When was the last time you went to a website looking for some information about a product or service? Did they have a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)? Was the information you were looking for actually there? A lot of times FAQs are only marketing driven – trying to cover any doubts a customer may have about purchasing a product. But there is a real opportunity to provide useful information for your customers by providing answers to questions they actually ask frequently.
Obviously listening to your customers is one way to find out what types of questions they may have – and the best way – support and sales people often are a good source within your company. Another source of information is the search functionality on your website (if you have one). What searches are people performing on your website? Those may be the types of questions that are worthwhile to provide answers for (and make easy to find).
If you don’t have search on your website, or don’t have a good way to tell what people are searching for (both I would recommend remedying), take a look at the searches (keywords) that people use to come to your site from outside search engines. This is information that the search engines feel you are good at answering, so it may be a good idea to make sure your answers are well rounded and provide all the information your customers (or potential customers) need.
The best source of FAQs really should be your customers. Provide contact forms and periodically poll your customers (both in-person and online), to make sure you really do have all their frequently asked questions answered. By providing FAQs that your customers actually need, you’ll provide more support information for current customers and more purchasing information for potential customers.
(photo by -bast- @ Flickr CC)