Your FAQ pages aren’t going to be the most exciting part of your website (and if they are, you might have bigger problems). However, they remain a crucial point of communication with your site’s visitors. If someone is looking at your FAQ page, it usually means one of two things:
- They’re interested in what you have to offer, but they’re not sold yet
- They’re looking for customer support following a purchase
In other words, someone looking at your FAQs is an opportunity to preempt technical questions and convert visitors to buyers.
Want to learn how to do that effectively on your own FAQ pages? Keep reading:
Owl Optics sells inexpensive-yet-stylish glasses and lenses out of Germany. Since they’re a boutique operation, a big part of their strategy involves adopting a quirky brand voice that stands out. This brand persona is reflected in clever and unconventional design choices throughout their site, including on their FAQ page.
How does Owl make the most of their FAQ page?
They maintain a distinctive brand voice. Owl utilizes their quirky persona within the copy in both questions and answers (“Damn, my prescription is incomplete. Now what?!”). Their distinctive copy makes them relatable to their target demographic, who are likely browsing several stores before deciding on a single pair of glasses.
Many FAQs are purely functional, employing matter-of-fact copy to efficiently address any potential problems. That’s why, when Owl chooses to inject levity and silliness into their FAQ, their voice is more visible than elsewhere. It’s a calculated risk that isn’t necessarily a good fit for all businesses, but can pay off when executed well.
They address the difficult questions. One of the main concerns of people shopping for glasses online is choosing a pair that looks good on their face. Many of Owl’s competitors will address this by offering try-on kits or free return shipping. However, Owl doesn’t, putting them outside the industry norm.
Some companies may try to conceal this kind of shortcoming, hoping that most customers won’t notice. Owl chooses to addresses the issue head-on. They don’t have a satisfaction guarantee, but that’s why you have to be “brave and confident to buy a pair of OWL glasses.” They flip the difficult question on its head by reinforcing the narrative around who their customers are, and how they want their products to make you feel. By getting out in front of a potentially negative support question, they manage to both reframe the issue and demonstrate the boldness inherent to their brand.
Nixon is a company that makes and sells unique watches, along with clothing, bags, and other accessories. Their watches range from fashion-focused, to specialized sports utility pieces, to custom designs. The sheer variety of their product offerings means that they have to change their FAQ approach to address many unique visitor personas without becoming too unwieldy.
What does Nixon do to improve UX with their FAQs?
They provide product-specific FAQ sections. Nixon maintains a general FAQ page with their most common questions for cross-product topics like warranties and order support, along with top-level questions about watches and clothes.
However, they also have specific FAQs on some of their individual product pages. This lets them address questions relating to individual products, without overloading their main FAQ page with information that won’t apply to a majority of their visitors. In some cases – namely, for their smartwatch – they link directly to a product-specific FAQ page.
Product-specific FAQs are an especially good choice for businesses like Nixon, who sell products that may have a lot of unique, highly technical use-cases.
They offer multiple contact options. On Nixon’s FAQ page, they provide phone, email, and live chat options for getting in touch with support. Ideally, an FAQ page should act as a filter so that people don’t overload customer support with easily answerable questions. Providing a variety of contact options on the FAQ page ensures that visitors don’t get frustrated if they don’t find the answer they’re looking for. They allow customers to reach out in the manner that’s most convenient for them.
Everyone knows Netflix. They most likely won’t be having any problems explaining what they do or how their service works. For the vast majority of visitors, the only reason you would even interact with Netflix outside of browsing and streaming would be for technical support and account management issues. So, Netflix has chosen to structure their FAQ page as a “Help Center”, focused primarily on customer support. This is an approach that works well for online services who want to lighten the load of troubleshooting on their support staff.
Netflix’s FAQ page makes it easy for customers to find the information they need:
They have a well-implemented information hierarchy. Netflix shows thoughtfulness in how they’ve organized the questions in their Help Center. Rather than building a boilerplate linear scroll FAQ, Netflix has made their flow more accessible by segmenting questions into categories based on what kind of help their users need: account management, tech support, billing, and streaming. Within each category, questions link to separate help pages, which address general issues, followed by a set of more granular questions if their specific issue hasn’t been solved yet. This approach establishes an information hierarchy, which works like a funnel to direct users where they need to go, while maintaining a clean, uncluttered interface.
They offer versatile search functionality. Another convenient feature of the Help Center is the search bar, which serves as a shortcut to get directly to more specific answers. If a user already knows exactly what they’re looking for, they can just type it in here, rather than navigating through the preset question flow. Users can also copy error codes into the search bar to reach the solution page for their problem immediately.
Boundary sells durable modular backpacks that are specially designed for use in niche recreational activities, such as mountain biking and urban photography. Since Boundary sells a specialty product, it’s important that they address technical questions upfront to ensure that their customers choose the right version of the product that accommodates their particular needs.
How does Boundary meet the needs of their niche customers?
They offer live Q&As on their product pages. In addition to offering a primary FAQ page, Boundary does something innovative by including a live product Q&A on each product page in their store. Their product experts can use it to publicly respond to any technical questions that haven’t been covered in the product details and description.
This allows them to adapt to a very real issue facing a company with a product as niche as Boulder’s: what are the questions they haven’t anticipated? Sometimes, your customers have needs that you just aren’t aware of, and this solution gives a voice to their concerns. By pushing responses live, Boundary is able to demonstrate the knowledge level of their customer support team and reduce their future support load.
They offer SMS support. Boundary supplements their main FAQ page with a direct line to get in touch via text. In an online landscape where in-browser chat support is becoming the norm, live SMS chat manages to do something new. For one, it allows the visitor the freedom to leave the site without fear of ending a potential conversation thread.
It also simplifies the process of getting in touch. Compared to an email or a phone call, the effort required to send a text is minimal. If a question about your product occurs to a potential customer after they’ve left your site, they’ve already got your number in their phone. Remember: you should always be thinking about the user experience of your FAQ pages and making it as easy and convenient as possible to get an answer.
At the same time, if you respond to a customer or prospect’s question via email, they may not see it for a few hours or even days, depending on how often they check their email. But if you send them a text, they’ll likely see it much faster – and be ready to buy that much quicker.
We hope you’ve picked up some new ideas for utilizing your FAQs. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, it’s important to consider the different ways you can address the specific needs of your audience. Where most of your website will be focused on building interest, your FAQ page should be an opportunity to think about your customers’ possible concerns and anxieties, and how you might nip them in the bud.
If you’re interested in learning more, we’ve written a whole ebook on building a great FAQ page. You can read all about using your FAQ page to improve user experience, increase conversions, and more.