A Super Quick Way To Design A Better FAQ

The Forrester report published earlier this year only confirms what you may have already suspected: customers overwhelmingly prefer self-service support to live phone support.

For the first time in the history of our survey, respondents reported using the FAQ pages on a company's website more often than speaking with an agent over the phone. Use of the help/FAQ pages on a company's website for customer service increased from 67% in 2012 to 76% in 2014, while phone interactions have remained constant at a 73% usage rate.

This can’t be a real surprise to you. Even you probably couldn’t be bothered to pause your busy life to make small talk with a support rep and wait for them to walk you through your issues. The desire to take care of our own problems is pretty universal - so odds are you know exactly what you’re dealing with.

First, take a moment to rejoice. Self-service is way cheaper than personal support. The stars are already lined up in your favor.

But you still have your work cut out for you, and it’s a lot more high-stakes (balance in the universe, etc.).

Your users are incredibly mindful of time, especially the time they take out to fix their own issues. You might have fewer calls on your line, but this means you still have to be looking out for ways to minimize friction for your increasingly sophisticated, DIY users.

Here’s one place your users would LOVE for you to step up your game:

Design A Visual FAQ

Here’s a simple set of instructions for changing passwords on an O2 FAQ page:

This is a perfectly useful article, but also think of what a less web savvy user might have to do here:

  • Open a new tab
  • Recall the instructions
  • Switch between tabs when they don’t (especially if they’re longer)

That’s a level of friction users have always accepted. What happens if you eliminate the need to switch?

Many of your users support needs aren’t urgent, but when you’re doing something as mundane as changing your password or editing an ad listing, every bit helps.

The thing is, your users do notice your attention to detail and your commitment to getting them in and out of your help center as fast as possible. In fact, friction in the customer experience is why even your self-reported “satisfied” customers leave you without ever raising an alarm.

They might not thank you for it. They might not tweet you a compliment. But their seconds count, and they’re glad you’re doing what you can to save them time.

If you can find little ways to invest in a smarter and more seamless customer experience - however marginal it looks on the outside - invest in it. Those little improvements are not lost on your customers and it gives them a good reason to stick with you.

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