The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page of a site is commonly one of the most overlooked areas of an e-commerce business. Often, answers on the FAQ page are irrelevant and repetitive. Many companies don’t even have a page for questions at all. Even so, a well-made FAQ section could fill a big gap in customer service and let clients know you’re genuine about providing a service to them.
Such a page creates an opportunity to discuss any points that aren’t covered on the main product or service pages, and can even be the last push a prospective customer needs to buy from you. So, to develop a winning strategy and make sure your FAQ pages are up to scratch, here’s what you can do:
Why is an FAQ page needed?
FAQs are less about specific products and more about your company in general. They can discuss anything: from questions about lead time meaning to size guides. The main goal of the FAQ page is to answer queries and address common concerns. This means the client doesn’t have to contact you with any of the addressed issues and that they can inform themselves more about your company.
If you are frequently getting emails or phone calls asking you the same questions, it’s probably a good idea to set up an FAQ page. But even if you aren’t being bombarded with questions, creating an FAQ page allows you to link your landing and product pages together.
If, for example, you run a call center agency, on your “About Us” page, you may have answered questions like, “what services do we provide?” or “what is predictive dialing?”. But you might not have mentioned which countries you sell to or how people can order your products. By creating an FAQ page, you allow your customer to arrive at your page, find a service they like, and then discover how the whole process works, all in one smooth journey.
Providing this service also gives straightforward answers to any questions, without the trouble of a phone call, email, or being passed from person to person.
Crucially, the way you answer your FAQs needs to reflect your brand voice. Say you’re a fashion brand that sells upcycled clothing, and your tone of voice is often light-hearted and jokey; you need to reflect this in your answers. Suddenly becoming abrupt in your communication style may put off your clientele.
But, more importantly, remember that you are still helping customers digitally, so polite and friendly responses are compartmental to a great quality of service. This means less“as we already told you” and more “we want to make sure you are happy”. Being obliging will give people more confidence in your brand.
Make it look good
You don’t want your FAQ section to look like it was an afterthought. You want it to look like you’ve taken customer questions into account and that you’re doing what you can to answer them.
You’ll need to ensure the layout is clear and easy to use and that text is concise and well-spaced. It may seem like an obvious point, but as FAQ pages are often rushed, businesses forget that site visitors prefer not to read dense paragraphs of a tiny font. You may not be able to personalize e-commerce FAQs to each customer at this point, but you can do your best to let them know you have their needs in mind.
On a business level, you can use this opportunity to promote your brand image tangibly by adding a well-placed logo.
Keep it organized
Another priority is to make sure the questions are organized. This means grouping together related questions and checking that queries aren’t repeating themselves. Even some of the most established companies are guilty of this, and it can cause confusion.
For example, you may be asked, “can I order internationally?”, “can I make returns from a different country?”, as well as “how do I buy from abroad?”. The first and third questions cover the same ground, and after being grouped, the second question can be answered here too. Grouping such questions and avoiding repetition will help drive sales, as customers will be able to find the answers they’re looking for with ease and move on to the next stage in their purchasing journeys.
Consider how you answer
Realistically, there may be some FAQs that are a little negative. This is your opportunity to turn these bad points into good ones. For example, you may need to write an answer about late deliveries. In this case, as well as providing an apology, you can explain that your business is in high demand, before directing the client to customer service.
Keep in mind to always look at things from a customer’s point of view and to always be clear. Asking questions in the first person can be particularly accessible- like, “how do I use a toll-free vanity number both at home and at work?”. While using the first person might not always be possible, however you ask your questions, you need to consider customer queries specifically. You should then reply from a business perspective. Make sure to be detailed and authoritative while not going off on a rant.
You can even add in a photo or video if you think it’ll help. And if you’re feeling brave, why not add in a link to another part of your site, too?
The questions themselves also need to be clear and easy to read. Let’s take as an example a question about using a virtual phone number. Asking something like, “how do I do it?” is far too vague. Equally off-putting in its unfocussed and long-winded delivery would be a question like, “I’m excited about the concept of using a virtual phone number, but I have never done it and have no idea what I am doing. Can you please help me?”.
It is best to say something like, “how exactly do I use a virtual phone number?”. This is concise and clear.
Think about placement
You may assume you need a completely separate page for FAQs, and while this is a good idea, you should bear in mind how many questions you have and if they work on one page. You may want to think about adding in FAQs, or at least a link to them, in your actual product pages too.
Also, you should make sure that the questions page is easy to find on the landing page. Otherwise, customers might spend too much time trying to find answers and will simply leave your site. You may want to include it as a dropdown option within another tab. Either way, successful platforms for e-commerce will always make it easy for customers to find their way around a site; this includes finding the FAQ page itself.
If you find you’re providing a lot of answers to niche questions, you may want to combine your FAQ page with a customer service chat option. This way, you are covering your back no matter how specific the questions are.
Source: Hero Themes
Talk about products
Using the FAQ page is a great opportunity to discuss your unique selling points. If you’re getting a lot of questions about your niche, then answering questions on this page will help draw in new customers. It also gives you a chance to talk about your ethics and express your brand voice. For example, as a cruelty-free cosmetics company, an FAQ could be “I am vegan. Is the makeup okay for me to wear?”. In response to this, you can echo your e-commerce product descriptions and talk about how all your products are indeed vegan. This is something a customer may not have realized without looking at the FAQ page.
Or, it could be that you want to talk about how easy your products and services are to use. Maybe you’d like to advise on how to get started or to get the most out of your service. For example, if you run a cloud communication firm, an FAQ might be “how does [your company] compare to solutions like Talkdesk?”. You can then discuss how your service is easy to set up and that there is always someone on call to help with any problems.
There are several reasons people might visit an FAQ page. They could be asking a question about a product, or they might simply want to find out about shipping. Either way, you need to have the answers prepped to make life easier for customers.
Richard Conn, RingCentral US
Richard Conn is the Senior Director, Search Marketing for RingCentral, a global leader in unified communications.
He is passionate about connecting businesses and customers and has experience working with Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Experian, Target, Nordstrom, Kayak, Hilton, and Kia. Richard has written for sites such as Cincopa and Multibriefs.