Producing your company’s Frequently Asked Questions (and their subsequent answers) seems like an easy task doesn’t it? However, my experience tells me FAQs aren’t as easily completed as first thought. And though it seems as if a list of FAQs is simple to identify, too often they are produced by a lone person (or group) with little or no input from other important perspectives.
StudioConover has re-shaped manufacturers’ FAQs because their original set of questions and answers were incomplete, fragmented or off-message. So, what distinguishes a good list of FAQs? Here’s a few suggestions:
Research the questions that are asked by your customer.
Don’t assume you understand what they may be. Ask some customers what questions they have. Ask someone in every department of your company what questions they frequently get asked by their customers. Customers and Co-workers will reveal questions you may have never thought of.
Differentiate between questions that are frequently asked from all questions that are simply asked.
In order to keep the list manageable it is important to differentiate between questions that explain your product and service specifically and questions that are too vague, general or obvious. Start by writing all the questions down then categorize them in to two separate groups: “Frequently Asked” (that relate to your product and service and “Simply Asked” (i.e. office hours which can be declared elsewhere on your site).
Identify a foolproof way to get answers.
Some users prefer to talk to a representative about any question they may have. Make sure and clarify how they can contact you and how that it is accomplished (phone number, email). Make sure you have the resources to follow up in a timely manner.
Create a list of questions not marketing statements.
Be careful to separate product and service questions with questions that allude to your positioning. (“Why we’re the best, the most…”). If you do include marketing statements as FAQs make sure they are questions first. Secondly, make sure they don’t diminish legitimate questions that aid the understanding of your product (and/or service) value in comparison to your competitors.
Compose FAQs into logically, organized sections.
Users get frustrated with frenzied searches for answers to questions that should be linked together. Since your product is (likely) produced in specific stages from start to completion, group questions accordingly. Don’t interrupt questions about manufacturing with a question about product returns before answering questions about purchasing and delivery. When your questions are listed chronologically searching for answers is easier.
Don’t confuse a marketing message or position (which may be criticized as exaggeration) with honest statements about your product and service.