Great customer support is an important, yet often very time-consuming part of selling products and services online. Responding to questions in a timely manner is one aspect of quality customer support. Providing answers to questions before they're asked is another. You can use content to address customer support issues early in the purchase process to create a positive experience that increases sales and reduces confusion.
Frequently Asked Questions
You don't have to be a mindreader to provide proactive customer support throughout the buying process. Your website's content can help answer questions before they're asked. Your frequently asked questions section (FAQs) should contain all the questions potential customers may ask before purchasing as well as the questions they tend to ask after the sale.
Find relevant content for this section by reviewing pre-sales questions or asking your customer support representatives. Your FAQ page should be accessible from any page on the website. Service providers and other businesses with more complex requirements can benefit from an FAQ section with multiple categories. If you find a specific product accounts for a large number of requests, you may consider answering some of these questions within product descriptions and linking to the full FAQ section.
A knowledge base is a larger help section that typically contains more in-depth information than an FAQ section. Knowledge bases are frequently used to provide details for software products. If you offer integration with other services, include usage instructions here. A good knowledge base is searchable too.
The Wufoo Help Center is a knowledge base that contains answers to frequently asked questions as well as detailed help articles for all features. The search function is placed high on the page to encourage its use. Use your experiences with other knowledge bases to build upon your own. Include information you would like to see as a customer.
Terms of Service/Purchase Agreements
Business websites and online stores should contain terms of service and relevant purchase agreements. Your entire customer base may not review all terms prior to purchase, but providing this information upfront shows potential customers that your business is dedicated to transparency. This is especially important for subscription services. Purchase agreements should be easy to find. If you don't already include purchase agreement details you should consider them in your sales process.
Artist Chris McVeigh includes purchasing and shipping terms within an FAQ section for his unique Lego creations. Tinahdee's Unique Wedding Ring shop contains purchase information with each store item. You may choose to include everything on one page. Your approach will depend on the way your customers interact with your website.
Using these support strategies, you can help potential customers throughout the sales process. By providing timely and accurate information, customers can quickly find answers to common questions or issues before they become deal breakers.