) section for my startup website? Customer care efficiency company Inbenta has collected thousands of consumer questions to develop their natural language search tool. If you are looking for answers, start here.
Do I need an FAQ?
FAQs are great to have – they cut down on the time you spend answering email questions and the Q&A format ranks highly in Google’s algorithms, so you are more likely to show up in search results. But the true value in creating an FAQ is understanding what kind of questions your customers are asking. Take the opportunity in writing your FAQ to talk to your customers and your business will be better for it.
Where do I start?
Look for competitors with similar product lines. They probably share your customers and, by extension, your customers’ questions. Don’t want to be a copycat? Put up an FAQ page with a single question: What do I do if I have questions?”
Answer: Email us at email@example.com and a real human will get back to you in 24 hours/3 days/ASAP/Whatever time you feel comfortable committing to.
Sounds scary right? “What if a million people contact me in the next hour? It will take me years to answer everyone!” Don’t worry, it’s highly unlikely. What is likely is a few people will land on your FAQ page, drop you a line, and give you your first FAQs. You can re-post them, along with your answers, and your customers will appreciate the AWESOME customer service you are providing. If you really are experiencing heavy traffic, then you can look into automated solutions, but only after you’ve tried your best to handle the load.
Are there FAQ rules I should follow?
There are writing rules you should follow, and they apply nicely to FAQs.
Keep it simple – Your questions should be brief and, well, they should be questions. “Where can I check my order status” is better than “Check order status” or “How do I check my order status and cancel it or make changes?”
Categories help – Visitors to your FAQ page are looking for answers, not reading material. Help them out with clear categories and a table of contents with links at the top so that they can scan, locate, and learn as quickly as possible. For example, a category for “How do I update my account information” can include sub-categories for updating your email, your phone number, your credit card information, and your profile picture. However, too much of a good thing can be bad, so we recommend limiting your categories to 2 levels.
Shorter is usually better – Reading an FAQ should be a quick and efficient task, so don’t overload the reader. Keep your answers shorter than 1000 characters / 250 words / 3 paragraphs and link to more in-depth explanations from other portions of your website.
That should be enough to get you started, but when one day your inbox gets flooded by thousands of customer emails, Inbenta has a nice technology solution for that.
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