Use Business Website FAQs to Educate Your Customers - dummies

Use Business Website FAQs to Educate Your Customers

By Marsha Collier

The FAQ (frequently asked questions) page on your business website should answer your customer’s questions about the process of dealing with your company. When writing the information on your FAQ page, use an accessible, conversational tone. Stay away from jargon and language that sounds good but doesn’t say anything concrete. Be direct and use terms with which your audience is familiar.

Paul Hopkins (@futurecustomer on Twitter), previously head of Customer Experience at easyJet, a United Kingdom–based airline that books 98 percent of its fares online, used a simple Get Satisfaction solution on the FAQ page, which displays a clickable listing of FAQs and a keyword search to the airline’s online solution database.

Paul had the following tips to share:

When writing FAQs, write the content, then halve it — then halve it again. It may seem rather direct, but [most] people don’t have time to read lots of text. Since I have used this approach, self-serve rates and customer satisfaction related to the helpfulness of FAQs have gone up. Also, ensure that the customer service team — not the web content team — manages the FAQs.

Use web chat on FAQs; [since it’s a place where] people would usually send an e-mail, this will reduce your volume of e-mails. It also stops e-mail Ping-Pong, as the first e-mail is cheap and the second is expensive, [because] the agent has to read all previous content and then write the same answer in another way.

FAQ pages don’t have a lot of requirements, but here are some guidelines to help you:

  • Curate questions from e-mails, customer notes, and discussions with employees. Take time to put together a list of any possible question that can be asked about your business, practice, or store.

  • Write answers thoroughly, in a conversational style.

  • Organize questions by category (such as services, product information, ordering, and shipping) in bold headlines or bullet points or both.

  • Place the most important questions at the top of the page.

  • Make your design systematic. Put related topics next to each other so that they flow.

  • When an answer is more than a paragraph long, make the link go to a separate page.

Make sure the customer service or FAQ link is easy to find on your home page. What’s the point of having a FAQ section if your visitors can’t find it?

This figure shows the FAQ page from 37signals with the top 20 questions about Basecamp. The information is easy to read and flows logically from one topic to the next.


If your company caters to a more whimsical type of customer, take a look at the customer service page from ThinkGeek, shown in this figure.