Use FAQs to close more sales

There is a page on your e-commerce website that probably needs attention. You may not have it, but a page of frequently asked questions is crucial for all online stores. If you do right, frequently asked questions can close the sale.

Moleskine FAQ section

An FAQ section can help increase conversions by providing key information about the brand and the products it sells. Source: Moleskine.

Why Frequently Asked Questions?

Frequently asked questions, also called help pages, are necessary for many reasons.

  • Saves time for both buyers and customer service staff. You can lower the number of inquiries and let buyers help themselves by answering common questions. For example, Lego's FAQ sections are easy to navigate. It uses simple words. Subjects are definite. For example, if you click for more information about the LEGO VIP program, you will see how to register, earn and redeem points, replace your VIP card and more.

Make the help section easy to use, like this example from LEGO. No shopper should need support to find support.

  • Validates a shopper's question. A shopper who can't find answers feels like he's the only one confused. Probably many buyers have the same question.
  • Creates relationships. Answering questions with openness creates confidence. Use your brand's voice to promote the cause.
  • Reduces the number of negative comments and reviews. Your company will earn more respect by eliminating surprises and being honest – even when there are problems. Referring to frequently asked questions before and after ordering gives a clear picture of what you sell, how to handle orders and return and exchange policy.
  • Improves time on site. Good FAQs promote longer visits and thus more sales.

FAQ components

Creating or improving an FAQ section is easy, but it can be time consuming. Important components of an FAQ page are the following.

  • Consistent layout. The FAQ section should work and display as the overall site, with the same design elements, fonts and colors.
  • Logical categories. Buyers need all kinds of information, including how to use features, track orders, return or exchange items, understand product descriptions, and manage membership and account issues. They want to know how articles are packed and sent, and how to troubleshoot errors on your site. By segmenting FAQ types, customers can quickly find answers.
PrettyLittleThing designed FAQ sections

The FAQ section is part of the site. It should have the same design element. Source: PrettyLittleThing.

  • Order search tools. Many customers visit the help section for the status of their orders. Including the lookup feature here saves a step.
  • Tips for finding the best product. For a clothing store, this can be information about how different items are sized. For sporting goods it may be an explanation of fishing lures.
  • Authentic voice. Frequently asked questions should not be filled. They should have the same tone as the website, not as a technical manual. Cards called a horrible people follow Cards Against Humanity's FAQ format on the website and product formats.
Short against humanity's FAQ section

For some, it may seem offensive, but Cards Against Humanity's FAQ section speaks directly to its target audience.

  • Relevant and important details. This is where you address issues that are defined by your audience. For example, if you sell durable goods, explain how products are collected and manufactured.
  • How to make customized products with lead times. If you sell handmade goods, explain the process. Provide a chart of waiting times to spread the expectations of immediate shipping.
  • What you stand for. Does your company give back? List the causes and how to donate. Show the efforts of the employees who give voluntary time to community projects. Abstain from political settings unless your target audience demands them.
  • Privacy, customer information. Summarize your security and privacy policies and then link to these pages.
  • How to contact. List all the ways you can reach, including a link to live chat, social media and a phone number.

Frequently asked questions

When the kernel is complete, fill in the section with additional questions and answers as problems and trends develop. Use the following sources for ideas.

  • Pre-checkout calls and chats. Notice anything – from finding products to completing the checkout.
  • Feedback form and email. If you log shopper feedback, you may recognize repeated problems.
  • Return and exchange forms. Include an optional field for comments. These often provide more insight than a menu selection or check box.
  • Product Support Inquiries can help identify user errors, confusion or abuse.
  • Social media. Monitor posts and comments about your brand and the products you sell.

Not every question or concern is legitimate. But do not be quick to write off people's opinions. For everyone who complains many more have the same thing but say nothing.

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