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Building a Useful FAQ

Mike Schertenlieb

Most people are just looking for answers…

This extends into every realm imaginable, from the existential to the most basic questions about how to use your product or service. You might not be able to help with the meaning of life, but with a bit of documentation, you can answer pressing questions about your business.

In fact, most of the questions that come in will fall under similar umbrellas – typically involving return policies, guarantees, “how to” requests, and technical details. There will be outliers, of course, but that’s what customer service is for.

Setting up a collection of frequently asked questions (FAQ) allows customers and prospects to find answers on their own, without taking up the valuable time of customer service representatives. The inverse is also true – where training members of your team can reference the FAQ instead of going to managers for information.

How do you put it together?

It all starts with data collection. Review emails and phone records, speak to your customer service agents, check livechat logs, and compile all of the repeat, common questions you receive.

You and your team likely have a good idea of the questions people ask most, and that’s precisely what needs to go in your FAQ! It can also be a “living document,” updated over time as new common questions emerge.

Once you have a sense of the questions you receive most, answer them!

Don’t overdo it!

Maybe this seems oversimplified – so let’s break it down a bit further.

Whether you have an in-house team, or work with a company like LongerDays to handle writing, customer service, and so on, the people with the “boots on the ground” are extremely valuable for FAQ building.

Their experience, combined with your policies and tech specs, will be the meat of your FAQ. As we all work together to get the questions and answers compiled, finer details of the answers (as well as variations of the questions) will emerge.

The next step of collaboration, then, becomes deciding how much detail to include. You’ll still have your customer service team in place, and a good FAQ shouldn’t beĀ too complex. If you tackle every possible variation of every question, you’ll overwhelm customers and prospects with information.

It’s a balancing act – finding the right amount of detail and specific enough questions without going overboard.

We can help!

Organizing, categorizing, and writing your FAQ is essential. While we might not automatically know all the answers, we definitely know how to put them together! We’ll work together to get a good list of questions and answers, and we’ll take the reins to fine tune!

Whether that involves categorizing questions by product or transforming technical language into something a layperson understands, the FAQ needs to be as accessible as possible. If the answers are confusing, clarifying them will still take up your team’s time.

Now, even with an excellent FAQ, some questions will still arise. With this kind of documentation in place though, people will (hopefully) have more information when they reach out.

At the very least, you (and us) will have a place to refer them to should more questions arise in the future!

Once the FAQ is developed, it should be placed prominently on your site, with as many navigation features as possible. The whole point here is to be concise, informative, and easy to use.

Without a solid FAQ in place, you’re missing opportunities to educate prospects and customers. You’re also wasting your team’s time as they answer the same basic questions time and time again. Even if you have to gradually develop it over time, get your company’s FAQ rolling as soon as possible… And reach out if we can lend a hand!


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