Is the FAQ page still relevant in an omnichannel world?

Once upon a time on the internet, you’d be hard pressed to find a website that didn’t have a frequently asked question (FAQ) page. There are many reasons why this came to be the norm. From SEO purposes to the compounding cost of unconvertable inbound calls simple enquiries being too high for a company. Maybe frustrated freelancers just got sick of handling the same questions over and over. Of course, the most convincing argument is that is empowers your customers to find answers quickly. But in an omnichannel world, we wonder, can we do better than a one-size-fits-all response? Do FAQ pages really offer the kind of customer experience we should be championing today?

Don’t FAQ pages help SEO?

It’s true that FAQ pages can still boost you SEO for certain search criteria. Many people search for their problem or particular issue. For example, they may pose it as a question such as ‘How do I…’ instead of the answer which they may not even be able to conceive of. However, with Google’s (other search engines are available) increasingly sophisticated algorithms and a robust content strategy that includes the second person, this is not so much as relevant as it once was. Still, before you go ditching your FAQ page altogether, check with Google Analytics it’s not one of your biggest traffic drivers.

Are FAQ pages even effective?

People are unique. They each pose questions in a unique way, not to mention have completely unique and sometimes absurdly complex problems. It can be difficult to write the questions for FAQ pages, let alone the answers in a way that encompasses everyone’s solutions. In fact, it’s a common joke for those in the know. FAQ actually stands for Frequently Assumed Questions.

In addition to this, it takes a skilled writer with expert knowledge to provide an answer that everyone can understand. That last thing you want is it to be misinterpreted. A poorly written answer on a FAQ page could lead to a further escalation that your customer or prospect had to begin with, damaging your brand. You’re also putting all of the onus on your customers to seek out the answer and read it. It may be quicker for your company, but it’s a poor experience on the consumer end. Don’t forget how quickly this can convert to hurting your bottom line.

So what do we do instead?

From SMS, to web chat, to Facebook Messenger, Twitter DM or email, you should allow customers contact you in a way that suits them. That way, every interaction a conversation full of opportunity. By employing an omnichannel approach to your customer service and marketing strategy, you’ll get a more holistic view of your customers and prospects. You’ll also allow them to contact you and ask their specific questions on a channel of their choosing, whilst receiving a completely personalised response. Unlike an FAQ page, with the right omnichannel messaging provider, agents will be able to identify if there is an opportunity to convert or upsell with an enquiry. The consumer will be happy to be served quickly on the channel that’s most convenient to them. They’ll receive a tailored answer that is bespoke to their needs.

Remember, however, that to do this effectively, you must make sure your omnichannel strategy enables you to provide contextual conversations across the channels. This means your agents wont lose any context if a customer switches from say, web chat, to Facebook Messenger. The experience is then frictionless, and seamless. Want to learn more about how omnichannel generates revenue? Click here.

Have you deliberately set this blog up as an FAQ page for the sake of irony?

Yes, yes we have.

See also: Hot topic: Conversational Commerce

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