Have Questions? We’ve Got Answers! The Art of the FAQ
I’ve been selling online now for over 10 years — first with an ecommerce store selling unique educational products for tweens and teens. Then, almost six years ago, I started selling vintage online through my Etsy shop. With a passion for vintage and a desire to expand and create a customized shopping experience, I started my own website last May for my vintage shop — ThirdShift. I’ve learned a lot about ecommerce over all these years, and I LOVE the ever-evolving nature of websites and ecommerce.
Several months ago, I implemented a Live Chat feature on my website. What a blast it has been to interact with customers while they are right there, on my website, exploring all the vintage and industrial offerings! It’s the next best thing to having a brick-and-mortar shop and interacting with customers in person. I really enjoy this interaction, and my customers enjoy it as well.
The thing I love most about a Live Chat with my customers is that they are asking fun questions about the products and are looking for ideas on how they can use these items in their homes. I RARELY have a customer ask the simple, basic (and somewhat mundane) questions such as “Do you ship internationally?” or “How much is shipping for this item?” or “Do I have to have an account to place an order?”. Instead, I get to be on Live Chat with customers in a more engaging way!
Want to know the secret for having more interesting Live Chats? It’s quite easy: 1) Make sure you have detailed individual product descriptions; 2) Include all the pertinent general policy and shipping information within your menus; and 3) Include a well thought out Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section to answer questions not covered in other areas of your website. Trust me. It works. When customers have basic questions, the first place they look is for a FAQ menu on your website. If they find the answer to their questions there, they’re set, leaving them to use the Live Chat for more fun and interesting questions.
If you have an ecommerce business (and I am guessing you do if you are following this series of articles), you NEED to have a well-written Frequently Asked Questions section on your website! Customers that can easily find answers to basic questions, are happy customers. And we LIKE happy customers, right?!
Next time you’re on my website, click the “Chat With Us” button in the lower-right corner, and let’s chat!
TIPS FOR CREATING AN ECOMMERCE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS PAGE:
- Make it EASILY Accessible — Place your FAQ menu where it can easily be found. If a customer has a hard time finding the menu to your FAQ page, it won’t be very effective. Add the FAQ menu to your main navigation, in your footer, or even at the bottom of product pages.
- Use Sections — Make sure you have categories or sections of the types of questions your customers ask, so they can easily and quickly go to that section for answers. For example, Shipping Questions, Return Policies, etc. Putting your sections in order of importance will save your customers time in finding answers too.
- Include Details — Your FAQs should be detailed and descriptive to give your customers all the information they need, but at the same time, be to the point and easy to read.
- Consider the Formatting — Make sure you format your page so that the questions stand out, so it’s easy to tell what is a question and what is an answer.
- Include a Search Box — One way to make it easy for customers to find answers within your FAQ page is to allow them to search for their question.
- Keep It Current — Add new questions and answers to your FAQ as the opportunity arises. Keeping your content current will help your prospective customers turn into actual customers. Listen to feedback from your customers to drive common FAQ content.
- Contact Form — In case your customers couldn’t find the answer they were looking for, make sure to include a Contact Form, or Contact Us Link so they can message you, email you, OR start a Live Chat with you for answers. By providing this information, you are not leaving your customer at a dead end — they have an alternate way to get answers to their questions. Again, be sure to use these customer questions to drive updates to your FAQ content, and keep it fresh!
Do you have any tips for writing a FAQ section? Share in a comment below.
Originally published at ThirdShift Blog.