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Sunday, November 27, 2022

The Importance of Proper FAQs and Website Help Systems

Creating a website can be a complicated task for the uninitiated, but it’s no longer a component of business that can be ignored. While this reality has been unavoidable for some time, too often websites overly focus on the more visible features and ignore the smaller aspects which can have a significant influence on customer relations. This is the case with FAQ and website help systems, which are commonly regarded as unnecessary, being left underdeveloped or unchanged for years.

Why are Help Systems Underutilized?

Underestimating the importance of customer help systems and FAQS usually has nothing to do with laziness, rather it’s a natural result of how managers see their business. As a business owner or manager, those who develop websites tend to have an intimate understanding of how their business and industry operate. As a side effect of this knowledge, it’s not an easy task to adopt the view of a newcomer, to put themselves in the frame of someone walking through the door for the first time.

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This issue is then compounded when looking at how many complex parts of website development require developer attention. Whether optimizing images for loading, ensuring mobile compatibility, or checking payment systems, all of the big features can distract from what we consider the little things. Without these little things, however, a business won’t have a solid foundation on which to build.

Does an FAQ Really Matter?

Though FAQS are about answering little questions, their effects on websites can be profound. Without FAQs, customers can grow frustrated, leaving a website for one they consider more user-friendly or abandoning their purchase altogether. With properly developed FAQs, a website can widen its customer base and build loyalty, which aids with retention and can have significant repercussions for long-term financial outcomes.

Adopting the Right Approach

Because it’s difficult to place yourself in the shoes of the uninitiated, creating quality FAQs can be best achieved with the help of an actual newcomer. Consider adding feedback links on your website, ask customers in person what they liked and didn’t like, where they got confused, and what they thought made worthwhile additions. Though not all input will be helpful, this should at least indicate a position from which to begin.

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For a mainstream example of an FAQ done well, consider the fast food system at Mcdonald’s. As a multinational country with thousands of locations, any question at McDonald’s is going to eventually become frequent. To address these demands, they’ve created an FAQ system with more than 600 questions in their FAQ database. These range from questions about ingredients to queries about cooking procedures, opening times, and much more. Aided by filters and search functionality, the FAQ system here is one of the most robust the internet has to offer.

In a very different industry, Microsoft’s approach is also of the highest quality. Since this company owns such a wide range of products, its FAQs are split into many different sections, such as this one which focuses on Microsoft 365. Because using Microsoft products is much more complicated than ordering fast food, this system requires much more interlinking, offers dropdown boxes, and clearly defined separate sections.

Both of these illustrate dedicated FAQ sections of a website, and while this can help, it’s not the only useful form of FAQ deployment. Consider the FAQs found on a website catering to playing casino slots online. This page is built on explaining how users gain access to online slots, where they can be found, and which titles could be standouts to new players. As a longer page with a lot of information, the FAQ section gives an easy place for users to quickly scan common questions, cut down on confusion, and reiterate on knowledge gained on the page above.

Taking another form of the FAQ is the modern chatbot. This uses AI to simulate human communication, allowing users another form of FAQ access outside of simple reading. This can be important for users who prefer to talk rather than just read, or for those who are unfamiliar with how traditional FAQ systems operate.

The Takeaway

Looking at the big picture, FAQs are far more complicated than they might initially seem. Properly implementing the right system means understanding the view of an outsider, recognizing the best layout for your industry, and appropriately relaying that information. Add onto this the need for mobile integration, and a constant need to stay vigilant for updates, and the process of FAQ development becomes all the more intimidating.

Like any aspect of webpage development, however, the hardest part is at the beginning. With a little practice, building and maintaining a quality FAQ can become second nature. Offering advantages to usability and customer relationships that can’t be ignored, taking this approach is something no business can afford to miss if they wish to stay competitive.

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