How to Use FAQs to Provide Self-Service

Written by Jeff Cole on November 5, 2016

Self-service is critical for a company that wants to convey speed and ease of services. Today’s consumers are very tech-savvy and they want their favorite companies to be just as tech-savvy. Embracing technology and the ease and speed that come with it can mean all the difference for a company that depends on its own responsiveness for success.

Phones v. Computers

From checking into flights to paying utility bills online, self-service is the new norm. When it comes to service, consumers actually prefer this self-service norm. That is, instead of playing phone tag with a representative, they would prefer to quickly go through an interactive website themselves and get done what needs to get done themselves.

A survey by Nuance Enterprise found that 75% of survey respondents find self-service a convenient way to address issues, and 67% said they would prefer self-service over speaking to a representative.

Searching Online First

According to a study by Coleman Parkes for Madocs, 91% surveyed would use an online knowledge base if it were available and tailored to their needs. An example of an online knowledge base would be an FAQ Display Panel, where commonly asked questions and their answers are shown.

Usually 40% of customers will attempt to contact a company by phone only after they’ve looked for answers to their questions online. By having an FAQ Display Panel on your website, you can greatly reduce time spent on the phone for both you and your prospect.

Make It More Inviting

Give your website a more welcoming feel and make everything accessible. Make sure that your average prospect will be able to find everything easily. One way to do this is by adding a “personal guide”. This is an interactive feature on your website that welcomes a visitor and guides them through their research.

Added Benefit

An added benefit of self-service is that it is available 24/7 on your website, requiring little to no supervision from you. Therefore, prospects can have their questions answered immediately and at any time, even after business hours.

Make Self-Service An Option, But Not The Only One

As part of the FAQ offering, give prospects an easy way to ask questions if they can’t find the answer. Adding a more personalized channel, such as live chat can give your website a more full-service feel. It also adds an escalation device from self-service to assisted service.

Optimize for Mobile

Making self-service and the personalized channel accessible by mobile is also an important feature these days. According to a 2015 Microsoft study, 60% of consumers surveyed view businesses that offers a mobile-responsive support portal more favorably. Having a beautiful mobile display, reliable functionality, and click-to-call are key to capturing more leads.

The purpose of self-service is to make the research and sales process easier for both your prospect and yourself. It requires some initial work, but pays off in the end with time and frustration saved.